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A body and technology as meme : Durer's Draughtsman drawing a reclining nude, Herrenvolk, aesthetic surgery and an artist's digital studio practice

Lichtman, Loy (2004) A body and technology as meme : Durer's Draughtsman drawing a reclining nude, Herrenvolk, aesthetic surgery and an artist's digital studio practice. PhD thesis, Victoria University of Technology.

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Abstract

The purpose of this research is to engage with the cultural body and its intersection with the digital technology used in my studio practice. The discourses surrounding my digital studio practice such as new media, information, and malleability are entangled with a body that is inscribed, socially constructed, and produced. These discourses however, are not only applicable to the body and technology in contemporary culture. As this thesis argues, new media, information, and malleability can inscribe and produce an historical body. The historical body and technology that is used to demonstrate this intersection is that of Albrecht Durer's Draughtsman Drawing a Reclining Nude. This image contextualises the trajectory of a body and technology meme from 1525 through to the ideology of Herrenvolk in Nazi Germany, and then on to the default facial array underpinning contemporary aesthetic surgery of choice. The approach used to establish the uncanny parallels between two widely separated forms of studio practice draws upon the qualitative methodology of reflective practice. Reflective practice allowed the researcher to learn from a variety of experiences and apply these immediately to the construction of both the text based and image based components of this thesis. There are two major conclusions from this research. Firstly, that the body reconfigured in contemporary culture by aesthetic surgery has its origins in the default facial array which is informed by the idea of racial purity evident in the inscribed body of Herrenvolk, and it is Herrenvolk that can be traced back to Draughtsman Drawing a Reclining Nude. Secondly, the technology of the grid seen in Draughtsman Drawing a Reclining Nude and the computer used in my studio practice are linked by the similarity in their cultural and ideological coding, and the way in which they code both artist and subject reflexively.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Albrecht Durer, Human beings in art, Body image, Aesthetics, plastic surgery, digital art
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
Depositing User: VU Library
Date Deposited: 07 May 2010 06:18
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 16:42
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/15403
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