It’s a little out-dated but Borgdorff’s summary of the practice-as-research field remains very useful indeed. Borgdorff describes many of the kinds of issues that we have discussed and I wonder where you position yourselves in relation to them now.
Donald Schön speaks of ‘reflection in action’ in this context, and I earlier described this approach as the ‘immanent’ and ‘performative perspective’. It concerns research that does not assume the separation of subject and object, and does not observe a distance between the researcher and the practice of art. Instead, the artistic practice itself is an essential component of both the research process and the research results. This approach is based on the understanding that no fundamental separation exists between theory and practice in the arts. After all, there are no art practices that are not saturated with experiences, histories and beliefs; and conversely there is no theoretical access to, or interpretation of, art practice that does not partially shape that practice into what it is. Concepts and theories, experiences and understandings are interwoven with art practices and, partly for this reason, art is always re exive. Research in the arts hence seeks to articulate some of this embodied knowledge throughout the creative process and in the art object.
– Henk Borgdorff