Art methodology

refers to a studied and constantly reassessed, questioned method within the arts, as opposed to a method merely applied (without thought). This process of studying the method and reassessing its effectiveness allows art to move on and change. It is not the thing itself but it is an essential part of the process.

An artist drawing, for instance, may choose to draw from what he or she observes in front of them, or from what they imagine or from what they already know about the subject. These 3 methods will, very probably, produce 3 very different pictures. A careful methodology would include examination of the materials and tools used and how a different type of canvas/brush/paper/pencil/rag/camera/chisel etc. would produce a different effect. The artist may also look at various effects achieved by starting in one part of a canvas first, or by working over the whole surface equally. An author may experiment with stream of consciousness writing, as opposed to naturalistic narrative, or a combination of styles.

An art methodology differs from a science methodology, perhaps mainly insofar as the artist is not always after the same goal as the scientist. In art it is not necessarily all about establishing the exact truth so much as making the most effective form (painting, drawing, poem, novel, performance, sculpture, video, etc.) through which ideas, feelings, perceptions can be communicated to a public. With this purpose in mind, some artists will exhibit preliminary sketches and notes which were part of the process leading to the creation of  work.


“placing on stage”) is an expression used to describe the design aspects of a theatre or film production, which essentially means “visual theme” or “telling a story“—both in visually artful ways through storyboarding, cinematography and stage design, and in poetically artful ways through direction. Mise-en-scène has been called film criticism’s “grand undefined term”

When applied to the cinema, mise-en-scène refers to everything that appears before the camera and its arrangement—composition, sets, props, actors, costumes, and lighting.

Mise-en-scène also includes the positioning and movement of actors on the set, which is called blocking. These are all the areas overseen by the director, and thus, in French film credits, the director’s title is metteur en scène, “placer on scen

In German filmmaking in the 1910s and 1920s one can observe tone, meaning, and narrative information conveyed through mise-en-scène. Perhaps the most famous example of this is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) where a character’s internal state of mind is represented through set design and blocking.

Key aspects of mise en scène

Set design 
An important element of “putting in the scene” is set design—the setting of a scene and the objects (props) there in. Set design can be used to amplify character emotion or the dominant mood of a film, or to establish aspects of the character.
The intensity, direction, and quality of lighting have a profound effect on the way an image is perceived. Light (and shade) can emphasise texture, shape, distance, mood, time of day or night, season, glamour; it affects the way colors are rendered, both in terms of hue and depth, and can focus attention on particular elements of the composition.
The representation of space affects the reading of a film. Depth, proximity, size and proportions of the places and objects in a film can be manipulated through camera placement and lenses, lighting, set design, effectively determining mood or relationships between elements in the story world.
Costume simply refers to the clothes that characters wear. Using certain colors or designs, costumes in narrative cinema are used to signify characters or to make clear distinctions between characters.
There is enormous historical and cultural variation in performance styles in the cinema. Early melodramatic styles, clearly indebted to the 19th century theater, gave way in Western cinema to a relatively naturalistic style.


Illustrative experiment

1. Go to a place – (a place is a whole situation – a series of interactions – people buildings – ants -traffic -rain – noise – everything)

2  observe that place

3 record the detail of that place – maps notes drawings

4  respond to that place – understand it from your personal perspective and from other perspectives – other people – goldfish – aircraft.

5 Move through the space/place recording sequentialy.

identify – define – your response with some definitive words.

experiment with visualising / illustrating your response/reaction/understanding

try – for a start – always referring to your overall response -isolated incidents or details serving to support this overall impression

1 an invented fictional projection

2 a surreal metaphorical response

3  a symbolic exaggeration or simplification

Phenomenology studies –

structures of conscious experience as experienced from the first-person point of view, along with relevant conditions of experience.

The central structure of an experience is its intentionality, the way it is directed through its content or meaning toward a certain object in the world.

We all experience various types of experience including perception, imagination, thought, emotion, desire, volition, and action.

Experience includes not only relatively passive experience as in vision or hearing, but also active experience as in walking or hammering a nail or kicking a ball.

Conscious experiences have a unique feature: we experience them, we live through them or perform them.

Other things in the world we may observe and engage. But we do not experience them, in the sense of living through or performing them.

This experiential or first-person feature — that of being experienced — is an essential part of the nature or structure of conscious experience: as we say,

“I see / think / desire / do …

How shall we study conscious experience? We reflect on various types of experiences just as we experience them.

That is to say, we proceed from the first-person point of view. However, we do not normally characterize an experience at the time we are performing it. In many cases we do not have that capability: a state of intense anger or fear, for example, consumes all of one’s psychic focus at the time.

Rather, we acquire a background of having lived through a given type of experience, and we look to our familiarity with that type of experience:

hearing a song, seeing a sunset, thinking about love, intending to jump a hurdle. The practice of phenomenology assumes such familiarity with the type of experiences to be characterized. Importantly, also, it is types of experience that phenomenology pursues, rather than a particular fleeting experience — unless its type is what interests us.


Dasein -being

phenomenological approach .

that people and environment compose an indivisible whole- place, architecture, landscape, environmental experience.

In simplest terms, phenomenology is the interpretive study of human experience. The aim is to examine and clarify human situations, events, meanings, and experiences “as they spontaneously occur in the course of daily life” (von Eckartsberg, 1998, p. 3).

The goal is “a rigorous description of human life as it is lived and reflected upon in all of its first-person concreteness, urgency, and ambiguity” (Pollio et al., 1997, p. 5). 

the exploration and description of phenomena, where phenomena refer to things or experiences as human beings experience them.

Any object, event, situation or experience that a person can see, hear, touch, smell, taste, feel, intuit, know, understand, or live through

– light, of color, of architecture, of landscape, of place, of home, of travel, of seeing, of learning, of blindness, of jealousy, of change, of relationship, of friendship, of power, of economy, of sociability, and so forth.

All of these things are phenomena because human beings can experience, encounter, or live through them in some way .

Chaffin’s study of one Louisiana river landscape as it evokes a sense of place and community (Chaffin, 1989).

Chaffin’s focus is Isle Brevelle, a 200-year-old river community on the Cane River of Louisiana’s Natchitoches Parish. His conceptual vehicle to explore this place is simple but effective: to move from outside to inside, first, by presenting the region’s history and geography, then by interviewing residents, and, finally, by canoeing the Cane River, which he comes to realize is the “focus of the community-at-home-and-at-large” (ibid., p. 41). As he glided by the river banks, he became aware of a rhythm of water, topography, vegetation, and human settlement:

Once on the water, the earlier feelings of alienation and intrusion were gone. I came directly in contact with a spatial rhythm. As the valley’s horizon is formed by the surrounding sand hills, so the river’s horizon is formed by the batture [the land that slopes up from a waterway to the top of a natural or artificial levee], silhouetted against the sky when viewed from a canoe. I had the paradoxical sensation of being both high and low at the same time; held down between the banks, yet as high as the surrounding fields.

The meanders of the once-wild current organized this experience. As I paddled around the bends, the rhythm unfolded. On the outside of the curve, I was contained by a steep bank, emphasized by red cedar sentinels. Only rooftops and cars passing along the river road hinted at a world beyond. On the inside, I was released into a riverside world of inlets, peninsulas, and undulating banks softened by black willows, some even growing directly from the water on submerged bars…. As the curves changed direction, the containment and release offered by the two sides of the river altered in turn and, in “my own little world of the

river,” everything seemed to fit (ibid., p. 102).

Through the first-person experience of canoeing on the river, he saw clearly that the river is not an edge that separates the two banks but, rather, a seam that gathers the two sides together as one place.

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