“Why not suppose that thinking is not in alignment with the world and not upright in character, that it can be contrary toward things outside of itself and can be playful and ill-mannered as well as upright? Under this set of contestable assumptions, thinking becomes a conglomeration of intentions, leaps, intensities, trace elements, and accidents, out of which emerge the surprises that temporarily jar humans out of the stupor of their duly sequential representing and recognizing.”

Bennett, Jane. ‘The Enchantment of Modern Life: Attachments, Crossings, and Ethics’. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2001. p52-53

The Promise of a Scattered Methodology began in 2016 as a means to mirror the disjuncture’s that were forming within my practice.

The idea began in 2015, when discovering Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 film ‘Persona’. Though this film was not the first where I had encountered montage being used as a cinematic strategy to juxtapose and intertwine a collision of thoughts and feelings, it was my first encounter where the materiality of the medium had been used as a method to interrupt the narrative content.

To witness ‘Persona’ is to observe a form of technological reflexivity, in which, it is implied that the film may have a sense of self-awareness, with the capacity to exercise influence over the narrative, the characters, and the viewer, by subjecting its subjects to the mercy of the film, as a medium.

Reflecting back to a research method report that I wrote at the start of 2016, at the time of writing it, I had not realised that I had removed the ‘I’ from this report, writing it with a predominant analytical perspective. Since witnessing Bergman’s method of using the materiality of film as a reflective voice, I began appropriating still and moving scenes from ‘Persona’, to present my practice-based research in the form of an essay film. What culminated was a psychologically tense zone, that requires deliberation, when jumping between silence and sound, and material manifestations that collapse between still and moving scenes (available to view here).

Looking for ways to reintroduce the ‘I’ back into my research, while exploring strategies to decentre any one viewpoint and present a multitude of voices, I discovered Hunter Vaughan’s text; ‘Where Film meets Philosophy’, published in 2013, in which he explores cinematic strategies that look beyond an individuals frame of reference [1] as a method for challenging habituated thought processes. As I began to retune my voice, what evolved was a cacophony of voices; academic, personal, and poetic. It was at this point, reading Vaughan’s theories, alongside Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizomatic thinking; ‘A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia’, published in 1987, when I began to consider these voices as a multiplicity of viewpoints, which led me to rethink what may be known and refer to knowledge and it’s formation as a rhizome.

Making a connection between a rhizomes entangled roots that branch off in all different directions, akin to an unbounded, dynamic, digital network, I published ‘The Promise of a Scattered Methodology’ online, in 2017, as a means to embed hyperlinks within a series of web pages with circular menus that enabled me to disrupt the linear format of reading and mirror the reflective periods that can take place during the process of working with material, in alternative ways.

Wondering about the multifarious connections which persons of wide knowledge (polymaths) draw from when communicating their breadth of vision between disciplines and with interdependencies, ‘The Promise of a Scattered Methodology’, is a form of inconclusive language and an evolving environment that is embed with pop-up messages, which serve as loose ends or even dead ends, rather than endings.

To navigate it, pattern formations will accumulate and intuitive leaps will be required to be taken, for the potential of this spatial form of language to be heard.




[1] Frame of Reference: a set of ideas or facts that a person accepts and that influences the person’s behaviour, opinions or decisions. Online Source: FRAME OF REFERENCE | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary, Cited: 13th March 2017