• At the Painting’s Edge: A Practice-Based Investigation into Liminality, Inside-outness and the Painting as a Quasi Person

      McGuirk, Tom; Robinson, Wayne (University of Chester, 2022-01-08)
      This research project is driven by a motivation to better understand the effect of painting’s internal and external space when interrupted by objects placed at its periphery. The research consists of two strands of exploration. Firstly, through the practice of painting and secondly, through theoretical research in support of that painting practice. By moving between painting and writing, it examines how phenomena such as the act of making, memory and object-agency can coalesce to form complex, new objects. The project places to the fore the importance of hand making and acknowledges how handmaking is central to the creative process of the painter, whilst engaging with how the presentation of the resultant work affects the generation and transmission of meaning. Another strand of this investigation calls upon how the evocation through practice and acts of remembering and forgetting can communicate autobiographical experience, to form dialogic relationships, via the making process. This is a circular process involving myself as maker, the painted picture plane, placed objects and the viewer. It also explores how painting embodies memorised data within its materiality and is additionally provoked by the effect of ‘trigger objects’. In addition, the thesis addresses how the painting object becomes imbued with the artist’s intention and how the mnemonic faculties of the human mind are prompted by sub-semiotic signs contained within the material of the picture plane, to generate the attributes of a ‘quasi-person’ (Graw, 2018). How this occurs and interacts with the picture plane, contributing to the painting’s status as a ‘subjectobject’ (Joselit, 2016) and the production of intended and unintended meaning (Alexander, 2010) is also considered. Through the practice of painting, the research explores how dialogue is formed between placed objects and the painted picture plane, and how objects of personal interest can in turn, steer subliminal conversation and how they thereby metaphorically ‘reach out’ and commune with the audience (Gell, 1998). Finally, the research interrogates the external edges of the picture plane, understood in terms of the parergon (Derrida, 1987) and the otherness of heterotopian spaces (Foucault, 1967). Such spaces share common characteristics of transition, uncertainty, between-ness and unknown-ness, all encountered at the periphery of the painting, the place where internal and external dynamics meet. This research encourages the viewer to adopt new viewing strategies, proposing this less certain space to be a desirable location in which to take the time to pause and consider.
    • Autoscopy

      Boetker-Smith, Daniel; Chester College of Higher Education (2004-05)
      The Autoscopy exhibition was held at the George Paton Gallery at the University of Melbourne from 18-28 May 2004. It is an ongoing photographic project in which photography itself is put into question. Autoscopy is defined as 'the haalucination or illustion of seeing oneself'; and in this body of work it is the conscious suituating of the self within the image that seeks to illuminate and undermine the traditionally separate roles of photographer, viewer, and subject.
    • Barrier, ref: 9774-14, Art Textiles

      Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom, 2015-10-10)
      'Barrier, ref: 9774-14', is a series of 10 modular sculptural components, 5 of which were exhibited as part of the international 'Art_Textiles' exhibition at The Whitworth Gallery, Manchester 10 October 2015-31 January 2016. Occupying four main galleries, 'Art_Textiles' brought together works dating from the 1960s to the present day by 27 artists from around the world who use textiles as a powerful tool for expressing ideas about the social, political and artistic. The exhibition included iconic feminist pieces from the 1970s by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Faith Wilding, Miriam Shapiro, Elaine Reichek as well as contemporary works by artists such as Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Lubana Himid. A 96 page catalogue with a forward by the Whitworth's director Maria Balshaw, introductory essay by deputy director and curator of the exhibition Jennifer Harris and further essays by Pennina Barnett and Julia Bryon-Wilson accompanied the exhibition. Designed so that they could be variably (re)configured according to the exhibition and installational context, the modular sculptural components take the form of temporary barriers or handrails which play between a work of art and functional object. As a free standing form, the handrail directs us through space, but it also operates as a barrier which divides space, defines boundaries and alternately either denies or allows access. Articulating space in a physical way, the work also addresses the broader metaphorical connotations of borders and boundaries and their implications in terms of traditional discourses of power. Whilst the work creates a boundary that dictates the movement of the viewer and affords significance to the space that it delineates, the boundary is clearly arbitrary and open to revision. Consciously referencing seminal hard-edged minimalist modular configurations such as Donald Judd’s floor-based open frame-like structures, these works are upholstered and intricately embroidered through the labour intensive process of darning. However, rather than take centre stage, they might easily be mistaken for institutional furniture, where the self-effacing labour intensity of their production could go unnoticed. For the 'Art_Textiles' exhibition they formed a barrier around the artist Susan Collis's work which similarly involves an enormous amount of hidden labour and plays with our perceptions of everyday objects, whereas in previous configurations they have quietly protected the more spectacular work of Grayson Perry.
    • BBC SPOTY Tyson Fury Furore could have been avoided

      Randles, David; University of Chester (Vice Sports, 2015-12-19)
      Analysis of the decision to include controversial heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.
    • Before and After Eno: Situating ‘The Recording Studio as Compositional Tool

      Albiez, Sean; Dockwray, Ruth; Southampton Solent University; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2016-08-11)
      This chapter discusses Eno's work and lecture - Studio as a Compositional Tool. As previous studies have identified the importance of John Cage and post-Cageian experimental music for Eno, this study extends the flows of influence and counter-influence back to the second decade of the twentieth century, and situates Eno's Studio as a Compositional Tool lecture in the long history of twentieth century avant-garde and modernist debates concerning the future of music and the potential recording technologies afford. Therefore, the fundamental purpose of this study is to contextualise and situate the lecture in a way that has not been attempted previously. This will allow a broader understanding of ‘The Recording Studio as Compositional Tool’ as a dialogic, heteroglossic text that is in conversation with and channels the voices of others who, in the previous seven decades, had already considered and formulated responses to issues that Eno addressed at the end of the 1970s.
    • Being at home abroad: Londoners ‘ong continong’ (on the continent) in the 19th-century comics of Marie Duval.

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (, 6th Graphic Novel and Comics Conference and 9th Bande Desinee Society Conference, Paris., 2015-06-01)
      Marie Duval is one of the great unsung cartoonists of the 19th century. Her work for the journal Judy between 1869-1885 took comic strips into new and unexpected areas. One of her interests was travel, and in particular the way in which working class and lower middle class people were starting to go on holiday abroad. This phenomenon was a continuation of the notion of the ‘tour’, an upper class pursuit aimed at improving one’s cultural capital though seeing the (usually classical) sights. However, the new cheap package tours of the late 19th century allowed a ‘lower sort’ to participate – with obvious comedic possibilities for the cartoonist. This paper will explore Duval’s take on the clash of manners when ordinary British people came into contact with ‘funny foreigners’ (in particular the French, the Swiss, and the Germans), while at the same time indicating her very knowing references to cartooning traditions (Busch, Rowlandson, etc.) and her ‘other’ career as a popular actress. The paper is part of a bigger project about Duval, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and will be presented jointly by the project’s three leads.
    • Between Presence and Program: The Photographic Error as Counter Culture

      Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester
      Common photographic errors such over or under exposure, blur, or inadvertent cropping are increasingly rare as technological developments in digital photography have sought to eradicate the error from practice and perception. Efficiencies such as camera automation and image preview are often designed to remove the ‘unreliability’ of the human element in order to produce accurate and consistent images. The error, occurring on the margins of practice and increasingly rare, provides a counterpoint to this prevailing image culture by revealing the interdependence of photographer and camera through unintended outcomes. This chapter explores the ideological assumptions entwined in the development of camera technologies, and how cultures of practice based on a hierarchy of control between camera or photographer arose. Through examples drawn from the research project In Pursuit of Error, the chapter demonstrates how the error disrupts this hierarchy by evidencing the shared subjective agency of camera and photographer. The methodological framework of Actor-Network Theory is used to interrogate the relationship between photographer and camera and reveals them as equal ‘actants’ in the event of photographing. The embodied photographer’s attitude of play, experimentation and not-knowing is interdependent on the camera as a co-creator of unexpected image events which disrupt the conventions of photographic representation.
    • Beyond Beatlemania: The Shea stadium concert as discursive construct

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2015-11-19)
      On August 15, 1965, the Beatles played to a crowd of over 55,000 of their fans at the Shea Stadium in New York City. Five decades later, the history-making show is remembered less for the band’s thirty minute music set than for how it was drowned out by the crowd’s deafening din (Millard 2012, 25). In actuality, however, there are, however, two Shea Stadia events: one a long past reality, the other a shared memory. This chapter examines how the second of these – Shea Stadium as a discursive construct – both drew on stereotypes of pop fandom and perpetuated them in public discussions about the Beatles. Specifically, the Shea event came to symbolize the way that popular music fandom had entered the public sphere as a collective and emotional phenomenon. It was framed by notions of parasocial interaction to suggest that young fans did not care about music and instead ‘worshipped’ band members as hero figures. In deconstructing the discursive Shea Stadium, my aim is to rescue the event from its own history. The concert enabled the Beatles to secure their place in the emergent rock revolution and position themselves as a more serious, ‘adult’ and ‘music’ orientated band. Yet it has also become a cornerstone of stereotypical perceptions of music fandom in the public imagination.
    • Beyond Exploitation Cinema: Music Fandom, Disability, and Mission to Lars

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016-07-14)
      Mission to Lars (Moore and Spicer 2012) is a feature documentary in which Kate and William Spicer help their brother Tom make his dream come true. Tom wishes to meet drummer Lars Ulrich from the heavy metal band Metallica. He also has Fragile X syndrome, which Kate calls, “a sort of autism with bells on.” Mission to Lars is therefore a film about disability and popular music fandom. Its marketing and reviews suggest a warm and sympathetic portrait of family life in which two siblings help a third to achieve his ambition. No documentary innocently captures its subject. Mission to Lars explores issues of disability awareness. Raising the possibility that Kate and Will Spicer may not have been motivated by altruism, it deliberately contrasts able-bodied and disabled cast members by using fan stereotypes. The film is therefore an unusual 'fansploitation' picture, depicting fandom both as a training ground for employment and as a compensation for the disabled.
    • Beyond Facsimile: The haptic photobook as a distributed archive

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (2019-03-15)
      This is a case study describing the development of a dossier format photobook as a distributed archive, Long Grove Asylum Medical Journal by Tim Daly. The work presents a twenty-five year long project recording the interior spaces, ephemera and artifacts of an abandoned large scale hospital facility, alongside material collected separately by a county archivist. The work makes explicit the link between past and present by re-materialising archive matter and original photography to create new, tactile ‘things’ that challenge our notions of the past and the present; public and private and the original and the copy. The books forefronts the materiality of collected photographs, documents and ephemera through touch and disruptive sequencing. By handling the loose-leaf contents of the books, viewers are presented with an enhanced, haptic reading experience. The recirculation of material artefacts within the dossier provides an additional kind of archive experience recalling souvenirs, the museum and private collecting. As Scott (2014: 130) suggests ‘The interaction between the book as a material object and its readers brings the book to life, just as the materiality of the book interacts with its narrative.’ Designed to be handled and navigated in a manner that wouldn’t be possible with fragile originals, the choice of papers, unconventional printing processes and hand assembly techniques creates an enhanced experience for the reader. Disrupting the reader’s expectations of a facsimile, the book encourages touch and explores a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone.
    • Beyond Facsimile: The haptic photobook as a distributed archive

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester
      For photographers and visual artists of all disciplines, self-publishing has grown exponentially through the use of digital print technologies and the Internet, providing new ways to distribute work to a worldwide audience. Annette Gilbert suggests contemporary practitioners now engage in publishing as art practice, renegotiating the traditional publishing frameworks of processes, institutions and discourses. Certain photobooks operate by re-materialising recent and archive photographs to create new, tactile ‘things’ that challenge our notions of the past and the present; public and private and the original and the copy. In the post-digital era, such books are made to be handled and scrutinised at close quarters in the personal space of the reader rather than behind glass in an art museum or library. Many photographers employ ‘thingness’ as reflexive strategy in their book works, and as Ivan Vartanian and Ryuichi Kaneiko observe, an astute choice of materials ‘can bring a heightened level of physicality to the photobook as [an] object.’ Bill Burke’s I Want to Take Picture (1987) and Donovan Wylie’s & Timothy Prus’ Scrapbook (2009), are both facsimiles of unique journals, where original pages are rephotographed and presented verbatim. Yet can a book that has been materially or reprographically enhanced ever become more than a mere facsimile?
    • Beyond “Obsessive” Collectors and "Screaming" Girls

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Routledge, 2015-11-30)
      This chapter is the concluding piece in the Routledge edited volume, Fan Identities and Practices in Context: Dedicated to Music. It goes beyond stereotypes of music fandom to consider the diversity of the subject, both in terms of generational differences and online convergence.
    • Book handling as a research method

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Impact Press Publications, 2018-04-11)
      How do we conceptualise touch? Unlike most visual art, touch is a fundamental aspect of interacting with artists’ books and without such a physical interaction with the artefact it is impossible to fully make sense of it. Despite this, there is no obvious syntax for us to report our experiences of handling an artists’ publication. Without handling a book, entire swathes of intertextual nuances could be missed - the deliberate material choices of the artist and the reader’s own rich experiential past never get the chance to make meaning. It can be argued that handling books provides a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone. Developing a framework for reporting this haptic experience applying notions from material culture (for touch) and from literary theory (for intertextuality) together into a discourse to enrich and enhance our understanding of artists’ book works.
    • Book Review: Rebirth of the English Comic Strip: A Kaleidoscope 1847 – 1870.

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
      Review of "Rebirth of the English Comic Strip: A Kaleidoscope 1847 – 1870." by David Kunzle.
    • Borders of knowledge: A reflection on a collaborative international drama project

      Layton, James R.; Loudon, Jane; University of Chester (2014-10-24)
      Iris Marion Young (1990) believes that the ideal of community “seeks to resist the individualism and alienation that is pervasive in late capitalist societies by bringing people together”. Illustrated by an ongoing collaborative drama project between the UK and Romania, this paper seeks to explore the way in which access to knowledge associated with a late capitalist UK and those of the emerging capitalism of Romania informs creative partnerships. Using a case study of 2014 field research in Romania involving UK Drama & Theatre Studies undergraduates, this paper offers a multi-voiced reflection on how we learn from other communities and build sustainable and balanced relationships in an ever-expanding European community.
    • Boris, Brexit or Bust

      Charles, Alec; University of Chester (Political Studies Association / CSJCC, 2016-07)
      An analysis of political blogging in the 2016 referendum campaign.
    • Can political public relations be used as a tool for social integration, with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK?

      Roberts, Simon; Charles, Alec; Okour, Sarah A. (University of Chester, 2019-12)
      Political, social and demographic change has resulted in a search for new techniques for building public trust and reconciling relationships between the Muslim community and others in society. In this study, extremism and social cohesion have been chosen as potential new aims for the PR industry. This study assesses whether political PR can be diverted from its role in spin doctoring towards new cultural and social functions. My argument is that political public relations can be used as a tool for social integration with particular reference to the Muslim community in the UK. This research distinguishes between two issues. The first connects with political PR within a political communication background, which relates to politicians, election campaigns, news management, and their relationship with the media. The second issue is that political PR can be reconsidered from a corporate perspective, one that endorses the use of PR in challenging political environments. My study places emphasis on the second issue. It applies a triangulating methodology based on using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to answer the research questions. A sample of seven UK public relations academics evaluated the current communication policies for their effectiveness, explained how political PR could help, and gave their recommendations. In addition, seven NGOs in Britain described their work, the problems they encountered, and their concerns. A lack of social integration and the continuing rise of extremism were repeatedly explained in terms of stereotyping, marginalisation, and counter-productive techniques. The results suggest that a change in political PR is possible and should be encouraged to intervene in fighting against radicalisation, extremism, and enhancing social cohesion. They also show a lack of PR support for NGOs. More broadly, my findings move the field of inclusivity forward by working on a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down model of communication. The best answer for sustaining long-term community relationships was improved communication and engagement, inclusive messages and campaigns, and the Muslim community remaining open to others in society.
    • Can the Sound of PWL Records from between 1987 and 1990 be a Powerful Influence on a Successful Record Released Today?

      Mason, Jim; University of Chester (2014)
      From 1987 to 1990, Pete Waterman’s label PWL crafted some of the most identifiable music in the history of pop. This paper aims to examine the operation, history and legacy of one of Britain’s most successful independent labels. David Hesmondhalgh (1999) and others have discussed the complex institutional and aesthetic aspects of independent labels. PWL was never ‘indie’ and it was atypical on both counts. It had an unusual business model and fostered a highly specific working environment. It was also an ‘independent’ that made highly successful, commercial, mainstream product. After 1990, the label seemed to lose its characteristic identity of the previous four years, and this coincided with a reduction in its commercial success. Music critics such as Simon Reynolds (2011) suggest that popular music is now characterised by a culture of nostalgia. The PWL sound of 1987-1990 was hugely commercially successful, yet it has not been successfully revived in the same way that other successful “sounds” have been, as a result of nostalgia culture. Has a lack of a commercially successful revival of the sound been decided by a reputation for producing bland, commercial fare, or have there been other factors at play? Can the label’s “sound” be revived in such a way as to be commercially and culturally relevant in the mid 2010s? The researcher / practitioner attempts to answer the question through creation of a music product. It will be shown through the production and composition work, and industry responses to it, that a commercially-relevant sound can have compositional and production dance music-orientated elements relevant to the mid-2010s yet still unashamedly take influence from the PWL 1987-1990 sound, whilst still taking care to legitimately merely take influence from the style and not infringe copyright.
    • Cargo Space

      Grennan, Simon; Sperandio, Christopher; University of Chester; Rice University Houston (Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis, 2015-09-01)
      A public exhibition at the Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis
    • Casting Call: Profondo Rosso and Blow-Up

      Duffett, Mark; University of Chester (Edizioni Il Foglio, 2016-02-20)
      This book chapter examines the way that Dario Argento's film Profondo Rosso contained links to Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow-Up - not least the use of David Hemmings as the lead character.