ART & RESEARCH: Research in Art and in Artistic Higher Education
Art Academies Research Forum - 8 February 2012
Art and Research International Symposium - 9-10 February 2012
At the Paris-Belleville Academy of Architecture
60 bd de la Villette, 75019 Paris, France
Organised by the Paris-Cergy Academy of Arts
On the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Communication
(the General Direction for Artistic Creation)
Reforms to higher education, the evolution of the art world and the prospects of development for artistic research have led the agents of the art scene—artists, art schools, art centres—to adopt new practices, other than production and distribution by entering into dialogue with existing fields of knowledge. However, in spite of what one might have feared, this evolution has not reduced art's ambition to be a dimension of resistance to the certainty of meaning.
In the academic sphere, research went hand in hand with the increasing specialization of disciplines; conversely, artistic research appears to be at a moment when the concept of discipline itself is in crisis. First imagined as precise fields of homogeneous practices and theories elaborated by expert agents, disciplines nowadays are not disappearing, but instead, find themselves increasingly transformed by an overflow of hybrid, open, critical practices. Where does artistic research stand on this evolving territory? The way artistic research doesn't reject any question, object or medium allows one to consider that the inherent insubordination of artistic practice is fully able to follow and support the critical self-assessment approach applied within other scientific disciplines. In other words, artistic research is not so much seen as a self-reflecting study of art through art, as an exploration and overlapping of other fields of knowledge, their subjects, objectives and methods.
Hence, a number of questions arise: how and to what extent do the many experiments conducted in art research on this occasion provide new links between discourse and image, thought and perception, experiment and creation? To what extent can artistic research become a ground for the development of a new kind of knowledge, by encouraging its potential for intuitive, non-verbal understanding and thus approach a visual practice of anthropology? To what extent does artistic research renew or revisit the tools of the established forms of research—the body of work, methods, archives, documents? How can artistic research claim its modernity while remaining true to the historical ambition it shares with the arts of the past, by asserting its actual originality and specificity and taking back its history at the same time? What are the best prepared institutional structures and frameworks to support artistic research, both nationally and internationally?
What this symposium hopes to do, by addressing visual arts and other artistic fields from a wide range of perspectives, is to literally and intellectually review the new landscape of this research in art, in France and around the world. There is no intention to impose norms or recommend models to be followed, far from it; the point will be to showcase the many practices, collaborations and projects being conducted by the agents and structures of the art world alike and adapting to ever changing layouts. Our hope is that entailing such a diverse survey (of art and research) will allow everyone to come away with new tools and ideas to define the specific outline of the field of artistic research.
More than a field of research, artistic research may appear in the end as an archipelago of research studies, with an original organisation and an inspired capacity to find itself a place within the new structures of academic research.
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