(Re)inventing artists' research: constructing living forms of theory

Stewart, Robyn Anne (2003) (Re)inventing artists' research: constructing living forms of theory. TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, 7 (2).

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How can we develop understandings about artist-based research that recognise what we do as valid forms of inquiry with relevant sets of criteria, standards, epistemologies and methodologies?

Research refers to finding out. It is inquiry in its most rigorous form. Practitioner research is concerned with either identifying or evaluating the theories underlying and shaping our practice. It involves searching systematically and serendipitously for new perspectives and insights into practice. However, the development of understandings about the experience and process of research cannot be situated exclusively as self-expression or instruction. Rather the existing 'discipline' of research is made up of a vast and informative tapestry of categories, terms, processes, protocols and arguments that have been developed, tried and tested by colleagues and antecedents in many disciplines and fields of knowledge.

The ideas in this paper are concerned with developing a community of aware and informed practitioners who work within fields of artistic praxis. 'Praxis' in this sense is presented as a self-creative activity through which we make and shape ourselves as well as the wider community of our field. I argue that as practitioners we can become researchers of our own practice and that our visual, performance and textual outcomes importantly serve to demonstrate the kind of knowledge about the field generated by such practice. Whether these are ultimately presented as 'exegesis', 'thesis' or 'dissertation' is a moot point. More critical is how the ingredients and protocols described illuminate the praxis and illustrate a living form of theory.

The paper is necessarily brief and will consider three issues contained within the argument. Firstly notions of practitioner research as a living form of theory will be introduced. The central and guiding roles of praxis and reflexivity will be used to add to the debate and the paper will conclude with suggestions about ways existing research protocols and processes can be artistically woven into the process.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: 'Copyright of all work published in TEXT remains with the authors.' http://www.textjournal.com.au/send.htm
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Visual Arts (Up to 31 Mar 2011)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Visual Arts (Up to 31 Mar 2011)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:08
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2018 04:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: praxis, practitioner research, artistic process
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441006 Sociological methodology and research methods
36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3699 Other creative arts and writing > 369999 Other creative arts and writing not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/2497

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