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  • 2018riosecophd

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Gestural minimalism: developing a pictorial model in light of Deleuzoguattarian and enactive theories

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
  • Macarena Rioseco Castillo
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Publication date2018
Number of pages224
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The purpose of this practice-based research project is to define a dynamic and non- representational model of abstract painting based on Deleuzoguattarian philosophy of becoming and Varela et al.’s enactive model of cognition. The aim was to integrate it to my own pictorial practice, which, before engaging in this research, was only based on geometric abstraction and, which I considered was too static and representational. Consequently, a principal practical outcome of this project is a hybrid pictorial style – between static and dynamic approaches – that I call gestural minimalism. I first discuss antecedents of non-representation in painting by introducing the use of Euclidean geometry in abstract painting during early 20th century. This leads to a discussion about different conceptions of pictorial representation and abstraction from two perspectives: a transcendent (static) and an immanent (dynamic), and further to the argument that paintings based on geometric shapes reflect static models of thought. The dynamic model is developed theoretically, through research and analysis of painting by Lee Ufan, Simon Hantai, Agnes Martin, Eva Hesse and Jane Harris and, practically, through my own practice. I present fractal geometry, a principal referent in gestural minimalism, to introduce a non-exact but relational approach to this science. This model is non-representational because is based on reciprocity. This concept is also a main idea of the enactive framework used in this project. I analyse painting as an enacted practice and a co-emerging assemblage in becoming, where a reciprocity between medium and painter co-functions to shape meaning. Painting is also explored as an artefact for extended cognition and as intensive processes that can grant individuals the access to abstract psychological spaces. The aim is to examine the capacity of the medium to facilitate the actualisation and modification of affective registers, and to aid processes that aim at transforming an individual’s identity. Haptic properties of pictorial surfaces are signalled as primary non-representational elements, whose traces are document of enacted processes of making that can give relevant information about cognitive and psychological features of individuals.