1.3.5 Transparency, language and form of the critical reflection

I have already questioned the transparency of this research, if it is conveyed in academic terms and language, in the form of the thesis. One could of course argue that the artistic results in themselves, as performed in the artistic language, would convey the research to the artistic field in a satisfactory way. I will not go into that discussion, but as I see it, there is an opportunity – and, in this research project, also an obligation ‒ to make the artistic research valuable as something more than the artistic results ‒ also for the field of practitioners. To me, this is a challenge that is reflected in the way I choose to present my critical reflection.

Internet design as a form

I have chosen to present my critical reflection on the web. Compared to an academic thesis, even when supplied with sound and video examples, I regard the possibilities provided by presenting my work in a web-based way, as being dramatically different.  I experience putting music and video examples directly “into the text”, sometimes with important comments popping up in real time, as being a much more efficient and precise way of presenting my work compared to finding the right sound example, turning it on, and then going back to where you were in the text and reading about the music (as with a “thesis with a CD solution”.) This form, as I see it, adds to the transparency of the reflection. There are some implications to be mentioned; reading 120 pages on a computer screen can be tiresome: many of us prefer to print out articles, partly because this provides an opportunity to make notes in the text. Still, I think that having the text with the sound examples on the computer, even when reading from the printed text, makes a difference. Links to other relevant information inside and outside my text also provides a great opportunity ‒ still there are choices to be made in this respect (when will the opportunity to use a link disturb the reader?). My website has also been established as a place for me to convey my music and activities, and it has a global reach. In contact with students, audiences, other musicians or curators, my website is a place where I can provide information efficiently. I can also promote my website in other networks. Still, perhaps the most important aspect of this form is the opportunity provided for creating levels. In order to communicate this research, I have established three possible entrances on this website:

-Level 1: Music (the artistic product)

– Level 2: Music and artistic comments

– Level 3: Full research text, including music

The music is what you meet when you enter my website. From the music there are links, for those who are interested, to “artistic comments”, which are shorter comments, directly connected to the musical examples. The comments have further links to relevant parts of the full research text. This is not a solution I have seen at work elsewhere – and in this respect it is an experiment that I will continue to develop after the end of this project. After a while I will also want to present other, new music, and I may need to have a link and a level dedicated solely to the musical product of this research.

The use of examples

I have chosen to use quite a number of sounding examples and also videos in my reflection, in order to easily connect the reflection to the sounding and visual material ‒ the artistic language (c.f. Nyrnes, 2006). In some places I have used the same examples to demonstrate different aspects of what I have been working with. Focusing on the artistic work from different angels like this, is also, as I see it, a way of seeking transparency.

Verbal language

I have chosen to write my reflection in English, which is not my first language. This is a choice related to the opportunities provided for conveying my research. In order to be able to present my work in English, which has already been necessary at some of the conferences I have attended, I have needed to work with my project, to “know it” it, in this language. I also realise that my rather “simple” English will probably compare to the English of many of the non-English practitioners in my field, and that therefore this also adds to the transparency.

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