Inside The Power Station : Allegory And The Dance Of Represented Ideas

Cunnington, Maree Helen (2004) Inside The Power Station : Allegory And The Dance Of Represented Ideas. PhD by Creative Works, Queensland University of Technology.


This performance-as-research project incorporated a five-month residency inside a working power station, Swanbank, Ipswich, a provider of electricity to Australia's eastern states via the national grid. The concept 'power station' is compelling because it involves the transformation of material form (coal) to immaterial phenomena (electricity), a process analogous to making electronically-mediated art. Three linked interdisciplinary works were created out of the artist's immersion on site: Swanshift, a music-video eulogy to the closure of the station's oldest coal-fired facility, Swanbank 'A'; The Industrial Theatre, a photographic series featuring Swanbank workers; and unstatic, a live, video-mediated performance.

As an enquiry into meaning within contemporary art practice, this research project used allegory as its symbolic mode of thought and formation. Through allegory, the Swanbank site was explored metaphorically to reveal a fictional, parallel world beyond the literal surface of danger, authority and rigour. In this space of excess, unreality and overflowing boundaries, meaning is multiple and celebrated. Hand-in-hand with an exploration of allegory, this exegesis also presents an insight into methodologies for industrial, site-specific, interdisciplinary practice, and arts-industry collaboration.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 15948
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Creative Works)
Supervisor: Haseman, Bradley & Mafe, Daniel
Keywords: Allegory, Appropriation, Fiction, Fragmentation, Industrial Site, Interdisciplinary / interdisciplinarity, Machine Aesthetic, Metaphor, Modernism, Performance, Postmodernism, Power Station, Semiotics, Site-specificity, Structuralism, Sublime
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Department: Creative Industries
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Maree Helen Cunnington
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:53
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:41

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