thinking/making: catching thought in process

20 January 2016: Research-Led?

P1010499 (3) Lucy Gresley (2015)

Looking into artists to interview about their research I came across the term connected research.  This got me thinking about the term research-led used within our PREFAB-Lab project description and open call.  What does this actually mean?  To Lucy and I as practicing artists?  Is it the right term to encourage artists with a broad range of research methodologies to participate in our trial?  Who are we excluding?  Which artists might self-exclude because of the language we have used?

“My need to keep connecting, understanding and making meaning out of everyday encounters drives my artistic practice.  My artistic practice is therefore research-led, driven by its subject, the human drive or impulse to be in the world, to find out about the world in which we live.  Yet this research is non-specific.  There is no clear aim.  It is dependent upon an encounter to propel it forwards, towards a particular investigation, towards an understanding of something.  It is this act of going towards that I define as research, even if the destination is unclear.  Towards is the endless question to my endless quest.  What am I doing? Why am I doing THIS? What meaning can I ascribe to it? What is my research? How does it connect to what seems present in the world today? to what matters to other people? to what people are talking about?  I identify my research then through my practice.  It does not lead my practice.  In the same way I identify myself.  I think therefore I am.” 

We want to explore the differences between the terms connected research and research-led.  It seems that the idea of connectivity might serve both to free up the artistic impulse from preconceptions of what research might be and go some way to explaining the apparent ‘lack of fit’ between artistic research and art objects/installations we encounter at exhibitions – they may in fact be separate or separable things.  In which case why do we encounter one and not the other as an audience?  We want to open up a conversation that we can continue in the lab in May and June.  Whatever the terminology our questions are the same: What does artistic research look like?  How and where does it function?  What are the results?

Free submission, email deadline 14/03/16

an invitation to artists to participate in PREFAB-Lab (Practice, Research, Exhibition) an exploratory trial and interim analysis exhibition exploring artistic research through the lens of a scientific Research Lab  – what does artistic research look like? How and where does it function? What are the results?

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