Mobile Homes : Perspectives on Situatedness and De-Situatedness in Contemporary Performative Practice and Theory
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AbstractThe object of this dissertation is to address certain contemporary performative practices, more specifically the land foundation in Thailand and Sørfinnset School / the north land in Norway, and the tensions these reveal in relation to contemporary culture and theory. During the last years of the 20th and first years of the 21st century, several performance and art-related practices displayed a specific thematic structure related to the sense of belonging and movement, to the tensions between mobility and stability or home – several also had names which included these latter terms. They were part of a larger tendency in art and culture that investigated the social spaces and means available in late modernity through, for example, the communicational aspects of art and media, and the conditions for coexistence created in temporary rooms. While dealing with problematic issues of situatedness and de-situatedness, locality and globality, the practices also seemed to establish something else: A very elaborate and concrete “here and now”, a kind of social immediacy that both complemented and supplemented the art context. Further, these art and performance practices seemed to parallel certain vital theoretical and societal discussions at the end of the 20th century; art theoretical, performance theoretical, phenomenological and post-structuralist.
In this thesis Christensen-Scheel analyzes a material consisting of two ongoing, long-term socio-cultural projects organized as art or culture centres, the land foundation in Thailand and Sørfinnset School / the north land in Norway, and sees them in relation to a central existential tension between the situated and the de-situated as well as different art and performance theoretical concepts. The mobile home is used as an illustrating concept to grasp mobility and situatedness simultaneously, and the above mentioned theoretical bodies are combined to provide the basis for a broad aesthetical approach that include a vaster part of our sensuous surroundings as well as certain social dynamics. Finally, the concept of ecology is used as a tool to co-think seeming oppositions, and in order to fuse micro and macro levels in existential as well as aesthetical processes.