This is the blog of …… …… but I am going by the moniker Simeon Kaminski for reasons which may become clearer as things progress.
I was studying, part-time for a PhD for three years before I withdrew.
Early in the process I was very motivated, I was pleased my MA had gone so well and that I actually had the chance to study at this level. I was up at 6 every morning reading writing and generally very engaged, the ideas were flowing.
A year in and events started to get a bit oppositional, my second supervisor (a genius) left, and this left me with a huge void in terms of specialist support that the faculty didn’t fill until it was too late, way too late. I continued to do two jobs, day-time: teaching Autistic teens; the rest of the time: fostering Autistic teens. I continued to research, make work, exhibit and do two separate teaching courses concurrently (HE/FE) but I also had a mum with terminal cancer who also needed me. When she died things fell apart as my dad needed more than every-other-day attention, the study was getting lost in the clamour. Things were slipping but by Feb 2012 the process had to be wound up. There is only so much you can do. And it turns out I don’t have superpowers. I have given up teaching Autistic teens and fostering Autistic teens and withdrawn from a study that should have been fabulous. Maybe I’ll engage in it again someday, never say never.
But from now on I am going to write what the hell I like but it’ll probably be about art and the environment. By art I mean: anything. By environment I mean: everything.
This is the opening gambit from the (now) abandoned PhD:
A Radical Horizon: Art Practice, Phenomenology and Environmental Philosophy.
Aim(s) of the investigation:
- Can art practice provide a revised philosophical account of the environment between the dominant nature-as-self and nature-as-object models?
- To use this art practice to de-construct ‘a sense of place’
- To provide new possibilities for Art practice to contribute to environmental issues.
- What are the differences between environmentally critical and environmentally phenomenological art works?
- What strategies can be employed through Art practice to explore these differences?
- Can the outcomes, through art practice, engender a transformation of self-to-setting?
Definition of the research topic
What do we mean when we say ‘environmental’ and are the conditions that determine our perception of natural (wild) or cultural environment (engaged with through time) ethical ones since ‘we’ are natural beings. How, then, does a practice that is centred in (an) environment (phenomenally and critically), but that seeks to disrupt an anthropocentric reading, modify the term?
This work will build on current environmental Art practices (Eliasson, Goldsworthy, King Robbo and others), by engaging with developments both in environmental philosophy recently opened up by phenomenology and termed eco-phenomenology – which concerns a sense of being in the environing world or place-world (Casey, 2003), and eco-criticism – that is to say the field of enquiry that analyses and promotes works of art which raise questions and offers critiques about human interaction with nature (Gomides, 2006), to find a revised position on our surroundings that avoids the anthropocentrism found in both the nature-as-self and nature-as-object perspectives.