AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Progress in action

by Nicholas Mangan

Institution: Monash University
Department: Department of Fine Art
Year: 2015
Keywords: Transformation; Energy; Film; Sculpture
Record ID: 1071283
Full text PDF: http://arrow.monash.edu.au/hdl/1959.1/1176478


The studio-­‐based research is presented as the artwork Progress in Action— a constellation of forms including moving image, physical and organic matter. This assemblage explores the fundamental physical, ecological and political transformations that are at the core of the Panguna Copper Mine crisis and subsequent Bougainville civil war, with a particular focus on the Bougainville Revolutionary Army’s use of coconut oil as an alternative fuel source. The exegesis presents an analysis of the artwork Progress in Action, in large part constructing an argument about this work and its relationship to transformation, duration and the material world. Methodologically, the exegesis constructs a set of insights and arguments central to my own work through an analysis of key artworks by other artists and antecedents, chosen for their potential to offer up both analogous, visual and material instances of transformations and assemblages. These arguments have been developed by drawing on the writing and philosophical positions of Henri Bergson, Dziga Vertov and Mary Ann Doane amongst others. The research works through three leading areas of inquiry around the potential for transformation: material transformation, visual/cognitive transformation and social transformation. The exegesis works around this central question: How can the convergence of film and sculpture produce a series of transformations that are contingent on their assemblage? I explore how a work of art might describe and manifest a series of interrelated transformations, pertinent to both the character of art, specifically, sculpture and the moving image, and to the relations between art and the wider world.