Dr Rachel Hann will join us as a speaker on 1st June at out ‘Practices and Processes of Practice Research’ event. Here’s her abstract. You can book tickets here.
Practice-as-Research (PaR) has arguably entered a new phase of development and maturity. I argue that the ‘first wave’ of PaR debate was centred on the right to conduct research through practice and have this recognised within institutional frameworks. PaR PhDs in the UK are now commonplace and governmental research assessment exercises, such as the REF, readily accept PaR as an established research method. In order to celebrate and consolidate these achievements, I propose that a second wave of PaR discussions should be concerned with questions of accessibility and peer review. This position was confirmed by my attendance at the Goldsmiths The Future of Practice Research in June 2015 event. In the first instance, the event reassured me that I was not alone in wanting to move on from the defensive positions cultivated over the last 20 years. The proposal to focus on the future chimed with my own belief that the argument that ‘practice matters’ had been won (at least administratively). Secondly, the move away from the micro-politics of practice as/through/based/led was particularly welcome. I am therefore an out and out convert. ‘Practice Research’ works for me. It focuses on the wider issues related to how researchers share, apply and critique knowledge borne of practice.
Equally, the discussions at Goldsmiths were particularly timely. My colleague Dr. Victor Ladron de Guevara (Plymouth University) and I had undertaken a similar debate at the Theatre and Performance Research Association’s (TaPRA) annual conference nine months prior. An outcome of this discussion was to approach the editors of Studies in Theatre and Performance (STP) and set up a new section devoted to sharing and promoting Practice Research projects called Practice Matters. Our agenda was simple: in order for Practice Research to evidence its knowledge claims, we require a peer-reviewed archive of related projects. We believe that practice research outcomes should be shared and interrogated as part of a sustainable peer-reviewed multi-media archive. Practice Matters is one response to this call for action. In that regard, I ask in this presentation what might a second wave of practice research focus on and how might we collectively argue the long-term accessibility and disciplinary recognition of knowledge borne through practice.
Dr. Rachel Hann is a Lecturer in Scenography at the University of Surrey. Her research is focused on the material cultures of costume, performance design, and architecture. She is a co-editor of Practice Matters, a new practice research section for Studies in Theatre and Performance (first issue due 2017), as well as an Associate Editor (reviews) for the journal Theatre and Performance Design. In 2013, Rachel co-founded the biennial conference and exhibition Critical Costume. This initial event produced a co-edited special issue of Scene (Intellect) on costume practices. Critical Costume has now gone on to establish itself as an international research network with events in Helsinki and Prague (see criticalcostume.com). Rachel is currently in the process of writing a monograph entitled ‘Beyond Scenography’ for Routledge (due 2017). Since 2014, Rachel has been an Executive Officer for the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA), having previously co-convened the Scenography working group (2010-2013). At the University of Leeds, Rachel’s PaR PhD thesis employed computer-based 3D visualization as a research method to investigate unrealized utopian theatre architecture (see utopiantheatres.co.uk).
The next work in progress meeting will be on Wednesday 18th May, Ag09, 4.30-6.00pm.
The presenter will be Professor Matt Wright from the School of Music and Performing Arts.
“Mabli Language is a working term for a technique using partly-notated, partly-improvised, partly-sampled loops to create a gurgling, sometimes uncoherent musical texture, akin to the babbling language of my young daughter Mabli. This technique is being investigated in preparation for work with B’Rock (a Belgian baroque ensemble based in Ghent) for a premiere at the Transit Festival in October ’16. For the Transit Festival piece, material from Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerto Grosso Opus 6 no.4 will be expressed through the Mabli language, but material from that work will also be presented as a piece for violin, ‘cello, samples and lighting at the Sidney Cooper Gallery next Janaury ’17 and a work for orchestra and improvisers in April ’17, by which time my daughter will hopefully make sense.”
Matt Wright works as a composer, improviser and sound artist at the edges of concert and club culture, his output stretching from scores for early music ensembles and contemporary chamber groups to digital improvisation, experimental hip hop and turntablism, website installations, and large events combining DJs, new music performers and digital media. He works closely with Evan Parker (including the CD ‘Trance Map’ and duo, trio and ensemble performances in New York, London and Paris) with Ensemble Klang in The Hague (including the CD ‘Music at the Edge of Collapse’), with Bl!ndman and Champ D’Action in Brussels and Antwerp; with The Six Tones in Malmo, Sweden and Hanoi, Vietnam; with Ensemble Offspring in Sydney, with CEPROMusic in Mexico City and with Splinter Cell, a flexible collective of musicians based in London and Canterbury who work with the connections between notation, technology and improvisation. His work has been presented at the Sydney Opera House, Le Poisson Rouge (New York), the Muziekcentrum an ‘t IJ (Amsterdam), The Kim Ma Theatre (Vietnam), Abbey Road Studios and Tate Britain, has been reviewed in the New York Times, and a two-hour focus on his work appeared on the ABC network in Australia. He is Professor of Composition and Sonic Art at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Prof Erik Knudsen will present a paper on 1st June entitled: Research Is Research Is Research
In his presentation, Erik Knudsen will discuss ongoing uncertainties around the perception of media practice research and the struggles that often persist around articulating the relationship between creative practice and academic research. He will ask whether, outside the realm of the explosion in practice led PhDs, there is actually as much practice led media research as the media practice community believes. He will also ask to what extent we are comfortable with our understanding of the relationship between media practice research and the idea of new knowledge and insights. Erik will then draw on recent REF2014 UoA36 feedback, and experience of AHRC peer reviewing and panel work, to highlight key challenges around the relationship between creative media practice and the demands of research that leads to new insights through the qualitative assessment of originality, significance and rigour.
Read more about Prof Erik Knudsen here.
Book tickets for the event here.