VIS210: major project readings

Reading the article from Estelle Barrett, Experiential learning in practice as research: context, method, knowledge, I was struck by my rejection of the personal, my own desire to melt into the homogenous gloop of humanity and not be seen, not stand out, not try to be different and how through various twisted meanderings, interpreted this impulse to hide as a form of humility, of surrender to something bigger, of dedication to community, even a path of devotion... I've definitely viewed my own modernity and the clamouring of individuals to be noticed as narcissism and have attempted to negate it many times. The cultural story that elevates the individual above the communal has teeth though and they've bitten down hard. Perhaps there is some value in my individual experience and efforts to reconnect with the long-lost childhood artist within. Perhaps in my practice, the research I do in major projects at uni and my unending battles with confidence and fear of creating crap, there is something needed - outside of the recognition of an external authority, outside of science and the scientific method that has a value because it doesn't pretend to be objective or universal. It's just human. Singularly just me.

Estelle Barrett (2007) Experiential learning in practice as research: context, method, knowledge, Journal of Visual Art Practice, 6:2, 115-124, DOI: 10.1386/jvap.6.2.115_1

The Visualizing Research excerpt (1.4 The Reflective Practitioner) was interesting because it gave an additional context for my rejection of insights derived from practice. Artists themselves avoid recording their process and the knowledge gained by it for fear of losing the creative spark behind it so much so that research about practice has primarily come from other disciplines outside of art (sociologists, historians, psychologists etc). Becoming a reflective practitioner means to acknowledge one's own unique perspective that emerges in the act of creation and responses to problems that arise, to follow intuition and reflect on actions taken in practice while one is doing it.

Gray, Carole & Malins, Julian (2004). Visualizing research : a guide to the research process in art and design. Ashgate, Burlington

Reading River Low, Mountain High: Contextualising Artistic Research answered more of the specifics of conducting artistic research. It spoke about what a new field it is and the pros and cons of that and how ideally, the aim is to create an environment in which everything can be questioned and that all experiences are unique and equal and should be considered in that way. Artistic research is viewed as "social innovation" in which there are fewer rules and defined paths to follow and so this lends itself to uncertainty in the field. My favourite line about artistic research is "we must have the courage to be anarchistic and experimental." Yep. Courage for me is key.

Hannula, M. (2004). River low, mountain high: Contextualising artistic research. In Balkema, A.W. & Slager, H. (Eds), Artistic Research. Amsterdam. Rodopi. doi: