PIM Week 4 Reflection 1

This reflection focuses on the sketching process in Project Two during the intensive for Post-Industrial Media. The reflection structure is based on a model of reflective thinking by Mary and Michael Ryan (QUT, 2012). Ryan and Ryan propose a ‘4Rs Model of Reflective Thinking’ based on four stages which I paraphrase below:

  1. Reporting (and responding) – what happened? why is it relevant, respond to an incident?
  2. Relating – what’s the connection between the incident/issue and my own skills, experience, knowledge? Have I got the skills to deal with this?
  3. Reasoning – what are the key factors underlying the incident? Why are they important? Refer to relevant theory/readings to support this. Think about different perspectives. How might someone handle this?
  4. Reconstructing – what will I do next time? how do I reframe my future practice based on this experience and reflection. Are my ideas supported by theory? And can I make changes that will help others?

I am assuming that this reflection is on the sketching process as a whole as we have already reflected on the individual sketches.

The sketching process for Project two required us to complete two sketches based on our agreed on a specific affordance of the mobile phone, which in my case is ‘portability’. As with all creative work, once I have a topic, or theme, ideas begin to bubble up. I had only three hours to shoot, edit, upload and comment on these sketches which in some ways helped contain a very broad idea.

On one level both my sketches responded to the concept of portability in a pretty straightforward way. In one, Church, I responded to a personal situation which had kept me from class on Saturday afternoon, a funeral of a close family friend. I had recorded my mother speaking at the service and decided that this reflected well one aspect of portability, I had the phone, it was easy and unobtrusive to make the recording. I added some video footage of the local church. In the second sketch, Skater, I filmed a young guy skating alone on Sunday morning and interspersed this footage with that of my bicycle from my riding point of view.

While both these sketches are quite simple I did find they both challenged areas in my filmmaking that I want to explore further. One is inserting the personal into my work, when to include yourself as a subject or a narrator and why? The other is working on impulse and responding to the environment around you (good for portability).

In the case of the skater, I didn’t want to film him without asking him if that was okay. This meant breaking into his space and inserting myself into the situation which I can at times feel reluctant to do. This raises the question of ethics and filming and my approach is to talk with people, engage them and ask permission rather than shoot from a silent and voyeuristic position. This is something I want to push further in my work and this sketch reminded me how rewarding it can be to push past your comfort zone.

The Buxton reading (Buxton, 2007) was a really useful reference when thinking about what a sketch is and what it’s purpose is. The list of attributes of a sketch helped me think about what I was making and why (quick, timely, inexpensive, disposable, plentiful, clear vocabulary, distinct gesture, minimal detail).

The sketches for this project were clearly a starting point in two main ways. One is responding to the exploration of the portability affordance of my mobile phone and pushing this over the next 2 months. The other was grappling with the idea of working solely on the phone to make quick, investigative, questioning, exploratory sketches.

References:

Ryan, Mary, and Michael Ryan. “Teaching and Assessing Reflection in Higher Education.” Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. 2012. Seminar, Centre for Recording Achievement, QUT Draw Project. – Reflection slide from the presentation – The 4 Rs for Reflective Thinking

Buxton, B 2007, Sketching user experiences, Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco.

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