Syzygy and the Cyclic Nature of Arts Practice

By Miik Green.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines contemporary arts practice and interdisciplinary modes of exchange. It argues for a framework recognising the importance of borders, specifically to cross-disciplinary dialogue. Syzygy is an astronomical term, when three planets align. This has become an investigative model in approaching my practice, where a union of opposites reach resolution. I aim to use my arts practice and examples of current collaborations to reinforce this position. My visual arts practice utilises unlike materials that resist one another, creating heterogeneous forms. This transformative action results in an equilibrium: opposing forces of energy and exchange. Without this action, the structures would inevitably blend into homogeneity. Thus on a material level, resistance produces a necessary clarity – through unseen force. The same opposing force is vital to interdisciplinary modes of exchange, for a resistant, collaborative dynamism. The term ‘interdisciplinary’ can be misused to legitimate or excuse misguided cross-disciplinary research. This paper also proposes that interdisciplinary research can employ a syzygetical model, engaging mutually incompatible fields. In recognising the necessity of these borders to co-research, inter-relationships are viewed in a new light. Resistance and equilibrium are key factors within this critique, and I cite examples from my studio practice as the benefits of this transformative action. Collaborative projects with nanotechnologist, Chris Malajczuk, illustrations from SymbioticA , theorists and select artists will also be presented. This will reinforce the key idea that arts practice benefits from dynamic, dialogic force.

Keywords: Syzygy, Arts Practice, Conflict, Resistance, Dialogism

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 10, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.19-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 571.498KB).

Miik Green

Visual Artist, PhD Candidate, Departments of Humanities and Visual Arts, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia