7 - PhD research 'component configurations and (re)configurations'
‘Component configurations’ is a series of installational scenarios that emerged out of a period of practice based doctoral research entitled ‘Pragmatics of Attachment: Medium (Un)specificity as Material Agency in Contemporary Art’. These staged mises-en-scène provided an opportunity to variously (re)configure elements from my quasi-taxonomy of ‘thingly’ sculptural components within a number of different exhibition and cultural contexts, including the white cube gallery space, a textile specific curatorial agenda, the gallery/museum environment and everyday transitional spaces. Offering the possibility of continual rearrangement, the physical form of the work remains essentially mutable. Meaning similarly remains mutable, generated through the various correspondences that are set in play across the diverse sculptural elements, the different cultural frames and the subject of the experiential encounter. The aim is to materially seduce and prompt a constellation of somatic and semantic resonances which provide both a sense of reassurance and reaffirms subjective stability. However, in resisting conceptual synthesis, at the same time give rise to an affectively indeterminate aesthetic experience that has the potential to destabilise and undermine subjective coherence.
The (re)staging of the various sculptural components within different installational scenarios and exhibition contexts was documented in a 68-page A4 perfect-bound catalogue. This Constellatory Re-staging of Practice Components provided a parallel mode of practice documentation to the concertina style Classificatory Configuration of Practice Components. The aim of these complimentary catalogues is to highlight the productive tension between subjective and material agency and the shifting relationship between the ‘classificatory’ and the ‘constellatory’ - what Neal Leach describes as ‘knowledge-as-quantification’ and ‘knowledge-as-sensuous correspondence’ - that was a key aspect of the research, is embodied within the PhD process itself, and is ontological to the epistemological dimensions of aesthetic experience. (Leach, Camouflage, 2006). See also: ‘Catalogue Components’ section in Research Threads.