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  • Author or Editor: Hugh Escott x
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In this interlude I describe an event that occurred on a research project, and then reflect on the values and processes involved in ‘working on’ this event to turn it into a piece of potential academic research writing. This illuminated the process of doing collaborative research.

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The Poetics of Letting Go

This book invites the reader to think about collaborative research differently. Using the concepts of ‘letting go’ (the recognition that research is always in a state of becoming) and ‘poetics’ (using an approach that might interrupt and remake the conventions of research), it envisions collaborative research as a space where relationships are forged with the use of arts-based and multimodal ways of seeing, inquiring, and representing ideas.

The book’s chapters are interwoven with ‘Interludes’ which provide alternative forms to think with and another vantage point from which to regard phenomena, pose a question, and seek insights or openings for further inquiry, rather than answers. Altogether, the book celebrates collaboration in complex, exploratory, literary and artistic ways within university and community research.

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In this project the legacies that artists left when they worked with universities on collaborative interdisciplinary projects are explored. This chapter discusses how artists influenced such projects and what kinds of contributions they made. An introduction to the histories of artists working in community projects is provided. Then the approaches to understanding what artists did on these projects is outlined. In order to find out about their practices, the authors drew on a number of methodologies, using experiential as well as empirical methods. It is concluded that artists deployed a number of different ways of knowing to create spaces for co-produced ideas to emerge in collaborative projects. Through a process of analysis it is found that while in some cases artists were devising activities based on ideas that had been constructed in the main by academics, in others, ideas and project directions were jointly constructed, sometimes leading to a new outcome or object. The conclusion to the study was that the effect of artists working in collaborative interdisciplinary projects can be profound and far-reaching for research and the knowledge it produces.

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