what is artistic research?

In a recent article about the international contemporary art exhibition dOCUMENTA (13), which features artistic projects that employ research methodology, artist and sociologist, Hakan Topal, asks:

How is so-called artistic research different than an ethnographic account by an anthropologist who employs visual research tools? Can art practice address urgent socio-political topics successfully?

He goes on to explain what he believes is the value of artistic research:

In contrast to any scientific model that aims to either explain, or interpret social or natural phenomena, the outcome of artistic research can be best measured by its ability to engage with seemingly unrelated matters, things and concepts, and in return with its ability to generate some forms of intelligible affects.

Topal also points out an important aspect of artistic research practice: the practical use of intuition.

When an artist enters into a social realm to conduct research, intuition allows her/him to generate in-situ knowledge, therefore a particularly practical intellectual opening. In this regard, in artistic research, more so than any other scientific exploration, intuition is utilized as a method to identify a wide range of modalities.

Check out the complete article here.



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