Who is afraid of Artistic Research? (1)


One-day symposium about the epistemology and context of practice-based research

Thursday 22nd May, 2008 , 10am – 4.30pm

Dundee Contemporary Arts, Nethergate 152 - Dundee DD1 4DX

Organised by: Lindsay Brown and Cornelia Sollfrank

Compared with the established epistemologies of the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences, the discourse surrounding practice-based research in art and design is relatively young and includes a range of diverse approaches. What practice-based research is or is not, is highly controversial. Does it mean that the researcher investigates his/her own visual practice, or rather, that visual practice is a means of investigation? Other questions arise in the context of 'normal science' and the knowledge economy: what are the goals of such research?, and what is the desired outcome? What are the connecting lines between art and science, between practice and theory? And last but not least: why would an artist want to do 'research'?

Practice-based research can be understood as a process, evolving from and changing through the practice undertaken by the individual researcher. The challenge here is that research (still) can be undertaken in a relative freedom. Entering the arena of ongoing discussion, negotiation and re-adjustment, and engaging in the discourse about methodology essentially contributes to constituting this freedom.

* Laurence Rassel, artist/ curator (Brussels)
* Prof Nigel Johnson, artist/ researcher (Dundee University)
* Simon Sheikh, curator/ critic (Copenhagen/Malmoe)
* Dr Dieter Lesage, philosopher (Berlin/Brussels)

Chair: Dr Ken Neil, artist/researcher (Glasgow School of Art)

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