My research aim and objectives are narrowing, thankfully. The scope of what I could learn is enormous, so focus is imperative. I've gone from a bit of a kitchen sink approach to what I want to investigate (image! sound! memory! objects! video!) to a handful of keywords:
Installation art, home, dislocation, belonging, community
In turn, these ideas translate into my Aim and Objectives, v.2.
My initial ideas for methodology include:
- Continue my secondary research (papers, articles, critical reviews) on the historical and current contexts of installation art - when did it emerge and why? what differentiates it from other mediums? how might it be particularly appropriate for expressing my themes of interest?
- Primary research to document my experience as a newcomer to BAD, a cohort of 25ish MAFA colleagues, and the broader MFA (and maybe BFA) community. I have three "logs" that I've been completing daily since November 1st to capture various aspects of my experience.
- Primary research in the form of an invitation to this community to respond to statements such as: "What does home mean to you?" "What object, thing or image represents 'home' to you?" I would need to work out guidelines for the response format (visual, text, sound, video?) and how to process the data, which in turn could be used in an installation (maybe).
- Take up a collection of small objects donated by colleagues at BAD (students, faculty, staff?) that they feel represents who they are in our community - then use the objects in an installation.
- Create a participatory installation that people could contribute to over its duration. Again, I would need to determine how to process and document my "findings" and conclusions. And then what do I do with the things that viewers contribute?
Things are starting to feel clearer. I'm excited about some of these ideas. It feels interesting and important that the process I use directly impacts and contributes to what I hope to create through my practice: community, a sense of belonging, a place to call "home." If I can figure this out on a small, experimental scale through my research, the applications beyond an academic environment in today's world are powerful.