Drawing out Language: From or to and, Disrupting Dualism through Conceptual Poetics

SMITH, Rachel (2020). Drawing out Language: From or to and, Disrupting Dualism through Conceptual Poetics. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00315


I address how the material and conceptual form of artist books may be used to explore the partial nature of communication and to challenge the fixity of meaning implied by dualism in language. My project produces spaces where any compulsion for definitive terms and reliance on the or of binary sense may be called into question. Cultivating a rhizomatic and associative method developed from the work of Deleuze and Guattari, I forge connections, crossing disciplinary boundaries and assembling diverse theories. I elicit a praxis response to explore the abstract notions of existing between or beside through an examination of new materialist writing terms. Unsettling dualism in order to avoid fixing or claiming a position, fragmentary techniques are employed to reject immediate coherence, opening spaces to reflect on minor processes of meaningmaking. Considering the book form, I examine the condition and position of the author: the death, return, authorial position, and conceptual distance achieved since the author’s original death declared by Roland Barthes in 1967. As an author(ity) continually reemerges, and cannot be killed, silenced, or neutralised, I suggest how distraction, meandering, error, and misrepresentation in relation to reading and writing challenge authority and expectations of research behaviour. I develop a method which combines elements of Caroline Bergvall's call for conceptual poetics of engaged disengagement – breaking the relentless submission to the rules, while acknowledging the complexity of lived experience – with Barthes’s insolent but smitten reading approach. My own disruptive devotion to reading, writing, and making are enmeshed in the practice, using drawing, photography and writing to produce artist books. The art works disrupt existing texts by using association, error, and distraction to fragment. In doing so, spaces are produced to materialise elements of the reading process which explore the construction of sense for this reader. Reading as writing as making are understood via a term I have developed: writ(read)ing. This term defines the development of a method, used by the read(writ)er, where practice cuts together-apart processes related to reading/writing/making to challenge oppositional terms.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Kivland, Sharon [0000-0003-4583-4677]
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00315
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2020 16:29
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:03
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27383

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