A topian artistic methodology

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ABSTRACT This exposition details a methodology for artistic research based on the book Utopia as Method by sociologist Ruth Levitas. It involves specific methods at three levels of analysis: archaeological, architectural, and ontological. Practical work is produced using archaeological and architectural methods, aimed at triangulating onto contemporary ontological issues. The term ‘topian’ was chosen in order to incorporate both utopian and dystopian perspectives — this term, from the Greek ‘topos’ meaning place, frames an artistic practice in relation to one or more sites of investigation.

The methodology was applied in a residency project split between London and Athens, focused on sculptures from the Parthenon that link the two cities. Museums in both cities served as sites of archaeological and architectural investigation. Work included speculative site mapping and stratigraphy, drawing and photography of artefacts, printmaking, and 3D modelling. Works were exhibited in a group exhibition in Athens, ‘Contemporary Archaeologies’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for Artistic Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

This journal uses a CC BY-NC-ND license


  • artistic research
  • utopia
  • Dystopia
  • architecture
  • archaeology
  • ontology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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