Thursday, 27 October 2016

Reflection on TMA1401 - Research Methods Lecture, 26-10-2016

In a lecture with Dr Rowan Bailey today, Wednesday, 26 October 2016, we conducted a workshop to explore and discuss previous Masters proposals, and in particular how they were constructed.

Sam Edwards (a former Master's student of the University of Huddersfield), created the first project to be examined.
In this particular document the following headings were used;
1) historical literature review
2) Perception
3) Gestalt theory and the principles of Gestalt
4) how Gestalt theory and perception manifests themselves through art.

Ostensibly this document described how methodologies that the student conducted, the research practice, was, in fact, all about developing those same methods and experimenting with them. The proposal had clear aims with a distinct definition of what the document is:
How the project evolved; how it had been implemented; and then furthermore, focus on what the actual project was.
Images of the research conducted while in practice and which the corresponding similar practitioners were, was also documented, together with details on how they influenced the creation of this particular student's Masters proposal.

And finally, the paper describes the methodology correctly used by that student which included the "why" and also the "what" of the project itself.

The final part of the document provided detailed references, in accordance with APA 6th edition, together with an illustration index.

Another proposal was written by Eloise Walmsley-Jones consisting of approximately 33 pages related to the practice of defining drawing.
She started the document with a literature review and gave details as to where the core idea had evolved. She also then articulated who the current practitioners were and what they did with their work; this included key artists influences.
There was then a contextual discussion in the document, which was around the question how do you put your work into the current context of other practitioners.

What conventions are challenged artistically here? What are conventions that have been followed too? And so on.

** A very useful book to read on the subject of research methods is that written by Barbara Bolt where she discusses research methods in great detail and the importance of reflective practice. - See "Practice as Research; Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry", Edited by Estelle Barrett and Barbera Bolt. (2007), I.B. Taurus & Co. Publishing, London & New York.

A further proposal by Emma Jackson which was entitled interpretations of the uncanny was then discussed. This is especially interesting because it used digital media and in particular animation together with the concept of "the uncanny" (extensively written by Freud and further works through the 20th century).

An example cited as "The Path (2009)" which explores dream states and the uncanny. Further research was also articulated in "The omnipotence of thought;" a study regarding obsessiveness again by Sigmund Freud. The author of this proposal also touched on the subject of feminism and "The Castration Complex", also investigated and posited by Freud.

Emma provided an excellent overview of areas that she needed to develop. She did this by providing a mapping diagram and also she produced a project management and goal mapping section which helped to define how each of the educational modules being studied fed into her research as well.

A general question of "do direct quotations go towards the word counts" and the initial answer given by Dr Bailey was "no"!...

With regards to further work in the module TMA 1401, other topics we will include in the following weeks, include some significant global issues. For example;
The digital world and how it impacts with culture.
The Anthropocene and the demise of the human species (for example the space X project and the work being carried out now by Elon Musk and his ideas of the colonisation of Mars);
 And further, work such as Migration and the movement of people.
For example migration and immigration as an area of practice and research.

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