Pelagic states : beyond nomadic and oceanic practices : an exegesis written in partial completion of a PhD in Creative Practice at Massey University College of Creative Arts

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Massey University
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Oceanographers have a name for that remote part of the ocean that is not connected to or defined by a coastline or sea-bed. This is the ‘pelagic zone’, where movement and operation occurs in a completely four-dimensional environment. My creative practice examines, occupies, and emerges from this condition, applying it across the spatial, technical, cultural, geographic, philosophical, and aesthetic layers across various works and processes. In the theatres, galleries, public spaces, dry deserts, and ocean spaces that I have worked in there is a pervasive liquidity and a pelagic nature that characterises all the states and forms that my works move through. This thesis argues that a fluid, mobile, and self-sufficient methodology of this kind is necessary in order to navigate the equally fluid landscapes of contemporary performance and culture, traversing diverse disciplinary boundaries, geographies, and modes of working in order to formulate a unique model for what is defined here as a pelagic practice. The ‘pelagic’ (from ancient Greek ‘pelagos’: of the open sea) is an adjective describing a complete, unboundaried liquidity. It is a term is often attached to species of ocean-going birds and fish, with little use outside of scientific texts, thus providing this research with an undefined space for discussion on creative practice, performance, and philosophy. It is also a term that suggests a proximity to and correlation with Pacific theorists and culture, allowing me to pay homage to this significant body of knowledge whilst avoiding appropriation of their specific cultural knowledge or viewpoints.--From Orientation
Listed in 2018 Dean's List of Exceptional Theses
Appendix 15 is an article published in the online journal, Global Performance Studies: Trubridge, S., Richards, S., Morgan S. J., Trubridge, W., Douglas, M., Malou-Strandvad, S., Taverner, A., Davis, T. C., Batchelor, D., & Verhoeven, D. (2017). Sudden depth. Global Performance Studies, 1(1).
Performance art, Design, Themes, motives, Sea in art, Experiential research, Dean's List of Exceptional Theses