Informing Practice: Notes, Resources and Addenda
The notes posted below contain brief thoughts about concepts and strategies, references to practitioners and links to resources that have informed our work over the past several years. They have been written as stand alone segments and also correspond to passages in our book, Unfolding Practice that we wanted to expand on a bit more.We have included a few context setting quotes from the book with the notes so readers here can see where the expanded ideas are coming from. These notes have been organized under the five chapter titles from the book.
About Unfolding Practice: WHY ACCORDION BOOKS? (Forms+Structures)
There are several reasons why for us and for many others, the practice of using accordion books to capture, illuminate and build on the twists and turns of teaching learning and art practice has become central to our work. Below are just a few elements of the form and structure of accordion books that help to make them “more than just notebooks”:
Flaps: If when revisiting a section of your accordion book, you feel the need to add to it (because you’ve had new thoughts, made new discoveries or made new connections to that particular section, or want to simply extend or even contradict the existing thinking there) you can add flaps which extend up or down from your book. This almost ‘never-ending’ additive strategy is a manifestation of the way our thinking is always extending, building, connecting and contradicting itself.
Pockets: If you have bits of paper ephemera (small notes, lists, drawings, photos, cut-outs from magazines, books or newspapers) you can build pockets into your accordion books to safely contain them. these small documents/images can be taken out of their pockets at any time to trigger memories or inspire new thinking.
Aesthetic Space: The combined effect of all the various formal and structural strategies of accordion book reflection is that they create an ever expanding aesthetic arena, a constructivist space where your practice can be captured, extended and revisited. The aesthetic qualities of this space as well as the structural affordances of accordion books, for us, made our previous notebook-based note-taking strategies pale in comparison. We never even looked back.