OCAD University Open Research Repository

Still Life with… Arrangements of Vibrant Things

Severn, Stephen (2022) Still Life with… Arrangements of Vibrant Things. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Severn, Stephen

Still Life with… investigates an ontology of vibrant things; a conceptual framework that recognizes all matter as active and fluid non-hierarchical elements in relation and orientated to an open futurity. I am positioning the objects in a still life, and the still life itself, as vibrant things. My work seeks to engage with a vibrancy that, despite its not always being perceived, can be found in our relation with things, and between things: in arrangements comprising multiplicities of active and vital participants — human, non-human, object, place, affect, event — interacting in relation.

I am situating a theoretical framework for vibrant things in Bill Brown’s “thing theory” and Jane Bennett’s “vibrant matter,” while aligning Sara Ahmed’s queer phenomenology with research-creation to form a methodological framework for working with vibrant things: what I am calling a “research-queeration” methodology. To experience the vibrancy and animacy of the world involves an orientation to things' thingness — the ability of objects to act, produce effects, and to form fluid relations. To orientate oneself to vibrant things opens up possibility, potentiality, and different ways of being in the world. I aim to see what this renewed form of engagement can reveal about an ontology of vibrant things, about how art can participate in this shift as a special mode of relation to matter, materiality, and things.

My practice-based research endeavours to register arrangements of vibrant things as generative fluxes that are orientated to an open-ended futurity. Objects, assemblages, place, and time are investigated through photography, assemblage, video, prose, and installation. This exegesis examines how making comes to matter in a relation of theory, methodology, and the writing and practice of artists who engage with an energetic materiality. The combination of an art practice together with philosophical and theoretical inquiry forms an interdisciplinarity of media and an interdisciplinarity of thinking and making: an arrangement of objects, materials, artworks, and media together with philosophy, theory, literature, and art — an arrangement of vibrant things.

Date: 28 April 2022
Uncontrolled Keywords: Still Life, Photography, Vibrant Things, Assemblage, Arrangement, Research-Queeration.
Divisions: Graduate Studies
Graduate Studies > Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design
Date Deposited: 02 May 2022 14:41
Last Modified: 02 May 2022 14:41
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3604

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