Phenomenological works of art that evoke
the essence of our lived experience.
The Phenomenological Art Collective is an arts-based research lab run by psychologist Dr. Nisha Gupta at the University of West Georgia, which utilizes phenomenological research methods to produce evocative artwork that illuminates people’s lived experiences of various psychological and sociocultural phenomena. Members of this collective experiment with innovative ways to disseminate phenomenological research to the public through media art production such as: filmmaking, the visual arts, music, poetry, and dance.
Phenomenology is a philosophy and research method that produces knowledge about psychology by collecting people’s detailed, intimate descriptions of lived experience. Phenomenology asks the question, “What are the deeper meanings of this human phenomenon, as described by people who have lived through it themselves?” For example: what are the deeper meanings of being in the LGBTQ closet, living in a time of coronavirus, or breastfeeding in public in the context of societal stigma? Then, we collect and interpret people’s stories of these experiences to unearth key thematic insights about the phenomenon under inquiry. The end goal is to disseminate these meaningful phenomenological insights in artistic ways to create profound emotional resonance among the public, for the purposes of psycho-education, social advocacy, and sociocultural healing.
The steps to perform this arts-based phenomenological method are available in the methods section of this website. The method is inspired by the direction of several researchers, theorists, and psychologists who are listed here. An interview with the APA about this research approach can be viewed here.
The Phenomenological Art Collective is based in the Psychology Program at the University of West Georgia. It is founded by Dr. Nisha Gupta, assistant professor of psychology. Gupta currently teaches this method to UWG students in courses and as an advisor to their arts-based research dissertation and theses projects, and also pursues her own arts-based research projects for social advocacy purposes which are linked to this site. For questions, comments, or collaborations reach out to Dr. Nisha Gupta at firstname.lastname@example.org or view more of her work at nishagupta.org