Owain Jones


Exposition: Return to the Site of the Year of the Rooster (15/05/2018) by Annette Arlander
Owain Jones 21/05/2019 at 12:45

The following peer review was presented to the author during the process and has influenced the final exposition. It is here presented in a slightly edited form.


Owain Jones:


The exposition fits the call very well. The paper speaks to the call "How To Do Things with Performance?" very eloquently. There is a huge amount of interest in new forms of research as practice, non-representational, performative methods for exploring all manner of situations, including landscapes, environments, identities, temporalities, and the entanglements thereof, in a range of disciplines, and in interdisciplinary efforts. How all this is then ‘presented’ in ways which break up the sequential tyranny of conventional written text is still very much open. This exposition offers a compelling form of multiple text and film, which does offer a coherent but not strictly linear account of being-in-landscape-place-memory-non-human agency-creativity etc.


The text is excellent in scholarly terms, drawing in key references concerning autotopography, the artistry of plants, and notions of ‘staying with the trouble’.


This academic exposition sits very well with the film sequences. The repeating scenes of the protagonist walking the same path, standing sitting looking over to the island, the trees, and the changing vistas due to season/weather ‘speaks’ very powerfully to the affective performativity of self-in-place/landscape and particularities of environment in terms of nature-atmospheres etc, and becoming in place and time and memory. The poem overlain on the film is very powerful.


I think the films are very striking in their composition, framing and performance. I am not a filmic artist per se, so that is why I hesitate in my overall confidence to assess this. But I am actually pretty confident that it is excellent both artistically and academically.


I think this will be of great interest to a range of interrelated disciplines clustered around creative cultural geographies, practice as research, environmental humanities, and so on


Does the submission contain a description or exposition of the question, issue or problem the research is exploring? If not, does this omission matter?


Yes, this is very clearly set out in the opening section of the voice over transcript.


Does the submission show evidence of innovation in content, form or technique in relation to a genre of practice?


Yes, it does. The triptych approach in which film sequences sit alongside the two strands of text offers a multi-directional, open ended way of navigating through the very lovely images and thoughtful texts and spoken and sub-titled poem.


Is the research issue contextualized in terms of social, artistic and/or theoretical issues? Is it linked to discussion on the positions taken by other artists to whom this work contributes a particular perspective? Is the process that led to this submission well documented? If not, do such omissions matter?


Yes, I think the overall narrative of the work is very set out.


Does the submission provide new knowledge, interpretation, insights or experiences in, on, or for art or art pedagogy? What might these comprise?


Maybe this could be expanded upon a bit more. I think the film sequences are very eloquent of becoming-in-place-landscape-memory and the sheer richness of affective becoming in place along with weather, the trees, the view to the island, and so on.


I feel quite inspired by this work. I think it is a very thoughtful and beautiful piece that speaks to all the things I have discussed briefly above, about becoming in landscape and memory over time. And the scenes with the trees, and the weather, and the view of the islands, and the poem clips, speak to how we are affectively, and of more-than-human performativity in place. The poem sequence is very compelling as an evocation of ‘deep place’. Over all I fully support the publication of this work. As stated above, maybe a bit more could be said in the academic commentary about affective becoming and how the films show that. Maybe the author could check the paper Jones O. (2011) Geography, Memory and Non-representational Theory; Geography Compass, Social Geography Section, 5/12, pp 875–885.