Last week members of RMIT’s nonfictionLab travelled north to make merry with like-minds of the Creative Ecologies Lab at Macquarie Uni. I went along, arriving into Sydney in time for the launch of Jessica L. Wilkinson’s Suite for Percy Grainger: a biography, and continuing conviviality over drinks and dinner.
The ensuing symposium, a think-tank on collaboration in creative practice research, was “co-authored” by David Carlin with Kathryn Millard from Macquarie University and offered a curated program of listening, speaking, making and doing. Synergies were many, with clear themes emerging, and projects clustering around a range of keywords and ideas. Constraints. Wayfaring. Affect. Authority. Memory. Memorial. Over two days, within a collegial space of trust, generosity and playfulness, research projects were presented, artefacts assembled and partnerships forged.
As a newbie to the academy I’m not sure if this gathering was in any way typical, but I am grateful to have been in attendance to encounter so many fascinating experiments in creative methods and fresh approaches to articulating the value of arts practice as research. I met practitioners with whom I hope to have continuing conversations and I had several private light-bulb moments, not least around the idea of research as re-invention. On the flight home I found that the symposium has propelled my research into a new phase, towards something I can just see in shadow form, and almost put into words.
Interstellar Intervarsity Intervention? Synthesis-by-symposia?
Whichever it is, many thanks to the organisers and all participants. It was rich and real.