Video as research method and research subject: a critical analysis of ‘Beyond ‘Riot Porn’: Protest Video and the Production of Unruly Subjects’. 

2015

Extract:

In this paper I explore the use of digital video as a both the subject of study and method used to undertake it in Qualitative Research. I  specifically look at its use in participatory research and ‘Activist’ / ‘Militant’ Research  as deployed in ‘Beyond ‘Riot Porn’: Protest Video and the Production of Unruly Subjects’ (Razsa, 2014).  I focus on how video is employed by the researcher as a means of data gathering and processing, as a method for gaining access and initiation into the group that is the subject of study, examining how the boundaries begin to blur between ‘researcher’ and ‘researched’.  I examine how this level participation and use of video can be a catalyst for innovative research methods, gaining insights to otherwise overlooked experiences, but while equally posing significant ethical concerns for both researcher and participants. I propose that what makes Razsa's paper particularly exciting is found within these blurred boundaries - that within this undefined zone lie not only pitfalls but also great potential for generating new knowledge(s) and understanding human experience that would not otherwise be revealed. 

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How does it make you feel? Investigating artist moving image in public space as a catalyst for political and social change

2016

Extract:

Can artist moving image in public space become a catalyst for political and social change? Grounded in a feminist transdisciplinary approach, this research project identifies initial understandings of how viewers react, respond, and interact with installations and interventions in public space, tracing the potential ramifications for political and social engagement. In this moment of political global upheaval, when the screens in our pockets seep into our consciousness, a cycle of disaster following disaster, alternative narratives are necessary. This project proposes that critically reflexive feminist practice that foregrounds the voices of the viewers can unpick if public art has the capacity to expose the conflicts that underlie public spaces. I critically analyse this position, strategically exploring multi-methodologies and literatures to underpin this positionality, and demonstrate the potentiality of artist moving image as a platform for highlighting the imbalances that form public space. I trace the potential impacts of this productive relationship between feminist geopolitics, emotional geographies, public space and public art literatures, highlighting how politically motivated public art practice can begin to invoke social change through awakening of awareness, responsibility, and critique within the viewer. I conclude that in order for research and public art practice to determine the effects of artist moving image in public space, then they must engage with the viewer in an open dialogue and that now is the time for such undertakings.

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