"This paper considers differing understandings about the role and praxis of practitioner-based research for the arts. Over more than a decade the nexus between theory and practice has been a point of debate within the contemporary arts school both in Australia and overseas. This paper attempts to reveal ways of approaching this issue from within and across the disciplines. Discussions with colleagues from the arts representing fields as diverse as music, visual arts, creative writing, women's studies, dance and theatre studies indicate that the research principles explored, albeit briefly, here have resonance for each of these disciplines. Consequently, in an attempt to be broadly relevant for these diverse fields I have chosen to position the model as practitioner-based. Within this widened context I will be exploring the different ways in which studio-based practitioners and academics conceptualise the processes and characteristics of research in the arts and professional practice. However, as this is still work in progress, my exemplars will largely reflect my own field of the visual arts. Further research will enable this model to expand.
Presented is a way to conceptualise and explain what we do as studio-based researchers in the arts. In so doing I am recognising that contemporary practices in the arts reflect a meridian era of evolution, which requires us to be articulate practitioners. This includes being able to analyse and write about our practice in sophisticated ways. I see practitioner-based research and the resultant exploration of personal praxis as a way to achieve this. What I propose is that as artists we open up a larger domain by recontextualizing and reinterpreting aspects of standard mainstream research processes, looking at the resemblances, the self-resemblances and the differences between traditional and practitioner-based research methods as a logic of necessity."
(Robyn Stewart, 2001)
TEXT Vol Vol 5 No 2 October 2001 [http://www.griffith.edu.au/school/art/text/]
"What characterises creative arts research practice in universities that offer doctoral degrees is the requirement not only to undertake a substantial practical project, but also a reflective exegesis that contextualises the methodologies and significant contributions of the research. The specific components of the exegesis are defined by each institution and re-negotiated by each candidate according to differing emphases. Fortunately, and by design, the function of each candidate’s exegesis can be redefined in relation to the practice it seeks to elucidate. And whilst the requirement to also present a substantial written component can initially appear as a burdensome or daunting prospect for those unfamiliar with the processes of critical reflection - to those who recognise its reflexive possibilities - the exegesis in parallel with the creative work of the project can provide another arena of creative practice. In this respect, the outcomes of both a creative arts-based project and its exegesis can be presented as significant contributions to knowledge in the field. Moreover, a third creative space opens. By interchanging and integrating the practice with the exegesis, it may be possible to generate a combined and reflexive research praxis. This chapter examines aspects of the practice-exegesis relationship with reference to my experience of undertaking and completing my doctoral research at Deakin University. I am, therefore, speaking from a position of having confronted and struggled with the practice-exegesis relationship from inside the playing field."
(Stephen Goddard, 2007)
Goddard, S. (2007). Correspondence Between Practices. "Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry". E. Barrett and B. Bolt, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
"In 1999 a group of engineers in the Midlands [UK region] who were concerned at the rapidly increasing skills shortage in engineering, developed the concept of Imagineering. 'A new initiative, designed to introduce 8-16 year olds to the fascinating world of engineering and manufacturing through fun, hands-on personal experience, targets the engineers of the future at a young age, develops and holds their interest and hopefully, encourages them to consider engineering as a future career.'"
(Imagineering Foundation, UK)
Fig.1 "One young 'imagineer' constructs a working model that he can then programme using simple control technology at the Imagineering Jaguar Land Rover Education Business Partnership Centre, at Gaydon Warwickshire." [http://www.spaghettigazetti.com/2011/11/imagineering-welcomes-new-queen.html#!/2011/11/imagineering-welcomes-new-queen.html]
2). The Imagineering Timeline
"In praxis there can be no prior knowledge of the right means by which we realize the end in a particular situation. For the end itself is only specified in deliberating about the means appropriate to a particular situation (Bernstein 1983: 147). As we think about what we want to achieve, we alter the way we might achieve that. As we think about the way we might go about something, we change what we might aim at. There is a continual interplay between ends and means. In just the same way there is a continual interplay between thought and action. This process involves interpretation, understanding and application in 'one unified process' (Gadamer 1979: 275). It is something we engage in as human beings and it is directed at other human beings."
(Mark K. Smith 1999, 2011)
Bernstein, R. J. (1983). Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, hermeneutics and praxis. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Gadamer, H-G. (1979). Truth and Method. London: Sheed and Ward.
Smith, M. K. (1999, 2011). 'What is praxis?' in the encyclopaedia of informal education. [http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-praxis.htm. Retrieved: add date].
"For me, practitioner research is hybrid practice. It finds it's base mainly in qualitative research, although it's practices blur the boundaries of aesthetics and empiricism in an effort to capture and reflect the complex dynamics involved in the processes of artistic practice. This is a process that metamorphoses experience into practice, where the practitioner researcher seeks to uncover, record, interpret and position, from an insider's perspective and experience, the processes they use within the context of professional contemporary practices in the field. The resulting stories become portraits of life, placed in historical, social and cultural contexts and shaped through processes such as autobiography as self-portraiture, to mirror experience. In other words, this is about theorising practice."
(Robyn Anne Stewart, 2006)
Stewart, Robyn Anne (2006) Smart art: the mindful practitioner-researcher as knowledge worker. In: 2005 Speculation and Innovation (SPIN) Conference: Applying Practice-Led Research in the Creative Industries., April 2005, Brisbane, Australia.