• Un/writing the landscape, re/figuring the body

      Jones, Rhiannon; Kelly, Traci; Klein, Jennifer; Walkington, Helen; Howard, Janice; Pill, Deborah; Mahon, K; Lee, J; University of Ohio; University of Derby; et al. (PABlish, 2020-12-17)
      Kelly + Jones' research interests in the process and engagement with writing has shifted away from the production of text. Instead, their research enquiry now focuses on a broader visual and performed investigation into site and the materiality of writing and the place of the body as a scripting phenomena that writes itself into being in proximity to myriad otherness. To do this they have tested out abandoning any form of recognisable text, subverted written language by returning to the gesture, developed an approach that engages with writing instinctively and the materiality whose mark-making predates fixivity. As a result of this enquiry, new material has been generated and formed a new body of work – existing as an area of investigation where writing has become the milieu in which our collaboration operates. The research process is an organic and intermittent collaboration that bubbles in the gaps and suddenly erupts into different spaces and contexts. To this end, Kelly + Jones state that the enquiry has produced the following contributions: Originality - Site specific practice usually engages with one site and most theory and cultural commentary would attest to this. They have created a dialogue between two diverse sites that have expanded each other’s terms and created a conceptual third site that does not belong fully to either and has its own terms. They have decentralised the research opening it up to other researchers at various stages in their career without hierarchy. They have moved outside of the Fine Art community gaining fresh insight into their theoretical framework and site knowledge e.g geographer Professor Helen Walkington who brought new insight about the presence of flint within chalk beds and their significance around human activity. Kelly +Jones practice is of significance as they have created a research cascade which continues to grow and spread outwards. This is evidenced in the zoom research meeting transcript which brought together different research voices from student to Professorship with a specialism in Higher Education pedagogy. Significance in expanded research models that decentralise and strip hierarchy. They have expanded the discourse between site and the body …by splitting the singularity attached to ideas of site/locus in an environmental sense and have also presented the body as a multiple and shifting site as opposed to a fixed entity. In contrast to existing discourse on writing it draws attention to the political implication of the act of writing rather than what is written. What are the conditions and gestures that precede writing? What is the troubled and fruitful relationship between writing and subjectivity, resistance and personhood. We have repurposed the traditional idea of exhibiting visual art as display and as fixed point to exhibiting as research and as touch – to feel the way to the next level, to allow others to intervene and alter course, expand discourse. We chose a response model (listening to the sites rather than demonstrating it with planned gestures). This allowed new and unexpected experience to rise 'which were intimately connected to the presence that live work offers, rather than projection.The publication is an output for this new body of practice as research. The publication takes the form of a newspaper framework and features an edited series of texts, performative gestures and provocations that has been written and edited by Kelly + Jones. It also ‘draws-down’ on several research activities and influences from Kelly + Jones presented in the form of the solo exhibition at The Glass Tank in 2020. The seers-in-residence programme carried out as part of their exhibition at The Glass Tank provided a unique opportunity for research-generation in the form of a series of conversations with invited academics and researchers to be Seers (Professor Helen Walkington, Janice Howard, Deborah Pill and Kate Mahony, Oxford Brookes University). The publication includes essays by Professor Jennie Klein, University of Ohio and Joanne Lee, Sheffield Hallam University. The publication has been internationally peer reviewed and the National Library of Norway has a collection of 7 copies of the publication now on file due to international academic and artistic interests in the publication. The publication has been commissioned by Bergen Performing Arts publishing arm - PABlish.