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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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Conclusion

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In this book, we have reflected on research methodologies and methods for artistic research. The methodological guidelines, discussions and conversations with the practitioners are meant to provide ideas for those who want to deepen their understanding of their own artwork and its various contexts, and, following that, for those who engage with the arts without calling themselves artists. Shortly put, our aim has been to increase the awareness and reflectivity of both artists and their audiences about how to study art from the inside, that is, study art as artists, from the perspective of people involved in living, breathing artistic practices and communities.

We have maintained throughout the book that an artistic researcher has three intertwined tasks. Self-evidently, he or she needs to develop and perfect his or her own artistic skills, vision and conceptual thinking. One way or another, the artistic researcher must develop a personal vocabulary for not only doing but also writing and speaking about his or her art. This is necessary in contributing to academia and returning something to the researcher’s academic colleagues and his or her “invisible college” around the world. Thus, the researcher proposes an argument in the form of a thesis, and in so doing, helps build a community of artistic research and the bodies of knowledge these communities rely on. As important as an academic community might be, there is also a larger public, including practicing artists, with whom the researcher is almost obliged to communicate, perhaps in...

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