Annabel Frearson

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Annabel Frearson's MPhil/PhD Art project

Cash, not rocks! : the transformation of cultural value (2015)

My art practice research project Frankenstein2; or, The Monster of Main Stream involves using all and only the words from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1831) to create a new contemporary novel and associated collaborative works, facilitated by a customised database software programme, FrankenWriter [FrankenWriter was developed by French robotics artist, Patrick Tresset.]

The resulting reconfigurations of Shelley’s words become vehicles to rehearse contemporary political, theoretical and artistic concerns, while creating new dialogical relationships and exploring ideas of the expanded novel and dispersed authorship in the digital age. My theoretical research is largely concerned with the transformation of cultural value within neoliberal and computational rationalities, with a focus on self-reflexive methodologies that deploy cultural objects as dispositifs (apparatuses) or lenses through which I analyse and produce the reconfiguration of knowledge.

The thesis implicitly and playfully challenges the proposition for newness in cultural research through neologisms such as ‘datocracy’, ‘infomanticism’ and ‘LouisQuatorzisation’ in which fragments of data assume sublime agency and cultural objects play out power relations, thereby representing potent apparatuses for everyman and totalitarian alike.

At the core is my construction of a methodology maudite, a promiscuous dispositif that draws from diverse existing and evolving methodologies, theories and paradigms in the production of exorbitant imaginary relationships between fragments of cultural data, illustrated by the key example of Last Tango Inception, an illicit conjoining of two films that would not ordinarily be seen together. As an artist engaged in performative conceptual writing, I am interested in the proposition that methodology, in its ideological maturation of process, might now subsume form and content.