Alchemy methodology - applying the arts to research

Vallack, Jocene (2017) Alchemy methodology - applying the arts to research. Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 15 (2). pp. 134-141.

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Abstract: The difference between art and research is that, whereas art can speak for itself, research must be explained. Unlike research, art invites open interpretation from the viewers, without any need to justify or explicate its existence or the artist’s intentions. Research however, by its very nature, is a cognitive and rational product – at least in its final stages. The appreciation of postmodern perspectives in academia has given rise to methodologies for first-person inquiries and arts-based methods. Arts methods may provide the researcher with great insights into a research question, however the inquiry needs to be situated in a rational and philosophically aligned research framework. In this paper I present Alchemy Methodology as a theoretical framework for such research. It has been developed as an application of the pure phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, and it uses arts practice and subjective insights to inform and transform this data into universal, phenomenological insights. Alchemy Methodology is based on three principles:

• that the unconscious mind is far superior to logic and cognition when it comes to navigating the complex research question, but ...

• that the unconscious can only speak through images and metaphor, which ultimately must be translated through rational thought and language

• that the arts-based methods embedded in Alchemy Inquiry, can take the researcher from the most subjective reflections to the most intersubjective, universal outcomes

This paper shows how the researcher can use arts practice to inspire unconscious responses to a research question, and frame these methods in a research construction, which is rigorous and informed by pure, European Phenomenology. It takes issue with a common misconception of phenomenology in research, arguing that twentieth century modernism has skewed Husserl’s transcendental philosophy into something obscure and nonsensical.

Item ID: 51977
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1477-7029
Keywords: phenomenology; arts research; qualitative methodology; alchemy methodology; arts-based research; Husserl
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This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2018 04:42
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