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In this paper I will discuss various attempts at inserting artistic practice between overlapping ecosystems within the selected urban sites. Georges Perec describes how space begins as lines traced on a blank page. Often lines define spaces or ecosystems by way of delineating edges or boundaries. Fine art often questions borders and encourages a blurring the “edges” of ideas or practices, and often occupies spaces between disciplines, ways of knowing and bodies of knowledge. This can be very fruitful and can provide new insights, allowing us to challenge our own conventions, and rethink our engagement with the world around us. It can also create new overlapping territories – referred to in this project as ecotones. Ecotones can be described as the overlapping spaces between two ecosystems. They have the characteristics of the two overlapping systems but can also contain new hybrids not found in either system. In this way they can be seen to have an increased biodiversity. In this paper I consider how identifying and occupying urban ecotones can contribute to new ways of artistic practice, social engagement and hopefully add something useful to the conversation about how we address or negotiate adverse conditions, be they economic, social, cultural, political or artistic! I will discuss how spatial practice inaugurates a rethinking of ‘place’ as an active presence - to foreground through practice, a poetics of usage as a vital axis of art’s inhabitation with life and its potential (Raqs Media Collective, INSERT2014). Professor Alec Shepley, Wrexham Glyndŵr University

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Alec Shepley (United Kingdom)
Wrexham University (United Kingdom) 6745
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