The screen as a site of division and encounter

  • Elena Marchevska

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This study is a practice-based exploration of the screen as a border site, where the concepts of division and encounter are performatively examined. My research strategy is shaped by applying autoethnographic performance strategies to the mediated space of the screen. Media materials (photos, videos and blog entries) are created with mobile media devices used in performative situations, offering a theoretical framework originating in practice. The main argument is that the screen is an assemblage site, where the notions of division and encounter can be artistically explored. Furthermore, the screen is explored as an object, as a metaphor and as an idea. By linking the Latour notion of “assemblage” with Colley’s exploration of the personal use of mobile screens (“autobiometry”), and Ettinger’s notion of “borderspace” as site of artistic encounter, the practices presented in this thesis are located in a field that blurs the boundary between the personal and art; autobiography and autoethnography; technology and identity. In so doing, this thesis expands on previous explorations such as “boundary event” (Trinh T. Minh-ha 1999); “soft mastery” (Turkle 1995); and “screen-reliant art” (Moldoch 2010;). In the performative media materials created for this thesis, the screen is explored through a “processual approach” (Bacon, 2006). This enabled me to examine the nature of interaction with the screen through embodied reflexive practice. This approach firmly places the work in the experiential or performative realm. Key practices that are discussed in this thesis include among others, an earth body performative project by Ana Mendieta (Cuba/USA) entitled Silueta series (1973-1980), a live art work by Tanja Ostojic (Serbia/Germany) called Looking for a husband with EU passport (2000-2005) and my own performative media pieces, Valid until… (2010) and The place where we were last together (2011).
Date of Award2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorP Wilson (Supervisor), Jane Bacon (Supervisor), Craig Staff (Supervisor) & Andrew W Langford (Supervisor)

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