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Ph.D. Advanced Practice

Abstract of Research Proposal


Subject Area and Research Questions

How do we meet the things around us? Are they merely resources for us to use or more than that? A pet dog, a tree, a rock, or a piece of paper, we have mundane things all around us that we take for granted without hesitation, but are we truly meeting them, or are we blindly ignoring them? Or in fact, are we encountering them with a false feeling that we can ignore them?

This proposed Ph.D. project is a practice-led inquiry into art practice as Commoning (Foumier, 2013 and Baldauf, el. 2018) among human and non-human entities. Particularly informed by Actor-Network-Theory (Latour, 2005) and Vital Materialism (Bennett, 2010), this project is going to explore and answer the following research questions:

1. How can the agency of things and the vibrant assemblage between them (as well as us) be perceived and represented through art practice?
2. How to imagine and explore a reciprocal and sustainable organization between human and non-human actors?
3. What would the above-said explorations and imaginations suggests in terms of politics between humans and things?

Research Objectives and Contribution to Knowledge

This proposed project aims to produce artwork that introduces non-organic actors into reciprocal and sustainable assemblages with human beings. On one hand, such artwork will demonstrate alternative representation and perception of things, (including but not limited to animals, plants, objects, resources, and systems), as demanded by Bruno Latour in 2017, to open the possibilities for new knowledge. On the other hand, the relational and organizational structure explored in such artwork will lead to practical knowledge of new politics of humans and things, an alternative to Latour's (1991) spokesman and parliament of things.

Furthermore, such practice will suggest by example, a possible answer to the organization of commons, such as rationales and doctrines for a sustainable and mutually beneficial structure of contribution and distribution alternative to the capitalist model.

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