Dr Thomas Stollar Completed his PhD 2015.
‘Archiving the Everyday: Examining the Ordinary through Self and Ceramic Art Practice’
This thesis examines a body of ceramic art practice inspired by the use of self as an observable participant. Daily actions, behaviours, and self-occurrences were recorded into collections of ‘self-data’ and expressed through ceramic artworks.
As a field, the Quantified-Self has emerged from advancements in personal computing technologies most often expressed through digital modes. Conversely, this research is interested the possibilities that manual, non-digital collections of QS-data, or self-data, provide. Accordingly, ceramics, as an artistic medium, presents an opportunity to present this data outside of digital confines, as a field considered undeveloped in relation to wider fine art discourse. The assimilation of themes is considered advantageous with the potentiality to lend to their particular fields through cross-disciplinary experimentation. Additionally, investigations into the artistic and philosophic domains that surround the everyday clarify contextual position, and provide a reading of artistic practices.
This research uses the overarching methods of creative studio practice, and data gathering through conceptual study to expand the dialogues that exist between ceramics, self-data, and the everyday. The body of generative research arises from five artworks that were led by and concurrently guided the conceptual study. These works as a combination of themes expand dialogues through the specific development of rule-based artistic processes. Further, the material qualities of clay and ceramics lend to its physical and conceptual identification as a cultural container, introducing the notions of archive and artefact.
The contribution of this research occurs where a novel combination of themes adds to the conceptual possibilities of each. Moreover, the creative practice serves as a model to artists and theorists specifically interested in the everyday and self-data, especially from a ceramics perspective, as rule-based processes, and the notion of ceramic as a physical and conceptual archive are limited in critical analysis.