2 Jul

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This practice based PhD examines obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychological space, models of consciousness, artwork by selected artists, ideas of posthumanism and transhumanism, immortality and afterlife fantasies, and the philosophical concept of the other (the stranger to ourselves). My thesis and practice posit a new psychological space for art called Arctificial Territory. Arctificial is a neologism: a combination of artificial and arctic.

The parameters of this thesis are set by an exhibition, Arctificial Pandemonium, accompanied by a text derived from theoretical research, literary texts, images, videos, and links to music, all published online. Users can add comments and expand on the thesis itself. The aim of this format is to encourage a creative process that continues to generate material accessible with no end point. Feedback loops (Norbert Wiener), the rhizome (Paul Deleuze and Felix Guattari), and Paul Feyerabend’s concept of non-monistic methods are deployed to describe my methodology and to frame my practice. Artwork, philosophy, literary text, and theoretical theories – all are interlinked.

The form itself apes the interconnectivity of linked systems. Obsessive-compulsive traits are informed by repetitions and rituals, which are covering up fear and chaos. Non-linear methods are not chaotic and not repetitive, so they allow for branching out, feeding back and forward, and communicating in a poly-directional way that leads to Arctificialism, as proven in this thesis.

This work explores the creative potential of obsession, compulsion, and control mixed with ideas of artificial intelligence and immortality. Experiments through video making, research, and writing have led me to invent the term “arctificial” and create Arctificial Territory which in itself is the embodiment of a psychological space.

Arctificial Territory as a space has produced artwork that, over the course of this research, has developed into the idea of an art movement, Arctificialism. Works by VALIE EXPORT, Steina Vasulka, and Park Chan-wook are considered in relation to my own practice; as I argue they inhabit a complex and apparently dysfunctional psychological space that is similar to my idea of an “arctificial” space that demonstrates some obsessive-compulsive traits.

Arctificial Territory is recognised by VALIE EXPORT, who I had invited to inhabit Arctificial Territory and introduced to the concept of Arctificialism. EXPORT’S response was to employ Arctificialism as a means to undertake her dream journey to the Arctic and the Antarctic, as exhibited in my accompanying exhibition.

This thesis thus invents and explores a new artistic psychological space. The creation of the terms Arctificial Territory and Arctificialism gives art such as EXPORT’s and my own a new context and terminology in which to discuss our art practice.



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