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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Reading list access Part 5 and transdisciplinarity definition from Leavy

Sarah was kind enough to tell me a couple of links were not working for Part 5 on WBS3630 so - here is a link  - and will try to update reading list on system

"Ethics of Theatre Practice (Woodruff) and Trans-disciplinary inquiry... (Doyle). I didn't have any problems with the others, please can you let me know if there is a problem or if there is another way for me to access them."

the other one is a chapter - checking this out with Adam to get right

My colleague Annette Fillery-Travis suggested a really great book about transdisciplinarity
here is a link with some taster materials

"Yet, for this work, Leavy focuses her attention on the academy: 
Transdisciplinarity is an approach to conducting social research that involves synergistic collaboration between two or more disciplines with high levels of integration between the disciplinary sets of knowledge. Transdisciplinary research practices are issue- or problem-centered and prioritize the problem at the center of research over discipline-specific concerns, theories or methods. (9)"

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Tim Berners-Lee -- reflecting on his practice - Module 1

As a segway into reflective practice - her is a video link form Tim Berniers-Lee from the Guardian - he is talking about the web - looking at 'what he did right'.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Gourlay on web 'utopia' - also the art of scanning and skimming

I saw this paper presented by Gourlay
The digital university, critique and utopian fantasies
Gourlay Lesley, Institute of Education, UK

It talks about how uses the web and technology could be seen as a 'utopia' - these are sort of made up worlds - but in the end technology is neither all good - or all evil!

If the idea interests you...

Just scan the paper below on the link but before you do think about how to read the piece quickly for meaning.

Scanning means quickly looking at a source but not reading line but line - so you get the 'just' of the critical thinking - the 'academic argument' or the point of view - it is what I sometimes refer to as 'shopping'

Scanning and skimming techniques allow you to see if the source is something to spend more time with...

here is the paper about the web...

Path for Middlesex Library and Summon

If you go to Unihub then MyUnihub you should be able to find the Library section - in this section you can look up

  • the reading lists
  • use Summon - a lot like Google - to look things up
  • and the Libguides for subject areas - Dance,Theatre Arts, but also Education and Business!
  • journals if you know the name you want

I love Summon - it is great!

Thinking about identity and identifying in art 'theory'- representation, semiotics, somatic practice - ways of thinking about meaning

Use this blog as you find it - ideas to use now or come back to - often people ask how to use 'art' or practice-based ideas in their inquiries - so this is a taster of some ways to do that... you might want to come back to it when you are shopping around for ideas...

Identity is a concept about finding out about ourselves and is a central one for the arts - who are you? how do you fit in with your generation? politics? social? culture? economics? geography (people and places)? Where do you work and how do you work?

Identifying is the ability to use ideas to explain or articulate meaning. In constructivist thinking there is no one set meaning, but many ways to interpret meaning.

These identifying themes are often used to try to conceptualise art forms...

Here is a small extract form Stuart Hall's Representation (2nd ed) (2013)

"just as people who belong to the same culture must share a broadly similar conceptual map, so so they must also share the same way of interpreting the signs of language, for only in this way can meanings be effectively exchanged between people. But how do we know which concept stands for which think? Or which word effectively represents which concept?... Visual signs and images, even when they bear a close resemblance to the things to which they refer, are still signs: they carry meaning and thus have to be interpreted (p. 5).

Theories of representation are often used in media studies to interpret what people see.

it is also called semiotic practice

This is the ideas of semiotics applied to dance

(quite intense article - but here is the conclusion)

"In conclusion, although it has characteristics of signal and symptom, human dance also entails symbolic qualities derived from its embedding in some cultural codes. It reveals a process specific to human semiosis: the "culturalization" of the natural or the motivated. Dance is a special expression and characteristic of human behavior. Dancing codes try to fix the spontaneity, the "naturality" of movements and feelings within a foreseeable and repeatable system of expression. In such a code — or body language — the flashing of life and emotion is taking shape. Dance involves a special form of "stylization" or abstraction and of codification... Dancing movement is also an intersection point of various codes, such as social, esthetical, (re)presentational, theatrical, and choreographic ones and thereby it acquires a symbolic character as a partially objectivated and conventionalized expression structure" (Pope, 2013, p.8). 

Another useful idea for identity and identifying is somatic practice...

"What Somatics is…Somatics is a holistic change theory that understands both personal and collective transformation from a radically different paradigm. Somatics understands both the individual and collective as a combination of biological, evolutionary, emotional and psychological aspects, shaped by social and historical norms and adaptive to a wide array of both resilient and oppressive forces. All of this gets embodied through both resilience and survival strategies, and social and cultural practices become “shapes” or embodied worldviews, habits, ways of relating, automatic actions and non-action. What we embody becomes familiar, “normal,” and habitual, even “feels” right…even when what we embody may not match up with our values or vision. Then, what we embody connects to our identity and how we see ourselves" (online, Generative Somatics).

Adesola is a good person to talk to about somatic practice if you want to know more...

Monday, 2 March 2015

Week 3 - time flies - sites for catching up with the news

I will be swinging along the blogs today and tomorrow - I know from a few visits that people have some great posts up.

I was just looking at the Women of the World Festival at the South Bank Centre in London to check out events - okay a bit late... but it does show some of the trends/issues being discussed now.

I also often read the news - mainly online - to give me ideas - and I know some of the rest of you do as well.

I also look at some of the american news

What are some other good news sites that are good to look at?

Friday, 27 February 2015

A busy week - but advice from the studio - involving the unconscious mind

I t has been a very busy week - but I thought I would briefly post some advice from fine art studio practice that might help with blogging.

A fine artist goes to the studio as a place to work, like a performance space it is a dedicated place for thinking and creating - trying out new things and then building those ideas into a more cohesive unit that you can then present or share with others.

One trick for studio artists in that space is to put up images on the walls to look at - one's own images or inspirational images - and when you go into that space to sit with these images for a while in order to put the mind and body in the place they need to be to 'think'. Sound familiar? It is a process to get 'in the zone' and to concentrate the mind in order that the unconscious mind can become involved. I have nicknamed this process as 'calling the muses' to help with the thinking. Often this involves a cup of tea or coffee to stimulate concentration but not always. You can be very alert or very tired, and that is when the muses come to help you to think and create.

While Tom and I were chatting last night, I found myself saying that this studio trick of getting in the zone might be a useful technique to try when blogging. We often come in from a busy work schedule and cannot 'think' about what to say in relation to the coursework. We are not 'there' for that because our mind is concentrating on other things - schedules - catching up with friends - emails for work - shopping - entertainment...

However, we could think about the time on the computer like going into the studio.  If you have a 'studio' session for blogging - you could allow yourself a bit of time to get into the zone before feeling the 'pressure' of creating something on your blog. So this would mean adding a step to your process. It would mean coming into the virtual space (web) and looking around, reading - looking at images - looking at some short audio-visual  - even audio (I have iTunes) when driving around the space. So it means treating this initial time like studio time when you are purposefully getting into the zone to involve the unconscious mind in the proceedings.

So if we consciously build this time to get into the zone into the process - but mindfully then focus back on producing things for the blogs (or journals or mood boards etc.) this might be the best of both worlds and produce some marvellous things that were not apparent in the first instance - so ways to capture our thinking using practice-based methods.

I am also thinking here of some recent coursework that Jodie - now in Module 1 - used as examples in her Areas of Learning where she showed short films of her performance rehearsals (up on YouTube permission asked to share link that show the process of people working out ideas and choreography. So that preparation time - that rehearsal time - might be a way to think about the zone. I usually know when I have reached it - because I can tell I am concentrated - and ideas flow. Daisuke talked about this flow in his final inquiry. See his archived blog

I once asked one of my art tutors the question that if we created something using the 'unconscious mind' would that still be considered a conscious creation? He said yes, so every since then I have felt the freedom to allow myself access to the unconscious for arts practice. I suppose here I am really passing that freedom onto you - but in a different time and place.