Visual Learning through mind maps

BEspecactive!: THEORIES of spectatorship: October 2018 - January 2019

Reflection: the first three mid maps from the left, represent my initial research on the Theories of Spectatorship; that debate the ways audiences receive, perceive and experience an art work. The mind map on the far right represents the ‘hierarchy of literature’ that helped my make my initial BeSpecACTive! submission in December 2018 for the first proposal submission on January 4th 2019. Many of these texts are still relevant for my current research; Challenging Participation: 2014, Breaking the Fourth Wall: 2018 and Participation:2006 serve as good background reading for the topic of Theories of Spectatorship while Getting in on the Act: 2011, Rethinking Relationships: 2016 and Use Or Ornament?: 1997 provide helpful information on the civic role of the cultural institute to the community and the part that participatory arts plays in this relationship. Marking as Physical Thinking: 2010, Gender Differences in Dance: 2009 and Creative Choice: 2019 where at the time, important finds because they introduced me to the possibility of a triangulated data collection method. During the final proposal of the Outlandish Theatre case study, however, I decided against this. This was because to conduct more than one data collection method for a Masters research would be beyond the scope of the project. Assessing: 2007, was a key text at this time because it identified dependant variables, which at the time I was going to measure though the data collection. Singing: 2001, was a somewhat useful text because it presented a clear methodology for assessing artistic impact, in this case within a music context. While The Emancipated Spectator: 2019 and Artificial Hells: 2012, are key theoretical texts for the Theories of Spectatorship, they are not necessary to this research because they are both tangential to the research questions and are extremely theoretical. Theatre and Audience: 2009 provided a clear introduction to the Theories of Spectatorship but is no longer an essential text.


Reflection: a few of the texts represented here as mind maps have been discussed. These brainstorming sessions mark deepening of my knowledge base from the initial reading on Theories of Spectatorship, showing a further refinement of the literature review. Reframing The Debate: 2005, Rethinking The Social Impact of The Arts: 2006, Creative Health: 2007, and The Value of Arts And Culture To People and Society: 2010 were cited in my final Outlandish Theatre proposal. Reframing The Debate: 2005, has become an essential text because it defines the theoretical limitations of the project and all other literature on the impact and value of art can be framed within The New Framework model suggested by the text. The Icebreaker Effect 2015, complemented Singing: 2001 because they were both related to the impact of music on the participants but are no longer key to the ongoing research. Defining Values: 1996, was somewhat helpful in setting out the correct procedure of encountering a community group and conducting research on their terms. The text was a good reminder of the ethics involved when conducting research in the field but this piece of literature is not pertinent to my project.


Reflection: attending the focus group between Creativity, Culture and Education and Helium Arts marked the end of the proposed BeSpecACTive! project and the beginning Dave Kelly’s Laying The Foundations research. As stated in a previous reflection, this workshop functioned like an experiential participatory action research where creative tasks completed within the session produced information and insight around the subject matter of creativity and wellbeing. This information was then represented on large mind maps in the development of our ideas shown on a ‘data wall’ . This workshop allowed me to develop a new topic exploring new literature. A five Dimensional Model of Creativity: 2016 , was a key text at the time that defined creativity in terms of five characteristics: persistence, discipline, inquisitiveness, imagination and collaboration. The rationale of this proposal was to focus on imagination and collaboration as dependent variables facilitated by the Dave Kelly’s Laying The Foundations Workshop as the independent variable. However, as the final proposal shifted away from Dave Kelly’s workshop and towards an inductive approach to thematic analysis in the case study of Outlandish Theatre, this text became less essential. The Rhetorics of Creativity: 2010, on the other hand provides a good context to the value of creativity and therefore was cited in my final proposal. In the final proposal this text was used to characterise the work of Outlandish Theatre through the rhetorics of; Creativity as a Social Good and Democratic and Political Creativity. At the time of writing the proposal for Laying The Foundations, Progression in Creativity: 2012 and A Critical Review 2015 provided important insights into the methodologies of assessing creativity. Yet these texts became less relevant as I chose a research design without any a priori presumed outcomes.


Reflection: the mind maps above illustrate the way in which I extracted methodologies from the C.C.E literature and focus group with Helium Arts to develop a research design for the assessment of imagination and collaboration within Dave Kelly’s Laying The Foundations Workshop. Feedback from the business methods lecturer was that I was ‘throwing the kitchen sink at it’ meaning that I proposing to use a triangulated methodology of four data collection methods; interviews, two self reporting methods, and audio recording. On reflection this would have been beyond the scope of my project, as illustrated in another section of this portfolio, just one data collection method of interviews is a complex and time consuming process.


Reflection: these mid maps show the process of writing the proposal for the Outlandish Theatre case study, the final proposal that will become the template for the thesis. I was careful to follow the research brief and explain my proposal following the suggested structure; Introduction with a literature review, aim, research questions and rational, Methodology, Ethical Considerations, Discussion with a provisional timetable and Appendices and References. Although there may be elements of repetition because these categories reference one another by default. The major developments from the BeSpecACTtive! to the Outlandish Theatre proposal was the shift from a deductive to an inductive data analysis, from an a priori formulation of artistic impact to an posteriori research design. The literature that I have collected and stythisied present a vast array of the artistic, social and cultural impacts of arts participation that can be placed within The New Framework: 2005, however, I a not using these as presumed outcomes but allowing themes of artistic value to arise organically. Other than this technical development and the chaining of the case study and associated literature, the research questions remained consistent throughout this process.