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Senior Lecturer in Fine Art and member of the The Institute of Design, Culture and the Arts at Teesside University.

Currently completing doctoral research in fine art at the University of Lincoln.

Provisional thesis title:
Adumbrational Space: A transposition of sacrifice from location to image

An investigation of the observation that “…the visual arts have remained by the wayside as the entire culture is now being threatened by the extermination of space…” by Sylvère Lotringer forms the impetus of this research. In what way has space been exterminated? And what is the role that visual art has facilitated towards this threat either consciously or by negligence? What is the consequence of this extermination, this disappearance? Through the thesis, a theoretical underpinning of the “destiny” of art is examined and what place, if any, the image has in relationship to sacrifice in a restrictive economy. It is the view of this research that, fed by a relativity and familiarity of experience, art causes space to disappear into an economy of exchange via an effort to make site named, known, and endowed with a use-value—altering what it once was. Artists have mined and used this economy for their own benefit, distancing themselves from a phenomenologically inferred destiny or purpose that enables us to examine the potentiality of the world.

The thesis begins with an agreement with Lotringer, which is further expanded by theorists such as Baudrillard and Virilio—that contemporary art has failed at what Baudrillard termed a “destiny” that has largely been silent (remained by the wayside) whilst space continues to disappear. To necessitate the trajectory of this thesis, preliminary agreement is sought amongst theorists rather than trying to grasp or define the term “art” or try to find exceptions (to break from a theoretical consensus) to this theory. An aim of this thesis is to further develop an existing discourse and a movement towards finding possible resolutions, particularly within a studio practice framework. An examination of how one might approach these tendencies and better understand this disappearance into what is represented is crucial to the practice-based methodology. The fugacious terrain of this investigation (both of its subject matter and its theoretical provision) requires this research to focus and espouse on that which is experimental, intentional, and sometimes impenetrable—what is lost in representing experience.

Ideas and keywords
disappearance, space & place, raw phenomenology, exchange, alterity, general economy, polemics, pataphysics, fragmentation, mobility, asyndeton, radicality, singularity, sacrifice, accursed share, destruction, difference, image, distinction

michael lent