Posted on 15/01/2013
Practice-based PhD Seminar
Practice-based PhD Programme web page
Practice-based PhD Seminar blog
Wednesday 16 January, 5-7pm (Room G3, 11 Bedford Square, London WC1E 6DP)
Criticism as Political Event: Towards a Poiesis of Critical Practice
My research is concerned with examining the politics of contemporary critical practice in performance and live art, locating the critical moment as a practice "against certainty, in the second between two seconds" (Hélène Cixous).
In this presentation I engage with Jacques Rancière’s challenge to mastery as a form of domination and his articulation of a society in which the distribution of the sensible denotes both a partitioning and a commonality as essential modalities of contextualising the eventness of criticism embodying inherent dualities within its architecture. There is a domain of sensible knowledge that can be made visible through the critical gesture, assuming that resistance forms an integral differentiation of spectatorship, a being together apart; an encounter more deeply rooted within both the Subject and object that sees a fold within its politics. I will consider the ways in which distance can be reconstituted as dissensus within the politics of the critical encounter, touching upon questions of situatedness that can propose the delineation of a critical practice.
Diana Damian is a London-based performance and live art critic and curator. Her PhD research examines taxonomies of critical practice, locating the political within the critical process and deconstructing the critical encounter. Diana is Performance Editor at Exeunt and founder of Post: Critical Practice, a platform dedicated to exploring the meeting point between performance, curation, criticism and the digital sphere. She is a regular contributor to publications in Europe and the UK, and is part of an EU funded collective of writers exploring the forms criticism can take in contemporary performance and visual art practice in a series of performative interventions and artist collaborations.
Don McKay and the Phenomenology of Stone
Tim Cresswell (centre) with Don McKay and his partner - the artist Marlene Creates
This presentation focuses on the Canadian poet Don McKay’s poetry collection Strike/Slip (2006). It brings McKay’s poetic practice into conversation with both McKay’s own essays on the role of the wild in the contemporary world and with the work of the archaeologist Chris Tilley and his monograph, The Materiality of Stone (2004). McKay uses the contrast between rocks and stone to approach the familiar transformation of nature into culture – the raw into the cooked. He does so through a close engagement with the nature (or essence, to use phenomenological terminology) of rocks/stones. This involves a knowledge of, and poetic use of, the lexicon of geology.
Through poetic close attention combined with a working knowledge of geological science, McKay mobilizes rocks/stones to reflect on the this process of engaging and transforming nature as dwelling. The wild diversity of registers (from the scientific to the slang) in McKay’s poems puts the limits and possibilities of language at the center of the ways in which humans dwell on the mineral earth – the ways in which they ceaselessly attempt and fail to engage the wild.
If there is time, the presentation may include some poems from the 'creative' part of my thesis which have been informed by the themes of dwelling and travel.
As well as being a PhD candidate in the Creative Writing programme, Tim Cresswell is Professor of Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of five books including Geographic Thought: A Critical Introduction (2013) and On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World (2006). Tim is also a poet who has published widely in national magazines in the UK. His first collection, Soil, is being published by Penned in the Margins in July 2013.
Tim’s blog is called Varve and can be found at tjcresswell.wordpress.com