Sunday, 29 November 2015

Week 12: Collage: An Art-Inspired Methodology for Studying Laughter in World Politics

 This blog post is a word collage of thoughts I had while reading Saara Sarma’s article!

World events cross the Internet at astonishing speed, through Social Media and blog posts and collaging is a way of collating and making sense of it all.


·      Makes international participation possible for all or most of us
·      Is playful
·      Visual
·      Thematic
·      Theoretical
·      Pop Art
·      Enables creativity
·      Allows for a humourous and light-hearted approach to research material
·      De-hierarchises (is this really a word, or did she make it up?)
·      Is thinking beyond language
·      Changes the relationship of writer and reader by involving the reader than merely informing him/her

We sometimes see politics or political events on the internet first as a parody, then with some searching or news feeds, the reality is explained. Laughter makes the seriousness of the situation(s) more palatable and more easily tolerated. On the other hand, laughter can be both inclusive and exclusive because it necessitates laughing with and laughing at.

“Collaging as a methodology creatively engages with the internet as a specific modality of knowledge production.” (p. 115)

More key points that I took from this reading:

-       the visual technique of collage-making emphasizes the intuitive parts of sense-making processes
-       collages can maintain a sense of playfulness to sense making and scholarly work
-       collaging produces laughter – an under-examination of the facts
-       collaging is aesthetic and conceptual
-       collaging emphasizes certain aspects of the research while indicating new ideas
-       collaging promotes thinking beyond language
-       collages produce pop culture artefacts while studying them
-       collages can serve as a vehicle for further thinking

This is one of Saara Sarma's Dissertations Collages, entitled: Gluttonous Kim. The irreverence and humour is evident and makes me want to learn more about what is actually behind the images and the caustic comments.
On a personal level, this article resonated with me because I quite often employ the collage as a means of collating and sharing information with others. My mind works in a thematic way when I create collages – I force connections through the selection of the images. They are my connections and to be honest, it never occurred to me that others might not choose the same images, given the same destination. I wondered as I read the last part of the article if Sarma gets permission to use her Google search images, particularly in light of this article by Alice Keeler:

In closing, collaging is an accessible method of research and meaning-making because it doesn’t require artistic skills (in the traditional sense) and it is visual, thematic, can be theoretical and is informative

Saara Särmä. “Collage: An Art-inspired Methodology for Studying Laughter in World Politics.” Caso and Hamilton, Eds. pp. 110-119. 

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