Subject to Change: Ontology in the Open Field

Scott East

Thursday 30th April, 2010, from 1 to 3pm

Presentation Room (UTS Bldg. 3, Lvl. 5, Rm. 510)

Presentation: 2omins.

Ontology in the Open Field

This reflective presentation seeks to outline the open fields that humanities research is constructed upon. Specifically, it will draw on a personalised account on resolving a complex theoretical problem encountered in the researching of a doctoral project. This problem was  my unease with particular non-representational approaches to space in the social sciences, that I had read as while rejecting the possibility of representation only did so to get closer to representing the actual social (see Thrift 2004 and 2008). Seemingly universes removed from cultural theory and the problems of non-representational theory, the teachings of renowned yogi David Life clarified my thinking in regards to this problem. Inverted on my head at a yoga retreat my perspective changed. This realisation began a private investigation into the convergences and divergences between the cultural theory I was drawing on in my academic work and yogic world views I had begun drawing on in my private life. It is on these uneven grounds of circumstance that events force us to think. In this idiosyncratic presentation I will reflect on these grounds in order to reconfigure the grounds of my research journeys as something to think with creatively.

Scott East completed a bachelor of visual arts and human geography at the University of Wollongong. In 2007 completing an honours year investigating socially engaged art practices in municipal art galleries through a blended methodology utilising approaches from the humanities and social science fields (and painted a bit). In 2008 he commenced a PhD at the Centre for Cultural Research, UWS, attached to an ARC project investigating museum interventions into climate change debates. Through these trans-disciplinary adventures, the convergences and divergences in knowledge and practices has been a silent interest. His doctoral thesis is entitled: Inhibited Exhibitionists: Museums, cultural change and the in/visibility of the future.

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