Between Elsewhere and Away: small acts of cohabitation

I undertook my PhD at PhD at Massey University, Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts, completing in 2021. Many thanks to my supervision team Martin Patrick, Heather Galbraith and Huhana Smith.

Between Elsewhere and Away: small acts of cohabitation traces five years of reimagining, and inviting others to reimagine suburban cohabitation. Over this time I have become sensitive to the agency and energetic being of all things, animal, vegetable and mineral. Through the process of attending with receptive care to daily activities, my human-centered sense of normal is continually re-calibrated as the physical and energetic boundaries self and other become increasingly porous.

PhD citation: The research field of creative participatory practice provides a practical and experimental lens through which to re-examine ecological discourse within the colonised landscape of Aotearoa, New Zealand. This lens of ecological discourse is less frequently focused on the suburban environment. Sorensen has developed imaginative strategies of shared agency and collaboration within suburban cohabitation to enact an effective shift from the Western perception that suburban life is alienated from its surrounding natural environment. Sorensen’s cross-species, multi-entity research, dialogical interactions and object-oriented participatory events contribute towards the practical and conceptual reframing of contemporary suburban life, extending and articulating a greater awareness of our radical entanglement with nature. In delineating a multimodal, post-anthropocentric research territory located at the nexus where participatory practice, care, non-naïve localism and suburban cohabitation meet with social aesthetics and new materialist approaches, Sorensen’s research offers new perspectives on ecology, human being and agency.

you can view the full thesis here: Jill Sorensen, Between Elsewhere and Away: Small Acts of Cohabitation

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