Knowledge Swap Task
Towards the end of the unit we were put into groups of three and asked to each share a resource from our elective units that has been impactful on us and as the other two questions, I was in a group with Patrick McGrady and Sophie Lepinoy. I will expand upon their resources below.
Patrick McGrady: Intro to Practice-Based Research
Resource: https://vimeo.com/wavelengthfilms/review/259197709/7969f468ab (Password: wavelength)
Description/Background: I produced the video as part of a project I put together for a show at LCC earlier this year to mark the 50thanniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick originally planned to start the movie with some interviews with scientists talking about some of the themes from the film. He shot the interviews but then decided not to include them in the film, and the original footage has been lost. But the transcripts of the interviews are still held by the Kubrick archive at LCC. I used these as a starting point and produced or directed several short films that use the interview transcripts, and play around with different approaches to visualizing the ideas expressed in the interviews. The film you saw includes work by animation students and recent graduates from LCC. The words are spoken by a selection of some of my students on the BA Film & TV.
Response from Maisie:
The question and the video together seem to be prompting a consideration of existential or anthropological self assessment. I feel as though the resource leaves space for a broad and open response to the question.
Do you see any value in thinking about your own creative practice as a form of research?
I definitely see value in considering my own creative practice as a form of research. As a lecturer who has been posted due majorly to industry experience instead of academic experience I can also see that the university values the qualities that practicing staff can bring to a course. In my personal practice (more than my commercial practice) I aim to create material that is innovative by engaging with new technology and relevant/current dialogue. I often ‘practise’ my workshops and activities on myself before delivering them to my students. So the ‘value’ for me is in ‘learning to enable teaching’.
How might thinking about your creative practice as a form of research change your approach / method or intentions?
I often feel as though the intention of my self initiated work is for the sake of pleasure as I am lucky enough to enjoy a practice (of illustration) that I enjoy as more than just ‘work’. This way of thinking might devalue the practice. I think that an awareness of the necessity of practicing both as a fulfilling activity in its own right but also as a necessary part of my professional development is important. I could approach my personal practice by building it into my daily schedule. I am interested in the process of drawing and illustration as a technology for documenting the past and present, movement through time and for capturing zeitgeist, this is a form of research which may be applied to my teaching practice. I am also currently very aware of and interested in collaborative practice and would like to engage more with ‘communal making’.
Sophie Lepinoy: Inclusive Teaching and Learning
Resource: The Room of Silence on Vimeo
Description: “The Room of Silence,” is a short documentary about race, identity and marginalization at the Rhode Island School of Design. Based on interviews conducted by myself and the campus organization Black Artists and Designers, this film contains well under a third of the stories we collected this March, and an unknown fraction of the stories belonging to students we didn’t have a chance to meet with. This video is meant to serve as a discussion tool and testimony on behalf of the growing student activist movement on our campus, and around the country. The video has already been shown at faculty and departmental meetings, and its release online marks the next step in exposing these issues and fostering dialogue between students and school. There are a lot of issues present in the extremely intersectional problem this video is attempting to tackle: issues that cannot and should not be simplified down and crammed into twenty minutes. Please consider this the first entry in a necessary conversation.
Response from Maisie:
Do you recognise this sort of situation, as staff and/or when you were a student?
Despite working with students from BAME backgrounds I havenʼt experienced them wanting to make work about race. This might be because they are ‘self-censoringʼ. We include subject matter in the curriculum about racial diversity/cultural appropriation, which has led to white students of mine making projects about race. This is a complex area, because I do think itʼs important to generate and facilitate a conversation about race within the classroom, but I am weary of taking that conversation out of the hands and ownership of people from the cultures being discussed. I do recognize the situation of white people shutting down a conversation or moving it to another subject matter because they are frightened they might offend, but I have not experienced this in a university environment, yet.
What can you, as a lecturer, do about it
- Become more educated, include culturally diverse materials within the curriculum.
- Be aware of our language and privilege, check in on our own status when holding conversation
- Be open to criticism, correction and listen properly to all students. Be ready to learn and to make mistakes when discussing a so-called ‘touchyʼ subject
- Try not to avoid conversations that might be tricky because of the fear of being judged/saying something wrong.
Shall the institution change as well? If so, how?
Training and courses in language, subconscious language use. Subconscious bias checking, self awareness. (I know that UAL already aims to do this but it could be better regulated and have more funding attached to it)
Encouragement to work with subject matter that has connections with BAME backgrounds in research and practice that is less recognized. Research grants and bursaries. (I.e. rolling out the ‘Decolonizing the Curriculum scheme across the board)
The idea of ‘not working on certain issues because the class wonʼt get itʼ is not a valid approach to teaching and feedback, shying away from subject matter because itʼs difficult is an assault on freedom of speech and is doing more damage than tackling the subject matter even if you are frightened of saying something wrong.
The idea of ‘lacking a critical frameworkʼ is important, its something that we need to build. Shaping the way that people subconsciously see the world.
About Race Podcast, Rene Edo Lodge – A really fantastic conversational podcast from the author of ‘why I donʼt talk to white people about raceʼ gives insights into what itʼs like to walk another persons shoes from a different culture.