This article addresses the struggle of crafting a recognized professional scholarly identity, and reflects on the significance of puppets to interrupt this struggle, assert one’s voice, and creatively occupy one’s space. Our interdisciplinary contribution aims to extend conversations on the realities of academic life that are often muted or diluted such as anxiety, self-doubt, weariness and failure, with implications for creative research practices. We engage the aforementioned realities through a mix of creative and whimsical writing styles (e.g., human-puppet dialogues; poetry; reflection), leveraging insights from the Jungian psychological approach to archetypal symbol and the imagination as well as transformative arts-based approaches involving storytelling, voice, and liminal space. After exploring our own experiences carving out space as creative and reflective scholar-practitioners, we discuss two examples where puppets disrupted the status quo of particular academic settings and provided opportunities for different, more spontaneous forms of engagement with the self and with others.
In response to Maureen Flint’s (2020) performance and essay, Fingerprints and Pulp, on the ethics of truncating and flattening research participants in qualitative research, I extend this ethical concern to the voices of scholars flattened in qualitative research and writing processes. Scholars cite for many reasons, but what is there that holds us to account for our treatments of academics that come before; how can we avoid flattening and abusing those we cite? Through endeavouring to recognise and protect ghosts and nomadic identities of those other than the author in the research and writing process, I propose a new way of re-animating and re-embodying the haunting, nomadic voices in cited texts, in order to minimise further, future truncations and limitations of the other in academic writing. Attending to the ghosts allows for more ethical and just behaviour towards those cited. Seeing the multitude of ghosts haunting scholarly work obliges more ethical behaviour toward those voices flattened in writing.
This inquiry exists because of a necklace I made but could not explain. I picked up theory and poetry and set off on a journey to answer why, and what now. How do you articulate the value of something you remain incapable of explaining? In the middle of the journey, I reached the edge of a ravine. This paper is written there, at the lip of the aporia. It is like a letter or a map. It aims to guide you to that uncrossable gap existing between thing and object, thing and us. It invites you to join me—speaking poems about and into that chasm, and hearing strange replies that might be echoes, or new verses—as I make with and despite and because of the mystery. As I inquire into and with the world, gaps and all, to approach things—that which is that I can’t say.
In this explorative essay, I discuss the complexity of apparentness as it pertains to being a teacher educator and an artist. Notions from creative and postmodern research approaches help me suggest that it is a quality of perception and not a quality of art or any other kind of text. In this exploration of how apparentness comes in and out of focus for me as an educator and as an artist, I begin with a discussion of the role of art in my becoming a teacher educator; I realize art’s efficacy as a site for exploring the acts of facilitating discussions, drawing the attention of others, and raising an awareness for what we believe matters. As a painter, I reflect on and inquire into what is laudable and limited in these forays of connecting art to teaching and education. The research approach is narrative and reflective, not intent on the discovery of discreet findings, but more interested in discovering questions and in offering some ways of framing my experiences and their possible implications for educators, teacher education, art, and artists. I ponder the parallels between art and education, particularly in how viewing art can be a metaphor for classroom discussions. The essay is concerned with what we believe is apparent and mysterious, and how we engage in dialogue with the resonance and dissonance of the perceptions of others.
Socially engaged art practices are understood to borrow from and overlap with several disciplinary territories, crossing over into contexts that, in the process of engaging in civic work and everyday actions, obscure their identity as art and aesthetic practices. The article examines the complications that result from co-existing in various ontological sets of properties, through the presentation of a socially engaged project rooted simultaneously in art, social work, education, and ethnography, and where the author acts and performs as an artist, scholar, and facilitator. Participants in the project embody multiple identities which are dependent on changing perspectives and conditions. Arguing for a relevant ethical orientation to research adapted to the transdisciplinary positions of such community-based projects, the inquiry further interrogates the wrangle between the expectations that symbolic capital is typically accrued to artists engaged in these practices and the inconspicuous agency of quiet activism that offers potent alternative forms of resistance.
This study of scientists’ reactions to the experience of an art exhibition, researches Polyani’s (2009) tacit knowing, a knowledge that we cannot easily express into words, and Deleuze and Guattari’s (1987) striated and smooth spaces, with striated being a channelled and restricted way of thinking compared to smooth as free flowing and creative. To research these concepts, a psycho-social method—the Visual Matrix (VM)—is used as a research method. Two groups of geoscientists were brought together to first view Waterways, an art exhibition, and then participate in a VM. The research concludes that the scientists were able to express tacit knowledge elicited through the experience of Waterways, enabling them to think differently about their work and form new understandings about the natural environment in relationship to themselves and society. For artists, the VM can be an effective tool when working with scientists and the public. The study argues the importance of bringing tacit knowledge to the surface, allowing greater possibility of combining scientific and artistic approaches.
This article documents how I came to combine autoethnographic accounting with visual arts practice. I developed this mixed methods approach for my PhD study which explores the interdisciplinary possibilities offered by combining visual arts practice with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Visual arts practices as narrative forms tend toward the non-linear (Anae, 2014), whilst autoethnography offers self-reflection. Writing an autoethnographic account for an artwork has the potential to generate a wealth of data, some of which are visible, some of which are not. The invisible data become available only when the artist speaks to/writes about the artwork. If some content/context of a visual artwork is only visible through background information provided by the art maker, this discovery troubles another issue concerning our notions of what a good visual artwork is. Finally, I test this article’s autoethnographic authenticity against Adam’s four characteristics of autoethnography.
Using poetic self-study, the author recounted her own lived experiences during the first year as an international doctoral student in New Zealand to explore how her academic identity emerged and (re)constructed. The article draws on theories of space and place, investigating the spatial production and social interactions of the author within spaces that, in turn, influenced her sense of being an academic. While literature has been more concerned with the questions of what activities, relations, and contexts contribute to the academic identity development of doctoral students, the author seeks to forefront the where of academic identity configuration.
This is the first article of an in-process, creation-centred research project exploring raw energy through the authors’ distinctive and complementary inquiry practices of creation-centred research (St. Georges, 2020, in press) and spontaneous creation-making (Bickel, 2020; Bickel & Fisher, 1993). Raw energy, as conceived, is experienced as spirit-in-motion in a process of manifestation—of making the invisible visible—and is rooted in an intra)inter-relational aesthetic. This creation-centred inquiry is a relational and animated approach to creating, inquiry, learning, unlearning, and teaching. It resists the colonial lens by virtue of exploring inner subjective space, relinquishing colloquial aesthetic constraints, and enveloping a sacred space in which to restore, heal, and decolonize the imagination. Led by breath)spirit, touch, intuition, experiential and conversational exchanges, and compassionate relationships, creative lifeforce is activated to forge new ways of knowing—moving toward the extraordinary. This article engages with theoretical and explanatory text, visual and poetic storying, and interactive breath that invites the reader into this inquiring journey.
Inclinations is an audio-described, 7-minute, site-specific, disability dance on film followed by a video discussion between three of the disabled artist-researchers. Throughout this project, we embraced a research-creation methodology to engage with the research question: How can we fully embed intersectional disability justice, not only as a theoretical lens, but also, as a methodological imperative? This work centres the concepts of disability culture and disability generativity, and purposefully diverges from more popular traditions of physically-integrated dance in favour of disability dance. We demonstrate and discuss how this choice—alongside various filmic practices—seeks to decentre the ableist gaze, normalizing narratives, and the ubiquitous non-disabled referent. Other methodological considerations enacted and discussed in this work include centring access aesthetics, consent, care, disability justice principles, and questions of power in every aspect of the creation process.
Through this work I engaged the geological process of brecciation as a metaphor in an arts-integrated critical analysis of an event that changed the trajectory of my career and initiated the transformation of my relationship with geoscientific knowledge and professional practice. I integrated personal stories from my time as an exploration geologist in Red Lake, ON, and reflections on my current role as a post-secondary geoscience educator, to specifically situate myself within this inquiry. I used mixed-media acrylic painting to analyze information and experiences across sometimes dissonant paradigms. Though common in educational research, arts-integrated practices are still extremely rare for research focused on post-secondary technoscientific training. This work provides an opportunity to think differently. It is a first step toward making visible, and challenging, some of the hidden lessons and omissions in geoscience education that have insulated geoscientists from the effects of their knowledge production.
The following is a review, participant-voiced poetic inquiry, and commentary on the article, “Art and Documentaries in Climate Communication: Experiencing the Reality of Climate Change and Leading the Way to Change.” Liselotte Roosen and Christian Klockner (2020) published this case study as part of a more extensive research project, Climart, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. In this review, I consider the relationships between artworks, researchers, and audience participants. I offer a participant-voiced poetic inquiry of the arts-based research project. I address the project’s goals for social/political/cultural change, its local and global contexts, and future implications.
The neoliberal university can be a restrictive, repressive, and/or oppressive space. However, the contributions in this edited publication “Reimagining the Academy: ShiFting towards Kindness, Connection, and an Ethics of Care” by Alison L Black and Rachael Dwyer and published by Palgrave Macmillan represent hope, kindness, love, and compassion. The words and works contained in this book gift to any reader many enriching, impactful storied accounts of academic works from differentiated perspectives. These important works support the re-imagining of academic spaces, scholarship, research, teaching and learning and care for self, others, and the work that matters. My reading of these works engaged my individuated ethic of care and inspired a creative response – artistic and poetic storying as an act of performative synthesis of the experience that awaits the reader.