I presented the locative painting project last week at the NGV. I was in the company of the artist John Wolesley and Dr Ruth Pullin who is curating the upcoming Eugene Von Guerard ‘Nature Revealed’ exhibition at the NGV. The three presentations provided some very different perspectives on Von Guerard.
Recently, I meet with Cathy Costa at the Library to go over current research techniques using library resources. I decided to capture some notes and links in a blog post as we covered a lot of ground in the meeting. I will extend these notes out beyond my personal needs to make this a useful resource for students.
A first major step is to define a list of keywords and phrases. These can be defined through trial and error as you begin to search. The trick is to develop an archiving method that enables each search to be collated for further investigation. The social bookmarking tool delicious could be useful for this including using the ‘notes’ section, which can be used to make notes that precis each bookmark and how it relates to your search. There are dozens of video tutorials on delicious online. This one by commoncraft is short and to the point as an introduction. Endnote could be used directly for more definate collation as the url and full reference will be included.
Some searching tips taken from Cathy’s powerpoint:
In our discussion of these resources we talked about the concept of filtering. This is working out ways to narrow down a search, along with developing a type of personalised portal for searching out your own research. There is an application springshare that the library uses with library staff to create customised portals. This is got me thinking about outside social media services that may be used for a similar purpose. Andrew Murphie mentions zotero in this post Zotero – Firefox extension and really useful reference and note manager.
The suggested bigger database Communication and Mass Media is a good one to start with for a general search.
The citation database Scopus is really useful for cross referencing articles and seeing which writers are more widely read that others through how much they have been referenced in other articles.
Google Scholar is another powerful and useful access in terms of scale and searching process. There is RMIT proxy access to Google Scholar which enables extra functionality. This can be accessed directly with Novell access from the drop down by the library search window on the rmit library home page. Downloading citations direct to endnote can be set in the google ‘scholar preferences’ by the search button. Then navigate to the drop down at the very bottom of the page. When endnote is selected hit save at the top of the page.
The ‘advanced search’ option is the way to go in google scholar as it provides more functionality to focus searches.
A web 2.0 approach via the Google search engine can isolate the search to blog within Australia http://blogsearch.google.com.au/.
With e-books some only allow a certain amount of reading screen time on some databases if they have not been purchased outright by the library. If that e-book receives 3 links then the library will provide full unlimited screen time.
Citations can be downloaded from articles and imported into endnote. The referencing style can then be converted into whatever style you are working with automatically. Endnote download for rmit students and staff.
Through Proquest the library has access to safari technical e-books.
Other useful links:
The Double Life contemporary art exhibition opened last night at the RMIT Project Space/Spare Room. With a life in the city and in the country these artist/researchers work with their rural environments. A few pictures from the opening. Curator Lisa Byrne.
An ash stencil on the floor ‘Bastards Neck’ part of Lesley Duxbury’s work.
Talking with the artist Joy Hirst afterwards at dinner Joy referred to the artist Richard Long who has a huge body of work that covers walking, mapping and the landscape.
I was browsing through the Sydney Biennale 2008 catalogue (p.110) and was intrigued by Jaques Lacan’s notion of the ‘le petit objet‘ which on the surface got me thinking about the idea in terms of my own research, that the representation of reality can be revealed through what is not there, what is absent.
Rene Magritte, L’Homme du journal
AM sent a link to some Select Bibliography for Practice as Research in Performance (last updated 23 March 2005) PARIP Practice as Research in Performance, University of Bristol. The peformance angle also appeared recently in this other UK call for essay posted earlier emphermal online video.
And the local, The Speculation and Innovation (SPIN) conference was held in April 2005 and hosted by the Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology. – abstracts
Themes: 1. Embedded knowledge 2. Knowledge impact 3. Knowledge relationships
Including the section details on Embedded Knowledge:
Discusses knowledge generation such as new discoveries; knowledge manifestation as exemplified by various types of outputs (exhibitions, performance, etc), embodied knowledge and the nature and authority of the knowledge claims that are inextricably linked to practice-based research.
OpenStreetMap is a free editable map of the whole world. It is made by people like you.
Along with some other resources including the Pan America Institute of Geography and History based in Mexico, all part of a discussion on the community providing their own information towards the mapping process. Domesday project is an example of both community and specialist documentation. From wikipedia:
It included a new ‘survey’ of the United Kingdom, in which people, mostly school children, wrote about geography, history or social issues in their local area or just about their daily lives. This was linked with maps, and many colour photos, statistical data, video and ‘virtual walks’. Over 1 million people participated in the project. The project also incorporated professionally-prepared video footage, virtual reality tours of major landmarks and other prepared datasets such as the 1981 census.
Another reference Association of American Geographers and Chris Perkin‘s research and Subversive Cartographies. The essay ‘Radical Cartography: Artists making activist maps‘ is a useful reference towards my current interest in this field. From the abstract:
Radical cartography is a practice that uses maps and mapping to promote social change, and is part of a cultural movement that cuts across boundaries of art, geography, and activism. This paper will present examples of cartographic work by artists, architects, and collectives who create maps to raise awareness of social justice issues. These maps are both artworks and part of a larger activist research and practice.
Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees, Verso: London, 2007
Today’s web is built predominantly for human consumption. Even as machine-readable data begins to appear on the web, it is typically distributed in a separate file, with a separate format, and no correspondence between the human and machine versions. As a result, web browsers can provide only minimal assistance to humans in parsing and processing web data: browsers only see presentation information. We introduce RDFa, which provides a set of HTML attributes to augment visual data with machine-readable hints. We show how to express simple and more complex datasets using RDFa, and in particular how to turn the existing human-visible text and links into machine-readable data without repeating content.
I managed to catch at the RMIT design research hub, some of the ‘Studying the European cultural intermediaries of new technologies’, a seminar and workshop led by the INCITE research group, Goldsmiths College, University of London. Presented by Nina Wakeford (Director, INCITE) Britt Hatzius (Lead Researcher).
INCITE mission statement:
The mission of INCITE is to provide a creative interdisciplinary space for research projects which explore the socio-cultural dimensions of technology use and design.
Members of INCITE work on subjects such as the links between new media and landscape, technology as a means of sensing place and identifying community, performativity and design, gender, sexuality and mobility, cultures of access and non-access, urban knowledge-making, Internet and digital subjectivities and material culture. Researchers and students draw on a range of disciplinary traditions, not just sociology, but cultural anthropology, art history and design.
In the part of the presentation that I saw by Britt, she covered an analysis of new media artists in Finland. Locations included the medialab at the University of Art and Design Helsinki; also Pixelache. I was intrigued with the way Britt used user-generated techniques to document the artists activities, like for example providing a number of disposal cameras embedded within an installation.
The term ‘critical design’ came up in a discussion of how some new media artists see themselves more as critical designers that artists.
The final future observations for this research as follows:
newness and progress
newness and critique
newness and innovation
newness and slowness
This collection of ideas made me think of how my own research project title could be developed over time.
I went to a talk ‘Up Against the Wall: Thinking Jeff Wall’ at CCP the other night given by David Bate on the photographer Jeff Wall. I had a look through a book of collected essays on Jeff Wall which made me think about the obvious idea of a correlation between this style of writing and documenting project-based research. In the talk Bates did a incredibly close analysis on one of Wall’s photographs. It was great to see so much analysis flow out of one image. Bates experimented with the concept of bringing an iconographic and psychoanalysis analysis together. In his preamble to the talk I was reminded of Roland Barthes seminal writing on photography as one of the few types of theoretical writing that focuses in-depth on practice. In a discussion of Barthes writing on authorship Bates also mentioned Focault’s ‘What is an author?’. An online reference on these two points of view The Differences between Barthes and Foucault on Authorship, Monica Lancini. Finally, Bates also mentioned the “decisive moment” where in his example a still is taken from a cinematic (moving-image) work. I recognised a connection here with the thumbnails and posters used in Videodefunct.
The Infoscape Research Lab hosts research projects that focus on the cultural impact of digital code. The lab engages in software and other new media tool development, code mapping, interface design, and new media content analysis. The lab is funded in part with grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Media Research Consortium.