[ISEA2022] Paper: Sojung Bahng, Stefy McKnight & Jon McCormack — A comparative study of practice-based research and research-creation in media art: Comparing two doctoral studies in Australia and Canada


Full Paper. Session: Educations and Societies / Practice-based research STEAM and Media art

Keywords: Practice-based Research, Research-Creation, Media Practice, Cinematic Virtual Reality, Surveillance Studies

This paper examines the differences and similarities between practice-based research (PBR) and research-creation (RC) in media art. As case studies, two PhD research projects — one from Australia (Sojung Bahng, PBR) and the other from Canada (Stéphanie McKnight, RC) — are compared. The comparative analysis demonstrates that critical reflection and phenomenological awareness through creative practice are crucial in generating knowledge in both PBR and RC. Simultaneously, this study shows that research methods and approaches between PBR and RC differ due to different academic and socio-cultural factors. PBR’s main aim is to generate knowledge through practice in a broader sense, whereas RC, with its conceptual roots in fine arts, emphasizes social and community-based engagement.

  • Sojung Bahng is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker and researcher, and currently works as a postdoctoral fellow in the Bachelor of Media Production and Design at Carleton University in Canada. She will be appointed as an Assistant Professor in Media and Performance Production at Queen’s University, beginning in July 2022. Sojung holds a PhD from SensiLab at Monash University in Australia. She explores cinematic media via digital technologies to reflect aesthetic and narrative experiences in cultural and philosophical contexts. http://sojungb.com
  • Stéphanie McKnight (Stéfy) is an Assistant Professor in the Bachelor of Media Production and Design at Carleton University (Canada). She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University. Her creative practice and research focus are policy, activism, governance, and surveillance trends in Canada and North America. Within her research, Stéfy explores research-creation as a methodology, and the ways that events and objects produce knowledge and activate their audience.
  • Jon McCormack is an Australian-based artist and researcher in computing. His research interests include generative art, design and music, evolutionary systems, computer creativity, visualisation, virtual reality, interaction design, physical computing, machine learning, developmental models and physical computing. Jon is the founder and Director of SensiLab and oversees all operations, research programs and partnerships. He is also full Professor of Computer Science at Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology and currently an ARC Future Fellow.