Starting the dissertation journey

Starting the dissertation journey

My proposal hearing isn’t for another 2 days, but I’ve already begun to piece together thoughts, ideas, and film experiments as the first few steps in this dissertation journey.

.    Of course, none of this is coming out of thin air; I’ve been ruminating over this project for a couple of years now. I’ve come to appreciate that gestational thinking periods are necessary to producing informed, complex work and are inextricable to the creative process. Sameshima and Knowles (2008) point out, “sound, qualitative research is that which is mindfully and artfully developed” (p. 108). Though I have experienced times during my doctoral studies when I have felt rather unproductive (admittedly sometimes going for months without producing anything), I can recognize now how those times were important in leading me to conclusions or ideas that could have only come/been constructed with time. In this case, I have been thinking about how I can investigate creativity by means of creativity, to effectively produce metacreativity. Art-based researchers, or “scholartists” (Knowles, Promislow, & Cole, 2008) like me understand art as a profound method of inquiry, a way of knowing and of coming to know. Today there are many multimodal, dynamic platforms at our disposal (such as YouTube and this blog), and I want to capitalize on the affordances of these, in the name of innovation, curiosity, engagement, and fun.

Rebecca and Emma.     Because my research builds on Picasso’s words, “every child is an artist; the trouble is how to remain an artist once we grow up,” I invited my sweet little neighbour Emma to appear with me on camera to contextualize the essence and importance of creativity. This past weekend we painted together, played with plasticine, and rocked out on the drums, all of which was caught on film to be used as B roll footage in the documentary. Here’s a quick edit of our play date:

.    So things are off to a good start! My next step is to plan out and script each video in the five-part polyptych and keep blogging as I run into items that require discussion but that won’t necessarily fit well as part of a documentary. Lots more to come . . . stay tuned.

 .

.

References

Knowles, J. G., Promislow, S., & Cole, A. L. (2008). Creating scholartistry: Imagining the
.

.       arts-informed thesis or dissertation. Halifax, Canada: Backalong Books.
.
Raising Creativity. (2012, December 28). kid being creative. Retrieved January 15, 2013,
.
.       from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdK3IfiVIBw
.
Sameshima, P., & Knowles, J. G. (2008). Into artfulness: Being grounded but not bounded.
.
.       In J. G. Knowles, S. Promislow, & A. L. Cole (Eds.), Creating scholartistry: Imagining
.

.       the arts-informed thesis or dissertation (pp. 107–120). Halifax, Canada: Backalong Books.

Posted by Rebecca Zak