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Shona Illingworth

Topologies of Air

Anthony Downey (Editor)


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Research-led practices in the arts can develop legal frameworks for understanding the future of digital technologies and their relationship to airspace.

This volume presents visual and textual material relating to two major bodies of work by Shona Illingworth, Lesions in the Landscape and Topologies of Air. Examining how we map and experience landscapes and airspace in conceptual, geopolitical, neuropsychological, and ecological terms, the book investigates how research-led practices in the arts can develop legal frameworks for understanding the future of digital technologies and their relationship to airspace.

Exploring the impact of individual and societal amnesia on the cultural, historical, and construction of landscape and place, Lesions in the Landscape investigates the complex interaction between memory and forgetting. Generating aesthetic and critical discourses about the dynamics of spatial politics, cultural erasure, and our capacity to imagine the future, this ongoing investigation began with a survey of the depopulated island of St. Kilda, a remote archipelago located forty miles west of the Outer Hebrides. Topologies of Air encompasses the Airspace Tribunal, a pioneering research project that investigates the past, present, and future potential in regulating airspace. Contributors develop interdisciplinary forms of research to explore the potential for legal, political, and clinical debates to engage with the contested and contestable subject of airspace. Drawing upon innovative interactions between art practice and interdisciplinary dialogues, across the field of the moving image, sound, digital technologies, and archive materials, the project is designed to further the creative development of human rights as a living instrument.

Sternberg Press, 9783956795534, 272pp.

Publication Date: August 10, 2021

About the Author

Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa within the Faculty of Arts, Design, and Media at Birmingham City University. He sits on the editorial boards of Third Text and Digital War, and is the series editor for Research/Practice (Sternberg Press). Shona Illingworth is a Danish-Scottish artist known for her immersive video and multi-channel sound installations, and evocative, interdisciplinary research-led practice in which she explores the dynamic processes of memory, cultural erasure, construction of histories, and imagined futures in situations of social tension and trauma. Since 2012 her work has been concerned with examining impacts of accelerating geopolitical, technological and environmental change on the composition, nature and use of airspace and the implications for human rights. Her work has been exhibited internationally.