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Being In Place

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Paper Abstract

Title: Already the World: A Post-humanist Dialogue

Authors: Ciara Healy and Adam Stead

Affiliation: University of Reading

This joint collaborative presentation with accompanying images and videos emerged out of a correspondence between Ciara Healy (University of Reading) and Adam Stead (MFA Student University of Reading). Their letters build a creative relationship of practice that documents how their visual and curatorial work attends to ecological and environmental ways of knowing in socio-agricultural and metaphysical modes.

Adam Stead’s letters are concerned with the socio-political and socioecological impacts of increased industrialisation and consumerism on agriculture within rural communities in the United Kingdom. His sculptural works reflect on his relationship with the farm he grew up on and its future alongside the expanding community it competes with which could take on connotation of a ‘low’ place.
Coinciding with this research, Ciara Healy’s letters discuss the outcomes of an interdisciplinary curatorial model she developed in rural west Wales.
Thin Place tested new insights in curating and gallery education in an area highlighted on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation. The exhibition, education programme, international symposium and publication she produced invited specialists from many different fields to explore their perceptual commonalities. Their insights into the mythologies, histories and ecologies of the local area increased levels of wellbeing and fostered a deeper sense of belonging in the small rural community where she worked.

Through this collaborative presentation both Adam and Ciara take different, and sometimes contentious positions on emergent ideas in eco-criticism, ecofeminism and post-humanism. Given the severity of our socio-environmental situation, this dialogue has a degree of urgency, as it proposes a movement away from reductive economic systems towards ecological and spiritual economies, which focus on sustainability, community, and relational coexistence.

Presented at the following conferences:

Being in Place: The Highs and Lows of Cited Practice
University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland

Paper presented with Ciara Healy - PhD Presentations
24th / 15th November 2016

AlterRurality3: Fieldwork, Letterfrack
GMIT Letterfrack, Co. Galway, Ireland

Paper presented with Ciara Healy - Making and Building. Things Done.
6th / 7th / 8th / 9th June 2016