blogging and practice

It will probably come as no surprise to those of you who know me that I think there is enormous value in blogging as a form of writing practice. It enables people to:

  • test different kinds of writing in public (or indeed private)
  • get used to writing regularly in different registers and scales
  • consider types of audiences in very particular ways
  • develop ongoing sensitisation to ideas
  • shape and question artistic practices through text-based approaches
  • develop a simple space to collect ideas, images, etc (probably the most common form of blog in relation to practice-research)

The work of Australian artist Lucas Ihlein is useful in this respect. His PhD (completed in 2010) was called Framing Everyday Experience: Blogging as Art and (as the title suggests!) it includes blogging as an art practice. Lucas is online at and @LucasIhlein. I’m sure he’d happily send you a copy of his PhD if you drop him a line.

Lucas’s writing and thinking reminds me of this:

Whether economic, philosophical, social or cultural, the context in which an artwork is created and the complicity of the artist within that context is intrinsic to its meaning.

— David Pledger,

In other words, context is everything (just replace artwork with product / writing / research / etc.). And what about this word complicity? What are the circumstances of resistance and complicity? Blogging (and other social media) technologies for sharing, publishing and producing are not value-free or transparent. They shape how we read and see, and invite particular assumptions on the part of the writer and reader.

Finally, anyone know of any other examples of blogging as artistic-scholarly practice that have formed part of doctoral (or other) submissions?



7 Replies to “blogging and practice”

  1. Hi Simon, Interesting stuff. I saw your request on SCUDD but no email address so replying here. Part of my PaR methodology (I am researching storytelling with adolescents) is to blog – at – a little bit out of date but a sort of archive of ideas generation – because I see dissemination as part of the research cycle of PaR, particularly in ‘applied practice’ like mine. This has two ‘faces’ – it provides ‘counsel’ to others, and the act of giving it elicits responses which shape theory. Also blogging is one stage in the crystallisation of experience – from hundreds of hours of practice, down to hundreds of pages of fieldnotes, down to more neatly formed discrete ideas expressed in blog posts, which you can then tie back together into networks of ideas, a theory….

    Can send you an extract from my PhD methodology where I write about this if it is of interest,

    Best wishes,

    Cath Heinemeyer

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Simon, I too saw your SCUDD request and thanks for an interesting post. I’m a walking artist (though hail from a dance/performance background) researching the potential for walking art/performance as ecological activism in (very) rural areas – e.g. see but also at, and more recently Like any live, durational, site-based practice my work often lacks an audience for large portions of my route (which is fine) but perhaps because of the activist dimension, I wish to find ways for people to access and follow the work and I struggle to find ways to document it ‘authentically’. I think a lot of walking/land-based artists and artist-researchers now use blogging for similar reasons; for me it’s become an important way of recording and musing about the thoughts that come up while i’m walking, and in the conversational encounters or interventions I have which form another core element of the practice. Though, interestingly, for Trans-missions, it was blogging *before* the performance that helped me think through and clarify the score. I think this was because that was my final practice piece for PhD research, and it brought together quite a lot of complex strands and thought derived from ‘very academic’ reading and I really wanted to make that accessible to people I was working with or the ‘participants’ I meet on my walks (who all get given a card with the web address on it, if they ever want context, or to make contact again). Anyway, this is not particularly helpful comment, as I’m sure I’m just churning over stuff you already know (walking artists use blogging), but these blogs and websites will essentially form the bulk of my practice submission for my PhD – in terms of the ‘raw documentation’ anyway (in addition to reflective/reflexive ‘documentary’ writing about each piece for which the blogs were an important precursor for trying our or expressing ideas as Cath says above) Thanks again and sorry for this stream of consciousness ramble!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jess — no problem at all with stream of consciousness. That’s part of the pleasure or opportunity.
      It’s great to get a feel for what’s going on out there, and I appreciate the detail of the work you are *presenting* online. I’ll add a link to your comment in the original post. Also, I corrected the url for that first site.
      Thanks for reading and posting.


  3. Simon, as usual a pleasure to interact with you and your readers. As you suggest, I’m always happy to share my PhD thesis “Framing Everyday Experience: Blogging as Art”. Probably the easiest way to grab it is to log in to and search for me – I’ve uploaded the PDF of the thesis there so it’s readily available.
    Lucas Ihlein


    1. Thanks Lucas. Just a note to say that this blog is a not for any teaching purpose. I edited your comment to say “readers”. Hope this is OK. Very best, and thanks. Simon


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