Category Archives: classwork

Art interpretation for data collection

May Day

The above poster is from a calendar the professor of my Arts Based Research brought in. It is a 12inx12in poster, any my scanner is around 8 1/2inx11in, so the image is a little wonky. But the important elements are there.

As I mentioned in class, I picked this poster, because I love the imagery that references traditional Western European fertility celebrations surrounding the first of May, while simultaneously referencing the Haymarket Massacre, and the Occupy Movement.

What I didn’t mention in class, because I felt like it would require too much additional outside knowledge, what that I also picked it because it reminded me of Molly Crabapple‘s art.

We discussed how the explanations of the art could be used as a means of data collection, as each of us interpreted the various pictures we held.

As I think about the final project for this class, I find myself with too many questions and too many artistic aspects that I want to investigate and play with. But I keep thinking of the #29DaysofBlackCosplay on Twitter, and Laurenn McCubbin‘s work she discussed during the 2015 DragonCon.

What is art when it comes to academia?

from _Art Ops_ (2015) #1.

Today’s last first day of class was Arts Based Research. It’s a methodology that uses art to collect data, or analyze data, or present data. From what I’ve read so far, it seems like a very useful way for me to better understand how to work with video games in an academic setting that better fits them.

I already have some ideas I want to run past my professor to see if they would work for some of the projects we have in class. I’m still thinking through the actual logistics and the question I would use with them, but I have thoughts. Perhaps I’ll ask the various online communities to share a knitting pattern that relates to lesson learned from video games. Or their tattoo designs inspired by video games and their reasoning for creating permanent pieces of them. I have lots of ideas….

But tonight I also noticed a thing, and it’s been bothering me since class. There seemed to be a general feel that essays and written texts that enters classrooms are not art. And not just that they are not art, but the class seemed to conclude that they cannot be art because they are texts produced for other purposes.

Now, I’ll grant that most of the essays produced for formal classroom settings are not aesthetically pleasing and generally produced under duress.  But to categorically dismiss many textual documents because they are not in the category of art that fits the default assumption seems limiting to me in ways that I feel like rebellious art shouldn’t be. Continue reading What is art when it comes to academia?