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Suspension of disbelief : the representation of poetic faith through time-based media


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Warren, MD 2009 , 'Suspension of disbelief : the representation of poetic faith through time-based media', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge described a suspension of disbelief as "poetic faith". In a contemporary environment, is it possible to have an experience of childlike or innocent wonder? Are we so cynical, so sceptical or so 'knowing', that a sublime experience, a sense of poetic faith at the beginning of the 21st century is impossible? A secular, materialistic existence may well point to the answer being no.
However, even within such an existence, it is possible to realise that although one's knowledge base may increase with age, there is still much 'out there' that is not understood; that within the realms of the unknown, there are potentially profound experiences waiting to be had. There is a multitude of energies and entities surrounding us, invisible to the eye and silent to the ear. The revealing of such entities may lead one to experience a suspension of disbelief, a poetic faith that has little to do with organised religion, but rather, a form of spiritual understanding sustained by a sense of the incorporeal.
The outcome of this research project is a submission made up of a body of work and supporting exegesis in which I have investigated how one may best represent the concept of poetic faith using time-based media. Through visual and aural representations, this research explores the gap between the secular and the spiritual, without specific reference to any dogma. These time-based media works and experiential installations have been developed as spaces between these two 'locations'. My studio-based investigation has defined three broad categories of conceptualisation that in combination best represent and explore these 'spaces'. These are classified under the headings of "ambient environments", "video abstractions" and "exposure of the hidden".
The paper describes my chosen media, my works, my process and provides references to the work of other artists, writers and theorists that contextualise my research. Utilising the above headings I draw a line from Coleridge's statement of poetic faith, through the ambient aural works of Mick Harris and Brian Eno, Guglielmo Marconi's notion of never-ending soundwaves, to the crackling buzz of works by Christina Kubisch and Joyce Hinterding, and to Jung's theories on the subject of faith. These references provide a visual and theoretical context for the works that make up this submission.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Warren, MD
Keywords: Sound in art, Sublime, The, in art, Spiritual life in art, Faith in art, Implicit religion
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Copyright 2009 the author

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Accompnying CDs and DVDs contain additional material but are not available for download. Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2009. Includes bibliographical references. Introduction and central argument -- Ch. 1. The medium is the message -- Ch. 2. Things around us- context -- Ch. 3. The air is full - my works -- Ch. 4. Theoretical and critical references -- Ch. 5. There is something important to be said, but -- A conclusion

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