Camilla Groth

Articulating experiential knowledge

The body is not yet fully recognized in the process of knowledge creation in today’s society, where cognitive abilities are valued and stressed. In contrast to this, the creative fields, including art, craft and design, but also sports, music and theatre, are concerned with knowledge gathered through bodily experience. This experiential knowledge relies on sensorial information that is situated, subjective and often implicit and thus evades the explicit formulations that are required in academia. In this Practice-Led studio based research, a craft practitioner explored her experiential knowledge through throwing clay blindfolded for five continuous days. She reflected on her enhanced tactile experiences in order to elicit her explicit knowledge of the throwing process. She video-recorded the activity and her own speech as she tried to verbalize all her knowledge of the situation. The researcher then analysed the video sessions by protocol analysis. She found that the video was a useful method to revisit her embodied experience of the throwing situation, and worked as a recall interview of her sensory experiences. The video recording also enabled a slow motion analysis of the events that were too rich in content to have been verbalized in the situation of making.