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Artistic Research Methodology

Narrative, Power and the Public


Mika Hannula, Juha Suoranta and Tere Vadén

Artistic Research Methodology argues for artistic research as a context-aware and historical process that works inside-in, beginning and ending with acts committed within an artistic practice. An artistic researcher has three intertwined tasks. First, she needs to develop and perfect her own artistic skills, vision and conceptual thinking. This happens by developing a vocabulary for not only making but also writing and speaking about art. Second, an artistic researcher has to contribute to academia and the «invisible colleges» around the world by proposing an argument in the form of a thesis, a narrative; and in so doing helping to build a community of artistic research and the bodies of knowledge these communities rely on. Third, she must communicate with practicing artists and the larger public, performing what one could call «audience education». There is no way of being an engaged and committed partner in a community without taking sides, without getting entangled in issues of power. Consequently, the methodology of artistic research has to be responsive both to the requirements of the practice and the traditions of science. Here the embedded nature of the knowledge produced through artistic research becomes evident. Artistic Research Methodology is essential reading for university courses in art, art education, media and social sciences.
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1. Artistic Research Inside-In


Methods? Methods of qualitative research? Or even more focused on a specific group of actors and agents: methods of artistic research? Who needs them? And why? What are they for?

This book continues the collaboration among three researchers working hands-on with students in various fields of cultural production. It is a tentative next step that follows from the previous joint effort, Artistic Research—Theories, Methods and Practices, in 2005. It is not an update, or a revision, but a new collection of thoughts and desires that emerge and evolve from the day-to-day acts of doing, teaching and facilitating research both in social sciences and in art universities.

To call this ongoing process a lifelong commitment would be preposterous, but nevertheless, there is evidently something intriguing and in the deepest sense challenging in the questions and issues of what is research and why and how it is supposed to be done that keeps all three of us returning to them, not as an institutional position or power game but as a self-reflective and open-ended practice.

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