Research in the Creative and Media Arts : Challenging Practice book cover
1st Edition

Research in the Creative and Media Arts
Challenging Practice

ISBN 9781138589063
Published April 29, 2019 by Routledge
364 Pages

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Book Description

In Research in the Creative and Media Arts, Desmond Bell looks at contemporary art and design practice, arguing that research activity is now a vital part of the creative dynamic.

Today, creative arts and media students are expected to develop a range of research competencies and critical capacities in their creative project work. This book plots the basis for a research culture in the creative and media arts. It provides an illuminating genealogy of artistic research, revealing the intimate connections between art and science over the centuries and identifying some of the founding figures of practice-based artistic research. Bell explores the research that artists undertake through a number of case studies, talking to a range of contemporary artists and media makers about their work and the role research plays in this. He also traces the dialogues between art practice and a range of other humanity disciplines, such as history, anthropology and critical theory. His analysis reveals how contemporary art practice is now so locked into a set of interlocutions about process and purpose that it increasingly resembles a research practice in and of itself.

Research in the Creative and Media Arts is a comprehensive overview of the relationship between research and practice that is ideal for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as researchers in the fields of art and design, art history and visual culture.

Table of Contents

Part I. Critical Parameters

Chapter 1. Creative arts and media research: key terms and perspectives

  1. Introduction
  2. Defining the key terms
  3. The distinguishing characteristics of artistic research
  4. The main types of artistic research
  5. Modelling artistic research

Chapter 2. The research that artists actually do

  1. Introduction
  2. Re-evaluating "background" research
  3. Artist reflections and critical dialogues as research sources
  4. The artist interview as a research tool
  5. Case study: found footage film-making

Chapter 3. A research turn in the visual arts?

  1. Introduction
  2. The dynamics of contemporary art practice
  3. Conceptualism
  4. Curational strategies
  5. Relational aesthetics
  6. Performativity
  7. The practice turn in contemporary theory
  8. Conclusion

Chapter 4. The spectre of science

  1. Introduction
  2. The methodological drive in artistic research
  3. Understanding the logic of scientific discovery
  4. The specificity of artistic research
  5. Against method (and for art)
  6. Artists and science
  7. Case studies of art-science collaboration
  8. Conclusion

Part II. Antecedents and Foundations

Chapter 5. The historical antecedents of artistic research: the Renaissance

  1. Introduction
  2. Renaissance vision
  3. Leonardo, science and invention
  4. Assessing the Renaissance contribution to the advancement of artistic research

Chapter 6. A science of art?: theory and practice in the modernist avant-garde

  1. Introduction
  2. A science of art?
  3. Founding fathers (and mothers) of twentieth century artistic research
  4. Theory and practice in the work of Wassily Kandinsky
  5. Art as expression
  6. Founding texts and axioms of modernist artistic research
  7. Conclusion

Chapter 7. Utopian visions and material realities: artistic research and the revolution

  1. Introduction
  2. Artistic research for a revolutionary moment
  3. The auspices of non-objective art: from the analysis of style to language and system
  4. Malevich as pedagogue: the UNOVIS experiment
  5. The Constructivist challenge
  6. From Suprematist painting to Constructivist imaging
  7. The eclipse of the avant-garde
  8. Conclusion

Part III: Interdisciplinary Dialogues

Chapter 8. Art and the sciences of man: reframing history

  1. Introduction
  2. Method, craft and science in history
  3. Material memory: exploring a family archive (case study)
  4. The artwork as historiographical intervention: interpreting the Spanish Civil War
  5. Imaging the past: The Enigma of Frank Ryan (case study)
  6. Contemporary art and the engagement with history: Hito Steyerl's Der Bau and Free Fall
  7. Conclusion

Chapter 9. Artistic research and the human sciences: staging anthropology

  1. Introduction
  2. An ethnographic turn in the visual arts?
  3. The tarnished legacy of anthropology
  4. Lens-based ethnography: documenting Dublin's docklands (case study) 
  5. Susan Hiller: a coming to terms with anthropological method
  6. Trinh T Minh-ha: speaking nearby
  7. The auto-ethnographic impulse in artistic research

Chapter 10. Artistic research and critical theory

  1. Introduction
  2. Theory in the creative arts and media
  3. Paradigms of the theory-practice relation
  4. Exemplars of contemporary creative arts practice in the critical tradition 
  5. Conclusion: artistic research and critical theory

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Desmond Bell is a research fellow at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, where he was previously Head of Research. He has held chairs in film, photography and media studies at a number of UK universities, combining his academic work with a career as an award-winning documentary film-maker.