Festival of Methods for Studying Perceptions of Time
26th June 2013, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
Organised by Jen Southern (Lancaster), Michelle Bastian (Edinburgh) and Alex Buchanan (Liverpool)
Our Methods Festival was held as part of the AHRC-funded Sustaining Time project, which is exploring the time of alternative economies. A key question is what methods might be use to focus on time in our archive and field work. Inspired by Jen Southern's question about temporal methods in an event from last year, we wanted to organise an event that would showcase a variety of methods for exploring how people experience and conceptualise time.
We heard from a wonderful range of speakers (which you can listen to below) and also facilitated a number of collaborative sessions. Attendees made quick posters of their research and shared their key questions. We then had time to review these and add suggestions/comments so that each attendee received feedback on their work. After lunch we spent some time in small groups discussing the question 'How do you research time?'. As a way of pulling these discussions together we then collaboratively developed guides on relevant methods, resources and possible research sites (available below).
We had particular fun at this event playing around with 'academic time', both in our collaborative sessions and also with a range of activities that explored the experience of time and synchronisation. The first used a video of gradually synchronising metronomes to welcome everyone to the event, and the second, after lunch, where we tried to guess when a minute was up with our eyes closed.The third was a demonstration by Chris Speed of robots that showed the multiple nature of experienced time.
Over the course of the day we heard from nine speakers who shared the methods they had been using in their work to explore time. This ranged from qualitative longitudinal research, ethnography, time-diary analysis, archive research, video analysis, qualitative interviews, creative participation and timebots. Audio and slides for each of the presentations is available through the links below.
- Rachel Thomson (Sussex) Temporal Methods...and me
- Martin Green (Lancaster) Practices of Time-keeping
- Alex Buchanan (Liverpool) [Space], Time and Architecture
- Helen Holmes (Sheffield) Mrs B and the Friday Club: Archives and the Experience of Time
- Jennifer Whillans (Manchester) Societal Synchronisation: Timing of Practices
- Eric Laurier (Edinburgh) Video Analysis of Timing
- James Ash (Northumbria) Technicity: methodological implications for studying temporal perception
- Jen Southern (Lancaster) Creative Participation: as a method of studying concepts of time
- Chris Speed (Edinburgh) Time of Encounter: exploring 'kid time'
One of the hoped for outcomes of the day was a better sense of the range of methods that attendees were using in their own work to explore time. The poster sharing helped give us a quick overview of everyone's work and our afternoon sessions allowed us to explore issues in more depth. After the world café session we spent time reflecting on our conversations and capturing the methods, resources and research sites we had mentioned throughout the day. You can view the compiled results below