Contested objects: redeploying commonplace objects to create new insights into notions of territoriality

Slatter, B 2015, Contested objects: redeploying commonplace objects to create new insights into notions of territoriality, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Art, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Contested objects: redeploying commonplace objects to create new insights into notions of territoriality
Author(s) Slatter, B
Year 2015
Abstract Identifying with the field of sculptural practice this project explores the potential of commonplace objects to unfold and communicate understandings of territoriality. Territoriality is the behavioural manner of making claim to and defending of territory or ideas and is an influencing factor in many forms of human interaction and endeavour, as space and concepts are constantly negotiated and redefined. Drawing on the research of social geography, anthropology and sociology this project explores the defining characteristics of territoriality that pertain to the individual and a wider societal context.

Primarily concerned with objects this project references the long history of objects that runs parallel to the history of humans. Despite thousands of years of development and civilisation the need and use of some objects may be unchanged to the way our early ancestors used defence and offence in the implementing of territoriality. In contemporary forms of human endeavour like sport, the bat used in defence and offence has as its distant antecedents the most basic of implements like the caveman’s club. This relationship through history and the potential for an object to be used and misused are key to their development and highlight the transformational potential of objects as material and subjects within this project.

Exploring the commonplace necessitates the consideration of mass-production, distribution and consumption of objects as globalisation that has provided a proliferation of choice. The profusion of objects manifests a familiarity of utility that is common experience and promotes to a greater understanding the language of commonplace objects. These collective relationships to commonplace objects are further explored through historical and contemporary examples of artists that use pre-existing objects and explore the language of objects.

Commonplace objects are repositories of meaning with associated historical, cultural, social, and functional information that can be understood as shared knowledge. They can also be customised and individualised with additional personal information further embedding our personal experience, narrative and knowledge. This creative project uses the reconfiguration and redeployment of commonplace objects to explore and provide insights into territoriality through a series of sculptures that represent and communicate characteristics of territoriality through the parameters of conflict, sport and commemoration. These subthemes are the basis for articulating and extending conventional notions of territoriality to create new insights and mediate a greater understanding of its influence.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Subjects Fine Arts (incl. Sculpture and Painting)
Keyword(s) Commonplace
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Created: Mon, 12 Oct 2015, 13:48:03 EST by Keely Chapman
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