This post presents my assignment submission for Research 2: a theoretical framework.
It consists of this PDF: Research Assignment 2 (with various links to earlier posts), outlining current status of creative work, a justification for theory and methodology as well as format, a literature review.
I wrote some reflections on this submission in an earlier post.
I am including the middle part: theory and methodology, and format in this post (and will likely fold forward the summary of creative process into another post).
Justification of theory, methodology, and format
My Level 3 work on the Creative Arts pathway comprises a series of processes and enquiries relating to drawing/contact. It is interested in modality, site and practice of an expanded field of drawing that sets out with the body as initial drawing tool. In so doing, it situates itself in a relational practice that begins with a situated, embodied self and as such follows feminist concerns, taking both contemporary writers and earlier performance artists as inspiration.
Interested in contact implies a curiosity about the fabric that contributes to our articulations of corporeal selfhood (as author, subject and audience). At once immediate, sensorial, tactile it also asks wider questions concerning relationship and presence. These concerns around agency, voice, autonomy are at once informed by older materialisms (notably: a critical materialism of social praxis) and are curious about new materialisms and the constitution of the human body (also in its potential hybridity, one cyborg form or another).
This section outlines reason and argument for theory and methodology as well as the form for the dissertation that follows the former.
Theory and methodology
Exploring contact and relationality in small, intimate, near, spaces positions this project foremost within contemporary and near-contemporary feminist concerns: over a body politic, the personal, care and relationality. The means in which these have been investigated in performance and video work of the 1960s onwards also investigate the materialities of such lived experiences and thus more recently lead towards concerns of a new materialism, post-humanism. In this, I am intent to keep the focus on bodily practices and gestures as starting point, and thus to maintain an interest in the signals and processes that constitute phenomenology (references: many, one that usefully articulates past and contemporary practices around relational aesthetics is Reckitt 2013).
At the same time, the subject matter is concerned with moving and shifting: of the unfolding of an event, a gesture, a relationship: what chain of actions take place to co-create drawing, contact and thus space in these small-scale encounters? It is possibly here that some of the contemporary theoretical articulations, originating with Deleuze/Guattari and being further articulated by Rosi Braidotti’s (2011) nomadism and others that concern the transversal, the translation. While not within the scope of this undergraduate dissertation, I nonetheless hope that this focus can point towards a form of practice which speaks to some of Friedrich Kittler’s (1999) media historical arguments concerning the shifts of possibilities and closure with each new media technology precipitated our understanding of not only ‘writing’ or ‘drawing’ or the ‘the visual’ but also constituted ourselves as subjects, bodily and haptically. Practically, this enquiry thus follows a series of movements and shifts across forms, sites and encounters (analogue and digitally) and seeks to examine closely the material processes at play in these movements.
An important aspect, already discernible in this and the earlier document for the module, concerns a question over there being a practical way (and a methodological/theoretical interest) in dealing with questions over divergence, excess and a porous and open practice (I have currently the sense that this relates also to the issues of smallness, fleetingness and absence, above). The form of a glossary (see below) explores a way of investigating this for the Research module (BoW has other forms and processes to pursue this concern, such as inventories in different forms, redundancy and iteration).
The methodology is primarily articulated and explored through the BoW: the concepts of near space and moving-with in a series of artistic propositions around drawing/contact. Here, A2 and A3 of BoW have so far been a considerable research laboratory to explore what these concepts can be within an expanded field of drawing. There is data collection as to the experiments and processes to test and explore to understand my concepts and what they do. – I intend to submit BoW 3 during November before investigating the material more fully for Research 3.
Format of dissertation
I seek to represent (and present) the above in a dissertation that sits between three of the identified forms: creative writing, auto-ethnographic and traditional.
This choice follows from both subject matter and theory/methodology to find a form that allows to mirror concerns over fragmentation, relationality, transversalism/nomadism; of the body/ the sensorial as significant means for sense-making; and thus to employ theory/auto-fiction as element.
The format of the essay will be a narrative framework which takes the text as an artistic proposition itself (as one means of enquiry), and in doing so possesses characteristics of a creative writing proposition. It does so within a context of auto-/self-writing (which is somewhat covered in the coursebook as reflective practice) as much as theory fiction (i.e., also touching on elements of what the coursebook calls traditional/research essay).