A Handbook of Situated Making

  • Sophie Fetocacis

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis explores the restoration and cultivation of mutually constitutive relationships between technique and identity. I begin by establishing the framework of practice that will be used throughout the thesis, in which I define practice by the methodological conditions of open-endedness, repeatability, intuition, situatedness and autonomy. I critique the practices of classical vocal pedagogy, the field of my own training and one about which critical scholarship is distinctly lacking. I argue that these practices effect a violent separation between technique and identity by means of the fetishisation of technique, ideologies of transcendence, structural whiteness and the reification that structures spaces of training and practice. I establish a theoretical framework, grounded in the work of Ben Spatz, for understanding the relationships between the repetition and sedimentation of technical knowledge and the always ongoing formation of identity, and explore the defetishisation of technique and the objects and practices in which it is encoded both in the university’s practice-as-research context and in the work of two artists and collaborators, Ragnar Kjartansson and Monia Sander Haj-Mohammed. Grounded in an intertextual reading of philosophies of immanence, philosophical pragmatism and
feminist epistemology, I articulate the notion of situational emergence in processes of technical development and explore the broader scope and significance of lifelong transformation through technique. With this basis, I give an account of the works in the portfolio, exploring methodologies of defetishisation and situated making, and highlighting the ways that forms emerge in and through durational processes that are always specifically situated in time and place
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBen Spatz (Main Supervisor) & Julian Thomas (Co-Supervisor)

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