Year

2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Law, Humanities and Arts

Abstract

Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been a tremendous groundswell of art dealing with ‘nature’, a concept itself problematic in critical thought. This groundswell has occurred in part as a response to mounting global concern over the massive environmental changes of the geological period called the Anthropocene. In addressing the nexus between the renewed focus on ‘nature’ and the contemporaneous critical approaches referred to as the material and speculative turn, this thesis focuses on a body of landscape paintings, together with interdisciplinary contemporary works, concerned with indeterminate and affective forms. Against a tendency to theorise such art with outdated romantic frameworks, I propose the concept of ‘the liminal’ as an alternative way to understand and enlarge this art’s engagement with ‘nature’ and the natural world. The concept of the liminal is related to the new materialist and speculative turn and its underlying philosophy drawn from Deleuze and Guattari, which I argue provides the means to understand the transformative power of art and its political import.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.