Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Critical Framework lectures (1 & 2)

24th Sep
Practice based research

Proposal should include:

should also have a reflective journal which could include: writing, storyboards, diagrams, photos, drawings etc - individual - mine is probably this blog and practical experiments at the moment.

Paul Coldwell
An artist produces work not just text. In the studio he approaches a project, as if it were a proposal as above. Look at how other people work, his process is to immerse himself in the studio, visiting things, sketching, notes. Sporadic studio time.
Liked the 'ghost' of an object in an outline, like it had been there in the past - left a mark.

Anita Taylor - Director for Centre for Drawing at Wimbledon.
Working with things that are seen, felt and also what you expect to see, revealing the mind and interpreting things. Also believes in serendipity - allow the journey to happen.

2nd Oct
Research Methods and Contexts

Malcolm Quinn
What is Research? a SYSTEMATIC investigation that produces NEW KNOWLEDGE.

There is a difference between research and the compilation of information. Gathering information is NOT research, research has to generate new knowledge or discourse.

  • Question or a problem - there are good and bad questions to ask - no point asking Does God exist?, unanswerable, think about taking it towards something answerable.
  • Within a FIELD OF INQUIRY or debate, very important to identify your field of inquiry. Might be a live debate happening now - who are the key members and also might have a long history to look into. e.g. Michael Fried - minimalists debate in the 60s.
  • The relationship between the question and the field of inquiry determines the form of the question e.g a thesis (its the case that...), an antithesis (its not the case that...) or a synthesis (no one has put these two together).
  • Framing the question enable the identification of research aims (global), objectives (steps) and the METHODOLOGY - the design / logical machine of the research. Methods are different and are in the structure of the methodology itself. Could include reading, interviews etc. Example - interviewing is NOT a methodology its a method, a methodology would be Oral History of which interviewing is a method within that.
  • Designing a methodology enables the collection and interpretation of data.
  • Then the new knowledge is disseminated within the field of inquiry for peer review.
Other key terms:

Secondary research - everything that is already out there on the person or subject (literature).
Primary research - creates new knowledge i.e. interviewing someone, experiments (my practice).
Qualitative - anything not stats based
Quantitative - stats based, numbers.
Research Ethics - human subjects have to get through ethics committee. Do no harm, don't ask distructive or difficult questions to intentionally make people uncomfortable.

The differences between MA & Phd:

MA - must systematically understand and evaluate (do secondary research well). Be able to debate.

Phd - design, plan and implement a research project, to do the whole thing, at the cutting edge of debate, create new knowledge.

Phew - good job really, don't think one year is enough to do all the Phd stuff!

Prof. Oriana Baddeley
Look for the problems in your methodology to find gaps - things there you can address.
Look for role models. e.g. Edward W Said - Orientalism - for her.
Always be ready to question the structure underneath methodologies that already exist.

Find the parameters of your field of inquiry - could be authors?

Look at different disciplines have dealt with your question - for me films - ways of interpreting dreams - make a new methodology of your own.

Look at the obvious repeatedly until it becomes strange - new. What would be involved in changing this - what is it built on? made of? what does it do? Look at the platform on which you are standing.

Research using JSTOR - books can take years to be published, will have a much better idea of the thinking going on now by reading journals and articles which can be published much quicker.

Research is an ACTIVITY not a thing.

Post lecture discussions
Think of defining not narrowing for your proposal, think of conclusions you will draw, not end points.

To do now - work on what is my field of inquiry, define primary and secondary methods.

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