Thursday, March 18, 2010

Three Cases of Visual Memos

Henri Matisse, The Snail, 1953, Gouache on pap...Image via Wikipedia
I have blogged thrice about visual memos I have created:

Visual Memos in Qualitative Research
This is an example of a visual memo developed from writing in my journal about the journal project.  I was thinking about the ways the journal project and its writing was different from formal social science writing.

Visual Memos in Qualitative Research: Part II
 This memo describes the way an image or art approach (prayer ropes) developed through a series of experiences related to the death of a dear friend. 

Visual Memos in Qualitative Research: Part IV
 This memo (a handmade book) developed as a reflection on the experience of teaching a qualitative research class in which visual memos were integrated with every component of the course experience. 

As I think across the visual memos themselves, some of the patterns I see in this work are:

  • They are narrative.  They tell a story, reflect on a chain of events, connect diverse strands of thought.  
  • They are combinatory.  They bring together diverse elements or thoughts in a single location. 
  • They lead to strong juxtapositions.  Bringing together the different pieces leads to new positioning of ideas in relationship to each other.  
  • They are sensual.  I react to the nuances of color, texture, shape, line.  Text, too, is sensual for the dedicated reader, but in a different way. 
  • They reveal things to me that were hidden from me when I operated solely in my textual mode. 
I've mused about visual memos in this blog also:

Visual Memos in Qualitative Research: Part III

I've also given thought to the visual qualities of different forms of qualitative research analysis--manual modes vs. computer modes. 

Getting Visual With Qualitative Research Analysis

This week I started to think about the literature of memos in qualitative research:

Memos and Qualitative Research: Kathy Charmaz

This is a beginning for me.  There are others to examine.  What I want to bring forward from Charmaz regarding memos is how they exist in the space between data and fixed/mature interpretations.  They are the thing waiting to be heard, to take form.'s a juicy topic. 

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