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Which clippings match 'Forms Of Knowledge' keyword pg.1 of 1
01 JULY 2014

The art object does not embody a form of knowledge

"In this paper, I start from the position that the proper goal of visual arts research is visual art. An alternative position is that the art making process yields knowledge that is independent of the actual art objects produced. However, this relegates the art object to that of a by–product of the knowledge acquisition process, and, in my view, places visual art making in the service of some other discipline. Notwithstanding the fact that valuable knowledge may be acquired in this way, from my standpoint it would be undesirable for this to become the dominant mode of arts research. Therefore, from my position the most interesting proposition to explore is the claim that the art object is a form of knowledge since it locates the art object as a central and fundamental component of the knowledge acquisition process.

Nevertheless, as you will see, in this paper I argue against this proposition. I will not claim that the visual art object cannot communicate knowledge–it can. Instead, I will argue that this knowledge is typically of a superficial nature and cannot account for the deep insights that art is usually thought to endow into emotions, human nature and relationships, and our place in the World, etc. In short, I aim to demonstrate that visual art is not, nor has it ever been, primarily a form of knowledge communication; nor is it a servant of the knowledge acquisition enterprise."

(Stephen Scrivener, 2002)

Scrivener, Stephen (2002) "The art object does not embody a form of knowledge". Working Papers in Art & Design – Vol 2.



Liam Birtles

Innovation and the Developing System of Knowledge Production

"The relevant contrast here is between problem solving which is carried out following the codes of practice relevant to a particular discipline and problem solving which is organised around a particular application. In the former, the context is defined in relation to the cognitive and social norms that govern basic research or academic science. Latterly, this has tended to imply knowledge production carried out in the absence of some practical goal. In Mode 2, by contrast, knowledge results from a broader range of considerations. Such knowledge is intended to be useful to someone whether in industry or government, or society more generally and this imperative is present from the beginning. Knowledge thus produced is always produced under an aspect of continuous negotiation, i.e. it will not be produced unless and until the interest of the various actors are included. Such is the context of application. Application, in this sense is not product development carried out for industry and the processes or markets that operate to determine what knowledge is produced are much broader than is normally implied when one speaks about taking ideas to the market place. Nonetheless, knowledge production in Mode 2 is the outcome of a process in which supply and demand factors can be said to operate, but the sources of supply are increasingly diverse, as are the demands for differentiated forms of specialist knowledge Such processes or markets specify what we mean by the context of application. Because they include much more than commercial considerations, it might be said that in Mode 2 science is both in the market but also gone beyond it! In the process, knowledge production becomes diffused throughout society. That is why we also speak of socially distributed knowledge. Research carried out in the context of application might be said to characterise a number of disciplines in the applied sciences and engineering – e.g. chemical engineering, aeronautical engineering or, more recently, computer science. Historically these sciences became established in universities but, strictly speaking, they cannot be called applied sciences, because it was precisely the lack of the relevant science that called them into being. They were genuinely new forms of knowledge though not necessarily of knowledge production because, they too, soon became the sites of disciplinary–based knowledge production in the style of Mode 1. These applied disciplines share with Mode 2 some aspects of the attribute of knowledge produced in the context of application. But, in Mode 2 the context is more complex. It is shaped by a more diverse set of intellectual and social demands than was the case in many applied sciences while it may give rise to genuine basic research."

(Michael Gibbons)


academic disciplines • academic science • aeronautical engineering • applied disciplines • applied sciencesbasic researchchemical engineering • codes of practice • cognitive norms • computer science • diffused throughout society • disciplinary-based knowledge production • engineeringforms of knowledgeinnovationknowledgeknowledge production • Michael Gibbons • Mode 1Mode 2 • Mode 2 science • new forms of knowledge • problem-solvingproduction of knowledgescience • sciences • social demands • social norms • socially distributed knowledge • specialist knowledge • system of knowledge production


Simon Perkins

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