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A system of research methods

While I was reading-up on and searching for the "right, practice-based, interdisciplinary art and design" research methodology, in the background another thread took shape, almost naturally and in my spare time. I called it "experiential qualities," never anticipating that it would later become part of my methodology. Indeed, life sometimes is very strange. My curiosity exploring the relationship of telematics, visualisation technologies or what is better designated as trans-formation, biofeedback, presence & immersion, and the global consciousness experience in fact turned into part of my methodology. The two examples of "Ambiguity" and "SSD" (left menu) are simply listed for historical reasons and have finally not been applied.

This research project developed a set of methods that consisted of applied and contextual research on a qualitative basis. This process was mutually being informed by an analysis of existing artworks (research of the context), art history concepts as well as experiential qualities (adapted frameworks of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)), especially those from presence research, Telepresence and Virtual Reality research. With a focus upon those terms that refer to telematics or which could be employed to describe effects of global awareness and interconnectedness among participants and which properties constituted these effects.

The applied part of the research consisted of the making of an application as a research instrument, a tool to evaluate the hypotheses’. It was planned and carried out in two iterative and comparative studies. The first study examined participants experience of a screen-based version of the application, the second study examined their experience of an unencumbered, telematic, immersive and interactive environment. Participants of the two studies were interviewed about their experience and these interviews were later analysed.

Another important strand of the research process consisted of creating a contextual research by collecting and analysing the works and ideas of other makers. In this case the history of the idea of “global consciousness,” “global awareness” and the phenomenon of the “small world."
These case studies were then described and analysed through the different perspectives the conceptual frameworks provided. Informing an adaptive, holistic and flexible strategy of forming own frameworks, definitions, terms and concepts.

An adapted Grounded Theory approach was used to analyse the data.1 It was informed by the results, dimensions and principles from the contextual study described above, and which consisted of three parts: Own practice in relation to other makers work, analysed through art history concepts and Computer Science methods and frameworks. This created a flexible system of methods to frame digital media in technical, historical and artistic ways. This may sound a little confounding but developed in a very natural flow.
1. Developing a Grounded Theory from transcribed interviews is documented in great detail in my thesis and its appendix (with various diagrams) but not here on the website. Please drop me a note if you think it should be ...

A system of methods for modeling, evaluating and analysing own work, other peoples work and interviews with participants about their experience of telematic art. Own practice and theory surrounded by a contextual research encompassing other peoples work, theoretical texts from philosophy, art history and artists together with models and frameworks used by computer sciences.

The system of methods informed an adapted Grounded Theory approach and was used to investigate the experiential quality of participants of an unencumbered, immersive telematic environment, mostly by analysing interviews and observations (documented in detail in the thesis - not on this website).

The historical development of the diagram

The first version was still called a "framework" but contained the basic elements:

Version 2: Two distinct areas practice and theory. Own theory and context still unclear. Other peoples practice is more part of my practice in this diagram than part of the context, what it actually is.

Version 3: The "Own practice" area has become smaller emphasising that "other makers practice" is part of the whole body of contextual analysis, contextual research that informs own views and reflecting back upon the contextual analysis. The word "context" shows up connecting the areas. (But don't I have a theory as well?)

Version 4: Introducing "Own Theory," but my theory and my practice are disconnected.

The current version: Emphasising that my theory and my practice form a coherent, connected body. Surrounded by a contexual study / analysis.
The inner circle is PRACTICE
The outer circle THEORY and COMPUTER SCIENCE ...
Together OTHER PEOPLES PRACTICE + THEORY + CS = CONTEXT

The Tag cloud for my thesis text (without Appendix) available under "Papers":
created at TagCrowd.com
last update: 9/6/02012 22:24

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