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1) Whether the investigative and innovative work of arts practitioners might count as research in the academy 2) Whether cutting-edge professional practice.

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Presentation on theme: "1) Whether the investigative and innovative work of arts practitioners might count as research in the academy 2) Whether cutting-edge professional practice."— Presentation transcript:



3 1) Whether the investigative and innovative work of arts practitioners might count as research in the academy 2) Whether cutting-edge professional practice claimed as research in the creative and cultural industries constitutes academic research 3) PaR is an institutional matter and misunderstandings arise from a conflict of cultures and values; 4) Aim to negotiate this cultural conflict to the advantage of practitioner-researchers.

4 Production of new knowledge or substantial new insights – effectively shared. knowledge as institutionally –defined within the academy; entails contribution to knowledge accumulation; shared across the academy and society, not just within a subject domain; requires making explicit of claims and rationale (meta-narrative or meta-discourse).

5 Conservatoire Practitioner Aesthetic criteria Practice University Academic Research criteria Theory

6 ... two distinct sub-cultures: that of the academics and that of the creative practitioners. We noted that each sub-culture arose out of a distinct historical and social background in which its characterizing values were coherent within the sub-culture but quite different when compared with the other. (Biggs et al 2010)

7 there is a desire for maintaining the indeterminate qualities afforded by the idealized professional because it serves to maintain the culture as distinct. Thus the creative practitioner maintains authority, and therefore identity and difference, by resisting the determination of criteria. … in the hands of the practitioners in the field, some of that [ontological] determinacy was challenged and ultimately converted back into indeterminacy.

8 ... It is often necessary, for example, to argue whether a PhD in fine arts should be awarded by a committee composed not only of creatives, but also of engineers, psychologists and scientists. Our position is that it is advantageous to have equal conditions, and we call this the Situated Position. Its opposite, which claims that CCI is somehow special and should be granted special criteria and regulations, we call the Isolationist Position. Humpty Dumpty resolved a disagreement with Alice by stating that: When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less (Carroll 2008: Chapter VI). This is an example of the Isolationist Position. (Beggs and Büchler, 2008)

9 Arts academies resent that their customs and practices, established within the artsworld have been unsettled by the demands of PaR Professional artists, finding HEIs to be a funding stream, may not on occasion have adjusted to different demands of PaR Universities, operating typically through propositional discourse did not (cannot/ will not) see that arts practices might be knowledge producing. In sum, we have a conflict of the faculties (Borgdorff) but with jurisdiction over research being vested in the university sector.

10 According to Prof Judith Mottram, in the 1996 RAE, the Visual Arts community realised the need for its work to be counted as research but failed to distinguish research criteria from aesthetic crieria. In her study of PhDs, she found that: On occasions, creative practitioners assert importance, or originality, based only on the evidence that what they have produced is creative, original, or novel. The argument might go as follows: I created it, thus this expression of my individual experience/being/creativity/voice has value.

11 Historically, Music has been part of the university curriculum since the Middle Ages; In the modern era PhD and DMus degrees have been awarded for composition and performance with very little exegesis As PaR has developed, some musicians have not been happy to be asked to articulate and evidence a research inquiry Some claim to have won the argument though where and when, and on what terms remains unclear.

12 As RAE/REF audits have drawn criteria for the arts into a PaR mode, many of todays HEI-based musicians accept that:... [a]lthough much music making involves research, the latter does not necessarily qualify all music making as research. Not every rehearsal is a research project and not all performances are research outcomes.... Much of what musicians do may certainly be high-level professional practice, but all does not necessarily constitute research. (Schippers, 2007: 02)

13 Partly because of its emergence from English departments, Theatre Studies embraces Humanities-style historical and conceptual research; Performance Studies overlaps with a range of other disciplines (Cultural Studies, Ethnography, Archaeology etc); practice-based departments have burgeoned in the UK over the past two decades and research has become increasingly situated in practices; Theatre and Performance have had fewer problems following a multi-mode PaR methodology

14 eager, because of its extensive embodied practices, fully to embrace PaR; some practitioners have been challenged by the demand to articulate and evidence a research inquiry; but there has been less resistance; indeed, an appetite to find resonances with other disciplines from ethnography to neuroscience.

15 Continental Europe: strong TheaterWissenschaft tradition has militated against acceptance of PaR; Nordic countries: until recently have side-stepped confrontation with universities because many institutions remain arts academies and award DCAs; In the USA where MFA is terminal award, early resistance in Visual Arts to PaR PhDs has made Performing Arts wary; Carlson notes that the theory/practice split in HE and a ineluctable association with entertainment has militated against taking theatre research seriously and against PaR

16 demarcated disciplines complex links between knowledge domains artsworld lifeworld (impact factor) Modernist separation postmodern hybrity digital interconnectedness

17 Artsworld Academic sphere Media sphere

18 in exceptional circumstances, it may be that an arts practice can both articulate and evidence a research inquiry; most likely to be the case in rare paradigm shifts; Biggs argues that a work of art can never take account of the context of its reception, placing it in an historical and critical context; do we compromise practice if we talk/write about it rather than dance, paint or build it?; NO - documentation and complementary writing (exegesis) are typically required.

19 vocabulary: PaR, PlR, PbR, Artistic Research (Wittgenstein: the impact language has on what we can and cannot think); can experiential modes of knowing be accepted in the academy? to what extent might subjective experience be shared to build a body of knowledge (tacit explicit) ? are there non-linguistic modes of knowing communicable to the satisfaction of academic protocols?


21 foregrounds praxis and names that foregrounding in the term Practice as Research affords a frame to embrace all kinds of arts and cultural practice as research, acknowledging the specificity of each project challenges binaries and exclusions by both-and thinking; acknowledges various modes of knowing in dialogic inter-play;

22 establishes PaR as a distinctive methodology, connected to a spectrum of established academic methodologies; promotes convergence of evidence in a hermeneutic spiral in place of arguments in propositional discourse (including PhDs); opens up inter-disciplinary space within the arts and across the academy encourages further developments in understanding of aesthetic knowing

23 the PaR initiative has achieved a great deal in the UK; it has challenged and changed the academy; arts praxis is demonstrably submissible for PhD and for REF; its achievements remain fragile and we should avoid unsettling them with careless wrangling; we can continue to challenge the academy but we cannot ignore its protocols; isolationism is not an option.

24 Biggs, M & Buchler, D (2008), ' Eight criteria for practice-based research in the creative and cultural industries ' Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education, vol 7, no. 1, pp Biggs, M., D. Büchler, R. Rocco and C. Schjerven (2011) The Production of Academic Research and some Barriers to Academicization in the Creative and Performing Arts. Proceedings of the International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (CD)), Mottram, Judith Researching Research in Art and Design in James Elkins, ed, (2009) Artists with PhDs. Washington DC: New Academia Publishing Schippers, H The Marriage of Art and Academia: Challenges and Opportunities for Music Research in Practice-based Environments. Dutch journal of Music Theory, Vol. 12,

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