The Conversational Weave (another place)


Group photo by Jane Bailey

This catalogue essay was written in response to an invitation from the artists Andrea Thoma and Joyce Lyon for their exhibition Andrea Thoma and Joyce Lyon: Dialogue in Place II, held at the Form+Content Gallery in Minneapolis, February 9 -March 17, 2012.

The Conversational Weave (another place)


“Given the paradoxes of modernity, there is little wrong, and perhaps a great deal right, with being ambivalent – especially when there is so much to be ambivalent about”.[1]

Alan Wolfe, Whose Keeper? Social Science and Moral Obligation



This essay is both speculative and ‘gappy’, part of thinking in progress and not intended to offer firm conclusions. My core concern here is to ask how the creative work performed by Andrea Thoma and Joyce Lyon (and not simply their art work) may be productively placed. I draw extensively on material shared between them and would like to thank them for inviting me to contribute to this catalogue and for incisive observations on earlier drafts of this essay.

Grant Kester begins Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art with a series of exclusions. “Object making” and “content providers” are set aside to focus on artists who “have adopted a performative, process-based approach”, the “context providers”.[2] However admirable his intentions, his underlying trajectory seems to me indicative of a common form of reductive thinking based on generalized categories that tell us little or nothing of value about the relationship between creative work and the world and communities in which we actually live. Why, for example, should ‘object makers’ such as Andrea Thoma and Joyce Lyon not provide both content and context, since they in fact arrive at their ‘objects’ precisely through a ‘performative, process-based approach’ (albeit not of the specific type of interest to Kester)?[3]

My approach here is based on ambivalence; on the view that writing about art passes too quickly over art’s fundamental ambiguity in search of socially or theoretically ‘advanced’ justification of the particular value of this or that ‘novel’ aspect of its contemporary manifestation. As a result much of what is most important about contemporary art remains hidden in plain sight.

I begin by accepting that our engagement with art always involves us with both the positive qualities claimed for it: “independent thought, discrete from other forms of cultural expression, a separate domain of alternative values”, and the negative qualities that its champions hope we will overlook: its conformity to the “values of the status quo and the ideological system that sustains it”.[4] My ambivalence here is intended to raise the question of how we place ourselves in the wider ‘cultural landscape’ at a time of growing socio-ecological crisis; a crisis that we cannot adequately address without a more inclusive thinking than that offered by our current professional and disciplinary approaches.[5] As the geographer Tim Cresswell reminds us, phrases like ‘knowing your place’ or feeling ‘out of place’ point to close connections between our social and geographical conceptions of how we are located in the world.[6] That location is, in turn, heavily conditioned by how we think. My essay is concerned with addressing Cresswell’s underlying point.


James Leach persuasively argues that our culture is one of ‘possessive individualism’, requiring us to take as given that creativity or originality is something exclusive to and owned by a unique individual. This assumption underpins not simply our “politics” and “social organization” but the more fundamental “complex of assumptions about personhood, about nature and about society”.[7] Possessive individualism is arguably the antithesis of an inclusive, ecological care.

Taken out of context, it would be easy to misread Andrea Thoma’s White Lines/Pink, Yellow, Sienna as belonging to a particular late Modernist tradition of colour paintingHowever she takes extraordinary care when showing her work to ensure that such paintings are informatively placed, locating them alongside video, photographs, and video stills to reinforce a relational understanding in which each artefact exists within a wider conversational exchange, that each is experienced as much as an enactment within a mesh of temporal events as a discrete object. This care in placing the work makes possible “a system of interconnected visual modules with (changing) juxtapositions / constellations”, something Andrea has documented and discussed in some detail.[8]  Furthermore, she argues that:

What is at stake in this juxtaposition of diverse visual and acoustic signifiers is a physical and conceptual movement between images that enables nomadic dwelling. Movement and stasis, presence and absence of figuration, coexist in images that oscillate between smooth and striated space. Deleuze’s observations on virtuality and actuality resonate across these different visual systems and perpetuate, rhizome-like, a non-hierarchical extension of communications …[9]

The work is seen as a dynamic mesh of relationships that extends beyond the visible to engage with an ongoing philosophical inquiry. A not dissimilar concern – to encourage open, extended and contextually complex readings that might be called ‘conversational’ – can be found in Joyce Lyon’s use of series of drawn images, digital broadsides and bookworks such as Found in Translation (2008), Inseparability of All Things (2011), or Passaggio (2012).

This attitude of concern is not limited to Andrea Thoma and Joyce Lyon’s art practices. Both women are long-standing university teacher/researchers and, as such, are actively embedded in substantive communities of enquiry. As artist/teacher/researchers, there is a rich and complex interrelationship between their performance of each of these distinct but mutually informing roles. Seen in their proper contexts (which are made up of ‘conversations’ between a multiplicity of communities which are obviously far more extensive than those named here), their work begs significant questions about how practices of art relate to questions of care and the maintenance of community. In briefly detailing their location within an extended context I hope to make clear what writers such as Kester choose to overlook.

A context

My thoughts here were in part triggered by discussion with a doctoral student about a video installation shown to a group of professional peers. The piece, made in the English town now known as Royal Wooten Bassett, deals with the responses of soldiers and the general public to repatriation ceremonies for service personnel killed in Afghanistan. The student wondered why her professional peers devoted their entire critical discussion to debating whether or not her work was ‘documentary’; why they were so concerned about categorizing the work and so unconcerned with everything else pertaining to it?

Against the grain of such narrow ‘professionalism’ I believe that all aspects of experience can speak to each other and that creative practices can facilitate this. Also that any genuinely new response to the world tends to appear at the point where what we habitually categorize as distinct experiences – in academic terms the object of distinct disciplines and practices – are brought together and become porous. But, and here a difficulty begins, that porosity involves risk – particularly when professional status rests on maintaining exclusive and distinct discursive territories.

Another aspect of my thinking in this essay takes a lead from Mark C Taylor, who over twenty years ago reflected on the possible dialogue between certain theological concerns and “three examples of the painter/critic relationship: Barnett Newman and Clement Greenberg, Andy Warhol and Jean Baudrillard and … Anselm Kiefer and Maurice Blanchot and Jacques Derrida”.[10] Unlike Taylor however I have moved provisionally around my topic, adopting the heterological approach he attributes to Anselm Kiefer, one based on a sense of being on the edge, of being ‘between’. I take this position to resonate with Joyce Lyon’s statement that: ”Drawing for me is both the preliminary and the arrival”,[11] and the artists’ note that states “our position as something not fixed / how it changes”.[12]


An image that has stayed with me as I work on this essay is Joyce Lyon’s Edera History (2012). This clearly and economically works through the same moment of recognition that resulted in the smaller digital photographic print Edera (Ivy). While the photographic image gives us the tenacious severed mass of a many stranded ivy growth in all its age and complexity, the drawing shifts the phenomena evoked more firmly into the realm of gestural metaphor with suggestions of truncated torso and limb to the viewer’s left and, to the right, pinched thumb and forefinger. We know, if we are familiar with such plants, both that much of what we are shown will die in due course and that, given its powers of penetration and persistence, some part of this ivy is likely to survive among the greater decay.

Like Andrea Thoma and Joyce Lyon I have spent my working life as an artist/teacher/researcher, including fifteen years supervising students grappling with the complexities of arts practice-led doctoral projects. (Work for which the images of ivy referred to above might serve as partial metaphor). The doctoral students and I are located in a ‘debatable land’ between the art world and that of the academia, a heavily contested borderline space that throws up tricky questions about the deep-seated presuppositions that underwrite the production of both ‘cutting-edge’ culture and ‘new knowledge’. It is an uncomfortable but productive space prone to generating disconcerting insights into these two aspects of our increasingly dysfunctional society. Like us, Andrea and Joyce are clearly conscious of the presuppositions (and resulting realpolitik) that inform, and to a degree determine, the conditions of all our creative practices and professional discourse. I suggest that it is in response to these conditions that they have adopted their ‘conversational strategy’, one designed to negotiate a particular tension.

This tension is a ‘stick with two ends’; ends that nonetheless have to be ‘thought together’. At one end are the conditions of professional art discourse that privilege the particular conceptualizations and discriminations that, among other things, serve to legitimize “life-as”[13] an ‘artist’. At the other there is performative creative practice experienced as an ‘open conversation’ with the world and based on care. This practice flows from our existential location as “always both more and less than the categories” (including the category ‘artist’) “that name and divide us”.[14] (We might also keep in mind here a history of art practice understood as potentially transformative).[15] My concern here is not to ‘resolve’ or ‘explain (away)’ this tension but to ponder the way in which the ‘conversation space’ established between Andrea Thoma and Joyce Lyon, understood  as representatives of distinct but overlapping meshings of community, may show us something occurring that is missed if we stay with the “life-as” orientation to artists that results from internalizing a professional identity.  Ivy functions here again as an idea that tenaciously clings to all our ideas, greening very different surfaces.

An ambivalent space

Those who teach art know that we need to try to prevent premature foreclosure on the elements in creative practice that open us to the world. However, when we write about or discuss our work ‘as artists’ we accept the need to privilege those specialist discursive contexts in which the work is most likely to be well received and should not prevent us from signalling that other contexts are also relevant. Negotiating and renegotiating such ambiguity is now the unenviable but inevitable task of any self-reflexive professional person working in our culture.

My speculations here concern the relationship – presented as a productive tension – between Andrea Thoma’s and Joyce Lyon’s professional context ‘as artists’ and other, broader but closely related concerns and locations as I understand them. This tension is difficult to articulate without oversimplification because we are unused to thinking apparently contradictory or antagonistic aspects of our lives together. None the less this has to be attempted if we are to understand the real nature of the dominant culture and the serious limitations it imposes on us. The following is typical of the kind of professional context I have in mind and refers to exhibition installation. Andrea Thoma asks:

“how the juxtaposition of different visual categories, in this case painting, photography and video, and their multiple time-space relations inform reflections on the image in a fine art context. Furthermore, it will consider how these different visual configurations, involved in a dialectic of still and moving images, can generate a ‘cumulative signified’, that is to say a layered sense of duration when perceiving the installation as a whole.”[16]

She goes on to reference:  “Bergson’s concept of duration as constituted by multiple time fluxes”, “Deleuze’s reflections on film”, and “Husserl’s phenomenology of time, defined by the subject’s consciousness of different time flows”.[17] This appears to me an entirely appropriate way to contextualize her work but it is not the full story. I suggest that in the physical presence of her works exhibited together – for example of the sequences Trainjourney / White and White Lines / Green or Small window, Night lines, Night window discussed in her article – many viewers (including those without the cultural capital to locate her practice in her chosen discursive context), will intuitively grasp her deep engagement with light, place and duration – that is to say, her felt response to fundamental phenomena.

The phenomena of light, place and duration are topics that, while they may initially be experienced through aesthetic response, can also evoke powerful historical and cultural resonances that matter to substantive communities. Consequently, for a viewer either unwilling or unable to undertake a bracketing of emotional response through professional discourse, the visual and haptic elements of her work are likely to evoke ‘undisciplined’ responses that reverberate with spectral cultural meanings. These are likely to relate to deep-seated metaphysical assumptions now regarded as largely irrelevant by contemporary art discourse. However, they may still have a real impact, something that can only be addressed in the kinds of experiential terms that such discourse is often very reluctant to acknowledge.[18] Here an open, ‘conversational’ approach to our response to the work becomes necessary, despite the fact that such an open space raises potentially complex and even uncomfortable questions for any reflexive, historically and culturally literate maker of art works.

This is particularly true for those engaged in perceptually based practices that produce images concerned with something other than simplistic forms of naturalism. Such practices involve psycho-physiological disciplines of careful attention (a form of ‘care’) that overlap with other cultural practices: for example the embodied practices on which spiritual disciplines have traditionally been constructed and an expanded notion of the field-based sciences.[19] Here disciplinary thinking that treats art as entirely separate from other creative activity becomes increasingly detached from lived reality and is, as such, seriously counterproductive in terms of our current socio-ecological needs. By contrast, in the more inclusive ecological space now emerging, practices and disciplines traditionally seen as distinct and even antagonistic increasingly overlap and interpenetrate. In such a space all creative work offers the starting-point for a particular ‘polyvocal’ form of conversational mediation located between disciplinary discourses and a particular type of lived oscillation (to borrow Andrea Thoma’s term).

This oscillation involves our going back and forth between our immediate phenomenological experience and an inclusive hermeneutics based on an embodied but ‘open’ cultural awareness in its broadest sense. The resulting conversational mediation is a potentially highly productive source of social possibility. Recognizing this potentially transformative site of negotiation for what it is allows us to be more sensitive to possibilities inherent in the observations by Andrea Thoma quoted at length earlier.

The tenor of such resonances become more explicit in her claim that her interest in the image is “linked to the idea of presence and absence … as a means to engage with place and our experience of place through dwelling”, an experience “conditioned by the phenomenology of perception in relation to the body/flesh of the viewer/maker”.[20] What I take to be signalled here is an engagement with conversational practice oriented by place and temporality thought together; as a ‘gathering’ in the ‘playful’ sense presented by thinkers such as Martin Heidegger or Tim Ingold.[21] This ‘gathering’ is in turn a prelude to a ‘homecoming’:

“that is undertaken rather than completed, a return, not to what is certain and stable, but to the original question of being, and to the questionability of our own being [italics mine]; a turn back, not to what is familiar, in the ordinary sense, but to that which is essentially “uncanny”, inexplicable, wondrous.”[22]

The portion of this statement in italics makes very clear the necessity of adopting a position of agnosticism or ambivalence towards all claims based on “life-as”, whether ‘as artist’, ‘as chemist’, ‘as academic’, ‘as theologian’, ‘as activist’, as ‘believer in’ this or that religion, or indeed whatever other category. However, the question remains as to how to clarify this ‘return’ or ‘homecoming’, given the limitations imposed on us by the dominant language of disciplinary thinking.

One answer to this question is suggested by Robert Frodeman’s view that geology, in addition to being the product of a community of like-minded investigators, is also “a type of walking meditation, a disciplining of the soul through the training of the eyes and the body”.[23]  While personal inclination or academic etiquette may incline us to prefer philosophically grounded notions of the Heideggerian ‘uncanny’ to Fodeman’s more metaphysical language, something of the nature of the ‘homecoming’ implicit in the overlap between these statements is I think clear enough.

The work of art

When I first met Andrea Thoma in Berlin she gave me her catalogue of paintings and drawings made between 1989 and 1992. These are rich, complex works in part tensioned through juxtapositions of hand-worked surfaces evocative of a sense of place and various painted, drawn or stencilled words or phrases with philosophical resonances. In short, her work seemed to me to propose an expansive approach to art making, both in terms of its production and in the kind of response it might elicit from the viewer. In 1999, by which time Andrea was teaching in England, I became aware of a specific conversation developing between her and Joyce Lyon, who asked me to write a catalogue essay for Dialogue in Place: Joyce Lyon and Andrea Thoma, held at Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds, UK, and Katherine Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, USA. Our exchanges later helped inform the establishment, in 2002, of the LANDnetwork to support artist/teacher/researchers.[24]

Joyce Lyon works with and through drawings, digital broadsides and artist’s books. My introduction to her work was a series of oil stick drawings called Conversations with Rzezow: A Dialogue Exploring Different Kinds of Knowing. These are intimate drawings of landscapes, despite their large scale, and are juxtaposed with text panels that reflect on a passage from Primo Levi and on her viewing the films Shoah by Claude Landzmann and The Partisans of Vilna. They evoke a complex meditation on relationships between place, memory, and loss that, in the tradition of feminist art that reassesses the role of the personal so as to critique claims to ‘objectivity’, productively pushes at the conventions of normative professionalized art. Taken as a whole the series signals Joyce’s engagement “in a dialogue between the familiar and a place I knew initially only through fragmentary stories, silence and the efforts of my own imagination”. That place is Rzeszow, a small city in southeastern Poland, where her father “grew up within an extensive Jewish community that was destroyed in World War II”.[25] Here, inevitably, profound questions of place and temporality start to exceed what is comfortably addressed within the strict parameters of professional discourse. There is manifestly both a symbolic and literal act of care involved, one requiring the sustained practice of attention, solicitude towards others, and an open ‘paying heed’ to larger communal concerns. The result offers a new and valuable affective space for those willing to engage with the work.

I have written about Andrea Thoma’s paintings, video and photography over a twenty-year period. That writing appears in a number of catalogues, including those for the LANDgroup exhibitions at Dean Clough and the Royal West of England Academy and, more significantly in the present context, for So Nahe So Fern – So Near So Far, shown in Ebersberg in 2007 and, in a different version, in London in 2008.[26] My contact with Joyce’s work has been more occasional. Nevertheless I feel reasonably confident that the ‘conversational’ theme I first identified in writing about So Nahe So Fern is relevant here. This confidence stems from the intrinsically open nature of both women’s approach to their work and from to their outward-looking understanding of art’s cultural location – arguably the antithesis of the hyper-professionalized possessive individualism dominant in contemporary artistic practice. (As I have already suggested, this ‘openness’ relates in part to their commitment to teaching and research in a university context). In a public presentation in February 2012 the artists referenced the following quotation from Monika Szewcyk:

If, as an art, conversation is the creation of worlds, we could say that to choose to have a conversation with someone is to admit them into the field where worlds are constructed. And this ultimately runs the risk of redefining not only the ‘other’ but us as well [emphasis mine].[27]

This statement can serve here as a prelude to provisional thoughts on the aim of ‘conversational’ creative work.

 In another place 

“The metaphor of place becomes a means to explore many kinds of knowing: one’s own direct experience and its limitations, what can be intuited, what is possible to learn at a distance and what cannot, finally, be understood.” [28]

Joyce Lyon Artist’s Statement

Central to my concerns here is the question of what, in the context of thinking about creative work, ‘conversation’ as a place-between might create in terms of a world? To attempt to answer that question in any detail would require far more space than this essay allows. However it is possible to offer some brief indications of the relationship between taking up the risk of redefinition and the (re)construction of a world. The root issue here has already been touched on in the Introduction: it is the need to go beyond possessive individualism so as to transform our psychosocial self-understanding or, more pointedly, to (re)construct the ‘place’ of active citizenship in relation to the socio-ecological demands made on us.

With reference to this issue, my speculations throughout this essay have been informed by Edward Sampson’s argument that, as subjects, we cannot be defined apart from the world because: “persons are constituted in and through their attachments, connections and relationships”.[29] Furthermore, following the Czech poet and scientist Miroslav Holub, I take this to mean that to define a self in terms of the category ‘artist’ (or indeed ‘scientist’ or any other fixed category) is to miss an important truth. In actuality we all spend much of our time engaged in a complex multiplicity of interwoven tasks and roles, all of which require our creative acknowledgement and reflection. If we really want to effect the ‘homecoming’ indicated earlier, and to assist others to do the same, then we have to abandon identification with a monolithic identity. While I fully accept that this is anathema to ‘the artist’ as conventionally conceived (a figure often used in our culture precisely to personify possessive individualism), we need to acknowledge that work in the arts (and indeed the sciences) is in actuality located within “a tiny, subtle, at times permeating, but most of the time confined, domain”; while social power and influence lie with vast systems of management and manipulation, “untamed autonomous superstructures that look down on us as if at an easily manageable microbial culture”.[30]

With Mark C Taylor’s transgressive thinking as a model, Sampson’s understanding of a selfhood that is inseparable from community and world might be productively (if perhaps provocatively) thought through in relation to sociological research addressing phenomena associated with the decay of contemporary religion. (I am responding here to the text of Joyce Lyon’s recent Passaggio). More particularly I would suggest possible links here to sociological research into the pivotal role of women’s relationality in forming a new ‘this-worldly spirituality’ that takes body, psyche and spirit as mutually enfolding.[31] (Joyce Lyon’s statement that: ”I have become intrigued with pilgrimage as it relates both to physical/spiritual journey and to the process of translating experience into drawing” [32] comes to mind here). Notes on a recent exchange between the two artists might further support this. Joyce writes, for example, of being “interested in what is involved in moving towards something/some place through an experience framed by starting ‘here’, desiring to arrive ‘there’”. She puts this in the context of “physical pilgrimage, moving by foot through a landscape, a space” and notes that: “duration, temporality and heightened attention are involved, as well as the physical testing of body”. Here “arrival” … “opens considerations about a sense of intimacy with the distant” leading her to ask: “What else is put into action, what else may change?  I think about yearning and seeking and that what finding there is resides not where anticipated” (Joyce Lyon Feb 2009). Such statements seem to me to relate directly to ‘homecoming’ as discussed above.

I also wonder whether to suggest that the ‘conversational work’ of Andrea Thoma and Joyce Lyon suggests a subtle replaying, in new but not unrelated registers, of a task that first emerged in European Modernism through the work of the artist/ethnographer Wassily Kandinsky. (Kandinsky’s thinking, properly considered, is an early example of the confluence of aesthetic, philosophical, spiritual and scientific concerns now informing much contemporary ecological thinking).

As Peg Weiss has made abundantly clear, orthodox formalist readings of Kandinsky’s work by Alfred Barr and others have seriously distorted or obscured his central concerns and contribution. That contribution might most simply be described as an attempt to imagine and act in a space between the shamanistic practices he studied among the Finno-Ugric Zyrians in Russian, his various aesthetic and social concerns, his ethnographic practice, and the orthodox notions of spirituality proposed by the world’s major religions.[33] To reduce Kandinsky simply to the status of a major figure in Modernist Art History is, from the perspective adopted here, reductive in that it diminishes his conversational project, a reductivism which in turn leads to mis-readings of the work of significant figures such as Joseph Beuys.

There is then arguably an ongoing project, related to, but wider than, that which is framed as ‘art practice’, that attempts to create and sustain a place-between in which to conduct the “impossible possibility” of reconfiguring, within a new and fluid meshwork, certain types of experience once separately identified with ‘art’, ‘the spiritual’, ‘science’, ‘community’, and so on. This project must simultaneously work to ensure that its space is not foreclosed by those powerful dogmas (whether ‘secular’, ‘disciplinary’, ’artistic’, ‘scientific, ‘political’ or ‘religious’) to which individuals subscribe in order to enjoy the security of ‘life-as’.

In this essay I have tried to suggest why we now need to recognize an attitude or orientation of extended care that underwrites the process to which the works in this exhibition contribute, an act involving extended attention, solicitude towards others, and an open ‘paying heed’ that precisely exceeds what we conventionally refer to as ‘art’. Not to do so is, to borrow an image from Zen Buddhism, to mistake the figure that points at the moon for the moon itself.

Iain Biggs

Bristol 2012

  1.  Alan Wolfe (1989) Whose Keeper? Social Science and Moral Obligation Berkeley: University of California Press p. 211.
  2. Grant Kester (2004) Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art Berkeley and London: University of California Press p. 1.
  3. See, for example, Barbara Bolt (2004) Art Beyond Representation: The Performative Power of the Image London and New York: I B Taurus.
  4. Joanna Drucker (2005) Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity Chicago, University of Chicago Press p. 17.
  5. For an early discussion of the problem of ‘professionals’ relevant to my argument here see Ivan Illich (ed) (2010 reprint, originally 1977) Disabling Professions London: Marion Boyers Publishers Ltd.
  6. Tim Cresswell (2004) Place: a short introduction Oxford: Blackwell pp. 102-3
  7. James Leach (2007) ‘Creativity, Subjectivity, and the Dynamics of Possessive Individualism’ in Hallam, E and Ingold, T (eds) Creativity and Cultural Improvisation Oxford, Berg p. 100.
  8. Andrea Thoma (2011) ‘Moving between Images: the Orchestration of Diverse Time-space constructs in Fine Art Practice’ inin The International Journal of the Image Vol 1 No 2 p. 20.
  9. Ibid. p. 25.
  10. Mark C Taylor ‘Reframing Postmodernisms’ in Philippa Berry and Andrew Wernick (eds) (1992) Shadow of Spirit: Postmodernism and Religion London & New York: Routledge.
  11. See
  12. Unreferenced quotations are from unpublished notes sent to the author by the artists.
  13. The term “life-as” is borrowed from a study of the sociology of religion by Paul Heelas & Linda Woodhead (2005) The Spiritual Revolution: why religion is giving way to spirituality Oxford, Blackwell), and refers to a pre-established categorical understanding in which being is determined by fixed conventions or presuppositions – for example religious faith. In this essay its position is seen as standing in opposition to that identified with Geraldine Finn.
  14. Geraldine Finn (1996) Why Althusser Killed His Wife: Essays on Discourse and Violence. New Jersey p. 156.
  15. At its most extreme this historical tradition is characterized, within the Modern period, by figures such as Arthur Rimbaud, Hugo Ball, and René Daumal. It is perhaps better represented by figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Georgia O’Keefe, Joseph Beuys, Ursula K Le Guin and Alan Garner.
  16. Andrea Thoma (2011) ‘Moving between Images: the Orchestration of Diverse Time-space constructs in Fine Art Practice’ in The International Journal of the Image Vol 1 No 2 pp. 15-16. The professional location of this statement can be contrasted with a more open statement in the introduction to Joyce Lyon’s Found in Translation: Considering What Can Be Learned Through Linguistic and Cultural Translation (2008), where she writes of “other places” in our lives where: ”we pay attention to our surroundings and to ourselves in relation to the surroundings with acuity. Different rhythms and activities give perspective. We know ourselves and the world differently” (Emphasis mine).
  17. Ibid.
  18. There is a parallel here with an observation on music made by Susan McClary, who writes that: “it is quite clear to most listeners that music moves them, that they respond deeply to music in a variety of ways, even though in our society they are told that they cannot know anything about music without having absorbed the whole theoretical apparatus necessary for music specialization”. (Quoted Roger Bogue, 2003, Deleuze on Music, Painting and the Arts London and New York, Routledge p. 13).
  19. See Robert Frodeman (2003) Geo-Logic: Breaking Ground Between Philosophy And The Earth Sciences New York: State University of New York Press.  
  20. Ibid p. 18.
  21.  See Jeff Malpas (2008) Heidegger’s Topology: Being, Place, World Cambridge, Mass & London: MIT Press p. 241-2.
  22. Ibid p. 311.
  23. Robert Frodeman (2003) Geo-Logic: Breaking Ground Between Philosophy And The Earth Sciences New York: State University of New York Press p. 115..  
  24. See
  25. Artist’s statement
  26. See
  27. Monika Szewcyk, “The Art of Conversation Part I, e-flux, Journal 3, 02/ 2009 ( In an exchange of notes Joyce writes: “I had read Monika Szewczyk, Art of Conversation, Part I the day before.  Found that at certain points I wanted Szewczyk to go further, not for the security of nailing a point down but to take an idea to a further place towards which she pointed but from which she diverged. However, I began marking interesting passages and wound up with a very colourful text.  Here’s one I didn’t fully mark until today:
  28. If, as an art, conversation is the creation of worlds, we could say that to choose to have a conversation with someone is to admit them into the field where worlds are constructed. And this ultimately runs the risk of redefining not only the “other,” but us as well. Art and conversation share this space of invention, yet only conversation comes with the precondition of plurality that might totally undo the notion of the creative agent (Joyce May 2011)”.
  29.  See
  30. Edward Sampson (1989) ‘The challenge of social change for psychology: globalization and psychology’s theory of the person’ American Psychologist Vol 44, No 6 (June 1989) p. 918.
  31. Miroslav Holub (1990) The Dimensions of the Present and Other Essays (ed. Young, D) London: Faber p. 145.
  32. For the background to my concern here see, for example, chapter four in Paul Heelas & Linda Woodhead (2005) op. cit.
  33. See
  34. See, for example, Peg Weiss (1995) Kandinsky and Old Russia: The Artist as Ethnographer and Shaman, New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

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