The Rosenberg Essay

May 4, 2010 — Leave a comment

“…the neo-Dionysians are antipathetic to rational scientific method, indifferent to methodological concerns and are concerned to celebrate, the private and the personal, and other such like matters which are not of scientific concern.”

The neo-Dionysian represents a tendency of the imagination in research practice, an ecstatic flight of thought as opposed to controlled outcome. It is a situation where the end is not presupposed or determined. It is related to notions of the poetic which allow for unforeseen connections, introspection and uncontrollability. I think that Rosenberg is getting at the idea that the research must always be re-contextualised and thought of/perceived from lateral points of view. He describes the Nietzchian Dionysus in theatrical terms as a conversation between audience, chorus and drama/action on stage. In this case, audience is perhaps context, chorus the author and drama/action the research itself. It is in this communication that neo-Dionysian practice takes place.

“The notion of poetic research emerges from a questioning of practice (design) which tries to locate parts of its creative drive so that it may be brought through in regard to research. The poetic in research can be seen as an attempt to develop a technicity of the ‘hunch’.”

Essentially a good research design requires both centrifugal and centripetal to be balanced. This balance leads to creative outcomes. Conventional research, essentially centripetal, happens in a situation where there is a clear research problem, and the following processes of study are in line with the answerability of the question. The centrifugal, however, introduces an element of exploration and lateral attitude where the answerability is put to the side to find out what lies out on the fringes, and to discover whether these fringes may in fact be knew potential knowledge areas. The uncertainty of the centrifugal seems to be its only problem when compared with centripetal. It seems that the researcher must put some faith in the process of discovery, and at the same time sacrifice actual time. In my case, time is pressure and excitable flaunts into the unknown may be a little to bold, when my desired outcome does include good marks. I wouldn’t have minded so much in previous years, but this is my last chance to push those percentages as high as possible. What I’m getting at, is that the Rosenberg essay differentiates two styles of approaching a research problem. Neither one can really exist without the other, and a careful balance of the two, and hence an understanding of the two, is essential. Rosenberg points out quite clearly that poetic research depends on the centipetal to pull and refer it back to the ground, or source. Centripetal is a rationalising force that allows for reflection and progression.

Another interesting aspect of Rosenberg’s essay that relates back to my project is his description of the particular problems of design for research projects. Particular questions need to be addressed, and i attempted to address them in the research abstract, but it is clear that I now need to go back and re-draft this stage:

What it is
Who it is for
Where it is placed
How it works

Out of these, the ‘who it is for’ question perplexes me the most, because creatively I think I just make things as if for myself. I have audience in mind, but this is highly subjective. Going back to analyzing Ana Vaz’s work from last year, I would hope that these questions would be clearly answered in a clear presentation of a project with three anchor points: a creative outcome, a theoretical exegesis and a textual analysis. He points out that usually the first stage of this design is to elaborate a stance for the researcher. Following this elaboration a map of concerns is developed, though not driven towards the answer, but rather unrelated and isolated. From here connections are made to recognise areas for research to be developed.


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