"...But I am not a performer": the poetic possibilities of pecha kucha for the visual artist

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Lasczik Cutcher, A 2016, '"...But I am not a performer": the poetic possibilities of pecha kucha for the visual artist', 2016 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, 8-12 April.


Objectives This presentation will combine poetry, voice, image and sound in the pecha kucha presentation style, in order to engage the audience in an accessible and artful representation of a suite of collaborative artmaking works. Theoretical Framework This presentation will draw from the literature regarding the synergies between form and content inherent in the arts-as-research. The embodied artist/researcher/teacher and her varying identities can be expressed artfully through an ever expanding rhizomatic relationship with form and content (Irwin et al., 2006). In this presentation, the visual artist thus takes on the persona of [inexperienced] performer, pushing her form through the challenges and pedagogies of performance. In this way, we are reminded of Leavy (2009), who argues for more accessible and democratic access to research and posits ways to support scholars in poetic descriptions of research evidence and narrative translations. This presentation will privilege notions of representation and re-presentation, particularly as they align with the conference theme of public scholarship and democratic access to inquiry. Modes of Inquiry This pecha kucha presentation, seeks to yield several ‘gifts’. Audience engagement through the form of the representation, as well as the content of the performance, creates a multilayered performance that attends to issues of reception and intertextuality. The texts work synergistically, but also at odds with one another, embedded and transcendent in the moment of the performance. The presentation of artful inquiry at conferences is a vexing proposition, and one which continues to challenge scholars who create research through modalities such as painting, installation, music or dance. Such modalities continue to defy and confront research re-presentation mediums such as the traditional conference format, since these modes do not ‘fit’ such conventions. The pecha kucha form seeks to push forms of dissemination and allows for myriad interpretations of its own constraints, as will happen in this symposium. Data Sources From the perspective of a visual artist, the pecha kucha form forces an artful performance, by virtue of its materiality – that of rolling image-based slides and time-based commentary. By virtue of its participatory nature, this pecha kucha draws on myriad ‘data sources’: the inquiry itself, the performance of the scholar, the performance of the images and the intertextual representations inherent in the audience’s engagement. In this way, this presentation both extends and accommodates artful inquiry. Results and/or Conclusions A significant feature of the art event is that it relies on the direct encounter with an audience. It is this necessary dynamic that enables the potentialities of the inquiry to appear, necessarily after the encounter. In this way, the theoretical frameworks undergo a process of becoming in their enactment (Atkinson, 2014). Scholarly Significance Such stretching of conference form is utterly aligned with this year’s theme, in its aggravating, succinct and accessible modality. The pecha kucha has the potential to engage as well as inform, to entertain as well as enlighten. It is these things which are essential to the democratic access to scholarship.