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  Post-Oil Imagination: creative practices as prefigurative actions towards post-fossil fuel worlds

   School of the Built Environment

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  Dr P Plaza  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This research project investigates how oil capitalism is contested at the scale of creative practice. It shifts the focus from macro-issues of global oil capitalism towards ground-up cultural forms of critique and creative resistance to the effects of the oil industry on the instrumentalisation of public art, inclusive mobility, inequalities of access to public space and to culture more broadly. With particular interest, but not restricted to, oil producing countries. The research adopts an international perspective to explore the work of creative practitioners (artists, designers, architects) that engage in producing objects, installations and/or tactical performative actions to interrogate the cultural politics and aesthetics of oil dependency. From ERRE's The Game of Deception (Mexico), Ernst Logar’s Invisible Oil (Austria), to Assemble's Cineroleum (United Kingdom) and Ana Alenso's Medusa's Fossil Addiction (Venezuela), it seeks to reveal and examine the role of small-scale creative practices in critiquing oil-based modernity and constructing alternative narratives to create pre-figurative post-fossil fuel worlds. 

The research is situated in the remit of the Energy Humanities, a field whose emergence coincides with the crises of the oil economy of the late twentieth century, which generated an urgency in understanding how oil became the world’s dominant energy commodity in order to develop critical analysis of the symbolic and cultural forms of oil capitalism. The approach is informed by Dr Penélope Plaza’s research and practice exploring the relation between culture, politics, oil and urban space. This multidisciplinary research intersects cultural studies, urban sociology, energy humanities and architecture. It offers the opportunity to engage in a mix of qualitative research methods (archival work, interviews, ethnography, artistic), including digital methods (social network sites, netnography, small data). 

For informal enquiries, please email Penélope Plaza [Email Address Removed] 

Candidates should have a first class or 2.1 degree with a research component and/or Masters degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject.

Anthropology (2) Architecture, Building & Planning (3) Communication & Media Studies (7) Creative Arts & Design (9) Sociology (32)

References "

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 About the Project