trace layer play is an arts-based research collective of graduate students and alumni from the Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy at The Ohio State University.
In 2020, four PhD students in arts administration, education and policy started a collaborative research journey to connect and motivate each other during the pandemic. Their 2021 exhibition marked the beginning of an arts-based research collective. As an annual exhibition, trace layer play dares to expose the messiness of the research process to public witness and invite visitors to explore, experience, and engage in the research process with them. Today, the trace layer play collective is composed of 14 graduate students and alumni who are co-creating a sustainable research community.
trace layer play - 2021
Artist becoming researcher?
My contribution to the tlp exhibition in the inaugural year was an exploration of what it means to be an artist working within an academic context. I explored my own trajectory as an artist through engagement with past projects, sketchbooks from graduate school, and playful arrangements of text, materials, and objects.
trace layer play II - 2022
revisit/visit and make a mark. . .
In 2022, my work left the wall and became a three-dimensional installation that invited visitor engagement and interaction. Again, my sketchbooks were "on display" within the work for visitor engagement. Visitors were invited to playfully add to the in-progress accumulation of shadows, lines, objects and ideas. As a new researcher, I began to dig into the history of my own art education. This work reveals how my journals and sketchbooks continue to shape and document my artistic practice through text, materials, and spatial exploration.
What does it feel like to revisit and reenter your work?
What can we learn from examining our practice as artists, as researchers?
How can this inform our teaching practices?
How does our research community support and enable our work?
trace layer play 3 - 2023
ekphrastic data play
This work imagines and creates an installation-based and performative approach to synthesizing coded dissertation data. The researcher was present in the space during the exhibition and over the course of the week her coded data was traced, layered, and literally stitched together. Data was arranged within “columns” of key words, phrases, and interpretations. Ultimately, a spatial representation of data may reveal what is typically contained, veiled, and sometimes missed within spreadsheets and databases. This process invites visitors into a messy and playful research space.
What can we learn from being actively engaged in playing with our data? What happens when we invite the public into our process?
Media: performative data analysis including participant generated drawings, silk organza columns, sewing machine, desk, chair, and researcher