Tuesday, December 06, 2011

If my thesis was ... a writing retreat exercise

The writing retreat I am on had a small exercise i thought i would share because it prompted some unusual thinking for me about my thesis.
Here's the exercise as shared by Gilly Bolton to Barbara Grant,
(And it starts a lot like a Youthline feedback exercise i use in personal development groups so dont know why i had never applied it to my work in progress, but there you go- it takes intersections with others sometimes to see things can be done differently)

If your thesis was a colour what colour would it be?

If your thesis was a piece of fruit what fruit would it be?

If your thesis was a piece of music what music would it be?

Share it with a friend, you might also say why.

Then write a 15 minute letter to a novice, or a researcher switching to your field as to what your piece of writing is about and why it is hugely important.

Then 10 minutes, imagine and write what you think that novice would say back to you.

What i got out of this:
I thought my thesis was blue and changed my mind: it was more vibrant than that. So its purple. Not in the sense that chaos is purple, and regalness never crossed my mind. Just that it is not cool, its vibrant, but its also easy going so there is no red yellow or orange there.

Fruit, was a strawberry because of the tang, but then i dropped this for a passionfruit, multiple bits going onn inside.

The music i had always thought would be a symphony. But its not.
Its Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells , 1981 ish so feels a little dated, (not my thesis, just the music) But what Tubular bells does is a controlled demonstration of multiple instruments, these instruments do not come into the network but can be discerned as they enter and their interactions are formed in association. Its not totally like an actor-network as the instruments themselves exit again unaltered, but what i want to convey is the music of two instruments or more is different to any of these individually. In terms of the thesis, it is about not being able to replicate the whole symphony, but to have a controlled entry through the writer that discerns just what is being shaped, identifying the traces.


The other exercise was a surprise- i received back a succinct understanding on how come ANT doesnt do perspectives but is about multiple realities....a bit coloured by the previous exercise but in tubular bells the instruments and their activities are all positioned, the bell doesnt have a perspective on me, it doesnt know i exist, the triangles, or whatever do nor have a perspective on the bells.... what they hold is position and they act from this in their own reality, and our realities differ, our hinterlands differ, our possibilities differ, what we enact differs. Our relaities sometimes interact, sometimes align and sometimes collide, but this is not usually noticed untill we discover contradictions and contestations.

No comments:

Post a Comment