TaPRA 2019 has ended
Welcome to TaPRA 2019 at the University of Exeter!

Phil Stanier

Strange Landscapes: Nature, Psychogeography, and Agency in the recent work of the Strange Names Collective.

Mark Fisher (2016) has suggested that excessive presence is ‘Weirdness’, and that an absence marks the ‘Eerie’. These terms can both be applied to the relative presence or absence of a subject/object within a ‘landscape’.

Through an analysis of the recent work of the Strange Names Collective I would like to build upon Fisher’s work to explore if the ‘Strange’ is an affective articulation of the landscape itself: That the the ‘strange’ is that which in the landscape both belongs to and does not belong to the landscape, and additionally that the experience of the ‘strange’ is reached through a destabilising of authenticity and our cultural template, and a recognition of agency.

I will discuss three projects by the Strange Names Collective, ‘The Naming of Clouds (2016), ‘The Designs of Trees’ (2017), and ‘The Buried Moon’ (2018). Each of these projects produced complex interdisciplinary events involving various modes of live performance, including outdoor, durational and text-based performance, and other disciplines such as fine art and virtual reality. Each project undertakes a destabilising of the underpinnings of what we accept as norms in their respective landscapes, and a recognition of potential agency in landscape itself.

Philip Stanier is Senior Fellow of Learning and Teaching in Performing Arts at the University of Winchester, and is Artistic Director of the Strange Names Collective. Philip has toured his work internationally and published on the work of Goat Island, Third Angel, and Societas Raffaello Sanzio. www.strangenamescollective.co.uk