Adjacencies and distances: sculptural site intervention

Rowlands, R 2019, Adjacencies and distances: sculptural site intervention, Masters by Research, Art, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Adjacencies and distances: sculptural site intervention
Author(s) Rowlands, R
Year 2019
Abstract Within the urban landscape, the tempo of destruction and redevelopment of our built environment reveals a palimpsest of change. The abandonment of these sites could go unnoticed, often a fleeting moment before destruction, with the next structure then re-cloaking the land. This research project locates itself spatially and conceptually within this pause or transitional state of select sites. It utilises this brief period of time to consider how these sites can offer poetic information and new readings as creative practice, despite their impending obsolescence.

Through my work, I engaged physically with sites through various material intervention processes. Cutting, slicing, reconfiguring the surfaces and the structural integrity of these sites becomes a visceral engagement, bringing with it an urgency, an intensity, and a consequentiality. They are emphatic gestures that stand in contrast to the obsolescence of the space, but at the same time reveal the layered nature of not just the physical but also the metaphorical and memorial constructions of these built structures.

Adjacencies and distances, prompts us to re-evaluate our proximity and understanding of everything around us. Drawing attention to what may go unnoticed, the research within these sites highlights how these spaces can hold a degree of separation from their previous function; an autonomy within the context of our built landscape. The human presence in these sites becomes one aspect of many, rather than the sole reason for their existence.

My investigations and subsequent interventions into sites reflect prominently on my own sense of how I read the environment. Reflecting on what is known within these sites and finding some distance here with an aim to create some sense of ambiguity; to un-know and/or to re-know what may have been hidden. The fluctuation between these two states, knowing and unknowing becomes a rich area of research opening up greater ways for me to challenge my perceptions within site and then to spatially respond to these in the form of sculptural interventions.

Through the exploration of further material process and techniques, such as photography, film and sound, this practice-led research project has allowed me to expand my capacity to capture and extend my observations and sculptural interventions. This documentation, in light of the loss of the physical sites and work, is then to become a crucial path back to the experience of a site. Whilst this does not reproduce the full liveness of the experience, I see it as a step towards understanding my thinking at the time. Each photograph, film or sound document, then, is like a word that can return you to a sentence, a memory, a moment.

This final document is written foremost from the perspective of being in site, and the reflections derived from these experiences. From here, I explore current thinking and artist practices that broaden the reflective writing, deriving a statement of research outcomes that balances an analytical understanding of my journey with the poetic.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Subjects Performance and Installation Art
Keyword(s) Sculpture
Installation art
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Created: Tue, 25 Feb 2020, 15:03:39 EST by Adam Rivett
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