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MFA Dissertation, 2018

SOMETHING STRANGE IS NOTICED IN THE CANAL OF AN ISOLATED VILLAGE.
WHAT COULD IT BE?
WHERE HAS IT COME FROM?
WHATEVER IT IS, IT DOESN'T BELONG...

“Identity sprouts on the graveyard of communities”
-Zygmunt Bauman (2000)

A recent news article warned that attitudes towards sex can be shaped by communities. The vapidity of community as merely one’s surroundings aside, my research has developed an understanding that community can be identified as an object, a sacrificial object; a scapegoat; which when discussed through the contentious dialect of object-oriented ontological philosophy, posits community as equal to anything from a brick to a black hole. I argue that the communitarian object is restricted to the realm of the sensual or imaginary. Moreover, I propose that in its complexity and its relationship with a foundational and epicentral violence, community ruptures the algorithm of time, space and causality as presented by such thinkers.

Fiction consequently presented itself as an appropriate structure for the presentation of this work, drawing a degree of influence from R. L. Stine’s celebrated teen horror series Goosebumps from the 1990s and its fusion of locality and objects; a vacillation of the real and the sensual.

My research focuses primarily on discussions surrounding Jean-Luc Nancy’s ‘inoperative’ community without essence; Zygmunt Bauman’s liquifying of communitarianism; and René Girard’s accounts of communal sacrificial violence; infused with the speculative realism and object-oriented ontological studies of Graham Harman and Timothy Morton. Cinema, television and an array of articles, lectures and exhibitions have also contributed to my work, as well as unshakeable memories of living in the neighbourhood watch zone...