Making our way in semi-obscurity

Andrews, Jorella G.. 2019. 'Making our way in semi-obscurity'. In: Extending the Image Workshop with Susan Sentler (LASALLE) for MA Design Expanded Practice students. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom 14 June 2019. [Conference or Workshop Item]

FINAL JA Extending the Image MADEP Workshop Friday 14 June 2018.pdf - Presentation
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Abstract or Description

This short presentation was a contribution to artist, dancer and scholar Susan Sentler's workshop entitled 'Expanding the Image,' a concept she enlarged upon through a series of practical, exploratory looking/sensing/drawing/folding exercises and a discussion of her own work. The aim of my contribution to the workshop was to encourage students to explore the intellectual benefits of attending to Sentler's work and ideas 'pre-critically' in the first instance - to expand their engagement with the work in this way - instead of moving directly on to a more conventional post-presentation question and answer slot.

Thus my short intervention made a case for the importance of precritical, descriptive research methods in contexts of first encounter (or indeed fresh encounter). At issue here, in the words of the phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, is to value what might feel like a counter-productively ambiguous and insecure procedure in which we purposefully lay our immediate tendencies to seek clarification or explanation to one side and to enter into a deeper layer of exploration in which, inevitably, it will be unclear where such exploration might lead. The philosophical (or phenomenological) basis for such an approach - to provide just one example - as Merleau-Ponty put it in The Visible and the Invisible, was his understanding that "the words most charged with philosophy are not necessarily those that contain what they say, but rather those that most energetically open upon Being, because they more closely convey the life of the whole and make our habitual evidences vibrate until they disjoin." I then presented a series of descriptive strategies for engaging with Sentler's work which we put into practice.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)


phenomenology, arts research, pre-critical, pre-verbal, obscurity, desription

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures
Visual Cultures > Centre for Research Architecture


7 June 2019Accepted
14 June 2019Published

Event Location:

Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom

Date range:

14 June 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

18 Oct 2019 14:08

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2021 05:12


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