Rhizo-Memetic Art: The Production & Curation of Transdisciplinary Performance


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Contemporary discourse in the field of Memetics offers potential new insights upon the ways and means of producing and curating contemporary Performance beyond the limits of discipline specific Performance taxonomies. Alongside the rise of Internet Culture and the rapid adoption of social media, it is argued that contemporary artistic practice is becoming ‘more fluid, elastic, and dispersed' (Cornell, 2014: online). Given this circumstance, the researcher acknowledges that notions of disciplinarity, performative agency and materiality remain in a state of flux and in need of reconsideration.Utilising a Practice-as-Research (PaR) framework, and based upon the above context, the researcher initiated an innovative three-phase methodological approach focused on the application of insights drawn from the concept of the ˜Meme' (Dawkins, 1974) alongside a primarily Deleuze & Guattarian philosophy upon methods of artistic production, and the curation of transdisciplinary performance.The resulting praxis: ‘Rhizo-Memetic Art' produced three major artworks including the hypertextual assemblage - Corpus 1 (2012-13), produced collaboratively online with users of Twitter and Facebook; the Florilegium: Exhibition (3rd -24th November, 2014): produced and curated alongside an invited group of contributing artists; and Florilegium: Remix (24th April 2015): an intermedial Live Art lecture. Each of these elements plugs into the following exegetic writing, and alongside the documentation of its artefacts (available on the project website), these elements produce the thesis.The outcomes of this PaR are twofold. The first outcome is a new theoretical understanding of the mechanisms of interdisciplinary creative practice emerging out of the synthesis of meme and rhizome. This outcome can be further developed to reveal insights relevant to the production of transdisciplinary performance and archival/curatorial discourses. The second outcome can be identified as the Rhizo-Memetic Artwork itself, or, rather the multiple creative artefacts and actions that combine to produce its assemblage.The implications of this research suggest that the functioning of Rhizo-Memetic Art raises permanent questions about the status of Performance in terms of its materiality and efficacy outside of the limitations of disciplinarity.
Date of Award17 Nov 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Edge Hill University
SupervisorVICTOR MERRIMAN (Director of Studies), HELEN NEWALL (Supervisor), RACHEL HANN (Supervisor) & PHILIP CHRISTOPHER (Supervisor)


  • curation
  • memetics
  • rhizome
  • performance
  • performativity
  • discipline
  • transdisciplinarity
  • materiality
  • agency
  • archive
  • documentation
  • social media
  • new-media
  • aesthetics
  • generative
  • internet
  • networks
  • digital
  • live
  • hybridity
  • nomadism
  • production

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