Earthy Intimacies; Re-worlding as an Interdisciplinary and Feminist Art Practice

Birt, Verity (2024) Earthy Intimacies; Re-worlding as an Interdisciplinary and Feminist Art Practice. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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This thesis is an artwork, a story, a net, a worlding. It gathers and intimately holds complex heterogeneity and creates relationships between interdisciplinary elements informed by art practice and living as a human in a more-than-human world. It embodies Ursula Le Guin’s narrative method from The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction (1986) to center intimate and personal experience over patriarchal grand narratives and offer expansive, attentive and relational thinking.
This thesis uses writing within a practice of storytelling to gather encounters between myself, others, artworks, landscapes, objects, dreams, mythology, archeology and theory. Through attending to ‘thing power’, the driver of this gathering, I acknowledge new materialist theory and nonhuman agency in my research and uncover ways in which to undo anthropocentric and hierarchical exchanges with the more-than-human world.
Through this practice, a particular worlding emerges, a term used in new materialism to acknowledge the partiality and contingency of worlds on human and nonhuman actors. It makes the case that this practice of re-worlding is vital now to understand and act with the more-than-human world in a context of climate catastrophe. This project offers new
knowledge to contemporary art and new materialism amid a timely prevalence of art-new materialism connections, and embodies methods which have a basis in feminist, environmental, postcolonial and pre-modern forms of knowledge.
I center Donna Haraway’s refrain that “It matters what stories make words, what worlds make stories”1 to challenge conventions in academia, namely epistemological preferences for the rational, dualist and objective which are grounded in the Western Enlightenment project. This thesis builds on the hybrid precedents existing in Fine Art practice-led research to reveal the importance of the connections and interrelations between knowledges, preferencing an
interdisciplinary, emergent, situated and embodied strategy for research. Through writing, it complexifies dualistic binaries of truth and fiction, objectivity and subjectivity, masculine and feminine to create a non-binary and equitable contribution to knowledge.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mythology, New materialism, More-than-human, Enchantment, Gathering
Subjects: W100 Fine Art
W200 Design studies
W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2024 14:51
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2024 15:00

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