In 2017 Kathy was awarded a PhD from RMIT (Melbourne). Her dissertation, The practice of feeling for place: a compendium for an expanded architecture, considers the ethics and practice of HOOP-LA, identifying four tactics developed and used in our work.* These are described below, if you are interested to know more you can read her full dissertation or watch the video of her presentation.
Situationing describes a HOOP-LA tendency to assemble and connect, to bring people and things together in carefully calibrated situations. This involves a sensitive navigation of the dynamics and peculiarities in these projects that gather previously unconnected individuals, groups, agencies, institutional bodies, and their materials, tikanga (cultural practices), and ways of knowing. It entails a kind of weak authorship and an acceptance that the motivations of collaborators might be different to our own.
Mobilised accessories prompt and support Situationing. Mobilised accessories are carefully designed affective objects, micro-architectures that structure attention, intervention and experience. They also act as boundary objects. An idea borrowed from the sociology of science, this is where social strategies (afternoon tea) or technical devices (newspapers) operate to aggregate incommensurable knowledge in HOOP-LA projects.
Becoming Ultra-local, the third tactic, draws attention to knowledge drawn from everyday life. To become ultra-local, extraordinarily local, does not rely upon the amplification of an enclosed, inward orientation. Instead ultra-local knowledge comes from noticing a place at scales between the micro, (the minutiae of the everyday) and the macro, (how the place is connected to a myriad of other places and times). In HOOP-LA projects we make situations in which ultra-local knowledge can be fostered.
Plying Stealthy Masquerades
In Plying Stealthy Masquerades HOOP-LA sometimes borrow authority, that is appropriate symbolic forms (graphs and signs) from other fields, in order to cast an air of legitimacy over experimental projects where outcomes are uncertain. At times we also knowingly adopt various roles or guises: teacher, consultant, archivist, investigator, performer, designer, event planner, health and safety officer, host, location manager, guest, researcher, academic, curator, editor, artist, architect, cook, facilitator, budget holder, kayak paddler, seamstress, leaseholder, project manager, community broker, communications manager, technician, advocate, local stakeholder and ‘expert’ panel member, to name just a few!
* That is four tactics for now, we are probably in the process of developing more!