(Current Studies, by blog description (2015-16)) - Click on each label to see corresponding posts!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

R&D - Seminar - Research Methods, - Research Through Practice

In this the second seminar by Christian Lloyd and Alison Rowley, the group investigated and openly discussed ideas as to "what constitutes as research".

In contemporary art there is much discussion in the research method known as "research through practice", an item which I wrote about on this blog last year, which were based on ideas from John Dewey, James Elkins, and many other scholarly commentators in both philosophy and art. I will not therefore go into much detail about that within this blog, other than the fact that it is now established within me, that the idea of just continuing to make, leads to new ideas in themselves.

An essential part of research is to understand "what comes first"? The idea leads to questions and observations....

It was suggested by Dr Rowley that during a recent trip to London, she found herself on Baker Street quite near to the London tube lost property office. She happened to be passing this particular building which had a very ornately decorated shop window, which contained a magnificent display of various items of things left behind on the London Tube, which ranged from the ubiquitous umbrella all the way through to more obscure personal items of unique ownership, such as prosthetic limbs, glass eyes and other peculiar objects. I was glad to hear Dr Rowley also mention the affect of lost objects and the lecture by Caroline Christov Bakargiev in 2014.

I also introduced the concept of "the parking lot" to the group. This was an idea that I had explained to one of the students a few with weeks ago, who was rather stressed about finding new ideas and having too much in his head and so I recommended that whilst he recorded these ideas somehow he should also take them out of his head and leave them somewhere in order to go back to them to take another look at some future time.

There seemed to be an interesting and direct resonance with Dr Rowley in my investigation and research on how grief provides an "affect" and my choice to research "things left behind" and lost objects.

Through research through practice the synthesis and output is to be able to communicate the content of the research through the images and objects that I intend to make but it is vitally important that I maintain a clear goal to express what else I am also bringing to the existing body of work, as new and innovative material.

So what is being innovative? Well, it means that I need to be taking this idea and combining it with ideas from elsewhere in order to culturally add to the whole. As mentioned in my blog that I wrote before this seminar, by being aware of the wider picture it is crucial to also focus upon the detail.

Towards the end of the discussion, it was suggested that by looking at other examples of art from a completely different direction can help to formulate your own ideas.

The "ethics form" provided by the University may help to look at my project/from a completely different angle. This ethics form can certainly help to ask questions that I may not have considered previously.

A further idea was to look at materiality in itself.   A good example given to me to look at something in a completely different angle might be the work of Rebecca Homms (???)  and her "Knitted Items" of art, for example the pink tank cover.

[I later found this artist to actually be Marianne Joergensen...]

retrieved from;

(Courtesy of Machine-Raum, Denmark, 2015 (Image for personal research only, - please do not copy).

  • What is it that we need to know about where our own ideas sit within the wider world and in relation to what is going on in the contemporary environment and culture?
  • What are we looking at as individuals which is of interest to us as an idea?
  • Who is currently researching or dealing with this idea in other areas of art or indeed in the world?
  • And finally how do research, and how do they search for resolutions to those ideas?

In reflection of this seminar I feel quite comfortable that I have chosen a suitable problem statement in order to create a body of work, a body of research which I can apply to my artistic practice, and a long term investigation which in theory, could last for many years...

in focusing upon materiality viz.
  •  how and what I make my art out of must have both cultural and exploitative significance.
  • How can I explain loss and grief through materiality?
  • The material itself has properties. Any "accidental" finds during my research through making is obviously quite key to my ability to express my notions and ideas.
  • What do I need to know from my own research?
  • The question I also need to keep asking myself is "how do other practitioners research this similar idea"?

And finally my Research and Development blog must continue to document my journey which I should include with 'the bits left behind' in "The Car Park". I must continue to summarise and contextualise my ideas but also to show my mistakes, together with research that can also be drawn from information obtained through daily living.

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