To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

What Do You See in Me? A … - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

What Do You See in Me? A Collaborating Art Project Channeled Through Mirroring.

Conference contribution
Authors Margaretha Häggström
Malena Wallin
Charlotta Gavelin
Published in 51st Annual IVLA Conference 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Design and Crafts
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Language en
Keywords Art-based research, art project, mirroring, transformative phenomenology,analytic autoethnography
Subject categories Pedagogical Work, Learning, Educational Sciences, Arts


Introduction The topic of self is an intriguing endless issue that engages not only people in general, but scholars in various fields. Identity formation is a life-long endeavor. The notion of the other is crucial when constructing the self as a subject; in dialogue we create meaning (Hall, 1997). When developing our social self, we depend on each other’s opinions and judgments; we form our identity in the eye of the other (Aure, 2011) and thus through mirroring (Iacoboni, 2008). By mirroring, we are capable of recognizing the sensitive state of the other and to feel oneness (Piechowski-Jozwiak et al 2017). When mirroring each other, we intuitively express and combine emotions of the other and self. This imitative performance is a profound and strong social behavior. Tuning our frame of mind is a common way of expressing approval. In addition, it is a way of learning (Yarbrough, 2017). This presentation concerns a collaborating art project conducted by the three authors, building on art’s capacity to develop emotional connections (Hubard, 2007; Freedberg & Gallese, 2007; Jeffers, 2015). The project explores in what way the making of mixed portraits is directed or influenced by mirroring. Aim and research questions This study aims to expose the lived experience of the process of a collaborating art project and how mirroring might guide the art-making. Following research questions lead the analysis of the result: • How do we move while making the portraits? (E.g. gestures, movements, facial expressions). • How do the portraits emerge? (Similarities and diverseness). Theoretical departure This study takes its starting point from a life-world phenomenological perspective, grounded in Husserl (1913/1962), Heidegger (1988), Merleau-Ponty (1995) and Schultz (1999) and the concept of lived experience, i.e. the direct feelings, perceptions, thoughts and corporal awareness of life as we live it. In particular, we are inspired by Rehorick and Bentz (2008) and their use of the notions transformative phenomenology and wonderment. The reason for this theoretical framework is the aim to study change through practice. Wonderment challenges the natural attitude; that is the taking for granted-ness, and makes us see and notice. This means to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. In doing so, we may reveal the hidden, the imaginative and the possible. Method This study is underpinned by analytic autoethnography (Anderson, 2006). Autoethnography offers opportunities for artists and other practioners to critically scrutinize their work and to reflect on their lived experiences (Pace, 2012). By using video recording, log-book writing and audio recorded dialogues together with photographs, we have reflexively explored the lived experiences of the collaborating art-work. Result The result of the study shows that we through the methodology and the phenomenological perspective achieved a profound understanding of the process of collaborating art-work. We also found that our experiences during the art-making differed from what we observed in the video recordings. In this presentation we will reveal this divergence. References Anderson, L. (2006). Analytic Autoethnography. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Vol 35, Nr 4, p. 373-395. Aure, V. (2011). Kampen om blikket. En longitudinell studie der formidling av kunst til barn o gunge danner utgangspunkt for kunstdidaktiske diskursanalyser. Doctoral thesis. Stockholm: University of Stockholm. Freedberg, D. & Gallese, V. (2007). Motion, emotion, and empathy in aesthetic experience. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, vol. 11, No 5, pp. 197-203. Hall, S. (1997). The spectacle of the other. In S. Hall (ed). Representation – cultural representations and signifying practices. London: Sage Publications. Heidegger, M. (1988). Being and Time. Oxford: Blackwell. Hubard, O. (2007). Complete engagement: Embodied response in art museum education. Art Education, 61(6), 46-52. Husserl, E. (1913/1962). Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. London: Collier Macmillan. Iacoboni, M. (2008). Mirroring People: The science of empathy and how we connect with others. New York: Picador. Jeffers, C.S. (2009). Within Connections: Empathy, Mirror Neurons, and Art Education, Art Education, 62:2, pp.18-23. Merley-Ponty, M. (1995). Kroppens Fenomenologi. [Phenomenology of perception] Göteborg: Daidalos. Pace, S. (2012). Writing the self into research: Using grounded theory analytic strategies in Autoethnography. TEXT Special Issue: Creativity: Cognitive, Social and Cultural Perspectives, pp. 1-16. Piechowski-Jozwiak, B., Boller, F. & Bogousslavsky, J. (2017). Universal Connection through Art: Role of Mirror Neurons in Art Production and Reception. Behavioral Science, vol 7, nr 29, p. 1-9. Rehorick, D.A. & Bentz, V.M. (2008). Transformative Phenomenology. Changing ourselves, lifeworlds. Plymouth: Lexington Books. Schütz, Alfred. (1999). Den sociala världens fenomenologi. [The Phenomenology of the Social World] Göteborg: Daidalos. Yarbrough, M. (2017). Retreived 2018-09-09 from

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?