PhD thesis

Nichol, C. 2018. Bodyscreening. PhD thesis Middlesex University Dance
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsNichol, C.

This research is a somatic inquiry into the relationship between body and screen, in the context of Sherry Turkle (1999; 2008; 2011) and Katja Kolcio’s (2005) argument. Through a discussion of somatic practice and concepts of attention and awareness (Hanna, T.,1995; Watson, G., 2017; Kaparo, R., 2012), this research argues for approaches with the screen that foster greater agency. Turkle (1999; 2008; 2011) and Kolcio (2005) argue that the mobile and networked nature of the screen in society has impacted on human development through practices of interaction. They suggest that this development has created a culture of screen use that favours simulation and pervasive connectivity, altering the way we understand others, our environment and ourselves. They argue that this has fundamentally reduced choice and agency as will be outlined in thesis discussion.
Through an interdisciplinary exploration, working from a methodology that focuses on a practice led approach drawing on somatic process; this research acts as a discussion around the agency of the body in relation to screen practice. Practice has driven the inquiry in a way that highlights the complexity of the subtle processes of engagement in both the act of screening by self and others and in the body screened. This interest in the practice of screening and being screened lies within the context of a contemporary culture that thrives on such behavior as an aspect of daily life.
In the creation of a series of works surrounding screen encounter, concerns have been foregrounded. These concerns exist within the phenomena of screen practice as; how might we navigate screen encounter in light of ubiquity and how might the centrality of the body in the act of screening be explored. Within this thesis creative work is discussed and where relevant,
the reader is signposted to online documentation (
In parallel to practice within the writing, a series of inflections exist across the thesis [in different font] to provide registers from [studio practice] and [musings] from lived experience, which should be considered an attempt to contribute a broader narrative of screen engagement.
In the outcomes of this research through critical debate drawing on somatic process and its particular capacity to foster attitudes of embodied attentiveness; this thesis argues for a greater awareness of the body in the act of screening and being screened that is fundamental in both retaining the imaginative potential behind image generation and questioning the purposes and intentions of future screen development.

Research GroupDance group
Department nameDance
Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print04 Jan 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Jan 2019
Accepted05 Sep 2018
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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