Mourning Songs

Signing practiceled research in everyday life


  • Emily O’Hara
  • Maria O’Connor



Mourning, Performance-installation, Ruins, Site-writing, Urban everyday


This project takes life-processes of mourning as underpinnings for its practice-led expression: Our article is structured over two interleaving grounds. The first, a site of intimacy expressed through a spatial practice of performance-installation, draws out methods of ‘site-writing’ (Jane Rendell) in relation to personal mourning. The second reaches deeper into an urban-collective ground of historic materialism (Walter Benjamin), working with specific sites this practice has ‘occupied’ or ‘site-written’. The thesis questions how personal-minor histories of mourning offer a significant contribution to urban sites, the public and associated fields of urban history, historic architecture and planning. It seeks to mine urban discourses through a site-specific practice set between urban design and performance-installation. It invites urban-otherness that extends perceived borders of the urban, folding its geological edges into telluric thresholds. This article touches on an original PhD practice-led contribution, in setting its discussion across scenes of personal mourning and urban remembrance.


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How to Cite

O’Hara, E., & O’Connor, M. (2018). Mourning Songs: Signing practiceled research in everyday life. DAT Journal, 3(2), 72–121.