Artistic research: A subject overview 2014
Book chapter, 2015
Artistic research refers to research in the artistic field, a faculty area with a broad spectrum of exploratory practices such as visual art, fine art, photography, music, theatre, dance, choreography, performance, circus, architecture, design (including product design, interaction design, participative design, visual communication and so on), textile art, applied art, film, moving images, audiovisual media, literature/literary composition and curatorial practices.
Artistic research is rooted in art as a creative form of knowledge and an exploratory practice. Closely related terms include artistic practice-based or practice-driven research, research through art and art-based research. The research is conducted through artistic work, supported by investigative methods and the formation of theories, all of which may also be drawn from other areas of research. The purpose is often to highlight artistic production and knowledge processes, questions pertaining to the expression of the art, its terms and sensory, narrative and performative aspects of art. The research involves contextualising artistic projects, developing research methods and theories, and interacting with materials, history and society.
The focus of the research usually transcends these subject boundaries, either artistically or thematically, with the field being shaped not only by the specifics, traditions and courses of the various art forms, but also by exchanges and ongoing hybridisation. The research methods tend to be action-oriented, performative and interactive with artefacts and the surroundings. The investigative work often uses multimodal or multimedia forms of representation, documentation, communication and presentation – objects, exhibitions, concerts, performances, films, sound recordings, literary works, materials, art objects, urban spaces, text, etc. – which form a key part of research processes and of the presentation, publication and dissemination of research results.
Artistic research and postgraduate education at Swedish academic institutions emerged in the 1990s and really broke through in around 2000, with a specific artistic research doctorate emerging in 2010. Overall, Swedish artistic research holds a very strong position internationally and has a relatively long research tradition.
The social relevance of artistic research has so far been relatively overlooked. In today’s knowledge society, artistic endeavours and forms of communication play an active and necessary role in holding up contemporary phenomena for development and critical examination through their practice-related perspective and opportunities for interpretation.
Swedish Research Council
thematically transcending research
artistic research education