U of Aberdeen: open competition for PhD Funding on topics related to film, digital and visual culture, and performance art

*The Department of Film and Visual Culture
<http://www.abdn.ac.uk/film/> at the University of Aberdeen is delighted
to announce an open competition for PhD Funding on topics related to
film, digital and visual culture, and performance art.*

A new round of scholarships worth up to £1.5 million has been launched
by the University of Aberdeen. The 2016/17 Elphinstone Scholarships will
meet the tuition costs of the highest achieving PhD applicants drawn
from the UK and around the world. If awarded, the University of Aberdeen
Elphinstone Scholarship will cover the cost of tuition fees, whether
Home, EU or Overseas.

The Department of Film and Visual Culture is part of the School of
Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, which has a lively
postgraduate community. Postgraduate students are offered a
comprehensive programme of research skills training.

Interested applicants should contact the lead supervisor for each
project in the first instance, with a project proposal of no more than
1,000 words, detailing the research question, research context, methods,
aims and objectives, and critical approach. Details of each of the
projects eligible for funding can be found below. Funding is available
for PhD studies in Film and Visual Culture for a project on the
following topics:

* *Artistic Re-enactments of Performance Art as Vehicles of Cultural
Transfer in Eastern Europe since 1960*
* *Comparative Studies of Performance Art in Central, Eastern and
Southern Europe since 1960*
* *Voice, Body and Identity in Sound Art*
* *Feminist Media Archaeology: Gender, Technology and Desire in
Digital Culture*
* *The Comedy of Post-Fordism: Labor, Leisure and Humor in
Contemporary Visual Culture*
* *John Grierson and Practice-based Film Propaganda Research*
* *Electronic Composition, Performance Art and Technology*
* *Performing the Past: explorations of performativity across the
literary, visual and sonic arts in the modern and contemporary period*

More information on Elphinstone Scholarships can be found by clicking
here
<http://www.abdn.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-study/elphinstone-phd-scholarships-266.php>.

Details on how to apply for PhD studies at the University of Aberdeen
can be found by clicking here
<http://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/how-to-apply-1639.php?utm_source=findaphd&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=Elphinstone2016&utm_content=elphinstone>.

*Deadline for all applications: 30 May 2016*

*Applicants are invited to submit proposals for the following projects:*

1. *Artistic Re-enactments of Performance Art as Vehicles of Cultural
Transfer in Eastern Europe since 1960

<https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=73925&LID=3612>*

Supervisor: Dr. Amy Bryzgel
<https://visualcultureaberdeen.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/funding-competition-for-phd-studies-in-film-and-visual-culture/a.bryzgel@abdn.ac.uk>,
Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture

Marina_1_1

Marina Abramovic, /Seven Easy Pieces/(2005), Photo by Maria Ioveva

This proposal invites PhD research topics that focus on artistic
re-enactments of performances from across the former communist and
socialist countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe in
recent artistic practice. There are numerous examples of artistic
re-enactments across the region, providing scope for a range of
dissertation topics. Projects can include comparative studies, for
example, of the relevance of re-enactments in one local tradition versus
that of another; or single-country studies of a number of re-enactments
being staged in one context. Dissertations will address the following
research questions: what are the various functions of artistic
re-enactments of performances in Eastern Europe? How do these functions
compare with current understandings of re-enactment in the West? How can
re-enactments be used to access a lost or inaccessible history (such as
performance art in Eastern Europe)? Also welcome are proposals that
consider revisiting culturally relevant or historically significant
places by artists or within the context of artistic re-enactments.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit. Individuals with
a strong research background in the field of Eastern European
contemporary art and/or performance art, from either an art history or
visual culture background, are encouraged to apply. Applicants should
have the necessary language skills needed to undertake the proposed
research, and should consider funding sources for travel to conduct
field research abroad if it is necessary to the proposed project.

2. Comparative Studies of Performance Art in Central, Eastern and
Southern Europe since 1960

<https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=73927&LID=3612>

Supervisor: Dr. Amy Bryzgel
<https://visualcultureaberdeen.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/funding-competition-for-phd-studies-in-film-and-visual-culture/a.bryzgel@abdn.ac.uk>,
Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture

Tomislav_Gotovac_Zagreb_Volim_te_1981

Tomislav Gotovac, /Zagreb, I Love You!/ 1981

This PhD project focuses on comparative studies of performance art
practices—including body art, action art, happenings and events—in the
former communist and socialist countries of Central, Eastern and
South-Eastern Europe. Studies of performance art in the region have
primarily taken the form of single-country studies. This proposal
invites scholars to examine the development and manifestations of
performance art across borders—locally regionally or globally. Example
of projects can include: the development of performance art in the
Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania); the Baltic and other
Soviet countries; a juxtaposition of performance art practices in
Central Europe (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria); or
a more broad comparison between particular practices in the Soviet
Union, Central Europe, and Yugoslavia. Of particular interest would be a
project that focuses on the “blind spots” of East European art history,
for example, Moldova, Bulgaria, Albania. In exploring the nuances of
performance art practices in these different socio-political contexts,
this project aims to broaden our understanding of the range of
experimental art practices that were developed across the communist
East. This is just one example of the sort of project that might be
available in this research group. The precise project will be decided
upon in consultation with the supervisor.

3. *Voice, Body and Identity in Sound Art

<https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=73992&LID=3612>*

Lead supervisor: Dr. Suk-Jun Kim
<https://visualcultureaberdeen.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/funding-competition-for-phd-studies-in-film-and-visual-culture/s.kim@abdn.ac.uk>,
Lecturer in Music

Second supervisor: Dr. Amy Bryzgel
<https://visualcultureaberdeen.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/funding-competition-for-phd-studies-in-film-and-visual-culture/a.bryzgel@abdn.ac.uk>,
Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture

The Department of Music at the University of Aberdeen is pleased to
announce PhD fee-waiver scholarships open to UK/EU and overseas students
who intend to start in September 2016. We are particularly interested in
accepting applications from those who show potential in conducting
practice-based research through performance art, creative coding, and/or
audiovisual and sound installation.

PianoActivities

/Piano Activities/, by Philip Corner, as performed in Wiesbaden, 1962,
by (l-r) Emmett Williams, Wolf Vostell, Nam Jun Paik, Dick Higgins,
Benjamin Patterson and George Maciunas

This research explores ways in which sound art practice inscribes the
contemporary issues around identity, voice and the body. Since the
Fluxus movement and the experimental music in the 1960s and 1970s, and
through the establishment of sound art in the 1990s, the relation
between sound and voice, body and identity has been closely examined by
sound artists. Working with the research team at the University of
Aberdeen, the successful candidate will lead practice-led research on
this research project by conducting an extensive survey on this relation
and realising a series of creative work that examines and expands the
possibility of sound art practice. We encourage research projects that
have the potential to make a substantive contribution to the above
research theme through the rigorous application of existing methods, and
projects that reflect on practice within and across discipline
boundaries and those that explore methodological approaches.

Research areas: sound art, audiovisual/sound installation, video-music,
creative coding, live electronic performance, and/or sound studies.

The successful PhD candidate will become a member of SERG
<http://www.serg-aberdeen.net/>. Based on its research theme, New
Approaches to Sound and Place, SERG members work on various inter- and
cross-disciplinary research and artistic projects.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit, the research
proposal and the submitted portfolio. You are welcome to contact Dr
Suk-Jun Kim
<https://visualcultureaberdeen.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/funding-competition-for-phd-studies-in-film-and-visual-culture/s.kim@abdn.ac.uk> (Lead
Supervisor) if you wish to discuss your ideas or submit a preliminary
draft proposal.

4. *Feminist Media Archaeology: Gender, Technology and Desire in
Digital Culture

<https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=73934&LID=3612>*

Supervisor: Dr. Paul Flaig
<https://visualcultureaberdeen.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/funding-competition-for-phd-studies-in-film-and-visual-culture/p.flaig@abdn.ac.uk>,
Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture

MetropolisposterThis project will examine intersections of gender,
technology and visual and acoustic media in the contemporary digital
landscape. Taking up the increasingly visible method of media
archaeology, a mode of historicizing the agency of media technologies
beyond human use or ends, this project will link longstanding cultural
histories of gender and technology to the hardware-centred approaches of
theorists such as Friedrich Kittler, Wolfgang Ernst and Jussi Parikka.
How might the performativity of gender or the ontological difference of
sexuality, both long dislocated from any natural, anatomical or human
corpus by feminist critics, extend into the radical outside of
autonomous, “smart” media technologies? There are rich mythological,
literary and cinematic archives of such extensions, traversing antique,
modern and post-modern epochs and linking Ovid’s animated statue,
Galatea, to Hoffmann’s uncanny automaton, Olympia, Villiers’ Edisonian
cyborg, Hadaly, to Lang’s Robot Maria in Metropolis. Parallel to these
well-known fantasies there is a no less gendered mingling of bodies and
machines practiced by inventors, engineers and software developers,
whether it be talking dolls seeking their mother and father, Turing’s
test for distinguishing men from women, or the gendered apps, websites
and voices of Siri, Jeeves, Cortana and others. Media archaeologists
have largely ignored the topic of gender, insisting on a cold, neutral
mediality devoid of human warmth or desire. Against this exclusion, this
project will argue for an emphatically feminist media archaeology,
linking recent intersections of sexual fantasy and digital mediality in
cinema, literature and new media to preceding instances in various
analog eras.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit.

5. *The Comedy of Post-Fordism: Labor, Leisure and Humor in
Contemporary Visual Culture

<https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=73935&LID=3612>*

Supervisor: Dr. Paul Flaig
<https://visualcultureaberdeen.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/funding-competition-for-phd-studies-in-film-and-visual-culture/p.flaig@abdn.ac.uk>,
Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture

Chaplin_-_Modern_Times

Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times

This project will examine continuities and discontinuities of comic
genres between the Fordist era of standardized, automated labour, on the
one hand, and post-Fordism’s emphasis on flexibility, affect and
precarity on the other. The comedy of Fordism was defined in large part
by cinema and in particular the genre of slapstick, in which human
bodies rebelled against the standardization and division of labour
demanded by spaces like the factory or technologies like the assembly
line. Whether it be Chaplin’s over-worked Tramp, shooting down the
assembly line in Modern Times, or Keaton’s impossibly graceful, deadpan
automaton, slapstick revealed cinema’s dialectical relationship to
Fordism as both automated, divisible and factory-based vision and
anarchic disruption and exaggeration. When IBM chose to advertise its
first personal computer in the early 1980s, it is therefore surprising
that the company chose the figure of the Tramp as its salesman,
especially since the PC played an essential role in shifting the nature
of work from divisibility and repetition to creativity and contingency,
qualities that would define the post-Fordist era as defined by theorists
such as Paolo Virno and Christian Marazzi. How and why do filmmakers,
designers or artists turn to slapstick, seemingly defined by the jerky,
corporeal and cinematic rhythms of industrialism, in order to understand
or challenge post-Fordism? What comic forms might define the specific
rhythms of post-Fordism’s affective and immaterial modes of work? This
project will examine films, television series, video games and
advertisements that comically re-imagine contemporary labour between
slapstick disruption and digital glitch.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit.

6. *John Grierson and Practice-based Film Propaganda Research

<https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=74011&LID=3612>*

Supervisor: Professor Alan Marcus
<https://visualcultureaberdeen.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/funding-competition-for-phd-studies-in-film-and-visual-culture/a.marcus@abdn.ac.uk>,
Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture

Jorge_Ruiz_-_John_Grierson_1955

John Grierson (right) with Bolivian filmmaker Jorge Ruiz in 1955

Scottish film pioneer John Grierson (1898-1972) had a profound impact on
the development of documentary film in Scotland and throughout Britain
and North America. His writings on film and its advocacy applications
have proved influential and provocative. This project invites the
doctoral candidate to reconsider Grierson’s writings and evolved
thinking of film methodologies. The research will include making a
series of documentary film propaganda experiments, the topic of which is
open. The thesis will be supervised by Professor Alan Marcus (Chair in
Film and Visual Culture) and 2nd or co-supervised by Professor Cairns
Craig (Glucksman Chair of Irish and Scottish Studies). This joint
initiative is being offered by the University of Aberdeen’s Film and
Visual Culture programme <http://www.abdn.ac.uk/film/> in collaboration
with the internationally renowned Research Institute of Irish and
Scottish Studies <https://www.abdn.ac.uk/riiss/>. The successful
applicants will be able to benefit from the research cultures of both
units and our state-of-the-art Media Lab’s video production and
post-production facilities.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit.

*7. Electronic Composition, Performance Art and Technology
<https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=73985&LID=3612>*

*Supervisor: Dr. Suk-Jun Kim <mailto:s.kim@abdn.ac.uk>, Lecturer in Music*

Second supervisor: Dr. Amy Bryzgel

This research explores ways in which technologies can play a critical
role in combining electronic composition and performance art. There has
been a growing interest in re-examining the meaning and significance of
liveness and the role of the body in electronic composition recent
years, the two concepts that are pertinent to performance art. A
successful candidate will conduct practice-led research on the potential
of new technologies including various sensors and geo-location tracking
to novel audio spatialisation tools, mobile technologies, and processing
of big data, investigating whether and how such new technologies may
engender a new platform for electronic composition and performance art.
We encourage research projects that have the potential to make a
substantive contribution to the above research theme through the
rigorous application of existing methods, and projects that reflect on
practice within and across discipline boundaries and those that explore
methodological approaches. We are particularly interested in accepting
applications from those who show potential in conducting practice-based
research through electronic composition, performance art, and/or
creative coding.

Research areas: electronic composition, creative coding, live electronic
performance, performance art, sound studies and/or audio-visual work.

The successful PhD candidate will become a member of SERG
<http://www.serg-aberdeen.net/> . Based on its research theme, New
Approaches to Sound and Place, SERG members work on various inter- and
cross-disciplinary research and artistic projects.

8. *Performing the Past: explorations of performativity across the
literary, visual and sonic arts in the modern and contemporary period
<https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=73981&LID=3612>*

*Supervisor: *Dr. Adrienne Janus <mailto:adrienne.janus@gmail.com>

Second supervisor: Dr. Amy Bryzgel

Recent developments across literary theory, performance studies, media
theory, visual culture, sound-studies and post-deconstructive thought
have increasingly focused on the performative and material specificity
of the arts and creative practices, and on the way in which these
produce or perform ‘presence’ as a tangible, material, perceptual event,
however ephemeral or fleeting this may be.

A project exploring these questions in or across any medium (literature,
music, theatre, performance art) in the modern and contemporary period
is just one example of the sort of project that might be available in
this research group. The precise project will be decided upon in
consultation with the supervisor.

Best,

Paul Flaig

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