Organized ideas

Towards a Conceptual Framework:  Through much discussion and debate, planning, argument, conception – and cancellation, the Created and Contested Territories research group determined that the best method-fit to their range of dialogical practices was to be found in the rudiments and principles of Conflict Theory. Conflict Theory tools serve to metastasize the group’s differing interpretations of history across vocational and theoretical boundaries. Their aim is to explore related intellectual and practice-based positions that are too often seen as unassailable by professional specialists.

The use of conflict theory found serious traction partly through a communal process of critical writing, but also found a focus in the form of ‘Territory; the Exhibition in a Box’. ‘Territory’ variously draws attention to power differentials, difference and did/advantage made manifest by class, geopolitical or aesthetic conflicts. This epitomises what we call our ‘conceptual framework’; that is, a framework that sets boundaries and parameters for engagement and behaviour.

This framework, whilst conceptual, manifests itself in ‘real’ world outcomes. In a truly applied sense, the Framework enabled the group to manage disagreement, and dissent within the group in order to forge ‘agreeable’ projects. Now firmly established, the framework has enabled the group to identify and pursue fruitful vehicles for their ideas and ideology. These visual and verbal vehicles contrast historically dominant ideologies and archetypal locations, with pointed, site-specific interventions and events. It is by no means accidental that the Created and Contested Territories group acronym (Cactus) is simultaneously tongue-in-cheek, serious and reflective of its dynamic.

The Group’s understanding and definition of the projects conceptual framework is founded on: “the way ideas are organized to achieve a research project’s purpose”[1]. For more on Conflict Theory.

[1] Shields, Patricia and Rangarjan, N. 2013. A Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management. [2]. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press. p. 24. Accent 2; \l