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Artistic Research Methodology

Narrative, Power and the Public

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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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7. What to Read, How and Why?

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Intellectuals are people who read and who write, and then they discuss and debate. Are researchers intellectuals? Not necessarily, but research is a practice that certainly requires a certain amount of reading, and well, also writing. And, not to forget: arguing about and with, both with the past and the present articulation of the specific theme and field.

But what kind of reading and why?

The American philosopher Richard Rorty (1998, p. 12) caused a stir some years ago by claiming that it is novels rather than moral treaties that are the most useful vehicles of moral education. What we need is imagination, not moral obligation, if and when we are asked to live and if we have to live together and accept others in our dissonant plural realities.

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