Special Issue "Layered Landscapes: Cultural Investigations in Northern British Edgelands"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Visual Arts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ysanne Holt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Arts, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
Interests: contemporary visual arts in Britain; cultural landscapes and environments; Northern visual cultures, Islands and Border regions
Dr. Rupert Ashmore
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Arts, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
Interests: documentary photography, cultural memory in northern British and European communities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We invite contributions to a Special Issue of Arts that will bring academics from the broad field of visual culture studies and practitioners from fine art, performance, photography, or digital media to the discussion of northern peripheral landscapes in Britain—either geographical or socially marginal. The issue brings relational perspectives and a focus on the edges—between space, sites, practices, and disciplines. Our concern is with landscapes not only layered with complementary or contradictory narratives, myths, and histories, but on spaces existing in a number of different registers, whether experienced through a geo-political, socio-economic, or nature/cultural lens.

Dr. Ysanne Holt
Dr. Rupert Ashmore
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • northern cultural landscapes
  • visual and material culture
  • peripheries and edgelands

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Introduction: Layered Landscapes
Arts 2020, 9(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010031 - 27 Feb 2020
Viewed by 682
Abstract
This Special Issue of Arts investigates a series of creative projects focused upon and sited within certain peripheral landscapes of northern Britain [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
Stolen Voices Is a Slowly Unfolding Eavesdrop on the East Coast of the UK
Arts 2019, 8(4), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040140 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
Stolen Voices is a research enquiry that uses listening as both methodology and material. Stolen Voices develops techniques for ‘listening in’ and eavesdropping to help articulate an epistemology of place through sonic frameworks. A core motivation for the listening is a semi-fictional story [...] Read more.
Stolen Voices is a research enquiry that uses listening as both methodology and material. Stolen Voices develops techniques for ‘listening in’ and eavesdropping to help articulate an epistemology of place through sonic frameworks. A core motivation for the listening is a semi-fictional story we tell ourselves (and anyone else who is listening): an ‘event’ has taken place along the East Coast of the United Kingdom (UK), and we have been tasked with figuring out what has happened. While the specifics of the event might be difficult to pin down, the urgency of the investigation is fuelled by concrete concerns found in the UK edgelands, at the border/margin of the country: the uncertain future of the UK’s relationship with Europe; the effects of climate change on coastal landscapes; the waning of industries like manufacturing and coal extraction; the oil industry in crisis; the rise of global shipping infrastructures. By using a semi-fictional framework, we move away from mapping techniques like data-sonification towards a methodology that embraces gaps and inventive excesses while insisting on the importance of making an account. Through listening, we foster attention to contingencies and indeterminacies and their relationships to prevailing structures and knowledge hierarchies. Stolen Voices asks: what is the relationship between a listener and what is heard? How can listening attune us to the complexities of contemporary political, economic, ecological and social processes? How did we get to where we are now, and how, through listening, can we seek out levers for change? What do the rhythms and atmospheres of specific geographic locations inform or reveal about history? Evolving over several years, in response to what we hear, the investigation necessarily proceeds slowly. In this article, we unfold our methodological processes for the detection of sound, voices, atmosphere and affect. We use creative-critical writing to evidence the construction of a research investigation focused on the act of listening as a spatial practice and necessarily collective endeavour. Full article
Article
Mapping the Sea on Scotland’s Peripheries
Arts 2019, 8(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040123 - 20 Sep 2019
Viewed by 868
Abstract
This paper examines the use of mapping methodologies in some recent examples of contemporary art that chart the layered seascapes of the remote coastlines on North West Scotland as seen through the lens of visual culture in the Anthropocene. The art projects interrogate [...] Read more.
This paper examines the use of mapping methodologies in some recent examples of contemporary art that chart the layered seascapes of the remote coastlines on North West Scotland as seen through the lens of visual culture in the Anthropocene. The art projects interrogate conflicting perspectives on landscape and nature in the North. The case studies demonstrate, both directly and indirectly, the political and cultural tensions made evident by the mapping of the micro and macro undercurrents at work in the region, and examine how mapping has been used as a methodology to visualise those intractable material relationships, often using the map as a trope to do so. These mappings make visible the enmeshments of these remote locations into a global ecosystem. The concept of the Anthropocene provides a useful framework to describe the contemporary context of climate change, ecological decline, biodiversity loss and recent discourses on land use within which the artworks by two artists, Julia Barton and Stephen Hurrel, will be discussed. The significance of Kester’s concept of Littoral Art were explored through the eponymous art project by Barton, which maps the human debris brought by the northern sea currents to the shores of the Western and Northern coasts, and Stephen Hurrel’s cultural mapping of the island of Barra on the West Coast. These projects were further considered in the context of Timothy Morton and Tim Ingold’s meshwork theory and the concept of the 19th century Scottish town planner and environmentalist Patrick Geddes, whose urging to ‘think global, act local’ is implicit in the multi-layered understanding of the Anthropocene. Full article
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Article
Time and Mobility in Photographs of the Northeast Industrial Landscape
Arts 2019, 8(3), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030116 - 09 Sep 2019
Viewed by 1363
Abstract
This paper addresses documentary landscape photographs of the industrial and post-industrial Northeast of England from 1983 to 2005. Adopting a “mobilities” approach, this paper addresses these images as revealing a process, in which the movement of things and people, on multiple scales and [...] Read more.
This paper addresses documentary landscape photographs of the industrial and post-industrial Northeast of England from 1983 to 2005. Adopting a “mobilities” approach, this paper addresses these images as revealing a process, in which the movement of things and people, on multiple scales and timeframes, continually adapts space and the subjectivities of the people inhabiting it. The representation of mobility is considered in relation to issues of time in the photograph and it proposes one approaches these images not as static representations of a singular time and place but as part of an extended “event”. This interpretation was suggested by Ariella Azoulay and the approach encompasses the historical circumstances of their making, in addition to the multiple viewing positions of their consumption. As such, these photographs suggest an ongoing relationship between power, movement and dwelling. The paper advocates for a contemplative, relational viewing position, in which viewers consider their own spatio-temporal and socio-political position in regard to those landscapes, as well as a continuum of mobilities. Full article
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Article
Reframing the Horizon within the Algorithmic Landscape of Northern Britain
Arts 2019, 8(3), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030114 - 04 Sep 2019
Viewed by 943
Abstract
Emerging from the artist’s constructed photographs and walking projects in the north, this paper considers the tension between the photograph as a fixed composition of the world and the dynamic image constructed from data. Whereas arguably, the traditional photograph exhibits a stable relationship [...] Read more.
Emerging from the artist’s constructed photographs and walking projects in the north, this paper considers the tension between the photograph as a fixed composition of the world and the dynamic image constructed from data. Whereas arguably, the traditional photograph exhibits a stable relationship between the world and the image, the constructed photograph shifts the focus onto the underlying algorithmic processes of production. This focus on the relational nature of the constructed photograph shifts our gaze from the horizon to the underlying systems in operation as we consider the relational nature of data as a photograph. Full article
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Article
On Watery Borders, Borderlands, and Tania Kovats’ Head to Mouth
Arts 2019, 8(3), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030104 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 1515
Abstract
With a relational view of landscapes and natural environments as continuously “in process” and formed from the over-layered and interdependent connections between nature and culture, the human and the non-human, this paper considers some recent practices by artists who have worked in the [...] Read more.
With a relational view of landscapes and natural environments as continuously “in process” and formed from the over-layered and interdependent connections between nature and culture, the human and the non-human, this paper considers some recent practices by artists who have worked in the largely rural border region of Northern England and Southern Scotland. Expanding from a focus on the artist Tania Kovats’ 2019 Berwick Visual Arts exhibition, Head to Mouth, and a wider frame of non-anthropocentric ecological thought in relation to the visual arts, it explores the significance of diverse creative engagements with water, here with the River Tweed, and their potential value in a current cross-border context of social and environmental challenges and concern. Full article
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Article
Shapeshifting the Scottish Borders: A Geopoetic Dance of Place
Arts 2019, 8(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030101 - 07 Aug 2019
Viewed by 1220
Abstract
In this paper, I unite dance theory and practice and geopoetics in order to reflect on edges, peripheries and borders in a geographic region, the Scottish Borders, where the dominant cultural narrative is and has historically been based on rivalry. I draw here [...] Read more.
In this paper, I unite dance theory and practice and geopoetics in order to reflect on edges, peripheries and borders in a geographic region, the Scottish Borders, where the dominant cultural narrative is and has historically been based on rivalry. I draw here on the writing of the Scottish poet-philosopher Kenneth White, the practices of specific dancers and choreographers and on relational accounts of place and more-than-human perspectives. Rather than ‘sense of place’, my interest is in sensing place and thinking through sites. Threaded throughout are descriptions of perception practices exploring woodland, stone and riverways, which take the reader into the more experiential realm of embodied knowing. These passages are an invitation to be present with more-than-human others, to be in contact with the vitality of materials and to allow for being shaped, rather than being the shaping force. The intention is to bring different bodies of knowledge into contact as a way of revealing other vocabularies within place, which suggest alternative cultural narratives and help create the conditions for place—making a more collaborative, ethical and less anthropocentric endeavour, open to the influence and organising principles of the more-than-human. Full article
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