Arts Design & Architecture

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 95
  • (2022) Keenahan, Debra
    Thesis
    This thesis develops the concept of Critical Disability Aesthetics. Critical Disability Aesthetics extends upon the current conceptualisation of Disability Aesthetics developed by Tobin Siebers. I argue that Disability Aesthetics adheres to a restrictive definition of the term aesthetics anchored in the judgement of beauty, whilst Critical Disability Aesthetics explores the broader sense of aesthetics as a sensory-affective process. This framework provides a conceptual grounding for a practice-based exploration of the embodied dimensions of lived experience. As an artist with achondroplasia dwarfism, I explore the experience of corporeal difference from a subjective position. My practice examines the framing of disability but also the embodied social interactions of a female dwarf. In my art practice I deploy different media to elaborate various dimensions of this experience, beginning with a series of photographs, “Take a Look at THAT!”, documenting the micro aggressions that confront a person with dwarfism in the act of walking down the street. Then a sculptural work, Little Big Woman: Condescension, that considers the dynamics of an objectifying gaze. From these works, I move into practice that embodies unfolding psychosocial dynamics in a public environment. In Awkward Conversations I offer members of the public the opportunity to walk with me in public. In the Virtual Reality experience, Being Debra, I construct a first-person narrative whereby the story unfolds from my embodied perspective – both in the present and in a series of flashbacks. The thesis demonstrates via this body of artwork, how Critical Disability Aesthetics can advance understanding of the subjective and intersubjective experience of ‘disability’, which is not a quality of the subject but rather, arises within a social nexus.

  • (2022) Ayshan, Han
    Thesis
    Video game trailers are an effective promotional form of intermediation that enables audiences to navigate and engage with old and new media. Although video game trailers function as advertisements designed to sell a game, they are also stories that provoke social media commentary and debate. Trailers aim to draw the viewer in, convey sound and imagery, and evoke an involuntary reaction of excitement and awe. In this thesis, I will be using the games Fallout 4, Watch Dogs 2, and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. In the case studies, I investigate how viewers make sense of the promotional and storytelling aspects of video game trailers. I examine how video game trailers have the potential to arouse emotions and interest before viewers even play the game. Trailers provide an insight into the basic gameplay, not only into the gameplay but also into the story and the characters (protagonists and antagonists). They show audiences the video game theme genre and provide the viewer with a visual and auditory tool to entice possession. This project explores these themes, showing how video game trailers have an inherited cinematic quality but also how trailers actually spend little time presenting actual gameplay. There is a clear connection with movie trailers, teasing the events that will take place in the game and asking the player what will happen next. In this study, I used the methods of narrative analysis and textual analysis to analyse comments from YouTube, Facebook, and a survey of video gamers. The textual analysis of the trailers raises questions of representation and authenticity. In this research, I identified an incongruity between the representation of the core features of a game and the promotion of those features in the trailer. The narrative analysis of the trailers focused on storytelling and emplotment in the trailers. A key theme that has emerged from the analysis is that superheroes engage in vigilantism, a justifiable form of self-administered violence. Gamers may feel at ease with the violence used to correct perceived injustices. There is potential for gamers to consider the moral grey area of vigilante violence and romanticised vigilantism. With their enhanced ability to simulate complex interactive narratives for actual and simulated authenticity, video games offer a sophisticated engagement with players that contributes significantly to their widespread and universal support. The role of culturally created characters in the experience of playing a video game helps stimulate philosophical research. I explore whether normative audience expectations can speed up the development of cultural expectations about the relationship between the player and the narrative of the game and its audience. In this context, I examine case study video game trailers and ask what it means to revise our understanding of the relationship between power, law, and morality while playing the game. I examine and critique how the narrative, and thus the mechanics of a specific game, shapes our understanding of connection, power, law, or morality; I contend that prestige reflects normative privilege and law.

  • (2022) Patterson, Kate
    Thesis
    3D computer generated biomedical animations can help audiences understand and contextualise scientific information that can be challenging to communicate due to resolution and complexity. Biomedical animators bring together multiple sources of authentic scientific data, to translate abstract information into a visual form through storytelling and visualisation. The field of biomedical animation has emerged from a long history of science visualisation and science-art endeavours, and despite there being rich discourse in the fields of data visualisation and science communication, the academic literature in the field of biomedical animation is limited, and focussed on the technical methods for visualisation, or the role these animations play in scientific research, rather than the processes through which they are created. However, as the field matures, there is a need for a deeper understanding of the creative process, and the field is now poised to expose and characterise these aspects, particularly from the perspective of the practitioner. This practice-based research project aims to expose and characterise both the visible and invisible factors that influence my personal process of creating a biomedical animation, and the tacit dimensions that influence orchestrated design choices. This research project employs a multi-method and reflective practice approach with disciplined capture and documentation of critical moments of self-reflection, that ultimately comprise the data for analysis. Thematic analysis was then used to analyse the data, and to identify themes that could contribute to frameworks that represent my personal process(es) in creating 3D biomedical animations. This has allowed me to identify and contextualise my creative process both in terms of my personal and professional position as well as within the field more broadly. I am now able to better advocate for the intangible and often undervalued aspects of my creative practice, and can articulate how a hierarchical decision matrix that considers multiple inputs contributes to my creative process. These insights will also be relevant to others in the field of biomedical animation and in the field of design more broadly, who may gain a deeper insight into their own processes of working and ways of exploring creative practice.

  • (2022) Jung, Sin Ji
    Thesis
    Sparked by the interesting observation of non-native acquisition of heritage languages despite early and continuous exposure, the study of heritage languages has endeavoured to explore the end results of heritage language acquisition while mostly neglecting the pathway that heritage speakers undergo before arriving in that state. This study investigated how the heritage language develops and is maintained over primary school years in heritage speakers of Korean who grow up in Australia. Linguistic abilities in Korean of 243 heritage speakers of Korean of primary school age in Australia, compared to their school-year-level-matched native speakers of Korean in the Republic of Korean (South Korea), have been examined in the three broad linguistic areas of the sound system, lexis and grammar with a battery of tasks. The results of the tasks indicated that the heritage speakers generally fell behind the native speakers in the linguistic abilities in Korean examined but their gap to the native speaker controls differed between the linguistic areas examined. Regarding the sound system, the heritage speakers did not show reliably lower perception of speech sounds in Korean than those of the native speakers, and their speech sound perception, which is supposed to have developed and been stabilised in early childhood, appeared to be retained well over primary school years. On the contrary, they exhibited a great shortfall in lexical knowledge in Korean compared to their native speaker peers, and this gap appeared to widen from the middle primary school year levels where the lexical knowledge of the native speakers expands explosively. In comparison, their linguistic abilities in grammar exhibited a varying degree of divergence to the native speaker norms by linguistic aspect. The results suggested that they acquired basic syntactic structures and semantic features that develop early in first language acquisition of Korean to a level comparable to that of their native speaker peers and their understanding of sentences made of such linguistic aspects was maintained well over the primary school period. In contrast, they exhibited a considerable delay in the acquisition of certain grammatical aspects that are mastered relatively late by the native speakers, and the heritage speakers’ acquisition of these aspects did not seem to progress greatly over primary school years. They also showed a substantial gap to the native speaker controls in understanding passive sentences and scrambled active sentences, and this gap is likely to have arisen from their greater processing difficulty. Mostly paralleling the linguistic abilities of adult heritage speakers attested in previous research, the results of this study underline that the linguistic abilities in Korean of heritage speakers of Korean in Australia diverge from their (age- or) school-year-level-appropriate native norms already in their primary school years. Although the linguistic aspects that are mastered early in first language acquisition such as phoneme distinction or basic syntactic structures seem to be acquired to a level comparable to their school-year-level-appropriate native norms and be retained well over the first half of their compulsory schooling, the linguistic abilities that should develop further through primary school years show signs of stagnation (if not attrition) and such signs are much more prominent at the middle primary school year levels. This implies that in Australia where EnglishKorean bilingual education programs are not readily accessible to heritage speakers of Korean, it will be extremely difficult for them to develop high proficiency in Korean which requires mastery of complex grammatical aspects and extensive vocabulary. The results of this study not only alarm the Korean ethnolinguistic community in Australia and other stakeholders about the level of Korean language abilities developed and maintained by the heritage speakers in primary school years, but also provide detailed information on in which linguistic aspects they may have greater delays in the development, by which degree they show such delays and when the delays are likely to intensify over the course of primary school years.

  • (2022) Litvan, Bec
    Thesis
    The Kitsch Glitch is a personal investigation of the impact of cultural shame and stigmatisation on the lived experience of breast cancer. My point of departure was the apparent inability of my inherited (Russian-Jewish) culture to admit any discursive practices that would do justice to such a lived experience. Influenced by family history, kitsch aesthetics, and glitch theory, I sought to combine these components in order to produce a set of works that open a space in which the received cultural perceptions of cancer could be challenged. I refer to various aspects of “Soviet Kitsch” and Russian history to demonstrate that a restrictive and self-suppressing Stalinist mentality continues to pervade my culture, and even overdetermined my family’s perception of disability and illness. Utilizing a punk-luxe aesthetic, my artistic practice takes an experimental approach in presenting cancer as a bodily glitch, while critiquing what I have discovered about my Russian cultural heritage. This paper presents an empathetic perspective and eclectic iterations of medical and cultural aesthetics. This is articulated through a series of experimental digital and physical outputs. As a result, I argue that my work could be considered as a positive rendition of “cancerous propaganda”.

  • (2022) Douglass, Anna
    Thesis
    This thesis examines a trend in contemporary experimentation with fictional form that seeks to cross medial boundaries, drawing digital qualities into the print medium and vice versa. In the creative component, a novel entitled alt.holiday, I explore this sort of transmedial experimentation by remediating digital modes of communication for a print-based narrative. The plot follows a diverse group of characters drawn together in their search for the exit file – a document rumoured to contain the only suicide method guaranteed to result in a fatality. They know each other only by the handles they use in an online forum dedicated to the search. Each character must navigate their own lives while scouring the internet for traces of this urban legend that may or may not prove real. This component of the thesis exemplifies some of the ways in which transmedial explorations can manifest new forms of information excess, a subject further extrapolated in the dissertation.In the dissertation, I argue that the prominent genre of the encyclopaedic novel, exemplified by Gravity’s Rainbow, has undergone cultural and transmedial shifts as a narrative form that have not been addressed in current scholarship. These shifts are emblematic of dramatic changes in technology that have altered the ways in which we store and disseminate information in the digital age. The urge to document, the excess of information, and the sense of paranoia which characterize encyclopaedic narratives, have all been reoriented by these changes, and found expression in media other than print. I demonstrate this trajectory first by examining the ways that Mark Z. Danielewski’s encyclopaedic novel House of Leaves, straddles the analogue/digital boundary. Published in 2000 at a moment when the internet had begun to transform our relationship to knowledge, this book carries the trace of both older analogue and newer digital methods of sorting and storing information. Following this, I examine The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a videogame that shows many of the traits of encyclopaedic novels, but reconfigured for an interactive, virtual world that players must navigate. In much of the scholarship on encyclopaedic narrative form, the key elements are not medium-specific, and so, while allowing that different media have methods available to them, the ultimate effects of these key elements are the same across the media I explore. This examination opens up greater possibilities for discussions of encyclopaedic narrative form.

  • (2022) Hush, Anna
    Thesis
    For decades, feminists at Australian universities have fought to publicise and politicise the issue of campus sexual violence. These efforts have recently come to fruition, with universities publicly acknowledging the problem and undertaking various institutional reforms. However, there has been little scholarly attention paid to political struggles over sexual violence within universities. This thesis critically examines the politics of feminist activism against sexual violence at Australian university campuses. It situates this activism against the backdrop of the neoliberalisation of Australian universities, to reveal how feminists have challenged – and at times, acted in complicity with – these transformations in the landscape of Australian higher education. This analysis is both historical, drawing on archival material relating to the history of campus feminist politics, and contemporary, using data from interviews with students currently engaged in organising against sexual violence. It explores the strategies and tactics adopted by feminist collectives, the constraints on feminist mobilisation in the neoliberal university, and the shortcomings of these movements. This thesis makes two original contributions to knowledge. Firstly, it extends existing analyses of university sexual violence and contributes to the growing body of scholarship on this topic. Research on campus sexual violence in Australia has so far focused on policy analysis and prevalence data. While this provides an important basis for evaluating the scope of the problem and potential remedies, it is largely disconnected from political struggles over institutional responses to sexual violence, a gap this thesis seeks to fill. I offer an analysis of the historical and contemporary struggles that have created the conditions for institutional change, as well as the complex ways in which the neoliberal university undermines and constrains oppositional movements. Secondly, this thesis makes a theoretical contribution to the field of New and Feminist Institutionalism. It critically intervenes in the institutionalist field, drawing greater attention to the roles of macro-social contexts and actors in the form of social movements in processes of institutional change and proposing a framework that foregrounds these aspects of institutional politics. The findings of this research reveal significant limitations in Australian universities’ responses to sexual violence, with their actions falling short of both student demands and expert recommendations. I argue that these actions have largely functioned to consolidate managerial power and mitigate reputational risk, in doing so narrowing the space of political contestation. My analysis further illuminates the specific institutional constraints that bear upon student feminist organisers within the neoliberal university. This analysis offers strategic insights into feminist engagement with institutions, suggesting that student movements must develop the capacity to disrupt processes of institutional reproduction and challenge the reformist approach adopted by universities. A transformative response to campus sexual violence, I argue, will require broader and better-organised coalitions of staff and students in order to collectively challenge and overcome these constraints.

  • (2022) Herse, Sarita
    Thesis
    As collaborative agents are implemented within everyday environments and the workforce, user trust in these agents becomes critical to consider. Trust affects user decision making, rendering it an essential component to consider when designing for successful Human-Agent Collaboration (HAC). The purpose of this work is to investigate the relationship between user trust and decision making with the overall aim of providing a trust calibration methodology to achieve the goals and optimise the outcomes of HAC. Recommender systems are used as a testbed for investigation, offering insight on human collaboration with dyadic decision domains. Four studies are conducted and include in-person, online, and simulation experiments. The first study provides evidence of a relationship between user perception of a collaborative agent and trust. Outcomes of the second study demonstrate that initial trust can be used to predict task outcome during HAC, with Signal Detection Theory (SDT) introduced as a method to interpret user decision making in-task. The third study provides evidence to suggest that the implementation of different features within a single agent's interface influences user perception and trust, subsequently impacting outcomes of HAC. Finally, a computational trust calibration methodology harnessing a Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP) model and SDT is presented and assessed, providing an improved understanding of the mechanisms governing user trust and its relationship with decision making and collaborative task performance during HAC. The contributions from this work address important gaps within the HAC literature. The implications of the proposed methodology and its application to alternative domains are identified and discussed.

  • (2022) Conrad, Vanessa
    Thesis
    Introduction: The fashion industry is now the second largest polluter in the world. Extensive research has quantified those damages, yet little progress has been made to prevent this calamity. This thesis profiled the global value chain (GVC) and producer narratives of hemp fashion goods produced by various micro-social ventures in Nepal, with a particular focus on the producers and their role in sustainable production. The goal was to address the call of fashion consumers for more transparency in the apparel industry through an investigation of the manifestations of sustainable development (SD), and environmental and social justice. The study examines if these goals were achievable by ethical and sustainable (E&S) practices based on the promises of grow-ing awareness towards a new movement of fashion eco-awareness. Methods: This thesis applied a human-centred GVC investigation framework based on a multi-methods approach which combined fieldwork, semi-structured and struc-tured interviews, and questionnaires. Fourteen workers, producers, and consumers answered a range of approximately twenty questions subdivided into four categories: 1. epistemology (to understand their ecological awareness), 2. people (to understand ethical values), 3. planet (to understand sustainable practices) and 4. profit (to under-stand their financial status). The trajectory of hemp in its various stages of economic ‘value-adding’ from cultivation until the final product reached the end-consumer in Australia was investigated. A literature review examined the historical underpin-nings of the E&S fashion movement; environmental and humanitarian issues related to the GVC of the fashion industry; and the socioeconomic and cultural aspects of the hemp crop in Nepal’s local communities. Results: The findings confirmed that E&S fashion guidelines of the hemp trade in Nepal had a positive influence on consumers' behaviour, cultural preservation and exchange, sustainable development, fair trade and environmental practices. Remark-ably, workers and producers from Nepal expressed greater concern with the ecology of hemp production than with their personal finances. Conclusion: Firstly, the results show that workers and business owners from Nepal are aware of the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry and are engag-ing with E&S labels to create more environmentally conscious products. Secondly, this thesis confirms that although consumer behaviour research indicates that fashion consumers want to make more E&S choices (BWA-AU, 2020), they cannot do so due to their inability to access vital information about the products they buy. This is because a globalised economy comes with many unknowns for the consumers, who remain sceptical and despite their efforts find it difficult to practice conscious consumerism. Finally, this investigation also served to demystify the often misunderstood crop (hemp) as a commodity and underline its benevolence and capacity to foster benefit-sharing activities.

  • (2022) Newton, Rhiannon
    Thesis
    Addressing the climate crisis requires practices for recognising the ecological condition of the body and its enmeshment with the more-than-human world. Significant humanities and social sciences scholarship argues that embodiment is key to dismantling dominant anthropocentric structures that understand humans as separate from or superior to the environment. From my position as a contemporary dance artist, I unpack how the methodical processes of contemporary dance exemplify a practice-based approach to embodied knowledge that engenders greater understanding of the ecological condition of the body’s interconnection with the more-than- human world. Highlighting transdisciplinary correspondences between dance practice methods and theoretical insights from feminist, ecocultural, First Nations, and environmental philosophy scholars, I identify four key frameworks through which dance practices affect embodied awareness of an ecological condition. These are: Knowing Multiplicity, Attending to an In-Motion Condition, Indivisibility at the Body-World Threshold, and Multisensory Ways of Knowing. With these correspondences, I formulate the new theoretical framework of embodied ecological awareness to describe the particular knowledge dance practices cultivate and can contribute to broader ecological discourses. To demonstrate how dance practices develop this knowledge, I engage a body-centred autoethnographic methodology to analyse key experiences of dance practice exercises and the embodied understandings they promote. In finding that these exercises develop corporeal understandings of the interconnected, in-motion multiplicities constituting and interweaving the body’s internal and external environments — understandings identified as explicitly ecological — I propose that dance practices develop a form of knowledge that is imminently relevant to recuperating human-environment relations in the face of climate crisis: that is, embodied ecological awareness.