Stuart Mugridge: (un)prepare to be attacked!

Setting out from personal experience of doctoral study (employing writing-as-practice for a practice-led Fine Art) this presentation performatively (and playfully) shares reflective observations before casting an eye across the landscape of conventions within academic or scholarly writing as well as the general demands of rigour and analysis in doctoral working. And what the latter may mean for writing in (practice-led) artistic research.

The presentation goes on to offer a selection of propositions or guerrilla tactics that the ‘elastic writer’ may entertain in the context of (disruptive) scholarly endeavour, including camouflage, undermining, and decoy. All are means of exploring and expressing ideas but, crucially, they are also methods of material generation in themselves, through provocation and vulnerability … (un)prepare to be attacked!

Moving on, along the way, this (iterative) generation of material creates a surface of ideas, a surface which grows; a surface of fractal simplicity. However, it is important to attend to the growth of this surface, to listen and act accordingly for it is a pleated surface full of cul-de-sacs and wrong turns (neither of which are bad things as it turns out). It is a landscape where ideas can be challenged and thought’s images analysed.

This research is indebted to Deleuzo-Guattarian rhizomatic thought along with the Heideggerian joy and fascination with language (and language as the matter of thought) … as well as his image of the holzwege. The presentation will also place importance in Dr. Kate Love’s work on experience and, in particular, her proposal of the mode ‘writing as a practice in the context of fine art’ in contrast to the more widely used ‘art writing’.

The presentation shuns a conclusion, preferring a closure brought about through openness and discussion.


Stuart Mugridge is an independent artist-researcher and word meddler living in Norfolk, England. His work frequently deals with themes of landscape and language. Stuart gained a PhD from Birmingham City University (2018) for his thesis entitled -becoming-#langscape-[fold here] intra-rupting landscape, language, and the creative act. Stuart’s artist’s books are held in public and private collections worldwide.