Following this week’s OCA tutor-led session on research for Contextual Studies and Body of Work, I feel like I have a clearer picture of how to approach this part of my studies, and more importantly how CS and BoW overlap. Ariadne stressed that we should not separate the approach. What is needed applies to both CS and BoW: being succinct, working with ideas and communicating them, processes, analytical and critical thinking, enquiry, reflection, passion.
- Grand narratives can be revealed through small case-studies: micro-histories. Be aware of the context and complexity.
- Connections are very important. Consider similarities and differences with adjacent topics. Consider the topic’s antithesis and analogy. Establish connections. Show awareness of the links between things.
- Always think: so what? Why is this important? Qualify your ideas. If you can’t, reconsider your topic, approach or perceptions.
- Look at work as a problem which demands a solution – a puzzle to be solved. Apply techniques and reasoning. Methodology = map to follow to get to the objective.
- Primary sources: could be other photographers or theoretical work. Assessing how everything relates to your work is more important than the original work itself. Link all the sources to create a structure. Be aware of the key concerns and recurring themes and how they all fit together. This all provides your evidence and a theoretical backbone.
- Find plausible answers and connections to your problem. This leads to a fine-tuning of the targeted research which can then be turned into a proposal. This will help you structure your subject, clarify key concerns and find an explicit hook to make the work appealing and special.
- Ariadne mentioned tagmenics. I Googled this but only found tagmemics which I assume was what was meant. Quickly decided the potential reward did not warrant the time spent on understanding this in-depth… Ariadne explained that the relevance here was:
- To regard the topic as a particle – a thing in itself
- To regard the topic as a wave – a thing changing over time
- To regard the topic as a field – a thing within its context (solidify it in relation to adjacent topics)
- Identify my grand narrative – what am I trying to say?
- Develop hypotheses
- Consider and capture strategies to mitigate anticipated risks