Making the familiar unfamiliar

Blagg, Peter (2018) Making the familiar unfamiliar. [Show/Exhibition]


The output is a creative project. Blagg used key terminology from texts on the uncanny and attempted to apply them in a practical manner in the manufacture of familiar objects, investigating whether uncanny objects can be made using a recognisable systematic process. Research process: Blagg ran a series of workshops and exhibitions exploring audience interaction with and responses to the artefacts. Blagg tested ideas about how different audiences interacted with the work, developing activities, questioning and discussion techniques. He was interested in how audiences passing through the exhibition responded to the artefacts in comparison to focus group participants. Research insights: Blagg’s work focuses on everyday objects and how they have the potential to become uncanny. How familiar, seemingly innocuous, mundane and trivial pieces of design are able to alienate, frustrate or simply evoke uncertainty within their audiences. The participants did not require an in-depth knowledge of the uncanny to partake in this session. Blagg was able to gain user insight through interaction, play and discussion. This research added to his proposed understanding of certain concepts within the uncanny such as intellectual uncertainty and the doppelgänger, the evaluation and discussion of these notions suggested a more complex view of links between uncertainty and interactions with objects. Blagg was interested in applying a more pragmatic approach using hand held objects to explore the vagaries of ideas surrounding the uncanny, could intellectual uncertainty be felt or described by participants through a more measured approach. Dissemination: The output was disseminated through a series of workshops and exhibitions including: • Making the familiar unfamiliar, Leeds City Art Gallery. 12 May 2018. • Playtime, Leeds City Art Gallery. 5 December 2017.

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