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Which clippings match 'Intervention' keyword pg.1 of 1
03 MARCH 2013

The role of 'the work' in research

"This is sometimes another stumbling block, particularly to the Romantic notion of the practitioner whose aim is the expression of the self. We need to differentiate between activities that are to do with the personal development of the practitioner and his or her creativity, and activities that are significant for others in the field. It is only an activity that is significant for others that can be regarded as research. Personal development does not make a contribution to the 'advancement of knowledge, understanding and insight', except in the most parochial sense, i.e. my advancement. To illustrate this let us consider the discipline of arts therapies. It is the purpose of arts therapies to improve the well–being of the client through an intervention involving the client doing some kind of arts activity such as painting, music or drama, etc. Whether the client produces art, in the sense of 'a work of art' mentioned above, is irrelevant to the process. The activity is aimed at the personal development and self knowledge of the individual and not at the advancement of knowledge, understanding and insight into some issue shared by others. Of course, the client's case may contribute to the advancement of knowledge in arts therapies, but this would be an outcome for the therapist and not for the client. In addition, the client's productions may subsequently achieve the status of 'works' but this would be incidental to their original function in connection with improved well–being. Thus I would distinguish between (1) art as therapy (for the individual), (2) art as cultural practice (the production of works of art), and (3) art as research (meeting certain criteria under discussion). It is my claim that (1) and (3), that is, art as therapy and art as research, are mutually exclusive. I should emphasise that this does not mean that I deny that there is such a discipline as arts therapies research!"

(Michael A. R. Biggs, 2003, Practice as Research in Performance)


Simon Perkins
07 DECEMBER 2008

Coyle and Sharpe: pioneering street pranksters

"On San Francisco's Market Street last week, two somber–faced public–opinion 'pollsters' approached a young man, thrust a microphone in his face, and after a few minutes of earnest conversation asked: 'Would you be interested in helping future generations to fly?' When the young man said 'yes,' the pollsters asked: 'Well, then, would you let us graft a pair of chicken wings on your forehead?' The subject was dubious but the interviewers refused to give up. 'Well, how about just one wing?' they asked. 'It's absolutely painless, you know.' By the time the exasperated youth shouted: 'Get away from me, you crackpots,' it was too late. The dialogue was on tape, and the zany radio team of James Coyle and Malcome Sharpe had hooked another victim.

For the past eight months, Coyle and Sharpe have been roaming the streets of San Francisco looking for likely guinea pigs for their imaginative nonsense. So far, they have duped more than 3,500 San Franciscans into taking part in tape–recorded stunts broadcast a dozen times nightly over a KGO radio disk–jockey show. Combining some of the elements of 'Truth or Consequences' and 'Candid Camera,' Coyle and Sharpe have rapidly made themselves one of KGO's most popular features. Each week the pair gets more mail than any of the ABC station's other performers.

Coyle and Sharpe have, among other things, recruited a private army of 14,000 San Franciscans to invade Los Angeles to solve the smog problem; they have sold a clothing salesman on the notion of putting insects into the pockets of men's suits) to familiarize the buyers with entomology); they have tried to rent out the pigeons in Golden Gate Park at $1.50 an hour; they have asked people if they would permit cornflake advertisements to be printed in their eyeballs, and they once convinced a San Francisco businessman to give physical–fitness demonstrations on a pedestal in Union Square. The executive balked only after Coyle and Sharpe proposed thet he be attacked by a flock of trained birds 'to prove that people can exercise when under pressure.'"

(Newsweek, January 13 1964)




absurdabsurditybelonging • Candid Camera • Coyle & Sharpe on the Loose • hidden microphone • human naturehumourimprovisationinterventioninterview • James Coyle • Jim Coyle • Mal Sharpe • Malcolm Sharpe • man-on-the-street • moral imaginationsparticipationperformancepioneeringprankradioSan Franciscosocial reality • terrorizations • truth or consequences


Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2008

Narrative Patterns: the viral form of narrative intervention

"Never, ever argue against a story with fact, it never works. If an anti–story has become dominant in an organisation, no amount of factual statement will dislodge it. Urban myths in particular can grow up to excuse poor behaviour, creating a negative environment that will reject all new initiatives, enforce previous cultural mores and norms. The best way to destroy an anti–story is to retell it with incremental exaggeration until it becomes laughable. This is a specialised form of narrative work and needs to be approached with care, but it's one of the most useful."

(David J. Snowden)



David Snowden • deceptionfalsehood • half-truth • information reliabilityinterventionKMknowledgemanagement • manager • narrativeorganisation • rumour • space pen • staff • subversion • urban legend • urban myth • viral


Simon Perkins
06 FEBRUARY 2006

The intervention of the art of tragedy

"Nature tends towards certain ends; when it fails to achieve those objectives, art and science intervene. Man, as part of nature, also has certain ends in view: health, gregarious life in the State, happiness, virtue, justice, etc. When he fails in the achievement of those objectives, the art of tragedy intervenes. This correction of man's actions is what Aristotle calls catharsis.
Tragedy, in all its qualitative and quantitative aspects, exists as a function of the effect it seeks, catharsis. All the unities of tragedy are structured around this concept. It is the centre, the essence, the purpose of the tragic system. Unfortunately, it is also the most controversial concept. Catharsis is correction: what does it correct? Catharsis is purification: what does it purify?"
(Augusto Boal 1993, p.27)

Boal, Augusto. 1993 Theatre of the Oppressed, London, UK: Pluto Press.

31 OCTOBER 2005

Quasi-Market Irrationality In Welfare Servicing: The Case Of Remote Indigenous Housing

The widespread acceptance of a problem in remote [Australian] indigenous living conditions is manifest in significant humanitarian concern and a social obligation to provide public help. The actual problem which is the focus of the help–based intervention programs can be traced from the historical problematization of Indigenous living conditions, rather than any processes of Indigenous problem prioritization. This discussion examines how the social construction of the concept need has pervaded the problematization of Indigenous living conditions. It considers how this conceptualization of 'need' has entrenched imposed perceptions of problematic Indigenous difference. The discussion examines how alternate conceptualizations of the concept 'need' might provide insight into the 'wicked' policy problem that is Indigenous living conditions. Clarity about need highlights for policy–makers the difference between people's problems and problematized people. The discussion considers how inappropriate conclusions about Indigenous obligations might be avoided after considering the policy which is provided as a result of perceived social obligations.


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