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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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4. Face-to-Face, One-to-One: Production of Knowledge in and through Narrative Interviews


Question: Should each and every researcher do interviews in their specific field?

Answer: If we would rule the world, yes. Always. Not only do them, but do many kinds and varieties of them. Hitting them high and low, stating them wide and narrow. If we ruled the world, everyone everywhere would be doing more and better, more nuanced and deep-seated narrative interviews. Nobody would be able to escape both doing and giving committed and contextually informed and embedded interviews about the content of the current state of their practice.

Fortunately, this question and answer portrays a hypothetical confrontation. Luckily enough, neither we, individually or collectively, nor any others working with issues of methods, rule the world, or the field, or the faculty. Methods are tools, tools for thinking with and tools for structuring that act of thinking with. They are not monopolies, and they should not be restricted, but instead, they should carry the weight of the open-source mentality and attitude loud and proud. Methods are like our daily experiences: plural and contradictory.

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