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Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Kelly Andres, Humanities

Radicle Assemblages

Date & time

Thursday, December 5, 2019
3 p.m. – 6 p.m.


This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W. Room LB 362

Wheelchair accessible


Radicle Assemblages explores aesthetic praxis through an experiential research-creation doctorate in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Fine Arts program. This studio-based project interwove living and synthetic entities with speculative narratives inclusive of matter, thinking with techné, and in contemplation of different creatures. The artworks explored how aesthetic modes of relational play enact worldmaking among natureculture assemblages. Further, the artworks unfold as an open dialogue to consider how to create or enact relations of tender curation versus acts of colonial exploitation. Individual gestures of learning care, or tender curation are discovered through artistic experiments with domesticated natures such as houseplants, bacteria, algae, gastropods, and yeast (among others). The concept of tender curation emerged where what becomes a central component of an artwork requires daily attendance. These experiences opened to a kind of tending that inspired affection and concern for the living creatures that were assembled within artworks. Another concept that formed is the radicle assemblage as a motif for thinking with differences among beings that are unique and unfolding together in shared spaces. Comprehending subtle affects through interactions with vegetal life led to concern regarding personal and ethical implications of artworks that are composed with living phenomena. Living beings change one another in their interactions. As a result, the artworks shifted over the duration of the study increasingly towards co-creative relations with fellow domesticated, urbanized, or shared-territory beings as a way that incrementally expands one’s ability to respond. Through practice and in the dissemination of multiple artworks, this research-creation doctorate eventually gravitated towards a post-anthropocentric art of response-responsibility. In this sense, the research-creation methodology evolved as a form of contemporary art practice that performed an expansion of possible social relations through generative propositions as incremental research.

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