How would you define your practice in relation to the notion of practice as research, practice-based and practice-led research?
I would define my practice as practice-led. This is because theoretical and academic research is prompted by the practical work I make. Then from the theoretical investigation more practical work will be made, which in turn prompts further theoretical and contextual research. For instance in the first instance of my proposal I was interested in exploring the female viewpoint in the film Computer Chess (1), what interested me was the significance of the female role, who does not receive equal acknowledgment or recognition. From further research it appeared that from the filmmaker to the critics, the female role is dismissed, but to me she was the most important and striking character. I made a comicstrip in response. Whilst reviewing and analysing the value of the comic strip I undertook further research into the space of computer software as an environment for artistic expression, and from this investigation further practical work is being made. The practice leads, but the theoretical and contextual research is of equal importance, and happens alongside the practice.
It is believed that artistic research processes are often iterative or cyclic. Do you agree? What is your understanding of the iterative cyclic web model illustrated in the introduction to ‘Smith, H. & Dean, R. (2009) Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts’?
Artistic research processes are iterative. The process moves through a series of steps, the beginning of new work builds on the knowledge uncovered by the previous work. It is a progressive and moving process. This diagram is from Smith and Dean Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts:
The following diagram is based on the Smith and Dean diagram but is easier to read:
It shows that, as ideas are generated, research and practice are initiated, in conjunction. Various types of output, practical and academic, are produced during the process, which led to further ideas generation and the process begins again.
How is a given methodology relevant to your own research proposal?
I feel the most appropriate methodology to apply to my research proposal is Grounded Theory. The generation of theory from data. Or, the generation of theory from practical work. “Having analysed a batch of data, the researcher returns to the field for more data, traced with the insights provided by previous analyses. Data are coded, conceptual labels honed and theoretical categories constructed. As the point of “saturation” of categories is approached, data collection gives way to defining and conceptual refinement.” (2) I feel that Grounded Theory reflects the iterative process described by Smith and Dean. The construction of side by side categories of research and work, the combination of which suggests conclusions and theories, from which more categories are derived.
One methodology or more methodologies? Would you use multiple methodologies in your research? Why?
I would use more than one methodology in my research. Methodologies are project dependant and various types of data may need collecting. The most relevant methodologies to my current work, alongside Grounded Theory, include Case Studies, and Feminist Perspectives. In particular case studies that involve investigating and discovering practitioners, theorists, ideologies and politics. Visiting and recording experiences of exhibitions, conferences and museums. The importance of Feminist Perspectives are a consideration because a main enquiry of my work is finding or creating a space for my voice. It has been difficult to build on spaces and voices defined by previous practitioners that are not male, difficult to find a way of speaking that is not understood through a particular way of reading. A way of reading that is not how I need to be understood.
I use more than one methodology. Multiple methodologies enable discovery and understanding from multiple perspectives. Multiple methodologies enable a deeper level of insight.
1 Bujalski, A., Computer Chess . (2013). USA: Houston King, Alex Lipschultz.
2 Koneki, T., (2011). Visual Grounded Theory: A Methodological Outline and Examples from Empirical Work.A vailableat https://hrcak.srce.hr/file/106256 [Accessed29.11.2018].