Wednesday 18 May 2016 – Lunchtime seminar with Michelle Atherton (Fine Art, SHU)

Image of a night sky

Title: Submersive Aesthetics
Speaker: Michelle Atherton (Fine Art, SHU)

Michelle Atherton is an artist whose work objectifies cultural phenomena as a means to investigate structures, systems and preoccupations. She is interested in the resistance of space through the image and the construction of an insubordinate aesthetic. Most recent exhibitions include: RAF Cosford, UK; Zeppelin Museum, Germany; Tatton Park Biennale U.K.; Kino Babylon, Berlin; Linergallari Tallinn, Estonia; Dagmar de Pooter Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium and Atelierhaus Salzamt Gallery, Linz, Austria. Her writing has been included in numerous journals including E.R.O.S., Modern Painters and Contemporary Arts Magazine and her work has been supported through the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Arts Council, U.K

Michelle Atherton will read an extract from her recent paper Submersive Aesthetics. This enquiry has evolved in dialogue with a newly completed video, ARP (Absorbing Red Photons) and explores what might be at stake in an act of submersion in a space of perpetual darkness. The video and paper draw on an actual tourist trip taken in 2012, in a deep sea submersible to a depth of 2,000ft below sea level just off the coast of Roatan, Honduras. The artwork and paper present differing encounters with a state of submersion predicated on the view through the submersible’s thirty-inch porthole.

Submersive Aesthetics proposes that the dynamic, blue-black materiality of the ocean contests anthropocentric modes of knowledge by exploring a collective encounter with a state of submersion. It asks what is it to find oneself submerged in a state that is overwhelming and fluid, with no perceivable exterior? To be totally contained and then immersed, on all sides, and crucially from above: to be surrounded by a different state – liquid, fluid, yet solid in its pressure. What happens when we recognise the primordial, but the primordial does not recognise us?

1.00PM – 2.00PM
WEDNESDAY 18 May 2016

See here for details of other seminars in the series.

All SHU staff and students are welcome to attend the C3RI Lunchtime Research Seminars. If you are from outside of the University and would like to attend a seminar, please email C3RI Administrator to arrange entry.