Keynote Lecture 1

How Do They Get the Sounds Into the Words?

The first keynote lecture I went to was called ‘How Do They Get the Sounds Into the Words? Contextualising Practice 101’ It opened with a clip from a comedy show in which somebody asked that question ‘how do they get the sounds into the words?’ Initially, because of the presentation of the character who asked the question, the first reaction was to laugh but it’s actually a very profound and interesting question and not silly at all.

The lecture was about how we explore the world and how we contextualise it. There were a few points that helped explain this;

  1. We can be enquiry lead – we can observe the world and use our creative practise to lead our enquiry into our line of interest.
  2. We can apply theory to the world – we can apply theory to recontextualise.
  3. We don’t have to be delicate. I took this one to mean that we shouldn’t be afraid to look at difficult subjects and that we can be blunt about them.

It’s like a collection of lenses that we can change and look at the world in lots of different ways. I think that this is what makes talking to other people, learning about people’s stories so interesting and important. In learning about the world and other people’s lives we can add to the number of ‘lenses’ that we can see the world through.

There was also an image of six blind men and an elephant in which there are six blind men and they each touched a different part of the elephant. For example one of them experienced the tusk as a spear and another one found the tail of the elephant to have rope like qualities. It’s a very interesting analogy because it so aptly explains that people will always have a different experience of the same thing and I think it’s our job as creative people to respond and understand this fact.

That image of the blind men and the elephant lead on to a point that truth is relative to the mode of seeing and the evidential basis of that seeing which I think that analogy explains very well.

The final thing for consideration from the lecture were three questions to ask when investigating and contextualising things in the world:

  1. What is it? Identify a phenomena and describe the world.
  2. How is it? Seek out a theory.
  3. Why is it? Reflect and develop a narrative.

I think this lecture was a very beneficial to my practice because whereas before I would muddle my way through ideas and concepts without always asking some of the questions I should have been. Asking these questions could have made my way forward far clearer and I maybe could have produced more fulfilling outcomes as a result. However I know have a clearer way to investigate the world when I’m dealing with particularly tricky questions and I think it will be very helpful to look at those last three questions especially when looking into my ‘cited’ project in the subject area of my course.




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