Monday, 8 November 2010

Wednesday 3 November 2010: The Other Side of the Other

Caroline Rabourdin and Angela Hodgson

Fig 1. The Practice Exchange 3: The Other Side of the Other

Present: Marsha Bradfield | Ian Brown | Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre | Scott Schwager | Aaron McPeake | Angela Hodgson | Caroline Rabourdin | Bernice Donszelmann | Pamela Kember | Ben Fitton | Tsuyoshi Amano | Sharon Rhodes

Apologies: Samantha Epps, Malcolm Quinn, Brandon Prendeville

Fig 2. Ian Brown, Caroline Rabourdin, Angela Hodgson, Pamela Kember

Scott introduces the seminar, with thanks to Angela and Caroline for coming to present their practice. Scott reviews themes from the previous TPE Pilot seminar (see notes on the blog), followed by a quick round of introductions.

Fig 3. Aaron McPeake, Sharon Rhodes

Caroline Rabourdin:

* Presented a text-based piece entitled "Translations of a Dandelion" (to appear soon in a publication by The Dandelion Network at Birkbeck College), as well as some research-in-process, coming out of this work. The work references the dandelion as the emblem for Larousse Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, and the different meanings and uses of the word dandelion in French and English.

* Metaphors for knowledge production and dissemination borrowed from nature: roots, dispersal of seeds. Singular versus multiple roots for knowledge as explored in the work of Deleuze. The dandelion as a weed, knowledge spreading without control, knowledge as something subversive that might grow where it is not expected.

* Translation as a vector, always directional, bringing into doubt the notion of origin. The need for some form of "third text" (Ricoeur) that mediates between the text to be translated and the translation, somehow explaining why and how the translation takes place.

* The relationship between text and image, how they "translate" into each other. For artists that work with the textual / discursive, what kind of translations happen between the practice itself and the writing of a doctoral thesis?

Fig 4. Ian Brown, Scott Schwager, Angela Hodgson, Pamela Kember

Angela Hodgson:

* Presented a cross-section of constituent elements of her practice and research as both an artist and medical doctor: hypothesis, individual practice, participatory events, all focusing on the use of drawing as a way of exploring empathy within the context of a hospital / medical setting.

* Narratives emerging through the practice, the stories and experiences of the participants (namely other staff), things happening in the background. Improvisation as a way of responding to context, and allowing for free associations to emerge.

* Difference in scope and depth in science and in art, as forms of knowledge. Sympathy and empathy as constitutive of the relationship between doctor / artist and patient / audience. Measuring empathy? The problematics of the "empathy quotient".

Fig 5. Aaron McPeake, Bernice Donszelmann

Themes and questions to take forward:

*Artists also trained or experienced in a other disciplines - interdisciplinarity - in this case architecture (Caroline) and medicine (Angela). How to map the influences, overlaps and dissonances and in what direction such mapping occurs.

* The cultural specificity of epistemological paradigms, and how they influence the way in which as researchers we might attempt to describe the knowledge emerging from our practices.

*Presenting practice as a form of thinking aloud; creative production on-the-spot, in the TPE sessions. Performativity without being a performance.

* Searching for resolution, seeking a narrative that others can read, the role of the audience / reader. Is he/she present at the onset of practice or comes in as an afterthought? What happens when the researcher becomes the primary audience for his or her research?

* And/or - Relations between verbal and visual (and other) languages in art research - in the thesis and beyond. For example, Roland Barthes' discussion of image/text relations, his "third meaning" (the first on the information level, the second on the symbolic level) which he links to filmic and photographic images, but can possibly be applied in terms of the emblematic reading of certain visual/verbal devices - suggesting that this remains an "obtuse" sense or meaning to use his term, where meaning resides neither in the image or in the text alone. It is instead produced across or through both.

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