Week 1: Art | Craft | Research

The first workshop of this session circulated the idea of the creative process – that is engaging in that process of material thinking and creative research. Art, Craft and Research were the main spectacles in this weeks introduction where we were encouraged to outline how these notions were defined, differentiated and where binaries could be found. We then elaborated on how these facets have affected our previous works, drawing on how diverse characteristics are utilised within our own practice.

We began by splitting into small groups to explore the aspects behind art, craft and research and determine how these fields intersect through a Venn Diagram.

The Department of Education and Training defines ‘Research’ as follows:

Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.

We as a group outlined that research dealt heavily with theory and the understanding of complexities. As creative practitioners it is fundamental to utilise research in all aspects of work. ย It is the systematic use of the creative process, the actual making of artistic expressions in all of the different forms of the arts, as a primary way of comprehending and examining experience. However, the relationship and differentiation between Art and Craft was the most interesting of the three, how were we to determine what was art and vice-versa. We agreed that within CRAFT, skill is primary – traditionally the use of various tools and materials with the sole purpose of creating aesthetics and/or a real, tangible product. The use of various tools and materials within ARTย can be seen as more complex, ย in order to express an idea, emotion, or set of ideas and emotions – taking into account the not only the composer’s perception but also the audience’s.

From this point we then began to further challenge these three notions, finding linkages between each node to then tease out more depth in our understanding. We firstly examined how our previous works occupied these points – ‘Absence‘ was mine and Sam’s focus. I argued that the work encompassed more research and art – because we expressed a narrative that stemmed from my family’s struggle in immigrating to Australia during the Vietnam War, an event that must have been fully perceived before expressed to audiences. Our piece then channelled this form of history into an physical environment to which such things have happened.

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We then as a group discussed how industries intersect Art, Research and Craft. Virtual Reality was noted as a field through it’s technological advancements can now be seen to engage the space between that of research and craft. It evokes empathy and bridges the translation gap between audiences and the suspension of disbelief – VR is an art-form that mirrors our own reality where it inverts responders from interpreting the medium, to becoming the medium.ย A strong binary exists between immersion and emotion, that in many ways they both require each other. For not only games but also content across many media technologies to remain engaging, the audiences should be emotionally engaged with the story, the character or even their own progress as the responder.

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