Creative Practice as Research: Discourse on Methodology

Form Argument Leading to Exegesis

The research question can be revisited and refined at any point in the practice-based research process, and I would argue that it should be frequently examined. As discussed previously, practice-based research is given to exploration and significant moments of discovery, which are largely unpredictable at the start of the project. Thus serendipity can lead to new perspectives on the research, reshaping the project goals throughout. As the primary research activities begin to draw to a conclusion, these serendipitous connections begin to emerge as answers to specific aspects of the research question. For instance, a wholly serendipitous connection necessitated a significant refinement to my research question, presenting a previously unconsidered angle — How does appropriation affect narrative? — as I discovered that appropriating the digital resources available online significantly affected my creative artifacts, and determined to dig deeper into what those effects were (Skains 2016). Again, the need to remain open to these serendipitous connections throughout the practice-based project is essential, as is the habit of recording even the mildest of these mental connections so they may be examined in more depth later.

Argument formation and exegesis are set out here as a final step in the research method, though it is clear that the researcher is engaged in argument formation throughout the primary research phase as discoveries are made and serendipity occurs. Nevertheless, more thorough post-textual analysis of the creative artifacts is required to deepen the understanding of these discoveries, and directed critical research is required to contextualize the conclusions within the domain. Thus a new round of research is called for as needed during argument formation and exegesis write-up, which bears strong resemblance to the traditional practice of post-textual analysis and discourse. The exegesis draws upon relevant aspects of the primary and secondary research as required for specific arguments: auto-ethnomethodological observations, post-textual analysis (of both the creative artifacts and contextual creative works), and critical theory.

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