DIEGETIC LIFE FORM AND DIEGETIC LOGIC: ASSESSING IMAGE-BASED SCHOLARSHIP VICTORIAN COLLEGE OF THE ARTS FEDERATION HALL MONDAY 6 JULY 2009 - DRAFT PROGRAM - 8:30 REGISTRATION 9:00 Session 1: SETTING THE SCENE Chair: Ian Lang 9:05 Conference Welcome Richard Nile (Murdoch) 9:15 Conference Launch (TBA) (ALTC) 9:30 Assessing Group Work Greg Battye (Canberra) 10:00 Assessing Image-based Texts Josko Petkovic (Murdoch) 10:30 Morning Tea – 15 Minutes 10:45 Session 2: CONTEXT Chair: Gillian Leahy 10:45 ASPERA's Peer Review Process Leo Berkeley (RMIT) 11:15 Australia’s Film Schools in the New World Ian Lang (VCA) 11:45 Knowledge and Scholarship of Creativity Hart Cohen (UWS) 12:15 An invigorating shake? Tony Dowmunt (UK) 12:45 Lunch – 1 hour 1:45 Session 3: STANDARDS Chair: Leo Berkley 1:45 Moving towards a Best Practice Mode of Assessment for Creative Work in Tertiary Institutions Gillian Leahy (UTS) 2:15 Queensland Perspective Nick Oughton (Griffith) 2:45 South Australian perspective Alison Wotherspoon (Flinders) 3.15 Afternoon Tea – 15 Minutes 3:30 Session 4: CONUNDRUM Chair: Nick Oughton 3:30 From Aristotle to the Avant Garde Nicolette Freeman (VCA) 4:00 The Uselessness of (Digital) Literacy Terrence Muybury (UQ) 4:30 Assessing the Future: the ERA and Creative Works Mick Broderick (Murdoch) 5:00 Drinks 6:00 End Abstract: Assessing Group Work in Media and Communication Assoc. Prof. Greg Battye Associate Dean, Education , Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra This paper describes aspects of a project funded in 2006 by the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (now the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC): Assessing Group Work in Media and Communication. The project tackled a tension commonly found in teaching media production in Australian universities between, on one hand, the importance of collaborative group work , and on the other, negative student attitudes to one of the frequent consequences of that group work — group assessment. Such negative attitudes stem generally from the perception that group assessment does not reflect individual contributions and may compromise the best students‘ chance of receiving a fair mark. The project sought to investigate ways of ameliorating the issue. The paper summarises the approach and findings, and looks also to the already-emerging possibilities for ASPERA to systematically assist in building on this research field, to the benefit of both its members and their students. Abstract ASSESSING IMAGE-BASED TEXTS Dr Josko Petkovic Conference Convenor, Director, NASS Research Centre, Murdoch University This paper sets out the overarching agenda for this conference. Specifically it is invites the delegates to reflect on a series of questions: What does it mean to write with images in academia at undergraduate, honours and postgraduate level? Can we describe image-based scholarship in a way that is consistent with the methodology of conventional axiomatic and objective scholarship? Is there something ―aesthetic‖ and subjective about image-based scholarship that cannot be specified by conventional means (such as pre-linguistic and musical unconscious, instinctive phenomenological poetics, schizological, genealogical elements and more)? Do we need another type of scholarship to deal with this subjective element of the image production and assessment? Can we theorize image-based scholarship as the third way of scholarship that is neither conventional (objective) nor aesthetic (subjective) but is a (constructivist) combination of both elements which, although complex to assess, is self evident to peers. Whatever answers we have for the above three questions is it possible to establish appropriate assessment standards and procedures. Specifically is it possible to establish: national and international guidelines for assessing screen productions. Can all these rules and guidelines be elegantly framed within a simple assessment sheet. Abstract: ASPERA's Peer Review Process Leo Berkeley Disciplines Head (Journalism & Media) School of Applied Communication RMIT University The Australian Screen Production Education & Research Association (ASPERA) conducted a process of peer review for screen works in 2008 and is repeating this in 2009. The intention with this initiative is to offer a means of recognition for academic researchers who produce screen works as part of their research, in the same way that peer review of research publications by academic journals legitimates the outputs of text- based researchers. It is also hoped that the peer review process will contribute to a deeper understanding of the still developing field of screen production as an academic research discipline. The paper will report on the outcomes of the first peer review process and what changes have been made for the 2009 iteration. As well as highlighting benefits that have been identified from the process it will suggest what issues need to be addressed for this process to be more meaningful for both the individual academics involved (both producers and reviewers) as well as the screen production sector as a whole. Abstract: Australia's Film Schools in The New World Prof Ian Lang PhD, Head, Film and TV, VCA and Music, University of Melbourne The role of film schools has changed radically in the last 40 years. Born in modernism to serve elite students in an industrial economy, today's proliferating university-based schools serve thousands in a digital service economy, while Australia's share of the cinema box-office shrinks annually to less than 3%. For the health of our sector, we need to clearly redefine to government and ourselves why screen production education still matters. As we educate our students to become critically reflective practitioners, we must as rigorously critique our own teaching, to ask if we have genuinely transformed learning from the limiting assumptions of a past industrial- era so many of us grew up with. Abstract ‘An invigorating shake’? Tony Dowmunt MA Screen Documentary Course Convenor Goldsmiths, University of London, UK ‘An invigorating shake’? a brief history of the UK debate around the theory and practice of doctoral work involving the submission of audio-visual (as well as textual) elements. No, I have no thirst for knowing it all. But I know 1000 songs that I have learned in my village. Their words and melodies are in the deepest atoms of my body. Professors: Stand up and shake your bodies. An invigorating shake. And then stand quietly and listen. Can you hear any songs coming back from the depths of your flesh? (Mekas 1991: 119) Jonas Mekas wrote this in 1947, before he emigrated to the US and became an experimental filmmaker in New York. It suggests the importance of different ways of knowing, of ‗alternative epistemologies‘, that lie at the heart of the discussion about ‗practice research‘ in moving image and sound work. Started in September 2005, AVPhD is a UK based training and support network for all those doing, supervising and examining audio-visual practice based doctorates. The practice research projects covered include (but are not restricted to) documentary, fiction, narrative/non-narrative film, and non-linear/new media.I have been involved with AVPhD from the beginning, and in this talk I will summarise the main areas of our discussions over the last few years. I will try to illuminate in what ways, the Academy in the UK has been ‗shaken‘ - or at least stirred – by these new practices. Tony Dowmunt is a Senior Lecturer and the Course Convenor for MA Screen Documentary at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. For much of his working life he worked as documentary producer, and from 2003-2006 he had an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts, which included the production of an experimental video-diary, 'A Whited Sepulchre'. He was a founder member, and is on the Steering Group of AVPhD, an AHRC funded training and support network for all those doing, supervising and examining audio-visual practice based doctorates. Abstract Moving towards a Best Practice Mode of Assessment for Creative Work in Tertiary Institutions Associate Professor, Gillian Leahy Media Arts and Production, University of Technology, Sydney This paper argues that it is possible to establish national and international guidelines for assessing screen production works, group work, peer review standards, festival and publication standards and to equate these standards with more conventional scholarly outputs. The paper will compare and contrast criteria being used to assess creative work at four universities currently. The paper will examine the criteria and marking guidelines used for creative student work at Honours, Masters and PhD level. The criteria form The University of Technology, Sydney, the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Griffith University and Macquarie University will be collated and compared in tabular form where suitable. These criteria will also be compared to the Australian Research Council‘s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Initiative criteria and methods for identifying quality in creative practice research. From this synthesis a model will be formulated for criteria to be used for assessing creative works, and in particular screen based works. Abstract Knowledge and a Scholarship of Creativity Associate Professor, Hart Cohen School of Communication Arts , University of Western Sydney In recent years, there have a number of university graduates from degree programs that have made a media arts practice form part of the scholarly work towards the fulfilment of a higher degree. The numbers of students engaging in either a hybrid PhD or MA by research (part written and part arts practice) or a Doctor of Creative Arts (3/4 practice- based and ¼ written or exegesis) is rising rapidly. Despite this, there remains a dearth of writing on practice-based research, on the relationship between scholarly values of research to an arts practice and the specific forms of progressive assessment and examination that are appropriate to this endeavour. These concerns necessarily involve the teaching practices of students in the arts – ones that have steadily migrated from the independent art school to the academy (tertiary institution or university). This paper addresses both the teacher and student roles involved in a practice-based research approach to a higher degree, reviews the relevant literature in this field and then addresses these concerns through both theoretical discussion and the demonstration of problems and practices through case studies. These focus on practitioner-based accounts by scholars following an arts practice. In particular I will review the community engagement research agenda and an emergent model for community television within the context of our School of Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney. In this way the scholarship of creativity can be defined as a scholarship that renders it alongside other forms of scholarship in the academy while demonstrating the unique characteristics that a media arts practice contributes to the production of knowledge. Dr Hart Cohen is Associate Professor in Media Arts in the School of Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He is Associate Head of School and directs Research and Postgraduate Studies. Professor Cohen has directed two Australian Research Council Projects related to the Strehlow Collection held at the Strehlow Research Centre in Alice Springs. The current project is an online database documentary http://heuristscholar.org/cocoon/heurist- test/browser/item-exp/88353/related to TGH Strehlow‘s memoire, Journey to Horseshoe Bend. Two films have been made in relation to these projects: ―Mr. Strehlow‘s Films‖ (SBSI 2001) and Cantata Journey (ABC TV 2006). Hart Cohen co-edited a special issue of Media International Australia on the theme of Digital Anthropology (MIA 116 August 2005) and is currently co- author of Screen Media Arts: An Introduction to Concepts and Practices for Oxford University Press (2009) and an editor of the Global Media Journal (Australian Edition) http://stc.uws.edu.au/gmjau/about_gmj.html. Abstract From Aristotle to the Avant Garde – the conundrum of assessing creative work in the context of wider academia. -Nicolette Freeman, Senior Lecturer, Film and Television, Faculty of VCA and Music, University of Melbourne In his 1975 essay, The Question of Poetic Form, Hayden Carruth defiantly confronted the ‗father of dramatic theory. ―…What about Aristotle?‖ he asked, ―He was no poet; far from it. … He wrote about art from the point of view not of the artist but of the spectator, the playgoer….This is interesting and useful, and from it certain ideas may be extrapolated about the work itself, the play. But about playwriting, about art as process? No…... A real theory of art begins with the process…A spurious theory of art begins somewhere else and tries to explain everything‖. Does the assessment of final work only, from an Aristotlean point of view, without regard for process, lead to ‗spurious theories‘? Is assessment of the creative process that leads to the final work more helpful and appropriate to the content of our courses, and our judgement of whether learning has taken place? Is focus on the experiment, the development of the argument, rather than on the result alone, more aligned to assessment in wider academia? Richard Kostelanetz, in Avante-Garde (1973 – 78) exclaims ―Avant-garde writing resembles experimental science in that both incorporate, to quote my Websters ―an action or process undertaken to discover something not yet known‖…. Francis Bacon, the father of experimental science, noted in The New Organon (1620): ―It would be unsound and self contradictory to expect things which have never been done can be done except by means which have never been tried‖. (my italics). So to reward work that breaks new ground, that re-defines the field, that compels the assessors to re-design their rubrics, we are talking about work that uses language in inventive and unanticipated ways – that defies our assessment criteria and standards. How can such work be assessed? As Kostelanetz says, ―Art and science also share the principle that the most consequential experiments are those which are acknowledged by at least some peers….and one practical measure of the value of a current experiment is its capacity to inspire further experiment……I was unable to think of any step-ahead artistic experiment that did not eventually have some sort of perceptible impact upon future art.‖ If there is ‗perceptible impact‘ we should be able to identify it when we see it. But perhaps it is to the experimental process, rather than the final result, that we should be focusing our assessing eyes and ears, and devising some transferable criteria and standards that will be acknowledged by wider academia and also be relevant to original, creative thinking and work. Abstract The Uselessness of (Digital) Literacy Terrence Maybury, University of Queensland ‗Digital literacy‘, ‗multimedia literacy‘, ‗information literacy‘, even ‗l(IT)eracy‘, are a host of terms that have come to prominence with the rise of the computer in an effort to categorise the skill set necessary for the operation of this highly adaptable electronic technology. The commonality is, of course, ‗literacy‘ and it is the use of this term ‗literacy‘ in electronically mediated contexts that this presentation calls into question. The protocols for assessing those students learning audio-visual production are literate in orientation. Assessment objectives and criteria are also detailed in an alphabetic form. Even a script is first and foremost a word object, no matter if it takes the form of a synopsis, a treatment, a proposal, or a full draft. Indeed, the whole tertiary academic structure is based around literate, textually fixated protocols. The fact is that the analogue technology of the pen, paper and typewriter has evolved into the digital electronic technology of the computer. This monumental transition from the literate era to an electrate era, or as Gregory Ulmer calls it, a shift from ‗literacy to electracy‘, is also one that requires a wholesale re-examination of how image based scholarship is assessed. After questioning this dominance of literacy in assessment protocols, ‗The Uselessness of (Digital) Literacy‘ then discusses various aspect of electracy that might help in this re- examination: multimodality, technacy, associative reasoning as opposed to logical or sequential reasoning, spatial versus temporal emphases in electronic communication, expert taxonomies versus folksonomies, amateur and professional issues. This embryonic program for electracy might then allow us to reconstruct a more mobile, heuristic method for assessing image based scholarship, rather than the more static, sovereign even didactic form of scaffolding that is so typical of literate assessment protocols. Abstract: Assessing the Future: the ERA and Creative Works Associate Professor Mick Broderick, Research Coordinator, School of Media Communication and Culture, Murdoch University This presentation outlines the opportunities afforded to practice-led researchers by having creative works recognized under the new ERA regime. It will describe the post-RQF environment of ‗publication‘ data collection and how each institution is required to report, collect and make accessible their digital repositories for external peer review. It will also describe the strategic importance of Fields of Research codes and well-crafted Research Statements for cross-institutional comparison and the implications for future research and pedagogy. Australian Learning and Teaching Council and Australian Screen Production Education and Research Association PROJECT CONFERENCE DIEGETIC LIFE FORMS AND DIEGETIC LOGIC: ASSESSING IMAGE-BASED SCHOLARSHIP Monday 6 July 2009 Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne What does it mean to write with images? What kind of creative logic is at play when each image may well contain thousands of ―words‖? What makes this multidimensional, diegetic and lifelike communication so efficient and so powerful? Screen production programmes are commonplace in Australian Universities. They are a major component of the tertiary creative arts sector, which now constitutes around 7 per cent of the total student population in Australia. Producing image-based texts does not fit neatly into the conventional paradigm of scholarship which for the most part continues to be based on empirical, scientific and written conventions. Indeed, for many years image-making was viewed as the outcome of an artistic activity which was generally considered to be subjective and thus difficult to measure and evaluate. The assessment status of an image-based text is further complicated by the group nature of screen production. A functioning crew may consist of many ―authors‖ working together at a different level of performance (e.g. undergraduate, postgraduate, professionals, performers) and often under the supervision and overriding guidance of an academic staff member. While there is considerable flexibility in assessing specific mechanical and technical skills, the problem of assessment becomes more complicated when assessing the value of the creative work as a whole. At this level, all the processes that give rise to the image- based text come under scrutiny. Further, the differences between the diegetic/visual mode of ―writing‖ and conventional academic writing become unavoidable and problematic when we consider stand-alone image texts without any written components. Problems of assessing at this level bring into question existing academic regulations, notions of authorship, validation procedures, concepts of originality, and even the very notion of academic practice. In this context the following questions and strategies arise: 1. Can we describe image-based scholarship in a way that is consistent with the methodology of conventional axiomatic and objective scholarship? Generally, some elements of image production are very conventional - researching the project-topic for example (with its central research question, hypothesis, clear premises, reasoned argument based on evidence). Can this conventional scholarship framework be extended to the image-based scholarship as a whole including assessment? 2. Is there something ―aesthetic‖ and subjective about image-based scholarship that cannot be specified by conventional means (such as pre-linguistic and musical unconscious, instinctive phenomenological poetics, schizological, genealogical elements and more)? Do we need another type of scholarship to deal with this subjective element of the image production and assessment? 3. Can we theorize image-based scholarship as the third way of scholarship that is neither conventional (objective) nor aesthetic (subjective) but is a (constructivist) combination of both elements which, although complex to assess, is self evident to peers. 4. Whatever answers we have for the above three questions is it possible to establish appropriate assessment standards and procedures along the lines of existing ASPERA guidelines (http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/nass/nass_news_aspri.htm) Specifically is it possible to establish: national and international guidelines for assessing screen production works? national and international guidelines for assessing group work? national and international guidelines for peer review standards? Academic guidelines for assessing festival/publication quality and standards? comparative guidelines for comparison with conventional scholarly outcomes such as authored books, chapters, articles etc.? 5. Can all these rules and guidelines be elegantly framed within a simple assessment sheet. Papers (conventional or non-conventional) are now invited for this one-day conference. Deadline for 150-300 words Abstract is 30 April 2009. In-depth papers are welcomed although each conference presentation is likely to be around 20-30 minutes in duration including questions and discussion. A selection of these (conventional or non-conventional) papers will be published in 2009 NASS issue of IM: Interactive Media refereed e-journal: http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/nass/nass_im_ejournal.htm All papers will be included in the Project Report at the completion of the ALTC/ASPERA Project associated with this conference. All inquiries and correspondence should be directed to: Project Manager Linda Butcher email@example.com This conference is the final component of the Media Arts Congress which starts on Saturday 4 July 2009. Media Arts Congress 4 July2009 Media Art Scoping Study Vital Signs: Revisited http://mass.nomad.net.au 5 July 2009 Combined Roundtable Forum Imaging Futures 6 July 2009 Diegetic Life Forms and Diegetic Logic Assessing Image-based Scholarship Conference delegates will be able to attend events on the other two days and will be invited to actively participate in ―Imaging Futures‖ Combined Roundtable Forum.
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