Practice based PhD candidate at Manchester Metropolitan University, with MIRIAD. Due to complete Autumn 2014.
How could artistic practice function as trace within the archive?
My study is one concerned with the elements which make up the archival records of a performative, temporal practice. Using the theory of trace, as defined by Paul Ricoeur, I explore the shifting and fleeting nature of the artefacts produced through my work.
The intratemporal space of the trace allows for an examination of absence: the trace exists outside of time both before and after the event which it describes, a pointer to something which cannot be described or experienced.
These traces form as untranslatable relics or overwritten palimpsest. The liminality of the remains links to the twinned concepts of the death drive and archive fever: the destructive force operating in a silence, leaving only markers through barely deciphered cultural folk objects, and the archival urge to conserve everything possible against annihilation (paradoxically obscuring meaning through this excess).
The artefacts of process (the fleeting traces of action) are further interrogated, or repurposed, in making new yet self reflective, cyclical works. These will also evolve the meaning and context of the source, testing the model of the archive with its fluid and evolving structure.
Writing the thesis is itself explored as a means of practice led research.
Pieces are performative gestures, situations, responses and instructions – arguably momentary, decaying, facing the problematic of their documentation and inclusion within the archive.