Communities of Practice – Lecture 2 of Research Strategies

by stronged


David Thomas

Professor SueAnne Ware

Doctor Chris Barker


– Often students first rush to the library instead of to the studio when approaching a research paper. It really should be vice versa. You should really look at the work to see where it comes from and let it carry you into further research. DT

– Who are the top people in your chosen discipline? They will be the spearhead of your community of practice. DT

– Write a press release of your own work to see what your work is all about. You can start off by examining other press releases to understand how particular disciplines are grouped into categories and communities. DT

– “Taking a line for a walk” experimental photography moved into “taking a monochrome for a walk” – one work explored the durations of image; when approaching the work different aspects of it would bleed out of focus. DT

This was an interesting concept. I am interested to see how he accomplished this technically. Theoretically, it adds onto the conversation of Brasiers, examining that in-between period, the affect of one’s experience.

– Formative landscapes: Your past informs your design sensibilities, as do your mentors and teachers. SW

– Influenced by Martha Schwartz:SW



– In 1995 by Megan Evans and Ray Thomas made counter-memorials at Kings Domain, depicting the Indigenous viewpoint of white colonialism in Australia. SW

– Why are memorials static? (when landscapes continually change over time) SW

– Do not hold onto past themes/topics if they become irrelevant to where you have progressed. A research project is non-linear and is in constant flux – it’s messy. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. SW

I like this notion of having one foot in your discipline whilst the other in the broader academic community. Sounds like you must straddle the fence line when tackling research topics.

– Grounding question: What would you like to become an expert in? CB

– References emerged in work through practice. CB

– 3D mapping of Indigenous cultures to create gaming system. CB

– The messiness of your research, to be in constant flux, allows you to be both in and out of the community/project. CB

– Prioritising most important reference material: Which papers do you continue coming back to? SW

– Your passion arises from your practice as opposed to specific theories/conjecture/discourses. MC’s summation.

I am particularly taking this comment down to activate my precursor assessment. As I have been finding it difficult to narrow down my research question, perhaps constructing an artefact will help me draw light to the factors that stimulate and engage me.

– Look for moments of surprise/wonder/discovery CB

– It is important to reflect upon your both your intuitive and objective approaches, and how they balance each other out. DT

I like the idea of exploring one’s intuitive path. I find it should hold more importance in research programs as much research seems to occur upon chance/serendipity/syncronicity. One must trust their own gut when seeking out content and inspiration. Even dreams I find can be incredibly informative when unpacking your day to day experiences. Taking note of this ever-evolving path is when discipline enters the equation.

– Shaun Micallef quote on Red Symons 774 show: You can be a successful comedian by pleasing everyone. However, a really good comedian creates a division in their audience. DT