The Bologna process was established in 1999 to coordinate higher education in Europe and after 2004, higher education in the arts became part of the Bologna process, this spurred an understanding of what artistic research might be. (Nagel & Hovik, 2016)
Artistic research is based on a knowledge that is implemented through the senses and that is difficult to translate into a more rational and scientific knowledge. What distinguishes artistic research work from other artistic work is that the artist researcher has an intention to research and thus works on a research question, (Nagel & Hovik, 2016) with specific methods and documents the work. The result of the research is not the work of art, but usually a written text. So the art itself is not enough, but must be translated into an academic language. Often the artist researcher must linger between two purposes and goals, the artistic and the academic. (Nagel & Hovik, 2016)
So what is the meaning of artistic research? It’s about turning experiences into aesthetic articulations, and through reflection creating an meaning out of the work.
An artistic research work is a difficult landscape where meaning should be produced through both a work and a knowledge that can validate the process. (Rasmussen, 2012, p. 26)
Professor Aslaug Nyrnes emphasizes the topological rather than the temporal of an artistic work, where the process is a linguistic landscape or a room one moves into (Nyrnes, 2006, p. 13).
As the process is topological rather than linear, it will be appropriate to be able to compare and understand the different languages that are active in an artistic research. The tool for creating distinctions is to be able to distinguish between three main linguistic areas (Nyrnes, 2006). Firstly, one has the participants’ own organic language (Nyrnes, 2006, p. 15). The second area is the artistic expression or material (Nyrnes, 2006, p. 17) and the third language is the theory. The first two languages are experience-based, then the theory can help put into words the silent experience. The experience-based is to be in the now and by using the theory you get what Researcher Gumbrecht sees as fluctuations between presence and meaning.(Gumbrecht, 2004)
Professor Bjørn Rasmussen writes: «With a view on knowledge that values the connection between experience and reflection, it is not enough to claim that art production is research in itself.» (my translation Rasmussen, 2012, p. 29) The artist-researcher must then be able to create a meeting point between these three languages in a post-reflection that validates the work. An article can be an example of such a post-reflection According to Nyrnes, theory is a systematic language (Nyrnes, 2006, p. 16), it is not organic as the artist’s own language, but works to categorize and structure and uncover principles. Because the theory sorts perspectives, it can be clarifying in the artistic work. The theory must help sort out what is meaningful, this meaning should point beyond what happened in the artistic process. The findings of a process can be a multitude of reflections, which also characterizes the illuminating theory. Then the search for meaning in artistic research can be a sorting process, a shifting focus and associative theory acquisition. Artistic research always brings new knowledge about the art and about being human beings.
Gumbrecht, H. U. (2004). Production of presence What meaning cannot convey. California: Standford University Press.
Merleau – Ponty, M. (1968). The Visible and the Invisible followed by working notes . Northwestern University Press .
Nagel, L., & Hovik, L. (2016). The Scesam Project – Interactive dramaturgies in performing arts for children. Youth Theatre Journal, 149-170.
Rasmussen, B. (2012). Kunsten å forske med kunsten. Et blikk på kunnen ut fra praksis – teori – relasjonen. In R. G. Gjærum, & Bjørn Rasmussen, Forestilling, framføring, forskning Metodologi i anvendt teaterforskning. Trondheim: Akademika forlag.