A week out from the printers

by stronged

In a week I’ll be printing my exegesis out no matter what. I’ll need to allow for the time it takes for the printers to produce the documents in order to submit it on the 26th. It’s going to be a tense few days as I try to frantically apply the edits Adrian has made to my second draft; shape my third draft; run it through a second lot of edits before formatting it in InDesign and outputting to a PDF for the printers. A mad rush.

I was not very happy with my second draft but felt it necessary to hand it into Adrian to at least hone my writing into what is relevant to my project and the overall research. It took two sessions to get through his feedback, but in the end I’m feeling much more focused. I think we’ll be scrapping Actor-Network Theory, as well as Ryan’s “having narrative/possessing narrativity” dialectic. He made an interesting point in regards to listing examples in an academic work. Instead of just listing two examples (which I was in the habit of doing), he suggested I list three to duck around a situation of binary opposites. Fair point – duly noted.

I am encountering the same trouble as with all my writing; I am trying to squeeze in too much! There are so many theories that I believe are relevant to both placemaking and interactive documentaries that I am finding it difficult to “kill my darlings” to shape a concise exegesis. I was under the impression that the more theories I could weave into my discussion the stronger my case would become; more evidence equals a strong case. However, this has been making my pieces of writing far too disparate and disconnected. As Adrian explained, my essays are like watching a film with a ridiculous amount of jump-cuts. The reader is unable to follow the argument or discussion as they are constantly thrown from one theory to the next without much elaboration or dense evidence to support the claims.

Another important point was made clear in the process of working through his feedback. We all belong to assemblages. We do not construct assemblages, but are merely one component of them. This is an important point to make in my exegesis, despite it being contrary to the phenomenological material I have been using from Seamon. Much of the material I have gathered over the year has been more sympathetic to a materialist (or new materialist) view of the world. Not interested much in the “essence” of things, or our subjective experiences being the driver for  research investigation. So I have been finding it hard going trying to make these two opposing forces match. Assemblage seems to be more forgiving within the anti-phenomenological material in order to weave it into my discussion.

Reading through Adrian’s feedback it became obvious that I must write more about my project. I have been using examples from the community to explain the theories and how they relate to my research instead of using the interactive documentaries themselves in order to explicate my research. This hasn’t altogether been counter-productive, for it has allowed me to bring some of the interview material to the forefront and provide context about the Bend of Islands. However, I’ll need to write more to my project, the three k-films. I also need to name these k-films. I have named them Placing the Bend up until now, as a collective unit of research. But now I need to name them individually in order to write to them specifically.

Hmmm… I might sleep on it.

I’m about a third of the way through Adrian’s changes. I’ll need to pick it up tomorrow morning as I am getting drowsy. Brain has turned to mush. I feel the swollen glands coming on and am praying to God I don’t come down with a cold or fluey virus thing before the submission date. Need to have my full wits about me in order to achieve this mammoth undertaking.