Monday, December 05, 2005

In need of focus

This might be a bit off topic - but I have some concerns that arose today:

As someone who is relativly new to this academic gig I am just getting used to the way things are done. The type of research I'm involved in seems, often, like reportage.... let me explain.... a colleague and I were talking about this today. I identified a feeling I've had while involved in this work with the creative industries it often goes something like this:

'I used to be someone who created stuff and now I am someone who reports on other people creating stuff'

A part from seeming somewhat depressing, I wanted to get to something else, I mean research in other fields is often about innovation, discovering things and creating things. So my question to myself is:

'how am I innovating? what am I creating?'

3 comments:

Aeioux said...

Interesting point - and something I've spoken to academic friends about at length.

To cut it short, the argument usually ends with the agreement that academics involved in this kind of field are creating new knowledge by discovering, measuring and reporting on other people's activities.

The 'creative' part is the act of informing people about findings and generating new knowledge and ideas through research. I guess this to some could be seen as less 'tangible' than creating something physical but ultimately just as creative in my opinion.

Antonio Gould said...

I agree - the act of taking a huge amount of information and finding ways in which to present in ways that both make sense and engage with the consumers of that information is highly creative.

No-one would argue that a documentary maker is not a creative person, what a researcher does is almost the same thing.

It does also raise interesting questions about how creativity can be introduced into the research methods themselves, something we're quite interested in at the moment.

Charlotte Carey said...

Actually you might be interested in some narrative methodologies I've been working with, the whole thing of having people see their situation or an event that has happened as a story and tell it as a story is really interesting. I have some colleagues who also do a lot of work with pictures, drawings etc. so there is definitely scope for developing creative ways of eliciting data.