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Auto-affective method –Arts-based Research in Education

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Camilla Johansson Bäcklund
Publicerad i InSEA (International Society for Education Through Art) World Congress, South Korea
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Högskolan för design och konsthantverk
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Pedagogik, Konst, Utbildningsvetenskap


I present an arts-based method to be used in educational research that has been developed through the study Den ofria viljan (The Unfree Will), an auto-ethnographic work about artistic ’knowledging’ and spaces/rooms of becoming. The auto-ethnographic narrative of this work was examined through two artistic performative actions, carefully staged and departing from questions that arose in the work with the empirical material and questions concerning the role as a teacher. Using Deleuze's definition of affect these performative actions are the back bone of the auto-affective method. When using the method, the researcher plays the lead role and there are no other actors, except the audience. The staging hopefully results in affects that the researcher captures afterwards in a free flow writing session resulting in auto-affective narratives. The texts constitute parallel narratives to the study (in this case an auto-ethnographic study) and can build bridges between the teaching practice and the theoretical framework. According to Deleuze the artist creates affects through arts. The artworks is a source of percepts and affects that could give us a different view and a new perspective; a perspective that not only gives us a better understanding but potentially changes who/what we are. The affects generated by the artistic actions can thus create new points of growth for research. The auto-affective narratives reveal structures and areas where the didactics could be advanced in relation to the objective of the study. Using art-based methods in the educational research is not unheard of but also not that common. Cahnmann-Talor and Siegesmund (2008) describe how art-based educational research has been conducted by numerous researchers using a variety of artistic techniques. In 1997 Barone introduced a method that blurred the lines between art and science with his text Complementary Methods for Research in Education. In it he deals with how literary composition can be used as a research method within the field of education. The artistic literary composition contributes to the research by adding virtual worlds and ambiguities that can help broaden the understanding of the complexities that are built in to the research. In the autoethnographic work Den ofria viljan (The Unfree Will) the performances were created with the intention to explore the contradictory position I, as an artist and a teacher, working in a labour market training programme, found myself in. I think about how I as a teacher/fellow human/artist in meeting with others sometimes, with good intentions, make things worse. During one day of work, 7 am to 4 pm, I ironed 80 shirts wrinkled. The physical and perceptive acts in combination with the solitude and space for contemplation that the performances offered me gave rise to affects which closed the gap between experiences made and things not yet thought of. This could be said correlates to the processes Deleuze and Guttari (2015) and Arendt (2004) describe as becoming.

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