Joshua Singler


Anxieties of Studying a Masters.

It's crazy to think that we’re already approaching reading week. I’ve been feeling this sense of pressure to start defining my thesis while being in a very heavy experimentation stage. I’ve brought this feeling of pressure up with my peers to get their opinions and I think what I gathered is that a lot of us feel this sense of risk. Deciding to embark on a masters comes with a certain level of risk. You are deciding to put a lot of time, energy, money, sometimes moving across the world, leaving your job, friends, family in search of what? You dedicate two years of your life to your research, and you’re unsure of when, or if, you're going to come to any sort of a conclusion.

Next time I feel this sense of anxiety because someone questions what the purpose of scribbling on some circular sheets of paper has to a Master's research. I remind myself of a few constants in this situation:

I'm surrounded by a group of extremely diverse and talented individuals. I often have to remind myself to tap into and nourish these resources and relationships. Already two semesters into this program, I’ve realized the importance of an outside perspective on research. Somebody who hasn’t lived the past 23 years inside my brain is able to see my work from a completely different angle and adds something unique to the process. Apart from my peers and the talented faculty, I find the city of Vancouver to be an important resource for invigorating my purpose for conducting this research. I moved to Vancouver a year ago yesterday and this city never ceases to fascinate me. It’s such a strange little world, everyone living in their little bubbles, so often aware of the everyday happening around them. I want my research to be the pin that intercepts and pops those bubbles, so to speak. Anyways, I feel like I’ve gone too far off on a tangent, so let’s look at some more specific variables. Here is an idea of what my research objectives look like at the moment. This list doesn't include any work from my research/teaching assistant positions which I feel inform my research in a different way.

To Do:

  • Start shooting/editing/posting new (21) photo IG typology (Continue shooting doors/cars in background)

  • Continue to shoot different time-based typologies; staircase, paste-up, newspaper box

  • Print off cars/doors to date, overlay with tracing paper and begin analyzing

  • Figure out a routine/structure for the (⌘) + (V) scroll

  • Continue reading/pulling apart readings through scroll method

  • Continue to use hacked record player to create patterns, intervening with different music styles and choices of material to illicit different outcomes

  • Create prototype for public intervention paper bag stencil (Get off your phone/Head up shoulders back)

  • Continue note-taking, jotting down ideas in notebook

  • Get workshop together (February 28th)

  • Purchase receipt printer, start on that concept

  • Continue sewing/mark-making on roll of felt as meditation

  • Get started on the bus ride tape recorder concept

I think my “to-do” list does a pretty good idea of painting what it’s like living inside my mind. I like having my hands in a bunch of different things simultaneously and allow for each separate project to guide and influence one another. I think what I’ve found most difficult about this process is trying to accurately represent the work that I am doing because there are so many bits and bobs all over the place that sometimes it’s hard to bring it all together. I'm hoping that between the blog and my on-going process, documentation and reflection (PDR) book that I will be able to communicate to everyone the path that my research is taking.


Joshua Singler