Interpretation and Dialogue
presented by the John Nicholas Brown Center
for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage
Monday, March 21, 2011
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
John Nicholas Brown Center
357 Benefit Street
Facilitators: Jori Ketten, artist and educator; Emmy Bright, artist and educator
“Documentation” is a word broadly spread and loosely used. We snap thousands of photographs and save countless scraps of paper, all the while wondering to what end we are amassing this “data.” Yet when documentation is done well, it can help us better understand our own thinking, connect with our colleagues, and engage in meaningful dialogue with our communities. In documenting well, we deepen the work itself. The workshop will be divided into two parts. In the first, we will look at a wide range of projects and processes ranging from action research, design projects, artists’ practices, narrative video, pieces for marketing, qualitative evaluation, and other kinds of research. We will look at “fast and loose” projects and more sustained projects. We will work together to build a framework for these various approaches with an eye towards helping workshop participants envision possibilities for their own work. To enable a grounded and practical experience, for the second part of the workshop we ask that participants bring some form of “raw data” from a project they are working on or considering documenting. We are not looking for polished products, but for the matter from which polished projects are born. These could be notes, photographs, agendas, floor plans, samples of student work, transcribed interviews, curricula, etc. We will work in small groups to develop plans to turn this data into documentation. This workshop is geared towards those interested in exploring methods of documentation that can inform current efforts and future projects infused with an ethic of reflective practice and dialogue. Participants will bring their own expertise to the workshop and hopefully leave with newfound approaches, ideas, understandings, and inspiration.
About the presenters
Emmy Bright is an artist and educator recently re-planted in Providence. Currently, she is working as an arts mentoring fellow at New Urban Arts, a field interviewer for the Teaching Artist Research Project out of University of Chicago, and as a curriculum advisor for the ArtScience Prize in Boston, MA. She has designed, directed, researched, and taught in arts programs for schools, communities, and youth in New Haven, Chicago, Boston, and New York. She has worked as an observation specialist for Project AIM documenting classroom culture, practice, and learning in the arts in Chicago. She has also collaborated with others in making learning visible in a variety of spaces including gardens, classrooms, and conferences. Perhaps not incidentally, an ongoing art project of hers involves intense data collection and documentation around social interactions.
As an educator, coordinator, and documentarian, Jori Ketten has been fortunate to work extensively with the Providence Youth Arts Collaborative organizations – Community MusicWorks, AS220 Youth Studio, New Urban Arts, Everett Dance Theatre’s Carriage House School, Providence CityArts for Youth, and the Manton Avenue Project – as well as the ArtsLiteracy Project at Brown University, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Point CDC (Bronx, NY), and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (Washington, D.C.). Other recent/present partners include RISD’s Project Open Door, The Hub at the Providence After School Alliance, Artists in Context, and the Art Institute of Boston. Jori’s current focus is exploring documentation as artistic practice and the thoughtful incorporation of documentation into youth arts organizations’ teaching methodologies. In addition to project-based work in and around Providence, she is the Media Lab Director at Community MusicWorks, a mentor at New Urban Arts, and is co-coordinating a monthly micro-granting dinner experience called Provision.
The workshop will include refreshments in the morning.