Climbing the wrong tree

by stronged



Just met up with Adrian. Shellshocked once again. I feel like I waste time pursuing topics I feel are important. Are my instincts that wrong? Should I disregard my intuition when researching for academic purposes? I feel mentally exhausted and somewhat over the whole investigation. I know I just need to allow my brain a chance to rest before attempting to give it another slog. But right now, right now I feel like running away.

I have been pursuing what I saw as a correlation between the geographical terms chorology and chronology with the literary terms paradigm and syntagm. Unfortunately, this was a pointless exercise as Adrian believes there is no such similarities. I should instead focus upon the “messiness” of placemaking and how this can be best represented in interactive media (i.e. a K-Film).

We had a lengthy discussion about what a place is. I have been interpreting placemaking as more of a personal, intimate journey an individual experiences with an environment; not the socio-political construct of a place within a larger consensus. I feel that our intimate experience of a place informs the communities sense of place as much as the larger, contextual guidelines that we employ when understanding what a place is. Assembling individual experiences of a place I feel is similar to assembling the independent elements of a Korsakow film in order to construct a place or narrative.

How wrong I was.

Adrian requires I look into placemaking in a more critically rigorous manner, noting the myriad of ways one can view the formation of places. I need to strip a lit review out of Cresswell’s intro to place and start to write about why and how does interactive media allow me to represent the multifaceted nature of place.

How and why is place messy?

It’s messy because there is no simple formula we can draw on to construe how we make places. Places can be actual and virtual. They can be small or large. Fictional or factual. Crowded or sparse. Transitory or stationary. In sum, they are heterogenous enterprises.

They are both socially constructed as well as personally constructed. Their mercurial nature makes them hard to pinpoint and define. Hence why Tuan uses the term “pause” rather than “static.” Places cannot be fixed. Similar to how we learn, we assemble pieces of information together as a constant stream of incoming and outgoing expression. The more recent the information is, or the higher quality it may be seen to be, can influence previous held beliefs and knowledge paradigms. A place can also change in this manner. Our understanding of any given place alters as we experience it more. Our knowledge base expands; transforms. Information is constantly being overwritten.

Anyway. I am going away this weekend. There will be no internet connection. I will use this time to write. Write. Write. And write some more.

Tonight and tomorrow morning I will endeavour to finalise my ethics application now that I’ve had a chat with Neal – who’s on the Ethics committee. I think I was going wrong by presuming that leaving interviewee’s anonymous would simplify the ethics procedure. Neal has suggested I throw such a notion out the window and stipulate that all participants will be identified within the documentary. Some extensive redrafting is now needed.