How does a free form response to making work, gained through the act of walking, contribute to the occurrence of creative discoveries and genuine knowledge in and around media arts practice?
A group presentation from Media Arts, Sheffield Hallam University:
- Annie Watson, Subject Group Leader - Film and Photography
- Jeremy Lee, Programme Lead - Media Arts
- Mark Parkin, Senior Lecturer - Cinematography
- Melvyn Ternan, Course Leader - Animation
- Susannah Gent, Senior Lecturer - Filmmaking
- Sonya Robinson, Senior Lecturer - Photography
- Andrew Robinson, Senior Lecturer - Photography
As a subject group, we have a history of walking, and the idea for this group has grown out of our own research interests. We are coming from a diverse practice area, (moving image, photography, sound, writing, 3D, games design and animation) and walking regularly has been cohesive as a way of enabling conversation and collaboration.
Our portfolio group is made up of award-winning practitioners and industry experts, but we lack a distinctive and strong history of academic research.
Along with current university strategies around increasing the numbers of research active staff and in order to develop staff profiles, we recognized that there needed to be an inclusive mechanism that allowed staff to develop their research interest.
Annie Watson and Jeremy Lee set up the group initially as a response to a funding bid. The first Wednesday afternoon of every month is cleared of teaching and meetings, to enable all staff to walk together. We have been fully supported and encouraged by our executive management.
The inclusive Media Arts Walking Research Group has become a forum for practice and reflection, where the group acts as a vessel, enabling individuals and collaborations to generate their own areas of research interest.
Seven members will present their individual area of research at the symposium.
The benefits of group research are more than just the individual research outputs. Conversations have been playful and inventive. Trust, respect and understanding has developed between colleagues as well as the obvious aspects of wellbeing associated with walking.