community of practice

In her blog patter, Pat Thomson wrote earlier today about keeping up with the literatures. There’s great advice in the blog about not only attempting to keep abreast of what is current in one’s field, but also in not getting caught up in attempting to read all of everything:

I haven’t read the paper in entirety yet, but I do already know enough about it to be able to go back to it, if or when I need to. I may decide, depending on whether the paper is central to my own work or not, to eventually read the paper thoroughly.

She also mentions a service called Browzine which I wasn’t familiar with. It looks great for keeping on top of a lot of publications at once.

Of course this all serves the traditionally published aspects of one’s community of practice in PaR. Yet, we have a responsibility also to keep abreast of current creative practices (in the professional and academic communities) and how these inform – and are in dialogue with – our own creative practices. Sadly, there is no centralised type of Browzine for artistic practices. Perhaps though you have suggestions for how you keep up to speed on current creative practices?

cognitive biases and the search for meaning

Buster Benson wrote a Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet in 2016 and it’s worth a look:

medium.com/better-humans/cognitive-bias-cheat-sheet-55a472476b18#.ha7akki5q

Benson’s descriptions of various cognitive biases on wikipedia can be narrowed down to what he describes as four problems:

Problem 1: Too much information.
Problem 2: Not enough meaning.
Problem 3: Need to act fast.
Problem 4: What should we remember?

That is: a) “we don’t see everything”; b) “our search for meaning can conjure illusions”; c) “quick decisions can be seriously flawed”; d) “our memory reinforces errors”.

This might seem to have little to do with practice-as-research but I want to use problem 2 to share some ideas. In practice-as-research, we are in general dealing with experientially rich or “high-resolution” situations: think of complex the act of performing; or perhaps creating poetically detailed threads of meaning and metaphor in film. The conditions and conventions of PaR ask us to somehow make sense of those complexities or experientially rich situations: to search for and generate meaning. Often we do this through reading and para-phrasing theory to create or establish a way to understand what work our research (as practice) does. (I’m being deliberately crude or simplistic here). The danger is that in our desire to search for and find meaning, we simply conjure up texts and contexts that are less rich or what I could call “low-resolution”.

The trade-off between high-res experiences and practices and generating low-resolution texts or materials (such as materials of documentation) is a key problem in PaR.

rafting-with

Access to Christina Houghton’s practice-research PhD at the Auckland University of Technology. It’s a hefty series of downloads (10GB+).

https://aut.researchgateway.ac.nz/handle/10292/11776

The ethico-poetics manifests minimal and minor narratives of belonging with all species, releasing (attitudes of ) hierarchical control and guides the research deeper toward its ethical focus in relation to narratives of the Anthropocene. Joanna Zylinska’s minimal ethics and Erin Manning’s minor gesture, move toward fracturing grand narratives through thought-in- action as choreographic methods attuned to speculative pragmatics. The final conceptual coupling within this research exists across William Forsythe’s choreographic object and André Lepecki’s afterlives toward an un-mastered release for choreographic thinking-in-action, which lingers, hangs on, or survives after the choreographic event. Here an everyday poetics envelops in the way relationally distributed bodies of choreographic objects survive.

— Christina Houghton (part of abstract)