Tuesday, 31 May 2011

3 x 2 x 3: Ben Parry

Thursday, 26 May 2011

3 x 2 x 3: David Overend: Exposition, Exposition, Exposition

- I am in agreement with Brad Haseman, who argues that the explanation or interpretation of the creative work is a crucial stage in performance-based research (1).
- In the next three minutes, I am going to give three reasons why exposition is an important part of using artistic practice as a research methodology. By exposition, I mean critical reflection; an academic, written form of exegesis that accompanies the practice.
- My PhD, which I completed earlier this year, was a practice-as-research thesis with the University of Glasgow, based at the Arches arts centre. The photographs I am playing here are from three large-scale theatre productions that I directed at the Arches in order to develop a ‘Relational Theatre Practice in Response to a Specific Cultural Site’. 
- Now, the Arches is a very busy venue, which changes rapidly from corporate event to theatre performance to club night, often in just one day. Over three hundred events take place each year, and hundreds of thousands of people come through the doors. 
- This brings me to my first point, because inevitably things get a bit chaotic.
1. The ‘Messiness’ of Practice-as-Research
- My primary research methodology has involved performance practice, and as John Freeman points out, ‘unlike [...] traditional research, performance practice is always messy and its manners are often bad’ (2).
- For me, the mess of artistic practice has to be tidied up, explained, or turned into something valuable - the way to do that is through an exposition (the written part of the thesis).
2. Failure
- ...which brings me to my next point:
- It is often in those moments of performance when the clearly defined aims of the research questions could be understood to be jeopardised that the most valuable research actually emerges. As Phil Smith points out, ‘sometimes getting things wrong helps the most’ (3).
- An exposition is absolutely necessary to derive research findings from artistic practice that has ostensibly gone wrong. In my thesis, I reflected on my work not by attempting any sort of value-judgement, but by identifying events that revealed something about theatre practice and the relationships of the site.
3. Contextualisation
- My third and final point is about the need to contextualise artistic practice:
- Paul Kleiman points out the dangers of presenting work without exposition by referring to Minimalist art, in which a potentially identical ‘product’ could result from years of diligent study or an attempt to mock the contemporary art world (4). Only some form of exposition can distinguish between these otherwise identical artworks.
- I want to argue that an exegesis of practice is the crucial stage in the process that makes work practice-as-research, rather than simply practice. 
- And I would possibly (not definitely) go even further by suggesting that the exposition is the only element of a thesis that should be assessed for the award of a PhD.

1 Brad Haseman, ‘Rupture and Recognition: Identifying the performative research paradigm’, Practice as Research: Approaches to creative arts enquiry, eds. Estelle Barrett & Barbara Bolt, London: I.B.Tauris, 2007, pp.147-157, p.156
2 John Freeman, Blood, Sweat & Theory: Research through practice in performance, Oxfordshire: Libri Publishing, c2010, p.81
3 Phil Smith, Mythogeography: A guide to walking sideways, Axminster: Triarchy Press, 2010, p.110
4 Paul Kleiman, PARIP mail group discussion, 28/10/02. In Peter Thomson (ed.), ‘Notes and Queries: Practice as research’, Studies in Theatre and Performance 22(3), 2003, pp.159-180, p.163

3 x 2 x 3: Kirsten MacLeod: I film therefore I am

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

3 x 2 x 3: Selecting a Fishing Rod for the Exhausted Artist

Selecting a Fishing Rod for The Exhausted Artist

Hereʼs an unashamedly popular proverb:

“Give a man a fish so heʼll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and heʼll eat for life”

That man could be me trying to assemble my ʻrod of researchʼ to catch the fish of PhD gold. At present, I have bits of the rod, possibly a hook, but a bewildering choice of exhausting instructions, some of which are in a language I am still learning and Iʼm only allowed to look at the instructions for snatches of time.

Iʼd welcome experienced researchers who can think outside the box and help me not waste time, which is very hard won as a new parent managing a conniving illness. The Adaptive Prism, Emancipations for The Exhausted Artist is the most satisfactory incarnation of my PhD title. The “Prism” itself, is a metaphor about adaptation within illness. But itʼs more than hypothetical. I am attempting to draw blueprints for a highly bespoke, practical, lived philosophy.

The aim is to envision, regenerate or replace the colours now missing from a previously healthy and colourful life. Research-wise, Iʼm currently inside a ʻpraxisʼ concocting music and sound medications whilst testing their efficacy for autoethnographic and potentially wider usefulness. I am writing short essays about the projects and one is on the wall in this room. These will ultimately be formed into a philosophical manifesto and idiosyncratic multimedia publication of some kind.

But there is a problem. My practice-research is currently lopsided. I have no problem with the practice as it has developed within an existing illness as a personal medication with itʼs own adaptations. I know what my ʻchaptersʼ could be and what practical projects would parallel it. But the last academic writing I did was in 1994 for my degree – and now I have a kind of handicap of very little energy.

What would you do? I benefit hugely from the learning, but my compass can go haywire at times, as my view of formal research is quite weak. B-roads can emerge and leave me whimpering at the wheel at times. I accept that all researchers
must accept cul-de-sacs as part of research, but if I had a better idea of research methods I might be able to filter more effectively.

The central problem is that because I am not used to academic journals and reading massive quantities I run out of energy fast. I am not exactly asking for shortcuts, more time-saving ideas – lets end on a particular question:

I want to write a 1000-2000 word essay on a ʻhistory of exhaustionʼ that is not [wholly] a medical history. I canʼt find much on ʻa social history of exhaustion.ʼ How would you go about such an enterprise whilst being able to work slowly in 1-2 hour bursts?

3 x 2 x 3

Presentations from our 3 x 2 x 3 event on 23rd June. Podcasts to follow

Jennifer Jones:

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

3 x 2 x 3

3 x 2 x 3
CCA Glasgow Clubroom, 24th May 2011, 2pm – 5pm

We are bringing together members of the School’s doctoral research community to explore the question:  

How are you approaching the relationships between practice and research in your work?

We will make short podcasts of each 3 minute presentation for wider distribution through the school research blogs.

2.00 pm Welcome and introductions

2.10 pm  
Chris Dooks: Selecting a Fishing Rod for The Exhausted Artist 
Kirsten McLeod: I film therefore I am: Process, Practice & Participation in community based media

followed by discussion - facilitated by Graham Jeffery

Gail Sneddon: Paula, Lorraine, Shelly and Caroline
David Overend: Exposition, Exposition, Exposition

followed by discussion - facilitated by Katarzyna Kosmala

3.15 break

Jennifer Jones: Learning from the alternative and alternative learning spaces
Ben Parry: The subjective artist and the objective academic

Discussion - facilitated by Andy Miah

4.00 – 5.00
Next steps

5.00 Drinks


Thursday, 5 May 2011

MashingUp: Curating/Practice

University of Glasgow and UWS event 
Translating Russian & East European Cultures
Centre for Russian, Central & East European Studies
supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council

GoMA Roundtable Event
Thursday 12 May 2011
Top Floor Studio GoMA

2:30 to 6pm

To include a roundtable on knowledge exchange as participatory practice - exploring links
between play and visual pedagogies and the private view of the exhibition Blueprint for a
Bogey, which includes the artwork, Women@Play
This event is part of GoMA’s ‘Blueprint for a bogey’ season.

2:15 - 2:30 Tea and Coffee
2:30 - 2:45 Introduction
Katarzyna Kosmala, Jon Oldfield, Katie Bruce
2:45 – 3:45 Workshop
women@play, led by Katarzyna Kosmala

This session will involve the project co-ordinator, Katie Bruce; the
artists Rachel Mimiec and Anne Elliot as well as the Development
Worker from the Red Road Family Centre, June Aird, talking around the
project. There will also be time for Q&As.

3:45 – 4:30 Impulse paper session
Short impulse papers will be delivered on aspects of knowledge
exchange as part of participatory practice. These will be given by
Rebecca Kay, Zuly Mail Zada, and Jon Oldfield.

4:30 - 5:00 Group activity/discussion
Revolving around the themes of participation as learning/knowledge
exchange, experiential learning, and related areas.

5:00 – 6:00 Exhibition
Viewing, guided by curator Katie Bruce followed by drinks reception.

Symposium ‘Mashing Up: Curating Practice’, CCA
Friday 13 May 2011
Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA)
2pm to 6pm

2:00 - 2:15 Introduction
Katarzyna Kosmala and CCA staff
2:15 - 3:30 Symposium
• Ryszard Kluszczynski, “Curating Art@ Science; curating
Mediations: Reflections on the working in-between”
3:30 – 4:00 Tea and Coffee
4:00 – 5:15 Symposium
• Brendan Jackson, “Small world, isn’t it?”
5:15 – 5:45 Question and Answers Session
Facilitated by Graham Jeffery

About the participants

Ryszard Kluszczynski is the Professor of Cultural and Media Studies at Lodz
University, Poland and Head of the Department of Media and Audiovisual Culture. He is
also a Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz.
He writes about the challenges of media and multimedia arts, cyber-culture, theory of
media and communication, information and network society. He critically investigates the
issues of contemporary art theory and alternative art. Until 2001, Kluszczynski was a Chief
Curator of Film, Video and Multimedia Arts in the Centre for Contemporary Art,
Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. He has curated numerous international art exhibitions. In
2010, Kluszczynski co-curated, Beyond Mediations, the main exhibition of The Second
International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Poznan, Poland (mediations.pl). He is editor
of Art Inquiry, a yearbook on contemporary art, and Cultural Studies Review.
Curating Mediations, curating Art@Science”, Reflections on the working

Ryszard’s talk will focus on two recent curatorial projects, discussing complex aspects of
collaboration, exchange and the idea of transfers. He begins with the initial concept of the
Biennale and ‘cultural exchange between Europe and Asia’, via collaboration with
Tsutomu Mizusawa. He will explain how the concept of ‘cultural exchange’ has expanded,
leading towards a sort of ‘controlled chaos’.
His most recent curatorial project deals with the question of relations between art and
science. The project is expected to end in 2016. Ryszard will distinguish three different
types of exhibition conceptualisation, dealing with art & science problems. 1. Placing
art@science into the context of a general art exhibition. 2. Curating an exhibition purely
devoted to art@science. 3. Curating exhibitions dealing with the history of art@science.

Brendan Jackson is an independent writer, producer and artist. Trained in visual
communication, receiving a Fellowship in Photography at the Photographic Gallery,
Southampton University, under the stewardship of Leo Stable, and was part of the
development team for the John Hansard Gallery.

For some 20 years he worked as an artist and developer of community arts programmes
with Jubilee Arts, partnering with a range of statutory and non-statutory organisations to
develop a wide range of projects where community engagement was paramount.
Brendan produced the CD Lifting the Weight with Geese Theatre, which won the IBM
Community Connections Award and a BAFTA. His interests encompass collaborative
projects using photography and film, visual arts, oral history, writing and digital media.
The aim of his work has always been to build a sense of community, using creative
activities in everyday life. Brendan works internationally, with specific trans-national
projects over the past decade with the Institute of Polish Culture at Warsaw University and
the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, Poland.
Small world, isn’t it ?
Brendan’s talk will focus on community arts practice, which others might describe as
socially-engaged practice or as cultural animation, based on exploring synergies between
institutions, ideas and disciplines and - most of all – people. He will reflect on working
across boundaries and borders, in multiple Europe’s, drawing on his experience of working
with diverse groups of artists in a range of community contexts – exploring participation,
collaboration, inspiration and serendipity. On the one hand, there is an ever diversifying
and fragmenting ‘community of interests’ and on the other a drawing together and
merging of interests that are cross-border and permeable. There is a role for the
community artist in navigating these shifting cross-cultural tides, in re-imagining and
sharing our practice. Brendan will draw on a recent programme, which was part of the
European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The project consisted of exchanges between three
partners (based in Birmingham & Black Country in England, Bela Rečhka in Bulgaria, Sejny
in Poland) and the development of wandering/travelling workshops, engaging with local
particularities and peculiarities. The project culminated in the UK with an international
symposium in April 2010, followed by the publication of a book We No Longer Talk in the

“MASHING-UP...” A Public Lecture Series presented by UWS and CCA. This ongoing lecture series stimulates critical, transdisciplinary research communities to discuss advanced knowledge and to build networks of excellence among producer communities. ‘Mashing up’ [definition] "a mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service. The term mashup implies easy, fast integration...to produce results that were not the original reason for producing the raw source data" (Wikipedia, 2009). The lecture series exhibits the values of new media culture to explore synergies between institutions, ideas and disciplines. This aspiration originates with the UWS and CCA partnership, which extends to the specific areas of inquiry that we pursue. It advances the core mission of each organization to initiate applied, international research opportunities through experimental, local dialogue to foster collaborative, bottom-up, sustainable practices of development. #mashingup We want attendees to blog, photograph, film, tweet and do all they can to share the content of these talks to democratize access to knowledge.