A/r/tography and intermediality, two approaches to educational research

2017 edition

Karo Kunde

At dawn of the 21st century education has become something more than filling the empty vessel, than holding master classes, than passing knowledge from one to the other. In a constantly changing world, in which we do not even know what will happen in the next five years or what are going to be the future’s communication media, we have to be flexible, we have to situate ourselves in between now and then, open for anything to happen.

A/r/tography, derived from the initials of artist, researcher and teacher, is, as Rita Irwin (2012) defines it, “a research methodology, creative practice, and a performative pedagogy that lives in the rhizomatic practices of the in-between”. Learning becomes practicing: together, students with other students, teachers with students, with researchers, with a/r/tographers, in community. Research is given a potentiality, moved towards what is yet to be known and makes it suitable for investigation in a society in constant change.

Intermediality aspires to explore “all those phenomena that (as indicated by the prefix inter) in some way take place between media”, (Rajewsky 2005), and finds itself inquiring therefore in between any type of channel used for communication and combined with another one. An approach based on inter art and intertextual researches, which analyse the phenomena of combining arts, a habit used since the beginning of culture, gains on significance in a time of mass media, in which devices increase on an almost daily advance, where anyone is enabled to communicate with the wide world out there.

A/r/tography and intermediality empower researchers to move in this constant in between so characteristic of the post-modern era. This flash talk pretends to introduce the audience in those methodologies and point to how they can be (and are) used in educational research. PhD student’s of the UdG’s research team GREPAI (Grup de recerca d’educació, patrimoni i arts intermèdia) apply them in several dissertations, “Taboos in picturebooks” is one of them and will serve as an example for this talk.