University of Sussex
Hignell-Tully, Daniel Alexander.pdf (55.92 MB)

Scoring other: the social function of art-making

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posted on 2023-06-09, 06:32 authored by Daniel Alexander Hignell-Tully
To what degree is it possible to score an artistic event for which the impetus is a social, rather than aesthetic, effect - and indeed, to what degree are these effects separable? How, in short, can the composer or artist create a blueprint for a relational practice that is fundamentally concerned more with actions within the community than it is with any outcomes or objects presented to the community? This thesis seeks to explore the role of the Other through the composition of a set of participatory scores for social activity. Devised from the perspective of a composer and sound-artist, this practice-led research investigates three strands of social engagement: collaboration, interpretation, and intervention. These strands each revolve around the problems inherent to performing and scoring socially-engaged, site-specific sound works, as well as the reality of their dissemination in the public domain. Each of the methods employed not only feeds back into the score-making process, but also serves to critique existing methods and hierarchies within artistic participation, ultimately arguing for an open-ended and non-linear relationship between the act of sensing, and the (community-influenced) construction of the sensible. Exploring post-structural, ethical, and ontological notions of what it means to share and construct community with Other, this research examines the role of art as a creative movement between self-constructs that are at once individual and indivisible from the community. This work argues that such creativity extends not only to the realisation of artworks, but across the whole gamut of activity within the social event. By undertaking practice-based research into the role of Other within the event of an artwork, this thesis interrogates the socio-political hierarchies inherent to both the specific art-event, and the pre-existing community in which such events unfold. As such, the art-event points not only to the specific creative act of its making, but equally the latent creativity within the community in which the art is disseminated. The spectator, no less than the artist, defines the terms of the community by which such acts are made available to perception as an ontological reading that is not only sensed, but sensible.


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University of Sussex

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