Thought Dwellings

Time and Space in Painting, Photography and Video


“The practical and theoretical research of this PhD examines the complexities of time-space relations in painting, photography and video. The aim of this study has been to develop a body of work that generates an increased awareness of how the juxtaposition of diverse fine art media can contribute to a differentiated appreciation of the time-space relation. Further objectives were to explore how the dichotomy of absence (of figuration) and presence (of figurative elements) can inform reflections on place relating to Martin Heidegger’s ‘Dasein’ as being-in-the-world and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s ‘nomadic’ perception within ‘smooth’ and ‘striated’ space. Drawing from Henri Bergson’s concept of ‘duration as multiplicity’ as an oscillation between presence (actual) and absence (virtual), this study, whilst acknowledging Bergson’s critique of spatializing time, considers opportunities within contemporary fine art practice to develop a spatial configuration involving multiple coexisting durations.

Thought Dwellings, initially the title for a body of paintings and photographs (1998) concerned with place, later (since 2003) also began to incorporate video, thus enabling a triangulation of painting, photography and video to consider movement and stillness across all these categories.

I propose a new terrain where the either/or/and of photography/painting, photography/video or painting/video becomes this as well as that of painting/photography/video allowing — whilst upholding medium-specificity — the physicality of painting to inform the technologies of lens-based media to arrive at a differentiated time-space relation.

These practical concerns are supported by theoretical explorations involving place and dwelling, medium-specificity in a ‘post-medium’ age, minimalism, phenomenology and time-space relations. Within Deleuzian ‘becoming’, as coexistence of difference rather than dialectics of either/or; Jacques Derrida’s différance and Bracha L. Ettinger’s ‘Matrix’ as coming together of ‘I and non-I’ to reflect the feminine — Thought Dwellings involves movement between images, an oscillation between presence and absence proposing an audio/visual spatialization of ‘duration as multiplicity’.”

Andrea Thoma. 2013. Thought Dwellings: Time and Place in Painting, Photography and Video, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Leeds.

Thought Dwellings: In Situ (2013)

Thought Dwellings (2010)