‘How to be counter-environmental: art, research and the techniques of discovery’

Andrews, Jorella G.. 2010. ‘How to be counter-environmental: art, research and the techniques of discovery’. In: José Quaresma, ed. Research in Art: A Forest, Many Paths. Lisbon: Edição CIEBA, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon, pp. 180-203. [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This essay approaches questions of research in art through media-theorist Marshall McLuhan and designer/scholar Harley Parker’s late 1960’s explorations of ‘environment’ and ‘counter-environment’. Of particular note here, apart from their insistent foregrounding of the important social and political impact of the mediumistic aspects of art and other forms of communication, is their focus on both amateurism and the aphoristic as strategically vital modes of critical engagement. Drawing on their work, and on specific instances of contemporary visual practice --- by Newcastle-based graffiti artist mobstr., and installation artist Jenny Holzer --- I ask how contemporary artists, researchers and writers might circumvent the increasingly risk-averse, standardized, and outcome-based media and communication environments in which we are immersed, in the hope of remaining both critically astute and inspiring.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


October 2010Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Nov 2010 15:18

Last Modified:

14 Jan 2019 10:18



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