Falling between Worlds
Tess Baxter’s practice-based doctorate, ‘Falling between Worlds’ demonstrates how text and visuals can be combined to inform research. Her work has diverse forms of expression; a written dissertation that contains visuals, and a practice of video art that contains text (Baxter and Canucci, 2020). Her research area is creative communities in online spaces, specifically the virtual world of Second Life.
The committee thought that Tess’s work was exceptionally creative, nuanced and thoughtful in re-thinking the many simplistic dualities that characterize contemporary discourse—both academic and popular: digital v. analog, virtual v. real, global v. local, etc. We thought that she paid admirable attention to digital ‘living spaces’ and mediated social interaction. We were also impressed by her research practice orientation as an alternative to the deductive formation of research questions/focus; and that her approach to inquiry was framed by questions of social justice.