My dissertation explores the letter as an inquisitive and invitational form of writing that holds space, produces affect, and moves with intensities. The letters enclosed were exchanged between eight K-12 artist-teachers and myself over 16 months as we explored aesthetic experiential play in the context of a graduate program of art education and beyond.
In this process, it became visible that aesthetic experiential play—as it is lived, experienced, undergone—invites a swell and an afterglow. The swell is a movement that unmoors, and sets one adrift towards unanticipated, surprising possibilities. Afterglow is an illuminated space that unfolds with our commitment and openness to move in swell towards the ever expanding new. Through a post-intentional, arts based approach to phenomenological research, my students and I lived the question: What is it to find oneself (or selves) in afterglow? Offering creative lines of flight that escape descriptive and interpretative phenomenologies, post-intentional work endeavors to capture fleeting glimpses of the process of sensing and seeking understandings of phenomena which are always, already on the move. And so, drawing upon Deleuze’s intensities and Merleau-Ponty’s embodiment, I theorized these movements and glimpses as the embodied intensities of afterglow.
In these embodied intensities, I began to conceptualize teacher renewal in professional development as the geographies of connectedness that artist-teachers live through in their multiplicity of practices. These geographies were mapped through four entangled threads: the course I designed and taught in an art education graduate program, the expansion of my art practice to include letterpress printing, the postcards and letters my students and I exchanged for one year after our course ended, and interviews at the close of the study. Crafting these threads as a text was my method of analysis; a method that invited three analytical articulations to body-forth: the postscript, the curatorial impulse, and the broadside. In the entanglement of these threads, my students and I co-constructed beautiful and complex maps of teacher renewal, generating a cartography that bears significance for attending to the process of professional development in art education.
artist & researcher & teacher…||