Friday, January 29, 2010

Visual Memos in Qualitative Research: Part II

On January 4, 2010 I blogged about Visual Memos.  I shared a visual memo that had evolved as I was thinking about the distinction between academic prose and the journal prose (see earlier blogs on "The Journal Project"--a study of my journals from 2006-2008).  That was what I would call an "emergent interpretation" memo.  In Part II, I'd like to think about the use of visual memos in a different way--for a memo that is not a reminder about one point in time, but looks over a series of events to make sense of them.

This visual memo is titled "Evolution of an Image".  It's genesis was rereading a journal entry from December 2007 about the cancer of a dear friend... and then linking this entry to art experiences and finally back to the art and the life/death of the individual I am writing about.  The individual I am writing about has now passed away.  I am saddened by his death, but glad to be able to share with you about his impact on my thinking...and (and this would give him a chuckle)...his impact on my methodological thinking!  In sharing the visual memo with you in digital form it gives me a chance to annotate it electronically.


[This may be hard to read--we learn about the cancer and hold a laying on of hands ceremony at the church.]

These two events--cancer and Maggie Ayers are, initially, unrelated.  Maggie Ayers is a fantastic mixed-media artist from Northern England.  She has made a series of YouTube videos describing various art activities.  There is actually one on green/blues and her method of creating fiber cocoons.  You can learn more about her at: 

Felter's Fling--August 2009--is when I begin the pieces began to fall together. As I was looking for a link to Felter's Fling--I found this blog item by one of the instructor's--and my photo was on it!!  I am wearing the felt hat that won me an award.
However, if you want the real low-down on Felter's Fling...try this link: 


At this point, the original experience of the laying on of hands ceremony, the interaction with Maggie Ayers and Felter's Fling...has led to a new understanding of the life/death of my friend and has created a new form that symbolizes this life/death to me.  


Visual memos serve many different purposes (as do purely written memos).  Visual memos can range from all visual and no a load of text and limited visuals.  

I intend to think more here about their uses and the forms they take.  

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1 comment:

Deb said...

Okay, I see what you mean by the visual memos and how we can conceptualize thoughts and feelings through them that go deeper than mere words. I particularly love the prayer ropes as I think they could be reflective of so many things. This was a concept I had not heard of before. I'll be sure and include this more fully in my proposal.