I think of bricolage as an action. As Weick pointed out in 1995 ‘the first characteristic of a bricoleur is that the person can use whatever tools and materials are at hand’. What is important is that bricolage acts as an action to understand or solve a problem. More precisely, the researcher of art emerges as a bricoleur, using whatever is available, alternating methods or devising new ones. For example, Spriggs (2016) claims that with my lack of language and inability to ride with an uurga, drawing seems to be a perfect way to do this, as drawing even leads to the activity of the physical object’s target, as well as the actions and traces that a physical object produces it – -a symbol that represents itself. When materials are in hand, we tend to use these as a form of action. Thus bricolage is also about limits. There is an intriguing notion that the materials are situated proximally–whether physically or psychologically–to the problem at hand. I take this to mean that within a bricolage, it is quite possible that knowledge making is less about seeing everything as a nail because we only have a hammer and more about using a hammer as a steering wheel since it’s both available and it works. In this way, the action of the bricoleur may be distinct from other types of creative sensemaking action.
I realized bricolage has become a model and perhaps a metonym for how resistance (cultural, structural, political, etc) is built into certain ways of knowing and not others. The concept might broadly include any attempt to make meaning by “drawing on available material, cognitive, affective, and social resources.