Formats of the findings in artistic research: exposition/transposition
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Since the introduction of "artistic research" as an institutionalised concept both within the practice field and in the university and higher education sector (the academic field), there have been discussions about formats on the findings of the research. Few would argue that art and/or artistic practice is limited – both methodological or epistemological - as a domain for production of insights, erkentnis, experiences, and understanding of man's relation to her social, political, emotional and aesthetic surroundings. But since art operates within different institutionalised frameworks (as is the case with a wide range of practices (law, medicine, engineering etc.), art and artistic research are faced different expectations from different agents. This is of course old news and has been eloquently investigated by Henk Borgdorff in his book The Conflict of the Faculties (Leiden University Press 2012), where he investigates many of the "conflict lines" between artistic and academic practice. These investigations very often lead to elaborations within theory of science, and in particular; how epistemological investigations can help to understand how artistic practice can serve as explorative and investigating force. One of the challenges Borgdorff and his colleague in "Journal of Artistic Research" (JAR), Michael Schwab, has dealt with, is the nature of the outcome of research based artistic practice, and how it can meet standards both within artistic and academic field. (Standards within the academic field are expressed in the Frascati manual and include criteria like novelty, systematic, originality, transferability.) As part of the development of the peer-reviewed journal JAR, Schwab and Borgdorff proposed the concept of the exposition as an alternative to the academic essay/article: "An exposition is comparable with what articles are in traditional journals. It has a title, one or more authors, an abstract, a media file that can be used to represent the exposition and a set of closed-vocabulary metadata. As the name suggests, the purpose of an exposition is to 'expose' practice as research rather than simply document or refer to it." (M. Schwab: The SAGE Handbook for Dissertations and Theses. p. 346, Sage 2012) To meet the academic criteria listed above and to meet the standards of a practice field must involve some sort of translation. The Frascati manual actually says: "The codification of knowledge and its dissemination is part of the usual practice in universities and research institutes,.."(2.4 Transferability and/or reproducibility, 2.20) Codification is a condition for sharing. Recently Michael Schwab launched the anthology Transpositions: Aesthetico-Epistemic Operators in Artistic Research (Leuven University Press 2018). Transposition as musical concept represents a shift to a different key, to a different range, to something new but still with a clear reference to what you left. How can transpositional logic be of relevance for the format of the findings of artistic result? How do we – or shall we (?) – translate the findings of artistic research so that they both satisfy artistic standards and academic rigour?
Video recordings of speech by Michael Schwab, and a discussion with Schwab, Trond Lossius, Theo Barth, Dora Garcia, Apolonija Šušteršič. Hosted by Jørn Mortensen. (length 00:39: 31 and 01:14:26) Artistic Research Week 2019. Time: Wednesday 23 January 2019. Venue: Stage 4, KHiO.