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UBC Theses and Dissertations

(Re)searching sculpted A/r/tography : (Re)learning subverted-knowing through aporetic praxis de Cosson, Alex F.


"(Re)searching Sculpted A/r/tography" is an invitation to walk with a sculptor who wished to understand his pedagogical and artistic practice as an artist/researcher/teacher (A/R/T) through an artsbased exploration into praxis. Through a methodology based in journaling and autoethnography, and the introduction of a new overarching methodology a/r/tography, this research shows the results of following the process of artistic praxis-in-action. It was while this dissertation was being written that a/r/tography, as a concept, was being articulated by the six researchers who helped inform this research. How would I illuminate the process of coming to artistic understanding so that readers could empathize with how an artist creates? I demonstrate this question by literally putting myself in the way of the process of writing this dissertation. Since artistic engagement is not easily explained I take the reader for a pedagogical journey utilizing writing as a metonym for building a sculpture. What is my question, and how do I find a question are themes that I explore through the process of researching my own doing. This dissertation records, through writing, my process of living an artistic inquiry. It records six months of the messiness of my thinking and lingers self-reflexively and interrogatively in the research site of my practice as researched and my research site as practiced. During the inquiry, cracks emerge that help the reader understand how this messiness leads to meaning making. The mystery of the disjunctive process is foregrounded, predicated on my belief that it is through disjuncture that learning occurs. There are two examples of extreme disjuncture floating amongst the waters of much messiness. I show that without the surrounding currents these moments would not happen. A need for a whole body/mind/spirit connection for a grounded artistic understanding is also made evident through a reading of this text. Through a process of literal, metaphorical and metonymic cutting I build a sculpture / installation out of text. This text is textu(r)al, a hybrid of text and texture, built from words and fonts. I consistently utilize five fonts which I conceive as similar to various bits of string or wire that I use to build a sculpture. These are visual connecting devices and help compose the texture of the page.

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