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Mistake as method: Towards an epistemology of errors in creative practice and research

Mistake as method: Towards an epistemology of errors in creative practice and research

Korolkova, Maria ORCID: 0000-0002-1784-3675 and Bowes, Neil Simon ORCID: 0000-0002-9189-0322 (2020) Mistake as method: Towards an epistemology of errors in creative practice and research. NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies (NECSUS). ISSN 2213-0217 (Online)

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The article focuses on creative research as a practice, a form of making, attending to the making of mistakes – errors, deviations, detours – as the uncertain ground of an emerging methodological paradigm. Our specific focus here is upon media and performance practices. Guided by references to a range of theorists who place mistakes in the centre of their thinking – Russian formalists, Giuliana Bruno, Maurice Blanchot, Tim Erchells, and Tim Ingold – this article explores the potentials for error in method – and the potentials of error as method. We begin by observing a genealogy of mistakes as method in the theories of Russian Formalists, recognising a longstanding fascination with errors and mistakes – ‘mistake as a constructive principle’ for Yuri Tynianov and estrangement for Viktor Shklovsky, then move on to the notion of errare as ‘a map of theoretical and emotional itineraries’ for Bruno. We continue by proposing how these fascinations shape contemporary interdisciplinary methodologies in the humanities, from qualified success to absolute failure. Our preoccupation with error spans every level of creative processes, as mistakes become not only object of enquiry, but a methodological paradigm. The second part of the article focuses on practices that use error as method. In making, practising, performing – in creative research of all kinds – erring is linked to temporality. Practice itself may be recognised as a continuous journey, where method is only ever understood as provisional. In relating such temporalities to philosophical discourses on errors, the article moves towards erring as a contemporary research tool.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article contributes to research led teaching for RESE1154 Research Methods in a Cultural Context across MA Media and Creative Cultures, MA Digital Arts, and MA Contemporary Performance. *** Article in NECSUS, an international, double blind peer-reviewed journal of media studies initiated by NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies.
Uncontrolled Keywords: mistake, error, miscommunication, method, performance, practice-research, practice-as-research, Russian Formalism, defamiliarisation, enstrangement
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DES)
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Last Modified: 24 Jan 2021 01:46

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