Rupture and residue: intermedia art in action

Milledge, Russell James (2017) Rupture and residue: intermedia art in action. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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This creative arts research project provided me with an opportunity to develop new understanding within the field of contemporary art practice. The project focused on making new artistic productions within a recursive presentation cycle. The project afforded me significant creative growth and development as an artist and researcher. What I experienced was the development of artistic form generated through the efforts of a small team, and I acknowledge the co-authorship of the creative works with my collaborators. The project began with a gallery based installation work in 2008, followed by artistic productions presented to the public in performance spaces, a multi-purpose arts venue, and then back to a conventional exhibition space. In 2013, one of the artistic productions premiered at the Brisbane Festival and marked a high point but not the end point. The development and presentation of artistic production operated in a continuum rather than moving towards a culminating event. Exploration and discovery trace the creative process through inception, production, presentation and archival phases to illuminate what intermediality means to the 'narrative' of my practice within contemporary arts. A love of art making compels the journey.

The thought of intermedia as a research area started with a naïve inclination towards interdisciplinary processes for developing creative works. Rather than providing evidence for an expert understanding of intermediality, it is an idea that requires testing against the currency of my practice and in the presentational context understood by society. Being creatively engaged with the interplay of media and with the processes of materiality, media and the body has driven my artistic practice. It has allowed me to generate forms of contemporary art involving interdisciplinarity and collaboration. The intermedial emphasis of my creative process has a marked impact on how I understand the pluralistic conventions of contemporary art. Intermediality is, for my way of thinking, a process that simplifies levels of complexity so that more levels of complexity can assert themselves in future practices. Intermedia converges and reconciles the areas of my practice that are related to media arts and spatial practices that are performative and sculptural.

The artistic productions represented in this project test intermediality within the collaborative and institutional setting. What resolves are specific knowledge centres which enhance innovations in practice, process and theory. Through performative action within a practice-led methodology, an epistemological framework is formed by what bounds generative knowledge in artistic production. Conceptual narratives and themes generate professional practice, collaboration and reflection. An auto-ethnographic approach to documenting the enquiry allows multidimensional entry points within a terrain of interconnected sites of research focus. The project resembles a membrane of vectors and ideas that offer ambiguous pathways. The journey does not pose deterministic answers to questions about research veracity. Instead, intermediality manifests a complex and creatively diverse artistic process. These attributes celebrate the interdisciplinarity of contemporary art practice. In so doing, the process questions the sliding tolerance between conventional forms that tend to announce genre specific artistic production. For example, the project's internal logic develops artefacts for exhibition in a gallery and simultaneously spatial sequences for the performance space. Therefore, the actions defined within the creative development exemplify a process of intermediality.

A small arts business co-directed by the researcher provides the infrastructure that administrates development and presentation of the artistic process in partnership with sponsors and venues. The research project focuses on the production and presentation cycle informed by the contributions of a core collaborative team. The practice-led method is an instrument that engages action, process tracing, temporal bracketing and performative analysis through iterative phases over several years. The public presentation of important artworks, along with audio-visual documentation represent dimensions of valorisation beyond the actions of practice-led research. The recursive cycle articulated an approach with underlying systems of innovation, implementation and reflexivity.

The emergence of new work in the continuum of practice is a temporal rupture that exists as an ephemeral series of action units moving towards the context of presentation. The documentation and auto-ethnographic account are the residues of the primary manifestation of semi-annual productions. The documentation of artistic trajectories forms a media archive: The Exquisite Resonance of Memory, 2008; Whispering Limbs, 2009; Cove, 2010; Sweet Spot and Nerve Engine, 2011 – 2014; and Terrestrial Nerve, 2012 – 2013. The media archive is residual and secondary; it illuminates a set of indicative concepts significant for the future of intermediality in the researcher's practice.

The impact of the research develops understanding and generates interest in the contemporary collaborative arts. The value of the research broadens the domain of artistic practice and will be of interest anywhere that creativity becomes managed between disciplines, such as software developers, performance ensembles, artists, designers, fabricators, creative partnerships.

Item ID: 51508
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: artistic productions, intermedia, media art, performing arts, telematics, water
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2017 00:03
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1901 Art Theory and Criticism > 190103 Art Theory @ 40%
19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190203 Electronic Media Art @ 30%
19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190403 Dance @ 30%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) @ 75%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance) @ 25%
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