Methodological Reflection

In addition to the insights gained about the relationship between social and physical space and the generation of knowledge through and for action, we offer several methodological reflections from our experience with the action experiments in the Studio for Social Creativity. We confirm the value of separating visual from verbal analysis. It has permitted us to overcome the problem of most publications in this field: that “space has mainly been associated with the aural (auditory-oral) medium, emphasizing talking and listening, overlooking other salient bodily features such as seeing, looking, gazing, glancing, contemplating, scrutinizing, gesturing and moving in specific ways” (Edenius & Yakhlef, 2007, p. 194). We benefited in at least three ways from the artistic presence of the Nose with the video camera. First, it was helpful to have an artist as part of our research team for a project that entailed exploring the possible contribution of artistic ways of knowing in social creation. He helped push us out of our comfort zone by posing questions before and after the sessions and by sharing his perspective on the experience. Second, the participants responded positively to his curious presence, reducing the camera to a playful instrument in all but one instance.[1] Third, his inquisitive, energy-seeking approach revealed in the video material spaces of possibility the groups were not (yet) using.[2]

  • [1] Although the Nose usually greeted the participants outside the studio, in one session he wasperched on a ladder and holding the camera when the participants entered the room. One of thoseparticipants did not remember having been informed about the filming of the sessions, so headdressed what he felt to be an infringement. Recording stopped while the group discussed thesituation. One of the participants commented “with a cameraman like that, nothing bad can happen,” and they ah agreed to the filming.
  • [2] Sometimes participants subsequently used the space to which the Nose had turned his attention(e.g., the balcony in Session 1). We do not know whether their actions were triggered by his, orwhether he sensed something earlier that they discovered a little later.
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