inertia: OF interior, surface, matter by Julieanna Preston

* Click on the red time stamps to go to each segment

Examination Panel: Professors Susan Best, Jondi Keane, Alex Selenitsch.

00:01 Chair Martyn Hook introduces the examination: Introduction of panel members; Formal examination procedures and disclaimers

01:29 Chair breaks down the parts of PHD examination: The PhD consists of three parts: Exhibition, Presentation and Catalogue

02:30 Examination Presentation begins (physical demonstration)

04:30 Acknowledging Traditional Owners of the Land, individual persons, sponsors and materials suppliers

05:30 (Intro) Research Question and Fields of Concern: Situating the PhD as a transdisciplinary project that asks 'what can an interior surface do?' couched in a material feminist practice. (contributing)

06:20 (Intro) Modes of Practice and Making: Sculptural projects, objects, installations and site specific exhibitions. Additional considerations include the scale of works and the relevance of the (human) body.(Practice methods)

06:40 (Intro) Summarising the Practice through reflection:Discussing of the outcomes of the PhD: Spatial relations as effective and affirmative assemblage. A practice that disrespects and crosses over spatial divides (Second Order theory)

07:35 Locating the examination exhibition as a project: Exhibition as a new work, a projection to prompt discussion on the political force of matter

08:15 All Matter Matters: Proposing the worth of matter, engagement with materialist, feminist practice and promoting 'the democracy of things.' (ethics / contribution)

08:58 The struggle of preparing the presentation

09:24 Introduction to the materials of and in the exhibition: Taking the audience through the parts of the exhibition and their relational and transitional forces and occurrences. Materials obtaining a liveness through language.

12:45 Locating the body in the material world: Situating within, explaining binaries and regarding the dominance of humans (ontology)

13:30 Plato and Descartes: The history of material divide and human-material hierarchies (situating / differentiating)

14.15 Can the physical be defined by the conceptual? (contributing)

15.10 Tensions of active and inert substances and situations (physical demonstration / project narrative)

16.15 Positioning the practice and finding the 'site of affirmative action': Research occurring at the convergence of construction and feminist theory to explore what an interior surface might do.(project narrative)

18.00 The medium of video as a method of 'material rethinking': Understanding the video as a tool for reflecting upon performative works (physical demonstration / project methods)

23.39 Exploring construction materials as suppressed by a dominant patriarchal value system: Establishing a practice that liberates materials from this suppression, allowing and perceiving 'liveness' in what normally is inert. (project narrative / first order theory)

24.29 Feminism as methodology: Using Feminism as a motivating force to attend to the environments women have been aligned with by default, exploring social and gender politics in light of new philosophies (methodology / situating, third order theory)

25.35 Where binaries disappear: Losing sight of 'yes' and 'no,' losing sight of the oppositional. Influence from Joseph Beuys (project narrative / first order theory)

26.32 Process-based work and the nuance of messing with material: Becoming immersed in the material making the process of making as important as the outcome, exploring undoing as a method and the attributes of live matter (practice narrative / project methods)

27.30 Undoing binary constructions: Referring to project 'the shimmed wedge' (physical demonstration / project narrative)

28.30 Explaining the structure of the 'Book' or Catalogue: Explaining the chapters and the essays as the 'book', the choice of materials to manifest the work as well as ways of using paper and paint to exhibit a liveness to the work (structuring / project methods)

30.30 The holes in our understanding of Neutrality: Speaking through project 'Neutral Not So'. understanding neutrality as working against difference to evoke power in the guise of being objective and unbiased (project narrative, first order theory)

33.00 Demonstrating is about doing (practice methods)

35.00 Showing of 'Neutral Not So' (film) (physical demonstration)

40.10 The tension between factual and conceptual knowledge: Projects as a sight for repair. Revisiting the tension between data-driven, factual knowledge and that which is conceptual, leading to the emergence of ideas and offering a critique on neutrality. (project narrative / second order theory)

41.19 Showing of 'Interior Weather' (film) (physical demonstration)

46.27 Exploring the material power and body relationality of tape: the governance of material over body (project narrative / project methods / first order theory)

47.30 Thresholds, audience participation and an essential duration: Exploring the threshold of entering into an installation, engaging unscripted participation and duration as essential for understanding the project. (project methods)

50.28 Exploring the thickened surface: the existence of surface to have thickness and the influence of Thoreau (Walden or Life in the Woods) and Virginia Woolf (The Waves)

52.00 Understanding your role amongst material agency: Stepping back out of the work,assuming the role as initiator, allowing critical judgement become obsolete and observation of occurrences to become a method. (first order theory)

53.00 My feminist survival kit (physical demonstration / practice narrative)

54.00 Showing 'two two two surface' (film) (physical demonstration / performance)

56.47 Championing porosity and permeability in materials: speaking through conference essay as project (first order theory)

1.00.00 Impact of external forces on participatory and made works (project methods / first order theory)

1,03.10 Evoking audience understanding of the practice through engagement and contemplation: It isn't about the intellectual discourse, rather it’s the feeling, the authentic, embodied position.

1.04.20 The dis-junction between the represented and the actual occurrence (project methods / second order theory)

1.05.00 Showing 'Room, Wool, You, Me' (film) (physical demonstration)

1.11.22 Shifts and changes in a creative practice and spatial writing practice (second order theory)

1.12.52 Setting up the examinable exhibition as project: exploring the forces and relations of materials within the exhibition

1.14.34 A Gift to Interior Design: A gift to pry the discipline out of its intellectual history and practice and to help interior design address contemporary political, philosophical, ethical and sustainable issues (contribution / third order theory)

1.15.00 The Ethics of messing with matter: A future trajectory for the practice (ethics /second order theory)

1.16.00 What if all matter is vibrant and vivid?

1.16.21 End of presentation

1.16.45 Panel discussion

1.16.50 (JK) How does the collective (people/audience) come back into the things that you do?

1.20.25 (AS) Body linked to material, linked to industry as a way of making (methodology)

1.22.20(AS) Comment: The rejection of class and power groups from contemporary philosophy: The preferencing of the individual in the work and the Democratic position of the work (contributing)

1.23.00 (AS) What is the relationship between material mass and surface?

1.28.15 (SB) How do you understand 'surface'?

1.32.40 (JK) Comment: Sliding from the metaphorical into the literal is dangerous terrain.

1.36.42 (AS) Liminality of surface formation

1.37.40 The Responsibility to articulate and the challenge of communication (ethics)

1.41.22 (AS) Comment: The Classicists Approach to Creativity

1.42.00 (SB) How do you work with the changing relationships of materials to body?

1.47.50 (AS) Addressing the history, the generative nature of materials

1.51.49 End
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inertia: OF interior, surface, matter is a creative practice-led doctoral research project that asks: What can an interior surface do? This seemingly simple and open-ended question set in motion a series of creative works that inquired about an interior’s material constitution as a site of political protest and everyday demonstration, a surface of resistance and compliance, and a space of ethical exchange and engagement. Dwelling primarily in the domains of interior design, spatial design and architecture, the project liberally migrated amongst other bodies of knowledge such as continental feminist philosophy, fine art practice, contemporary social science theory, building construction and material science as a means to disrespect, to cross out, or to cross over artificial divides separating theory and practice, interior and exterior, art and design, making and philosophy. Incited by this transdisciplinary material feminist ethos, I found myself working at full scale, using common materials and technologies, testing the limits of my own labouring (female) body and creating sculptural objects, performative installations, site-specific exhibitions, videos and spatial practice essays to liberate interior surfaces from an oppression of supposed inertia. These creative works and the accompanying critical reflection attest to interior surfaces as affective and affirmative assemblages of live, politically-charged matter and highlight a future research trajectory focused on the advocacy of a sustaining ethical engagement with matter developed at the synapse of art, design and philosophy.

Year: 2012
Examiners: Susan Best, Jondi Keane, Alex Selenitsch  Supervisors: Dr Charles Anderson, Prof Laurene Vaughan


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