Reflecting upon my choices in the final section of the film I consider whether the sounds and images used were indicative of an improved mental state or if they assisted a progressive move. Deleuze and Guattari, in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, describe human activity in terms of territorialising or deterritorialising behaviour. I am drawn to the simplicity of this description and its applicability to so many human encounters. They describe the refrain as a territorialising assemblage, referencing the child in the dark whispering a tune as comfort, birdsong as a claim to territory, the drinking song, and the choir as acts of unity. [50] I point to similarities between dance and the refrain in terms of intersubjectivity, something included in a presentation by Lara Maister at the New Scientist Consciousness conference. Maister noted pro-social effects in activities with synchronised group movement, including dance and tai chi.[51] Dance can be a war dance, intended to rouse the spirits before battle, or a territorial statement that marks personal space and regional boundaries. It can also be a uniting gesture, and pro-social in the sense described by Maister. Dance is a primitive, non-linguistic form of communication, that one can only assume is dangerous, given the number of cultures across history that have sought to control or ban it. The dance that concludes Unhomely Street recognises these modes.  

Psychoanalysis as a therapeutic practice focuses on the development stages of the individual; however, viewed broadly, Freud’s Oedipus conflict orbits around the wider human preoccupation with sex and killing. Capitalism promotes growth that exposes humankind’s tendency to expand and consume, and this is the thinly veiled horror story of the unconscious collective psyche. The final cellar sequence was the last to be constructed and was the only shot added to the final edit.

To summarise, I suggest that the creative process engages mental processes that are nonconscious. Underpinning these processes are emotional states that contain information about the state of the individual, ranging from the internal milieu to the perceived position of the individual in the social field. The quality of this information is sensory and reaches consciousness as feelings and audio-visual impressions. Sensory images reaching consciousness can be experienced as coming from elsewhere, as though they have crossed a frontier. Although I see this as a neural process rather than a movement from one space to another, the experience is as if mental material emerges from a nonconscious realm. For me, the Freudian unconscious works as a spatial metaphor as it approximates the experience of this process. Lastly, the indirect and metaphorical quality of thought, especially the laterally relational material that informs artistic practice, may tell us of the associational structure of neural activity.



I have since found in the work of Donna Haraway a positive approach to thinking about the troubled future and I support the notion of the Chthulucene as ‘one of the big-enough stories in the netbag for staying with the trouble in our ongoing epoch’.[52] Among Haraway’s objections to the discourse of the Anthropocene is that it ‘saps our capacity for imagining and caring for other worlds, both those that exist precariously now [...] and those we need to bring into alliance with other critters.’[53] Haraway emphasises the importance of cultural narratives, that our stories amount to shared visions, and that it matters ‘what thoughts think thoughts.’[54]

[52] Donna Haraway ‘Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene’, e-flux, Journal#75 (2016), 11 <> [accessed 1 February 2017]

[53] Haraway, 2016, 8.

[54] Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (London: Duke University Press, 2016), p. 12.

[50] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. by Brain Massumi, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p.319.

[51] Patrick Haggard et. al., ‘Consciousness Conference’, The New Scientist Live (London: The British Library, 2015).