Research Practice Conference

Friday 17 May 2013 at the Bass Management Centre, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham

Fly on the wall, elephant in the room

This paper explores the complex relationship between ethnography and performance through the eyes of an artist-wanderer. Contemplating how the social positioning and personas of artist-researchers can be utilised as a catalyst to gather visual and textual data about city cultures – people and places. Gavin Rogers is a visual artist and performer, his doctoral studies explores the relationship between visual art and cultural identity in the city of Nottingham, through a combination of artistic, theoretical and qualitative data gathered from city residents. At the foundation of his researcher is the discovery of Nottingham through a series of twenty walks around the city, amounting to over 200 miles of active wandering. During these walks the researcher collected data about city cultures through – images, maps, conversations and objects, which have then been used to inform a body of practice based artwork.

At the heart of Rogers’ artistic practice is a playful and practical modification of his persona and clothing for each of the walks he completes. Inventing through personal and everyday juxtapositions, a range of personal stereotypes acting as an undercover agent for the collection of data. Stereotypes which are informed by a complex combination of social-demographical data, myths and personal narratives about urban areas within the city.

This paper suggests the how the individual image, behaviour and persona of a researcher can have considerable impact of the research in question, and may be of particular relevance for those working in and around the fields of visual art, visual representation, ethnography and cultural studies.

Find out more, click here: Gavin Rogers

The Fifth Annual Research Practice Conference, ‘Research and the Researcher’, will be held on Friday 17 May 2013 at the Bass Management Centre, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU.

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