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Michelle Stephens

 

‘Coded Cloth’: Generative design as a digital process for jacquard weave design, using code to reanimate historical jacquard pattern archives.

‘Coded Cloth’ is a collaborative research project with external partners: The Silk Museum and Paradise Mill, Macclesfield. It utilises archival materials to creatively explore and interpret, pattern designs for digital-led jacquard weaving through generative design and programming. A working relationship was established in 2013 with the Mill, to research their extensive silk jacquard archives.

The project positions the researcher as practitioner, exploring the hybrid connections or realms between digital/virtual and hand/real expressions. This practice-led enquiry contributes to the development of programming as a design and production method in woven design.

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Patrizia Costantin

What is the material agency of digital decay and how is it revealed through curatorial practice?

The concept of decay has been commonly associated with still life in art practice. Since the 1980s, the presence of digital technology in art has grown and notions of matter, the medium and immateriality had to be reconsidered in order to address art practices that deal with new materials. Building on Jussi Parikka’s idea of ‘geology of media’ (2015), the PhD aims at reconsidering the concept of decay and its intrinsic nature of material process, following new parameters of matter and time brought into discussion by digital technology. Considering materiality as materials immersed in an instable flow means to think of both software and hardware obsolescence as crucial elements in defining decay as a form of agency.

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John Merrill

Portrait as Landscape: Rendering Topography of Face and Body

“Stop asking us for the inner being, essence, soul…,” Richard Avedon pleaded: “the surface is all you’ve got. “My research addresses questions of why when looking at portraits we instinctively make judgements about the subject’s character and personality and why such assumptions are wrong. Using a knowledge of the science of visual perception I will attempt to produce photographic portraits that reveal unexplored surface terrain unhindered by erroneous opinions.

 

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Lin Charlston

The Multimodal book as organism, artefact and assemblage: non-human agency in processes of growing and making.

This practice-based research diffracts the hierarchical dominance of humans over nature by considering non-human agency in the processes of growing and making. The ‘multimodal book’, conceived as an investigative practice which includes the maker and reader, and also an assemblage of works which come together in an exhibition, is developed to examine and articulate human-non-human relationships. Haptic and temporal aspects of the book are explored alongside growing plants to set up a dynamic interplay between concepts of organism and artefact and to interrogate non-human agency in the processes of growing and making.

 

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Gary Spicer

Distance matters: A visual archeology of the Plaszow concentration camp in Krakow

Why do I keep going back to sites of Holocaust memory and how might it be possible for me to use drawing as a tool to excavate a past personally unlived? Foucault describes his approach to writing history as archaeology, where discursive traces of the past are investigated in order to write a ‘history of the present’. This is important because it expresses a desire to link with something beyond ourselves.

 

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Marianna Tsionki

The role of curatorial practice in rethinking nature, posthuman and media environments in the Anthropocene

My research engages with critical debates on the Anthropocene focusing on recent discourses of media ecology and materiality creating a trajectory between hidden toxic territories in China and our technocapitalist societies. My work pays particular attention on the ‘curatorial’ as a mode of theorisation as well as a research methodology. The project will deploy through a series of talks, a conference and a final exhibition at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) based in Manchester.

 

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Susan Jones

The artists and arts policy conundrum: The relationship of arts policies to artists’ creative practices and their livelihoods

Research which reflects on key UK arts policies intended to support the creative practices and the livelihoods of artists and gathers new evidence of artists’ perceptions of the contexts and conditions they feel they need, to generate a rationale for conducive environments which can better foster the talents of artists.

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Gemma Meek

Reading Socially Engaged Book Art: Establishing New Dialogues

To construct a critical framework in which to read socially engaged book art (2000 to present day), with reference to selected case studies, through the mapping of connections between production methods, themes and book forms.

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Laura Guy

Manifestos: Feminist genealogies, queer art histories

This thesis turns to manifestos produced since the late 1960s, through which important intersections between aesthetics and radical gay, lesbian and queer politics become legible.

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Anna Frew

How might an tailored experience of narrative be created through digital media?

My research is about how to use data about an audience to create a tailored narrative, in real time, using digital media that is personal to them.

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