In a series of blog posts I have been trying to work through some of the issues on what it is about narratives, and particularly audio narratives (audio diaries, nested narratives, BNIM, etc) that is so different from other ways of reflecting, researching, interviewing, etc.

The point I have got to is something like this:

1. One, useful, way to create research data is to frame the whole exercise as sense-making, first and foremost for the narrator. The researcher is then a secondary observer - observing, if you like, the way in which the sense-maker is observing themselves.

2. This creates quite different affordances:

2a: Performative affordances for the narrator, in (recorded) audio, which can be augmented by further audio, visual, etc texts.

2b: Analytic affordances, primarily for the researcher.

These are fundamentally different (see the blog posts) in type, mode, and narrative and sense-making 'space'. Performative sense-making is situated in 'inner space', while analytic affordances transcribe the content into texts-for-exchange - intellectual capital in the literal sense, i.e. as depersonalised intellectual commodities (or meta-semiotics).

What is important is that both modes and sets of affordances should be available to the narrator and researcher, and there are then a further set of affordances:

2c: Collaborative affordances, in which the two modes, and the two roles (narrator and researcher) work together in a joint sense-making exercise, which raises the further possibilities of:

2d: Performative analysis - a collaborative hybrid or fusion, and

2e: Performative learning - Montessori's sensory materials, for instance.

All of this opens new sense-making affordances, and ecologies of affordances, and the interesting prospect that we can engage in embedded, embodied, synaesthetic sense-making - or 'gestalt dialogue and inquiry'.

We dont have adequate terms for this yet, but it might be a way to integrate performing arts, performativity, and intellectual inquiry, at least in the field of narratives and narrative research.