Dissertation: sluggissssh beginnings (part 3)Posted: December 17, 2014
Whilst occasonally trying the meditation techniques that Anna taught me I’ve been able to get started on my dissertation writing at last. I’ve also had some very useful tutorials with Chris Glynn in which I’ve spoken at length about my chosen topics and how these constellation topics are affecting my Illustration practices.
Studying Comedy, humour and other kinds of theatrical arts has got me moving away from what i originally thought of as traditional illustrated humour (Far Side comic strips etc). Illustrated humour relies on being current to be funny more than stage and written comedy does because humour relies on context, and until photography, setting context in an image (like in oil painting for example) meant putting in a lot of work. And this was rarely used for humour as large oil paintings and sculptures in western history has often been funded by the church, which is allergic to humour (humour and comedy gives religion a really bad rash behind the knees, it’s not an animal allergy causing the rash because the church had a donkey when it was young and it didn’t have a rash then). So my work on my dissertation studies is filtering into my subject work, for which I’m currently writing a performance piece to be recorded and accompanied with a haunting soundtrack that myself and a friend are making for it.
Studying the history of the western world through humour studies, with the intention of finding out whether public opinion can be extrapolated through humour artefacts can be confusing. In fact, studying humour at all with the intention of proving anything can be like chasing a sausage which is dangling in front f your eyes suspended by the stick tied to your back, because humour has no statement of intent. It is part of many aspects of social nature and if you study it closely you start to forget where the humour was in the artefact that you’re studying, confusing the humour for just a breach of ethics or norms (which is a big part of what humour is, but humour balances over it as if on a tightrope; if it wobbles too much to the violation side it fails and if it leans too harshly into benign commentary then it falls flat on it’s face.
The one reliable area of study for humour is stage comedy or stand-up comedy. This is because the professionals in these areas are playing to an audience that they have to understand, and so a consensus is sought. With this consensus, the tricksters, clowns and comedians know what they have to pull out to surprise or shock an audience. Onstage comedy is a reflection of the audience turned on it’s head.
My main dissertation stresses are all about pressure and not about a lack of knowledge on the subject matter, and not really even about a lack of ability to write coherently which is a worry of mine. I haven’t practiced my essay writing enough recently and easily notice a struggle for coherency which wasn’t an issue a couple of years ago when i’d been on a writing corse for the best part of a year. I’m hoping that If i keep writing blog posts, I will eventually feel more comfortable ploughing through my dissertation. A reliable friend for random facts from studies tells me that using social networking sites such as facebook can affect a person’s writing skills in the predictable way of bad structuring of sentencing etc. Ah well – I’ll just use facbook for the pictures until i’ve turned my dissertation in then! Or get sectioned or run away and pretend I didn’t know had a hand-in. …