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With Tourists: The intersection of gazing with arts-based research, as artist, researcher, and viewer

Todd, Louise



My presentation extends the existing photographically framed understanding of the tourist gaze (Urry & Larsen, 2011) through arts-based research. There is much research devoted to the ocular nature of tourism as a set of visual practices, and consequently to the tourist gaze. Within this construct, it is suggested that tourists’ and others’ visual practices and performances, such as photography and sightseeing, form an intersection of gazes (Crang, 1997; Lutz & Collins, 1991). At present, much consideration of the tourist gaze is captured and framed, through photographic practices: particularly those undertaken by tourists, and within tourism settings (Ekici Cilkin & Cizel, 2021). Indeed, contemporary travel and tourism have become recognised strategies for taking and sharing photographs (Haldrup & Larsen, 2011; Larsen & Urry, 2011), with the exponential growth of digital and social media platforms intensifying this (e.g. Dinhopl & Gretzel, 2016; Höckert, Lüthje, Ilola, & Stewart, 2018; Pearce & Wang, 2019).
As a transdisciplinary approach which combines tenets of creative arts in research contexts, arts-based research uses the artistic process as a way of understanding (Leavy 2020). Limited attention has been devoted to tourism as a subject for visual artists, or to researching tourism with arts-based research (Tribe, 2008). Accordingly, although the tourist gaze is of interest on interdisciplinary bases, there is little consideration of this through arts-based visual practices.
I will reflect on my intersected gaze and visual practices of my reflexive ‘others’: as an artist, researcher, and viewer. I will then discuss my arts-based method to understanding the tourist gaze, with tourists and tourism subject to my intersected gaze. My approach involves visual art practices of drawing and painting, both within embodied tourism contexts, and through using tourists’ photography as source materials. My recent research and artwork will be discussed through the intersection of my reflexive others’ gazes. I will conclude my presentation by considering the potential of art-based research, and specifically visual arts practice, as means of studying and understanding the intersection of gazes; and potential for arts-based research in critical tourism studies.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Critical Tourism Studies IX: With in Dangerous Times
Start Date Jun 27, 2022
End Date Jul 1, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 6, 2022
Keywords art-based research; visual art practice; tourist gaze; intersected gaze
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