May 7th saw Landscape Surgeons meeting earlier than normal at Bedford Square for a fantastic day of first year PhD presentations. Covering topics from food, dining and family making, to creative writing, art, airports and neuro-aesthetics, and research methods from ethnography, diary keeping, writing, curation and painting it was an informative day.
The day kicked off with two presentations on the geographies of food. The first by Farah explaining her research on “Dinescapes” in Malaysia. As well as discussing her research Farah entertained us with a discussion of the different types of themed restaurants that she had encountered, including “toilet” themed ones! Canny was next up talking about food and family making, her research prompted a lively discussion of public and private dimensions of kitchens in China, including “open-kitchens” where private kitchens become public spaces. Finally, before lunch Katie discussed her work on and with dyslexic creative writers,including auto ethnographic discussions of the spaces of writing practices including desks, publishers and festivals. Discussion ensued around the spaces and spatialities of these writing practices and also their ‘creative’ elements. After lunch we turned to an afternoon of geography, writing and art. First up, Miranda talked about her explorations of place and writing, prompting discussions on mapping, style and data imaginaries. This was followed by two presentations focusing on art and airports, albeit in very different ways. Clare discussed her practice based work, including what it meant to create paintings whose form was guided by the rules of the airport, whilst Mike discussed the challenges of curation art at the airport and the methodological issues related to collaborative research. In both cases the aesthetics of airport spaces were a point of query and discussion. The afternoon’s presentations ended with Jareh Das, talking about curation and neuro-aesthetics, and the challenges and possibilities of using contemporary neurological technology designed for the gaming industry to explore the experiences of live art. Discussion tracked widely including queries around live art, neuro-aesthetics and the challenges of ‘measuring’ experience.
Thanks to the presenters for talking about their work, to the audience for questions and comments and to Innes for the photographs.
Farah Che Ishak: “Dinescapes: Ethnic restaurants and consumer culture in Malaysia”
Chen Liu (Canny): “Food, Home, and Family-making in Contemporary Guangzhou”
Katie Boxall: “Cultural Geographies of Dyslexic Creative Writing Practice”
Miranda Ward: “Writing (Augmented) Place”
Clare Booker: “Art and Airports; Departures and Arrivals live feed.”
Mike Thomason: ”Curating Site and Situating Curating: Art in the Airport”
Jareh Das: “Neuroaesthetics and the Exploration of Live Art”