Practice-led Doctoral Research and the Nature of Immersive Methods
Mortensen Steagall, M; Ings, W
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Practice-led research enables art and design practitioners approaches to discovering, applying and communicating original knowledge that have direct implications for their practice. Since the 1980s, internationally, the emergence of doctoral, practice-led research has opened the door for such practitioners to develop distinctive methodological approaches to the way they navigate knowing in action. This article discusses one such project. Within it, immersive and reflective methods have been developed to increase the depth of communication between a photographer and the land he records. The thesis, “The Process of Immersive Photography: Beyond the Cognitive and the Physical”, considers relationships between land as a living system and a form of researcher embodiment. This embodiment engages a process of indwelling that draws on physical, cognitive and spiritual ways of sensing and knowing. The researcher’s immersions are documented in a field journal that moves between poetic, narrative and analytical writing registers in an attempt to account for the complexity of what he encounters.