I’m a PhD candidate with Western Sydney University in Australia within the faculty of Humanities and Communciation Arts. My thesis is currently titled, On the road to Damascus: Theorising transformational encounters in art galleries and museums. I’ll be writing my thesis in a ficto-critical auto ethnographic form and it is my good fortune to be being co-supervised between Western Sydney University and The University of Cambridge, in the UK. 

I am positing the hyphenated phrase artful-relational-cultural-mediation to describe what is known in Australia and the UK, as art appreciation and often described as cultural mediation in parts of Europe particularly France, Germany and Switzerland.  The hyphenated phrase, artful-relational-cultural-mediation, is intended to elevate the cultural, aesthetic, political and social complexities within which art appreciation takes place.  My creative practice is spent drawing people into conversation with artworks and using these encounters as catalysts to explore ideas about what it means to be human, in this moment, in this encounter with this object and within this collective. These encounters are always time-bound, although the affects of them are not. 

It is my tenet that the performative, discursive rhythm within the spacetime mattering (Barad, 2007) of these experiences contributes to the trans-formative potential of these encounters. And so, I’m going to end with a question: How do we slow-down, trouble or disrupt our relationship to time within a time-bound encounter so that it stands outside of the industrial and technological rhythms and vibrations of daily life? I think it’s possible, not only possible but a lynch pin to artful-relational-cultural-mediation as a performative, ethical pedagogy of agential realism that is loaded with immanent potential. 

Barad, K. M., 2007, Meeting the universe halfway : quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning, Durham : Duke University Press