Developing the formal structures of artistic practice-as-research

Zagorski-Thomas, Simon ORCID: (2015) Developing the formal structures of artistic practice-as-research. New Vistas, 1 (2). pp. 28-32. ISSN 2056-967X

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In this article I discuss a topic that is emerging as a valuable paradigm for creative practitioners - practice-as-research. There is some controversy over this term that, I believe, goes to the heart of our understanding of the nature of knowledge. The controversy relates to the idea that practice and research are two inherently different types of activity and therefore that it impossible to engage in one ‘as’ the other. Tim Ingold’s (2011) work on the anthropology of knowledge and skill alongside a broader stream of work on cognition and perception (see for example Lakoff & Johnson 2003 and Gibson 1979) suggests that both artistic practice and academic research involve ‘puzzle-solving… carried on within the context of involvement in a real world of persons, objects and relations.’ (Ingold 2011, p.419). The argument revolves around the notion that there is no such thing as disembodied or abstract knowledge and that all knowledge is both embodied and personally related to the world one inhabits. As such, the written word provides a schematic system for representing the much richer communication processes of speech and bodily experience. The written word, however, can only be understood through reference to our lived experience. Lave (1990, p.310) has termed this ‘understanding in practice’ as a knowledge ‘based on rich expectations generated over time about its shape’ (Lave 1990, p.323). Scholarly research outputs and their modes of publication are still firmly entrenched in the printed word. I will explore strategies for communicating the non-verbal knowledge that forms the basis of much practice-as-research.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © University of West London 2015
Keywords: artistic research; practice-as-research; tacit knowledge
Subjects: Arts
Depositing User: Simon Zagorski-Thomas
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2016 08:17
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:45


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