29 SES 01, Arts-based methodologies in arts education research
‘Experiment, don't signify and interpret! Find your own places, territorialities, deterritorializations, regime, lines of flight! Semiotize yourself instead of rooting around in your prefab childhood and Western semiology’ (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980/1987, p. 139).
2018-19 was the third academic year in which we gave a master's seminar on arts-based research (ABR) at the University of Barcelona. For us every year is different and we take it as a new challenge. This is for several reasons: firstly, because we like to introduce new ideas about ABR; secondly, because in one year we have changed, we are not the same as the previous year. So many things have happened to us. In one year we have made new readings and writings, shared advances on the subject with colleagues and presented them in conferences (De Aberasturi et al., 2018). All this has moved us to other territories. And thirdly, because we understand these seminars as a space for experimentation, a space to continue learning about ABR with the students, challenging one to each other.
In addition to this, in the approach we follow at the University of Barcelona, both in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, we pay attention mainly to the ontological, epistemological and methodological meanings given by the Arts Based Research (ABR) process, as well as to the use of artistic media in the sciences, health, social, educational and artistic research. This means, on one hand “making new worlds; enabling others to re-experience vicariously the world” (Barone and Eisner, 2012: 20). And, on the other hand, inviting students to explore ABR from a postqualitative approach, connected with Deleuzian ontology of becoming (Carlin and Wallin, 2014; Coleman and Ringrose, 2013) and with a way of thinking of research as rhizome (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980/1987). For us, postqualitative research enables us to go beyond the first conceptualization of Living Inquiry. This concept is an effective framework for opening-up research, by acknowledging that everyone is an expert of her/his own lived experience (Springgay, Irwin and Wilson, 2005). In addition to democratizing the notion of who can carry out research, it also recognizes that the research process cannot be fully controlled or contained. It is a term that places value on the journey of a research process and on the transition inquirers (and the inquiry itself) go through. However, in some way it still refers to a humanistic world instead of a posthumanist one. The introduction of the ontology of becoming opens up an ongoing world, where the human and the non-human affect each other and enable to create new realities. Furthermore, it also invites to think of the subject as an I-multiple-in-relationship and in constant change, moving also in a multiple reality in constant change. Thus, this ontology presents an unfinished, indeterminate and open reality (Coleman and Ringrose, 2013), which takes into account for research not just facts, but processes, forces and movements that affect and force ways of thinking other.
With this in mind, we decided to understand the seminar as a rhizome, a network in which ‘any point . . . can be connected to anything other, and must be’ (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980/1987, p., 7), offering some plateaus/challenges and invite students to learn to become-arts-based researchers by doing an arts-based research.
According to Massumi (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980/1987, p., xiv), In Deleuze and Guattari, a plateau is reached when circumstances combine to bring an activity to a pitch of intensity that is not automatically dissipated in a climax. The heightening of energies is sustained long enough to leave a kind of afterimage of its dynamism that can be reactivated or injected into other activities, creating a fabric of intensive states between which any number of connecting routes could exist. Therefore, the seminar was thought as an ongoing network creating and expanding itself because of plateaus/challenges and the movements they generated. It consisted of five days in which two professors, eighteen master’s students and six doctoral students became entangled in arts-based research and the following plateaus/challenges: 1. To begin the seminar not by presenting a program, but with a poem followed by a list of gestures, possibilities, questions, fingerprints, texts, glances and stories organized on several spaces. 2. After reading some articles about ABR and see examples of ABR practices (Fendler, Onsès, Hernández, 2013; Onsès, Hernández-Hernández, 2017), and discussing what we were learning from them, we brought to class more than 100 images of undergraduates who were exploring on their visual culture references. The idea was to offer students the possibility of exploring the practice of archiving as an artistic practice and as a strategy for an ABR. As well as opening up the need to document the process. From this vivid process some questions arose: What can we do with all these images? Can we do an ABR from them? Are we questioning the notion of data: the truth is not out there? Are we considering doing research as a way of generating and enabling relationships more than to arrive to a predetermined results? These questions gave also the possibility of linking ABR with the post-qualitative turn. 3. Instead of asking for a written work at the end of the seminar, we asked for visual/artistic article which would be peer reviewed by two of us, as professors/reviewers. Students presented an article elaborate in groups that gave an account of the process followed in the seminar. The format of the article could adopt different modalities. Students were encouraged to explore and invent ABR formats. What happens in this process will be the focus of our presentation.
Visual/artístics articles not only allowed us to assess the seminar in a different way, but also better understand the students’ becoming through arts-based research. Some awarenesses and wonderings arisen were: · ABR is not just sharing experiences, but experiences connected with theory within a clear ontological, epistemological, methodological and ethical framework. · Research articles or reports need contextualization · ABR article is not only a composition of images and text, but a meaningful connection and dialogue among them. · Postqualitative ABR does not consist only on using posthuman concepts; it is necessary to ground and contextualize them. · There is still a difficulty to connect theory with practice. Students have difficulty living their processes as a theoretical-practical entanglement.
Barone, T., Eisner, E. (2006). Arts-Based Educational Research. En J. Green, C. Grego & P. Belmore (eds.). Handbook of Complementary Methods in Educacional Research. (pp. 95-109). Mahwah, New Jersey: AERA. Carlin, Matthew; Wallin, Jason (eds.) (2014). Deleuze & Guattari, Politics and Education: For a People-Yet-to-Come. NY, London, New Delhi, Sydney: Bloomsbury. Coleman, Rebecca; Ringrose, Jessica (eds.) (2013). Deleuze and Research Methodologies. : Edinburgh University Press. de Aberasturi, Estíbaliz; Canales, Carlos ; Carrasco, Sara ; Correa, José Miguel; Hernández, Fernando; Herraiz, Fernando; León, Margari ; Onsès, Judit; Sancho, Juana M.; Vidiella, Judit (2018). Investigación (educativa) basada en las artes. MOOC Tendencias emergentes en investigación educativa. Módulo 4. Derivas en investigación educativa y social. La Laguna: Universidad de La Laguna. Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix (1987). Thousand Plateaus (Brian Massumi, Trad.). London/ Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published in 1980). Fendler, Rachel; Onsès, Judit; Hernández, Fernando (2013). Becoming arts-based researchers: A journey through the experience of silence in the university classroom. International Journal of Education through Art, 9 ( 2), 257-263. Onsès, Judit., Hernández-Hernández, Fernando (2017). Visual Documentation as Space of Entanglement to Rethink Arts-Based Educational Research. Synnyt / Origins, 2, 61-73. Springgay, Stephanie; Irwin, Rita L.; Wilson Kind, Sylvia (2005). A/r/tography as Living Inquiry. Through Art and Text. Qualitative Inquiry, 11 (6), 897-912
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