What is your Methodology?

Today we have been looking into “Methodology” and just exactly what it is and how we can define it. In simple terms, Methodology is the way in which we work and collect information when engaging in an enquiry. There are numerous methodological strategies and there is no right or wrong way to carry out your research methodology, it’s simply a case of what fits best.

Here are a couple of examples of Methodology that are conflicting:


Phenomenology is a theory based on the idea that we learn and negotiate our place in the world not just conceptually but corporeally, drawing up all of our senses to understand the environment we occupy.  It informs many aspects of performative arts.


Semiotics, however, is based on the notion that our ideas are contingent on signs and there is no substantive meaning to concepts independent of the codes and conventions we use to express them.

I looked into the use of semiotics a few years back whilst writing an essay for my Bachelors Degree and found a website that really helped me to understand the concepts of semiotics.

Chandler, D. 2013. Semiotics for Beginners by Daniel Chandler. [online] Available at: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/semiotic.html [Accessed: 19 November 2013].

Understanding the use of semiotics within my practice helped me a lot on my Bachelors Degree and I found the method of deconstructing an image by using Denotation, Connotation and Myth very useful.


In todays lecture we were also introduced to the methodologies of Positivism, Empiricism & Non-deductive ways of thinking.

The definitions for these I have taken from the presentation that was shown in our lecture taken by Steven Adams.


A doctrine that states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from strict scientific method …

A movement that spread throughout the Western world in the latter half of the 19th century.

It holds science to be the only valid source of knowledge, and philosophy to be rightfully the search for general principles common to all sciences.


Empiricism, knowing through the senses. “I know because I’ve seen” or “I know because I felt (touched) it.”

Empiricism also relates to truth discerned through data.

Non-Deductive Ways of Thinking

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari use the tern rhizome to describe a non hierarchical way of thinking; knowledge is not deductive with choices of right or wrong …

Rather they see phenomena  as a wide array of attractions and influences with no specific origin or genesis, for a “rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things …”

The rhizome resists chronology and organization, instead favoring a nomadic system of growth and propagation.

In this model, culture spreads like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way.

Example of Methodology



As a class we discussed how we worked, what our methodology was, and we discussed it with others in the group. From the diagram above, I worked out how I thought that my methodology would take form.

My Methodology

  • An Idea – Taking inspiration from things around me, talking to others, research and investigation.
  • Store and externalise – Take notes, spider charts, diagrams.
  • Development – Experimentation, be creative, visual research and look into what other practitioners have done.
  • Produce – Take pictures, experiment with Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • Finish – Decide when your final piece has been completed…but is it ever really finished or just ongoing???