There is an international conference on artistic research in the spring and below is some text from the call for proposals that is very relevant to the conversations we’ve been having.
The relationship between artistic practice and writing in the context of research is a challenging and much debated topic, both in and outside the framework of art degree programmes. Often the relationship is felt to be one of friction, opposition or paradox. Writing gives an explicit verbal account of the implicit knowledge and understanding embodied in artistic practices and products while at the same time art may escape or go beyond what can be expressed by words and resist (academic) conventions of accountability. A ‘written element’ is almost always asked for in the context of higher arts education, as well as by funding agencies, so the artist-researcher in that context often feels cornered, and has to meet opposing demands at the same time.
However, in the debate on art practice and writing the fact that writing itself is a practice is often bypassed. Giving a linguistic expression to one’s research is work that demands as much dedication and commitment as creative work does. Moreover, writing is not just practice, but itself creative work, a constructive process that enables the emergence of the new and the unforeseen. What is the role of writing in artistic research and what type of voices may emerge?
Furthermore, while writing can be seen as a form of practice, the same is true for the inverse: in the context of artistic research, practice is a form of writing; a non-propositional form of writing, to be sure, but in artistic research material practices and products not only embody knowledge and understanding, but as agents in a methodological sense, are also the vehicles by which that knowledge and understanding is produced and conveyed. Here practice is making a case, a claim; a discursive practice that comprises (paradoxically?) non-discursive, i.e. non-propositional material.
This years SAR conference will address writing in relation to artistic research from these perspectives: writing as practice and practice as writing. How do both writing and practice operate as ways to convey new knowledge, understanding and experiences by which we (re)organize our lives? In workshops, demonstrations, performances, discussions, open sessions and on-the-spot encounters we will contribute to the ongoing development of the relationship between practice and writing in the context of artistic research.
Details of the conference:
International Conference on Artistic Research, The Hague 28-29 April 2016
Please submit your proposal, of no more than 300 words, before 11 January 2016. Indicate which strand you are submitting for and the duration of what you are proposing as well as any special requirements you may have for your contribution. E-mail your statement to email@example.com, including your name and e-mail address and, if applicable, your affiliation and relevant web link.
The selection of proposals will be completed by 15 February 2016.
The journal connected to the conference is here: http://www.jar-online.net/