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Research by Practice

24th January 2012
Dr Gary Pritchard

Michael Biggs, Henrik Karlsson, Eds. (2010) The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts. Routledge

How to ‘read’ Art?
Expressivist school: Art is the expression of the intentions and feelings of the artist.  We can thus best interpret art by understanding the original intention of the artist
Croce, Collingwood, Tolstoy

Formalism: its true meaning lies in the work itself. 
Balzac, Flaubert, Lyotard 

Birth of the Reader: (Death of the author).  Primary locus of the meaning can only be found in the responses of the viewers themselves. Barthes, Heidegger Gadamer, Derrida

This is the last picture that Vincent van Gogh painted before he killed himself
John Berger ‘Ways of Seeing’

Postmodernity
Douglas Kellner - postmodern society is the site of an implosion of all boundaries, regions, and distinctions between high and low culture, appearance and reality
Kellner, D. 1989

Tibor Kalman

Oliviero Toscani

"Research is the curiosity-driven production of new knowledge. It is the process oriented toward the realm of possibilities that is to be explored, manipulated, controlled, given shape and form, and transformed. … To put research (back) into the arts, to make visible and explicit the function of research in the arts and in the act of 'creating knowledge’ is a truly ambitious undertaking ...”
Helga Nowotny, President of the European Research Council

“My present contribution is a plea for plurality, and first of all plurality in concepts and understanding of what artistic research may be and how it should be conducted … I am, simply, pleading for a way of understanding artistic research that accepts the plurality and, if necessary, finds way of defending it. What I am up against, then, is fellow theoreticians (and some practitioners) who want to define some specific kind of activity as the one and only real artistic research.” Søren Kjørup

“Art practice as an inquiry process takes into account more than the physical and formal process of creating images, objects or events. Not only is the artist involved in a 'doing' performance, but this also results in an image that is a site for further interpretation by others.”

Sullivan, G. (2006) Artefacts as evidence within changing contexts. Working Papers in Art and Design 4

“Although I am interested in theory, I am not of course a theoretician. I ask such questions and make the theories only afterwards, not before – only after I have done something. I keep pictures I have done around the studio; you want to look at them. And it takes a while to realize what I really did there, how it works; then I may use that in something else. But though painting can't be done theoretically, all painters must, to a certain extent, analyse their work afterwards.”
Hockney, D. (1993). That's the way I see it. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books pp. 130-131

”… the value of a work of art is not objective facts it might reveal, not merely its expression of an artist's emotional state, and not that it captures some ideal, eternal formal rightness. Rather, the value of an artwork lies in the ways it shows the meaning of experience and imaginatively explores how the world is and might be - primarily in a qualitative fashion. Therefore, art can be just as much a form of inquiry as is mathematics or the empirical sciences.”
Johnson, M in Biggs &Karlsson, Eds. (2010) The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts. Routledge p.149

Christian Boltanski

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Case Study: Eileen Little Tape slide (with technology)
Autobiographic Who gets to decide? (permissioning) Memory Parent/child Authenticity Ethics “I need every single move that I make to have meaning – it’s got to be theorised”

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Case Study: Eileen Little Tape slide (with technology)
Autobiographic Who gets to decide? (permissioning) Memory Parent/child Authenticity Ethics “I need every single move that I make to have meaning – it’s got to be theorised”

• 

Case Study: Eileen Little Tape slide (with technology)
Autobiographic Who gets to decide? (permissioning) Memory Parent/child Authenticity Ethics “I need every single move that I make to have meaning – it’s got to be theorised”

• 

Case Study: Eileen Little Tape slide (with technology)
Autobiographic Who gets to decide? (permissioning) Memory Parent/child Authenticity Ethics “I need every single move that I make to have meaning – it’s got to be theorised”

• 

Case Study: Eileen Little Tape slide (with technology)
Autobiographic Who gets to decide? (permissioning) Memory Parent/child Authenticity Ethics “I need every single move that I make to have meaning – it’s got to be theorised”

• 

Case Study: Eileen Little Tape slide (with technology)
Autobiographic Who gets to decide? (permissioning) Memory Parent/child Authenticity Ethics “I need every single move that I make to have meaning – it’s got to be theorised”

• 

Case Study: Eileen Little Tape slide (with technology)
Autobiographic Who gets to decide? (permissioning) Memory Parent/child Authenticity Ethics “I need every single move that I make to have meaning – it’s got to be theorised”

• 

Case Study: Eileen Little Tape slide (with technology)
Autobiographic Who gets to decide? (permissioning) Memory Parent/child Authenticity Ethics “I need every single move that I make to have meaning – it’s got to be theorised”

“The role of the artists as a theorist and researcher was developed to help argue that art practice as research is based on the assumption that the outcomes of inquiry are focused and openended; conclusive and open to conjecture; beyond doubt and open to question. This does not contradict the accepted notion that research is supposed to come up with unequivocal results. On the contrary, the task of any rigorous intellectual and imaginative inquiry is not only to produce new insight, but also to realize how this can transform our knowledge of things we assume we already understand. Within fields such as the visual arts this research approach involves a creative and critical process whereby imaginative leaps are made into what we don't know as this can lead to crucial insights that can change what we do know ‘create’ and to ‘critique’.” Sullivan, G. (2006) Artefacts as evidence within changing contexts. Working Papers in Art and Design 4

“Understatement was the hallmark of the late Felix GonzalezTorres's works... lyricism, formal rightness, contextual aptness, economy of means, intellectual courage, toughness wrapped in gentleness, a hard-won equilibrium between private reality and public participation, and finally, a desire to engage the average viewer-as if there were nothing average about such a person but, rather, as if everything that made that person particular were his or her differences from other individuals-are the qualities that inform his art” Robert Storr, on Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Robert Storr's Interpretive Coordinates

discuss?

g.pritchard@wales.ac.uk