PhD Oral Exam - Lenka Novakova, Humanities
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
Performance, defined as a construct of human and nonhuman agency has, over the last several decades, moved to the centre of contemporary spatial practice, suggesting that scenography of performative environments is becoming the primary mode of production. Thus practitioners in the visual arts have began embracing methods inherent to stage production, pushing the boundaries across the disciplines of visual arts and theatre. This research-creation based study employs an artistic practice to explore performance across three models of space; immersive environment, interactive environment and participatory environment. Each spatial model investigates the process and production of three inter-related projects and explores the gradual evolution from an installation-based work to scenography. In so doing, this study shows how the creative processes concerning materials, architectural structures, and audio-visual media developed within an artist’s studio gradually moves to the black box theatre setting: a laboratory for creative processes of the actual performance, co-produced by the interaction of the audiences and/or performers with the performative agents of the environment.
Although performance as a construct of an immersive experience for the audience is now becoming the paradigm shift in the field of expanded scenography, this research-creation based project is unique in that it brings the production methods of visual arts into dialogue with those in theatre. In so doing, this research contributes significantly to the field of fine arts and expanded scenography, shining light on how the conceptual idea evolves throughout layers of creative processes and becomes the bridge between studio based creation, on-site production and the final co-creation of the audience. Hence this study fills a gap by addressing the question of how we can develop a method which would embrace the creative process and production of performative space at the intersection of the visual and performing arts.