Art practice as a place for testing experience

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Abstract

This article studies art practice as a place for testing experience in the context of artistic research. Our objective is to describe artistic research as a distinctive approach to multidisciplinary research of experience: The sources of criticalness and intersubjectivity in artistic research are human sensuousness, corporeality, and experientiality. First, we will examine the course of artistic research in the past 15 to 20 years; this was a period in which artistic research became academically legitimate and an institutionally supported research tradition. Next, we will position ourselves and our research material within this tradition. Our key material is multidisciplinary artistic research approached from an experiential angle and a unifying theory. We will describe common themes within art practice and research as manifested in our material; we have entitled the themes ‘experiential democracy’, ‘sensory corporeality’, and ‘resistance’. The themes aim to summarise how the artist and researcher employing the methodology of artistic research applies his or her art practice as a method and location for research, while striving to maintain experientiality as an element of the methodical steering and content of research. The manifestations of the artist’s work discussed in this article – for example, making visual art, dancing, playing, performing, and writing – are primarily professional corporeal relationships with the world in which the body is, for the practitioner, a place for recognising skill and knowledge. From the beginning, the debate on the methodology of artistic research has underlined that artistic research is not an alternative way of making art; instead, artistic research is required to explore the world and develop accurate methods in the same way as any other research tradition. The key significance of experientiality for artistic research is not in what it produces but in the demarcation of the area from which art and understanding can emerge.
Translated title of the contributionArt practice as a place for testing experience
Original languageFinnish
Title of host publicationKokemuksen tutkimus VI
Subtitle of host publicationKokemuksen käsite ja käyttö
EditorsJarkko Toikkanen, Ira A. Virtanen
Place of PublicationRovaniemi
Pages227-247
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-310-940-7
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

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