Performing geochronology in the anthropocene: multiple temporalities of North Atlantic foreshores

Rawlings, Angela Marie (2020) Performing geochronology in the anthropocene: multiple temporalities of North Atlantic foreshores. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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As a branch of geomorphology, geochronology determines the ages of sediment, fossils, and rocks, thereby assembling a geologic planetary history. As a geochronological dénouement, the proposed geological epoch of the Anthropocene may indicate the figural moment in geologic time when human activity inscribed itself into sediment across the planet. This dissertation offers an artist’s account of practice-as-research investigating how to perform geochronology in the Anthropocene along North Atlantic foreshores. As sites prone to the geologic acts of deposition, erosion, and intrusion, foreshores provide an impermanent surface on which to interrogate the deep time, hidden knowledges, and climate crisis affiliated with the Anthropocene’s inaugural narrative.
Geochronologists partly comprising a working group to give the Anthropocene its formal designation note that “[t]he expression of the Anthropocene in the environmentally sensitive coastal systems [including beaches, tidal flats, and deltas]… represents a diverse patchwork of deposits and lacunae that reflect local interplays of natural and anthropogenic forces” (Zalasiewicz, Williams, and Waters 2014). Climate change also places foreshores as central players impacted by storminess, glacial melt, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification. Produced as the book Sound of Mull, the artist’s performance scores were developed through artistic practice-as-research and offer strategies for experiential knowledge acquisition through direct or imagined engagement with the multiple temporalities and more-than-human co-constituents of North Atlantic foreshores. Participatory, experiential engagement may sensitize people to the hidden geochronologies of everyday life.
This dissertation is situated within an interdisciplinary practice-as-research methodology integral to geopoetics praxis, interweaving research from performance studies, geology, human geography, and archaeology. Detailing foreshore performances enacted in Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Scotland, and Sweden between 2015 and 2019, the dissertation argues for interdependence and circulation as necessary components defining geopoetics. The account expounds the importance of both interdisciplinary scholarship and artistic practice-as-research methodology in the exploration of geopoetics as transformative action.
Research was undertaken through PhD study at the University of Glasgow from 2015 to 2019, supported by the Lord Kelvin / Adam Smith Scholarship.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: geochronology, geopoetics, site-respondent performance, response-ability, sustain-ability, Anthropocene, performance score, artistic practice-as-research, North Atlantic, foreshore, interdisciplinary, estrangement, embodiment, interconnectedness, attunement, improvisation, temporalities, site
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Q Science > QE Geology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts
College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Lavery, Professor Carl, Dixon, Professor Deborah and Ascough, Doctor Philippa
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Angela Rawlings
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81372
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 10:11
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2022 08:38
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81372
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