Alys Longley is an interdisciplinary performance maker, teacher and writer. Her interests span practice-led research, performance writing, interdisciplinary projects, art and ecology and narrative research. Her work has been performed in NZ, Australia, Germany, UK, Chile, and Portugal. Alys’s books The Foreign Language of Motion (2014) and Radio Strainer (2016) are published by Winchester University Press (UK). She is the author of Smudge Skittle: A Little Inventory of Resources Entangling Creative Practice Research and Writing (2018) and co-editor of the books Artistic Approaches to Cultural Mapping; Activating Imaginaries and Means of Knowing (Routledge, 2018) and Undisciplining Dance (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2018). Alys is a Senior Lecturer in the Dance Studies Programme, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Alys Longley Reflections on Smudge Skittlean inventory of resources entangling artistic practice and writing
In artistic research, the value of intuitive, playful and unpredictable studio methods is well accepted (Ellis 2016, Melrose 2007). In some circumstances, traditional academic forms of writing and the values underpinning them – of proof, explanation, analysis and rational linear argument, may constrain, rather than enable, creative research. This resource reflects on writing practices that could be particularly suited to practice-led researchers, emphasizing the vitality of language and interdisciplinary approaches merging writing with drawing, photography or page design which offer playful alternatives to the pre-set rules of thesis structure.
Smudge Skittle (Longley 2018), explores methods of writing that support studio practice through a series of writing tasks, based around 10 provocations for artist-researchers. In 2018, it has been published as 1) A deck of cards 2) A digital website/game 3) the present text in which I discuss this resource in relation to its critical context in the field of artistic research.