|> /~\ |≥ (

Documentation available - Symposium What Methods Do

The International symposium on artistic research methods organized by ACPA and the Platform for Arts Research in Collaboration (PARC), in coordination with Fontys Tilburg and SAR– took place on 9th April, 2024 at the Textile Museum in Tilburg.

The documentation of the symposium is now available through the below link.

Methods in Artistic Research: ACPA’s ‘What methods do’ symposium examines the interdisciplinary nature of research methods

By Inaya Basu

Curated by Gabriel Paiuk, the symposium 'What Methods Do' brought together an international cohort of scholars, artists, and curators to delve into the intricate world of artistic research methodologies. Spanning six enlightening hours and organized into three thought-provoking sessions, the event centered on the fundamental inquiry: What do methods in Artistic Research consist of, and what precisely do they achieve?

Growing interest in artistic research: Fostering interdisciplinarity

Interest in interdisciplinary artistic research surged, as evidenced by the sold-out attendance of over 100 individuals in person, and approximately 600 online viewers who joined the live-stream. The participants reflected a rich tapestry of backgrounds, ranging from emerging academics to seasoned experts across diverse global institutions.

The inaugural panel, 'On Artistic Research and the Production of Knowledge', moderated by Anke Haarmann and Henk Borgdorff from ACPA, facilitated a dynamic dialogue among researchers from heterogeneous fields—Christine Rafflenbeul (art), Patrick Emonts (quantum physics), and Paulina Morales (philosophy). They each presented on their ongoing research, focusing on what ‘methods’ mean in their respective practice. Their discussion revealed the nuanced interplay between context-specific research methods and the generation of knowledge within different disciplinary areas.

Continuing this thematic exploration of interdisciplinarity, the second panel, 'On Artistic Research Methods across Disciplines', featured presentations by Donato Ricci from Sciences Po and Chris Salter from Zurich University of the Arts. Their discussions delved into the transformative impact of artistic research methodologies on traditional scholarship, offering fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to addressing pedagogical challenges. Coming from different fields like design, political science and media studies, they talked about how their teaching practice involves thinking openly and extensively about research methods, in turn encouraging their students to work more creatively in designing their own research despite constraints and across disciplinary boundaries.

Bringing research outside the academy:

The symposium's third and final panel, 'On Artistic Research Methods and the Articulation of Art and Society', challenged the prevailing perception of research methods as purely academic endeavors. Invoking examples from their own artistic research practice, Danae Theodoridou (Fontys Academy of the Arts) and Zachary Formwalt (Gerrit Rietveld Academie) demonstrated how their research methods navigated complex socio-political landscapes, engaging communities beyond the confines of academia and expanding the horizons of artistic inquiry. In doing so, these research methods become deeply invested in socio-political questions, and the socio-political in turn becomes activated in different ways vis-a-vis these methods.

The culmination of the symposium featured a presentation by Falk Hübner on his latest publication, 'Method, Methodology, and Research Design in Artistic Research', published by Routledge. Hübner's insights are aimed to provide both academics and non-academics alike with practical guidance for crafting robust research designs while emphasizing the importance of remaining adaptable and open-minded in selecting research methodologies.

In conclusion

The symposium 'What Methods Do' served as a platform for the burgeoning interest in artistic research methodologies, transcending disciplinary boundaries and geographical borders. It underscored the dynamic evolution of scholarly practices and the imperative for researchers to embrace methodological flexibility in the face of rapid intellectual and societal change by adopting new and alternative avenues of inquiry and collaboration.

Inaya Basu is a Research Master student at Leiden University Centre for Arts in Society