Bradshaw, Alice (2015) Rubbish and other Crap, Debris, Detritus, Dirt, Discards, Garbage, Junk, Leftovers, Litter, Refuse, Rejects, Remains, Ruins, Scrap, Shit, Shreds, Trash and Waste. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This study investigates the relationship between value and the use of rubbish in art practice through its defining terms. As practice based research, the project is a survey of 19 selected keyword synonymous rubbish categories variously used by artists which are analysed (compared/contrasted) in terms of value to the author's own practice. The project borrows from a range of rubbish-related disciplines and uses a participant-observational and bricolage approach to attempt to define the personal value of rubbish in art as a working definition for the purposes of this research. The practice is presented as a Rubbish Newspaper, Rubbish Dictionary and connected public blogs which have developed from a notional literature
review of artists using rubbish including artists' interviews and conversations. The survey findings have been divided into the Newspaper; simultaneously art evaluating the art works that are considered dissimilar, the Dictionary; comparing and contrasting, recognising a similarity in attributable values of the art works to the author's own practice and project blogs publicly documents the process as it happened. This thesis as academic writing illustrates the practice-led research in a sequential order reflecting the project chronology. The thesis analyses the project methodology against the methods of six selected key artists (two per chapter) within a project chronological structure: Collection; Display and Exchange. Collection analyses the data collection and categorisation of Mark Dion and Michael Landy's practice methodologies, Display analyses the Newspaper against David Shrigley and Maurice Carlin's display methodologies, and Exchange analyses the role and indeterminacy of language and exchange-value through various modes of exchange against Allan Kaprow and John O'Hare's work. A critical analysis of the methods finds the indeterminacy of language and the fluidity/plasticity of value to be central components in the understanding of this complex research question. Definitions, categories, use and exchange-values, and their various subjectivities and indeterminacies, are fundamental notions of the relationship between value and use of rubbish in art practice. By appropriating rubbish in art in specific ways, the boundaries of these fundamental notions are blurred and must be redefined, recategorised and analysed continuously, without a consistently determinate position. This ongoing process means that the specific research findings in relation to practice presented here are only applicable for the time and context they were created in, and may shift and change according to new information and analysis. The new understandings of the role of indeterminacy in the relationship between value and rubbish objects and ideas has developed into a new direction of practice; concerning dialogue exchange in (re)defining values of rubbish within art contexts. This conclusion to the project is the beginning of an extended research project into the dual value and meaning of “Talking Rubbish”

rubbishthesisfinal.pdf - Accepted Version
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rubbishnewspaper.pdf - Accepted Version
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