The machinations and refinery of academia can sometimes be overwhelming. This can provoke a paralysis of analysis, but perhaps in a slightly earlier phase than the term’s application to, for example, public policy debate. A strategy, the success of which remains to be seen, is to attempt to engage in other activities alongside that of the PhD life and to use them to help to crash through the self imposed barriers to analytic clarity and academic conclusion. Continue reading
The connection between art and the academy and the conundrum of how to make research more creative continues to flit around my desk like an insistent butterfly. It looks like it would be very pretty if only it would sit still for long enough.
Fine artists seem to have a lot of latitude in their practice. It wouldn’t do to put a restraining pin through the middle but it doesn’t hurt to take a bit of a closer look. Last time I looked at this I managed to turn it on it’s head: how to make my previous artworks more academic. It’s a good starting point.
Academics are interested in the dissemination of research outcomes – it’s one of the measures that is used to assess their (institutional) income. And social scientists (probably all academics but I’ve been hanging out with the Geographers) are increasingly interested in creating visual artefacts as a method of dissemination. They’re also interested in the analysis of visual artefacts as a method. The presence of the same words in the two previous sentences allowed me to, quite lazily, conflate these two concepts whereas, somewhere along one of my many roads to many Damascii, I came to realise that obviously the two concepts are almost the opposite of each other.