Sunday, October 16, 2011

writing about process...

The last few weeks I've been solidly wrangling with my exegesis 'process' chapter

Higher Degrees in the Visual Arts are extremely strange beasts - especially for anyone who has undertaken postgraduate studies in pretty much any other discipline..... these folk often look on in horror at all the self-referential written material that we studio-based HDR students churn out!

As my supervisors remind me (and other uni departments I suspect!), the exegesis in a studio-based Higher Degree is not the site of the research (that's the job of creative studio work). The exegesis operates as a support document - a place to contextualise the work and to unpack research methodology

Here are a few snippets of what I've been writing about my 'studio research methodology' (ie - my process chapter).....

"Everything I create is based on my connection to and tacit understanding of a very particular place."

"My readings provide context for my interests in site, self and sustainability and help build the bridge between my interest in tacit and explicit knowledge." 

"What materials I use, where they come from, how they are made, transported, used and disposed of, and where my purchase funds go to, are all actively considered in my work. Fundamentally, I believe the means must be justifiable in the end."

"My artistic practice is defined by an interplay of dynamic opposites – fast and slow work, old and new technologies, transient and permanent creations..."

"Practical. Pragmatic. Pithy. That’s the essence of my process."

It's still a work in progress...... but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.... 

(ps when I DO finish all the writing and making
I will allow public access to a closed blog I've been keeping for the duration of my research
- in the meantime you can drop by my recently added tumblr blog
to see some of the interesting things I've recently discovered and shared...)



  1. I truly appreciate these snippets on the progress of your exegesis. All the best!

  2. I guess its a bit like a very long artist statement....?

  3. ahhhh I wish abigail..... (the bits that I've pulled from the chapter to share here CAN double up as arty statement - but in reality the exegesis 'process' chapter is more far less interesting - if that's possible!) a couple of thousand words devoted to 'methodology' does not a fun read make!

  4. I can imagine! How do you not end up repeating yourself? I know I would find it very hard.

  5. not sure i could undertake this sort of thing...brave woman, and full of energy! such hard work.

  6. It's a fascinating place, academia. Although I've felt its pull most of my life, I knew I couldn't take it on at the level you are, not without full health anyway, so since my MFA I have finally let it go.
    Where do you see yourself taking it Ronnie? Are you interested in teaching? I have a friend with a PhD who is a lecturer who cannot understand why anyone not interested in working at a uni would be bothered! I've always looked at it a little differently. I guess I used to value the rigor for its own sake, although now I can see that many aspects of academic practice don't actually enhance the work "in the real world". What do you think?


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx