My chapter ‘Multislicing Semiotic Analysis (MSA): Engaging with the Meanings of Creative-Visual-Arts Data‘ is published in BIIB (Building Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Bridges) ebook. This ebook is launched following the BIBAC 2016 conference, University of Cambridge. It is an edited volume which celebrates the nexus of theory, research and practice of interdisciplinarity and intercultural contexts.
The emergence and growth of arts-based research has challenged researchers to develop systematic approaches for engaging with arts data. In my own research, involving arts-based, interdisciplinary and intercultural complexities, I encountered this analytical challenge and had to develop my response to it, namely ‘Multislicing Semiotic Analysis’ (MSA). In this chapter, I present MSA and explain how it enabled me to: a) directly engage with the plausible meanings of creative-visual-arts data; b) accommodate both the visual and accompanying verbal insights; c) flexibly tailor strategies to analyse multiple types of creative-visual-arts data; and d) embrace a reflexive space through multiple modes of thinking. I exemplify my design of MSA with a cartoon data-set ‘Intercultural Bubble’ generated in my doctoral study. By illustrating how I carefully engage with my data-sets in a thoughtful, systematic and reflexive way, my ultimate objective here is to contribute to the quality and trustworthiness of arts-based research. In the chapter, I first introduce the background to my study, and the analytical challenges that I faced when working with my creative-visual-arts data; then, I present and exemplify MSA; and finally, I offer a discussion of MSA in relation to the challenges that I intended to address.