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Social intervention and visual culture: a psychosocial investigation into art education and young people's relational aesthetics in a devolved museum and gallery space

Rowley, Liam James 2015. Social intervention and visual culture: a psychosocial investigation into art education and young people's relational aesthetics in a devolved museum and gallery space. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The work carried out in this research concerns the use of Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy in relation to learning, experience, and intervention. The research was carried out in two stages. First, by working with two groups of young people from Valleys Kids, a charity organization located in the heart of the Rhondda South Wales, the first phase consists of a psychogeographical dérive of Cardiff Museum, Wales. Based on the Situationist International approach to studying the emotional effects of place and environment, psychogeography allows young people to become attentive to their sense and emotions in relation to art and culture. This enables researchers, art educationists and those working in the area of youth arts to produce pedagogical documentation which records the processes of lived experience. The second stage of the study consists of a series of poetry workshops: informing the areas of education, micro-politics, and therapeutic intervention. By developing a complex theoretical scaffold using Deleuze, Spinoza, Peirce and Bergson, this research considers art as a relational encounter (Bourriaud, 2002) and approaches it as an unrestricted pattern and structure of experience which flows from perception to recognition (Dewey, 2005). From Deleuze and Spinoza the research sets the empirical inquiry within a bodily logic. As a constructivist approach towards subjectivity and experience, this allows us to look at young people’s encounters with cultural artefacts as produced through a multiplicity of processes and practices. Peircean semiotics permits us to explore how these processes of lived experience communicate through a variety of both signifying and a-signifying registers. In addition, Bergson’s phenomenology of minds allows researchers to detail the relation of lived experience to time and the material body. The result is a form of empirical inquiry that allows researchers to understand the meaning of empiricism in relation to what experience is. In aligning itself with the pedagogical strategies and outreach initiatives currently being deliver by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) Independent Studies Program (PEI) this research addresses the gap which exists between museum institution and university. Accordingly, by re-drawing its boundaries and modifying its cognitive architecture, practice-led research in the area of youth arts can transform the museum into a workshop for experimentation (Bourriaud, 1998) and challenge the curatorial hegemony of the exhibition apparatus. Indeed, by engaging in experimental practices with young people, and working at the intersection between theory and practice, we can re-evaluate our perceptions of what art is for, and how art might be treated in a devolved museum and gallery space.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2023 16:24

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