Art research seminar: Heidi Morstang and Kate Paxman

Video still from Prosperous Mountain, Heidi Morstang

  • Room 303, Roland Levinsky Building

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Heidi Morstang

The camera as a research instrument: work-in-progress research presentation ‘Pseudotachylyte’ is an experimental documentary film (currently in production) about a team of international geo-scientists investigating the remote landscape of the Lofoten Islands (Norway) examining causes of earthquakes originating deep below earth’s surface. This research project furthers Heidi’s research into how filmmaking is used as a research tool for investigation, portraying the conceptual understanding of how scientists explore landscape; through the microscopic view of the world to an understanding of deep time. 

The research within contemporary documentary filmmaking in this project explores the interface between forces that are external to human control and human interaction. It brings together an amalgam of objectivity and subjectivity that lead the viewer into understanding complexities. The film is made in collaboration with Dr Luca Menegon, Dr Lucy Campbell and Professor Iain Stewart (Plymouth University) as part of a NERC funded project.

Heidi Morstang is a filmmaker and photographer. She is a Lecturer in Photography, School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Plymouth.


Kate Paxman

The Problem of being the Problem

Kate’s practice-based research is focused on the creation of a new body of work in response to the littoral (partially submerged) sea caves, which lie in Torbay’s Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), designated 2013. Subject to frequent wave surges, these shallow water marine caves are dynamic environments, at risk of complete destruction from extreme storm damage. Kate intentionally proposes to centre her body of research in these brittle places, many of which have Vulnerability Assessments (an assessment of possible impacts on habitats and species from human activities). The fieldwork for her research will take place at sites that are fully accessible to the public, but where the implications inherent in being present are of being part of the problem.

Kate is a practicing artist and co-leads Smooth Space, an artist-led initiative founded in 2011. Her work explores the uncertain nature of our current economic and ecological moment and especially the crisis we are facing from climate change. Kate is a PhD candidate with the art+sound research group, School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Plymouth.

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