The journey began by deploying the AND Boolean search method as my main research method. While the results it yielded were germane to the topic, they were heavily limited by the input of my key words which began with Vietnam War memorial and controversy but then controversy alone was soon replaced by Maya Lin and other names of stakeholders. The main reason why I had to replace controversy is because the word was too broad. The searches yielded articles that seemed to say the same thing but with different voices which warranted an input change. After deleting controversy, scholarly articles that analyzed the broad spectrum of issues were removed, creating room for ones that offered unique perspectives and insights on one or two stake holders. After finding my scholarly source, “Monument or Memorial? The Wall and the Politics of Memory” by Robert K. Brigham I used my second strategy; choosing sources that either argue against or supplement his viewpoint. But more importantly these sources have to present their arguments through the perspectives of stakeholders different from ones Brigham used. That way not only is there a flow between the stakeholder’s issues, but I also can be sure that I am analyzing a myriad issues of connected issues at the same time, not presenting two sides of one debate. In conclusion, I found my sources by using the AND method for each stakeholder, and strategically finding complementing sources,
Genre and audience have some influence over my choice of sources. I approached the blog and the outsider’s guide with similar selections but with the academic argument my selections had to be different. This is mainly due to the formality and gravity of the genre and its audience. Simply put, the blog and the outsider guide are mainly informal genres that do not heavily require many scholarly sources nor restrained to have a tone of objectivity that an academic argument is required to have. Rather writing a blog or an outsider guide requires a more personal and in a sense a subjective approach which allows me to find sources fitting only my personal perspective, a method that would discredit any academic argument.
This process has taught me to really focus on who is the audience and how can I use my writing to express my understanding as thoroughly as possible by making my content relatable to the audience. Thus it has made me a better writer by making me understand that context of any writing is not just a historical or socio political background of the topic, but also factors in who is reading the piece. It is a very simple thing that in my previous education, I would never think about since my audience has always been my teacher who knew more about the topic than I did.
The method of relating to the audience is crucial to both architecture courses now and in professional practice. This is because architecture is such a broad discipline that many of its atypical nuances are sometimes even foreign to well-studied professors, let alone future clients who don’t know a thing about design. This is why understanding and respecting context (audience) is crucial as it eventually will determine whether I pass design studio or be commissioned.
Ultimately, this course has taught me that writing about art is an opportune product. To be ethically responsible is to produce writing that illustrates your experience with the art in the most appropriate manner. Thus appropriate in this situation means to be responsive to both the context of your experience and the language you use to engage your audience. For example to illustrate the disbelief we, in our modern time, would have of bipartisan political support for anything, I added a cheesy photo of 2 suit wearing donkey and elephant. Their conjoined stance and their awkward uneasy smile not only conveys a bonding partnership but also the discomfort of it. By having these traits my audience of well-read art enthusiasts can easily understand it without knowing much about politics.
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