PhD Research

The Artistry Of Conversation

The doctoral research enquiry by Dr Rhiannon Ellen Jones

Director of studies: Professor Terry Shave, Nottingham Trent University.

Supervisors: Joanne Lee, Sheffield Hallam University and Principle Lecturer, Carol Jones, Nottingham Trent University.

The thesis proposed a new way of thinking about conversation as a methodology and argued that conversation itself can be considered as an art practice. The practice research was been developed through a body of five artworks produced between 2012-14, each of which directly engaged with communities and residents of the city of Nottingham, UK, and emerged in relation to the specificity of this location. The doctoral research was been presented within the international contexts of art and social science through several seminars and conferences, including the researcher’s co-founding and co-curation of InDialogue (2012, 2014, 2016 – present), a biannual interdisciplinary symposium hosted at Nottingham Contemporary in partnership with Nottingham City Council, Dance4 and New Art Exchange.

The research engaged with existing work on conversation and the dialogic by Allan Kaprow, David Bohm, Mikhail Bakhtin, Grant H. Kester and Hubert Hermans, from which it developed a socio-artistic and philosophical framework to theoretically underpin a body of dialogic practice. For the purpose of this thesis, PhD stood for Practice in High Definition: the body of work produced has been tested and analysed to develop an original methodology, which has been termed APSSL, to describe its five key features: architactics, performativity, storyteller, social activism and legacy.

The thesis sets out the framework for a performative and experiential approach, providing examples of the orchestration of space and the dialogic architectures of site and body. Conversation is considered as a methodological producer and as the instigator of practice. Aesthetic in approach, the methodology is recognised for its socializing power in terms of generating the opportunity for a public presentation of self and other, and for the mobility of voices in spaces. It establishes that there can be an artistry of conversation.


DVD1 The Art of Conversation part 1

DVD1 The Art of Conversation part 2

DVD 2 [Media]ted Riots

DVD 3 Freedom in Air part 1

DVD 3 Freedom in Air part 2

DVD 3 Freedom in Air part 3

DVD 4 Wonderland

DVD 5 InDialogue

All links are live at youtube and can also be accessed via the website by clicking on the relevant project page. Alternatively they can be viewed using the accompanying DVD box set produced. Contact to find out how to receive a copy.


© All rights reserved. Copyright Jones,R (2017)