Tuesday, May 05, 2009

allegory in research; the presence of absence

Mostimes its presence that's studied.
So much easier when there's something to explain, it takes a bit more imagination to look at what's not there.
An object on a stark background or the inverse?

I look at the things i set out to see, and find instead a recurring theme of absence.
In looking at whats changing there's a sense of the unknown, of changes yet to be seen, of secondary changes unrecognised.
And then there's finding voice of participants within inaudible and invisible relationships.
And where the working space constrains interactions to 160 characters or less. When so little is available, working with unknowns is the norm.
There's also the instability of funding and of connections … of strangers ... of acts of hope and faith that someone/s will be there, available, helpful.
In addition there are connection drop offs with the major telecos blaming each other for interference resulting in connections lost.
Plus there's the work required to establish and maintain the means through which messages are conveyed, these include prepay or contract being established and maintained, the ph being charged, the cell ph coverage being in range, the number being known...and the service being associated with positives when it is usually negatives that provide the impetus to call...
And that the service has funding to deliver, even when funding can be contingent on the fickleness of nz weather and appeals dependent on selling the attractiveness of services.
There's vulnerability through and through and yet philosophically the organisation makes use of what they name is a strengths based model.

Despite the contingent types of relationships such vulnerabilities create, there is no sense of a grasping at straws.
The service remains; adaptive, resilient, present.

There's something here about being vulnerable and strong, like the bush pumps, adaptability lends itself to resilience.
There's also something about being strong and soft, fostering independence whilst being dependable; the brick mother.
There's also the inaudible with voice, and invisible with presence.
Less is more; the requirement to be succinct also creates the conditions for being direct.

And I'm reminded also that attending to whats on the margins, moves things more centrally;
creating greater solidity and durability of something ephemeral.

As I was walking up the stairs
I met a man who wasn't there,
He wasn't there again today,
I wish that man would go away.
adapted from "Antigonish" William Hughes Mearns (1899).

No comments:

Post a Comment