Morgan Sinton-Hewitt

Methodology

Method(s)

Design

A Hybrid design integrates diffraction from Physics, DA from Psychology, and illuminates lived experience from within Arts-Practice:  forming an art-science qualitative study (Edwards & Nicoll, 2001). The disruptive forces within Arts-practice ground self-other process in a performative becoming with/in and in/between material-others (Clark, 2012; Yusoff, et al., 2012) therein, the analytic approach towards language as social action within DA (Edwards & Potter, 1992) affords the opportunity to notice how the diffractive unfolding of intra-action co-creates critical difference(s) “(experienced) in the ‘real” (Foucault, 1972a: 237; Haraway, 1992; Barad, 2007).

This empirically explores Barad’s (2007) notion of intra-action through moments of self-other: 

…remembering is not a replay of a string of moments, but an enlivening and reconfiguring of past and future that is larger than any individual… like all intra-actions, they extend the entanglements and responsibilities of which one is a part… (Barad, 2007, ix)

Participants

Eight participants, seven female and one male, aged 18-67 consented to co-research the phenomenon of ‘self in everyday objects’. Of these, four comprise students attending Roehampton University and four recruited externally. One student and three others were known to the researcher (see Appendix 3, p97; 103). They come from countries including Africa, Greece, Norway, and the UK and all reside in Greater London. Participants were situated as researchers and researchers as participants: thus each voice emerges visible in the process (Berihun et al., 2014). 

A critical difference from within (Haraway, 1992) is reflected through the inherently different position each person occupies (Merleau-Ponty, 2008), grounding the data in diversity. Assumptions of difference based on ‘normative’ psychological constructs are disregarded favouring a discussion of difference as arising from the intra-textual phenomenon within the audio and art-work (the data).

Procedure

After an initial briefing where consent was formally given, each participant was reminded of their rights to withdraw at any point during the study. Each person was asked to bring with them an everyday object which formed the basis of an initial dialogue on self and other(s) (see Figure 1: The Objects, p17). The materiality of object-others provided surfaces through which we could engage within sensate intra-action (Berihun et al., 2014). Semi-structured interview questions such as: ‘how do you make sense of this object?’, and ‘do you see yourself reflected in this object?’ guided the dialogue (see Appendix: 3, p98).

Next, we flowed into an exploration of the initial discussion with arts-based material-others, recording an embodied imprint in the art-work, in parallel with the audio data (see Details 1, p24). This allowed a sensate, embodied material-discursive engagement within moments of embodied kinaesthetic relating (Allegranti, 2013), termed intra-action (Barad, 2007), with material-others throughout the data: co-researchers, everyday objects and art-media (Clark, 2012; Berihun et al., 2014).   

The primary researcher provided pencils, 3 different thickness and sizes of paper, watercolour paint and pencils, charcoal and pastels.  Both individuals made an exploration, facilitating a side-along approach to supporting the co-research process (Clark, 2012).  The audio data was recorded using an i-phone 4. Participants were invited to keep their Art-work which was photographed using a Nikon D3100 digital camera for use in the analysis. Pseudonyms are used throughout and all data is kept confidentially according with standard ethical procedure (BPS, 2009). Each 1:1 workshop ran for approximately 1 hour. After each workshop, a debriefing session allowed for the participating individuals to give any feedback on their experience, for concerns to be raised and/or support sign-posted if/where needed.  

Analytic Framework: Dancing with the data

Dancing with the data is an embodied, analytical engagement which diffractively (un)folds the art-audio data materials into being/knowable things. Feminist research practice underpinned a 3 stage process (see Appendix 1, p40-50) (Lenz-Taguchi, 2012; Allegranti, 2013; Rautio, 2013) specifically and systematically oriented to adhered to noticing (Dickerson, et al., 2007) moments of intra-action (Barad, 2007) through which the material-discursive nature of self-other is in process (Mindell, 2011).

  • Flow out

Post data-gathering completion, a record of the researcher’s initial embodied response in writing, drawing and painting was made while listening to each workshop’s audio recording individually (see Appendix 1, p43-47). This completed with the active co-researching positions held towards the participants. Thereby shifting from co-researcher, towards analyst, and marking the end of the data gathering phase. 

Figure A:  Textual Juxtaposition(s) 

  • Dancing with the data

Post-transcription, each workshop’s data-set was individually approached through noticing phenomena (noticing after Dickerson, et al., 2007; noticing phenomena as an initial stage in DA process, Edwards & Potter, 1992). The data forms were systematically approached through surface tensions in and between intra-textual juxtapositions (Figure A), within and across the art and audio data (see Appendix 1, p40-50) (Mazzei & McCoy, 2010; Lenz-Taguchi, 2012). Data folded through each other in intra-active co-formation within the researchers embodied process (Woodyer, 2008; Allegranti, 2013). Colour-coding facilitated a record of felt-responses (Gendlin, 1969) which traced thematic presentations across the data throughout all stages. 

  • Formulating the research story 

Thematic groupings structured the research story (after Allegranti, 2013) which relays how moments of intra-action matter the overall research process (see Appendix 1, p51).

Embodied Methodologies: 

The body as a research tool and the voice of the researcher (Woodyer, 2008):

The Forms in Figure B show relational positions experienced within and expressed without.  The art-work embodies the discourse-materiality of the changing positions held within my experience of the research process.

Figure B: The Researcher’s Embodied positions (To be added soon)

They show a distillation of these different positions, a felt-sense bodily response (Gendlin, 1969): a sensitivity held/experienced throughout the process of being and becoming with the co-researchers (participants) and the embodied material they bring with them into the room. Of changing relational positions and perspectives, balance, opening, imprinting, mixing, swirling turning movement, and held moments (see Appendix 1, p 42-43).