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Landscape After Landscape: Pre-Genre Italian Backgrounds in a Post-Genre Digital Age

Simson, H; (2017) Landscape After Landscape: Pre-Genre Italian Backgrounds in a Post-Genre Digital Age. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Artificial perspective and subsequent photographic technologies have been implicated in a dominating Western way of seeing—referred to here as 'natural vision'—in the critical discourses that have defined the last thirty years. These discourses of visual representation provide the background context against which the questions that shape this research are formed. It is set out to investigate whether early background forms derived from proto-perspective paintings can be employed to form an invigorated idea of landscape that is addressed to the crises that shape the present. And secondly, it asks whether it might be possible to redeploy perspectival technologies so that their earliest beginnings can problematise today’s digital contexts, rather than dismissing perspective as the progenitor of a visuality that controls and fixes the status of the observer in the logic of late capitalism. The thesis articulates the artwork’s material presence in relation to these visual, image-producing technologies. It is divided into three chapters, which outline twinned aspects of the practical and theoretical research: ‘Landscape / Fragment’, ‘Materiality / Affect’, and ‘Perspective / Projection’. Each chapter explores different facets of the argument, and the theoretical discussion unfolds through the studio work. With its emphasis on materiality, the thesis considers how these technologies can be used to challenge dominating visual structures as opposed to continually reinforcing them. The research looks beyond the linguistic tendencies of poststructuralism, and considers recent theories of materiality and affect. It draws from semiotic approaches that challenge the scientifically endorsed image of visual truth, and explores other articulations for the landscape image. It asks how these might be used to reimagine subject-spatial configurations defined through representation, and to challenge the associated linearity of narrative history. It is rooted in a desire to confront the extremes and excesses of ideologically driven and radicalised perspectival technologies.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Landscape After Landscape: Pre-Genre Italian Backgrounds in a Post-Genre Digital Age
Event: UCL
Language: English
Keywords: Visual technologies, Landscape, Affect, Materiality, Spatial theory
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > The Slade School of Fine Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1563810
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