Practice Based Research Focus Group 2019/2020
INTERROGATING 'PRACTICE BASED RESEARCH' IN THE ARTS
What is this group
This focus group will engage in an ongoing interrogation of the various uses of research within artistic practice.
Through a series of group reading of texts - and discussion with guest tutors - we will examine the development of 'Practice Based Research' as a key term in contemporary arts practice, and take stock of the varied and often conflicting definitions of 'Practice Based Research' within contemporary arts and art education.
In our reading we will collect terms and processes that might contribute to a critical understanding 'Practice Based Research' - creating our own collective reader that might clarify this contested and often misunderstood term.
We will read and discuss the chapter:
Thingking (at RISD) John Dunnigan Essay in The Art of Critical Making Rhode Island School of Design on Creative Practice. Wiley 2013
The first of two sessions devoted to developing a path across 2020 trimesters for mapping out the key elements of 'practice based research'. After several sessions we have covered a number of topics including the relation between studio work and creating texts, and the relation between intellectual discourse and the emotional stakes of creative work. I would now like to make a map of reading and topics that we can collectively use to create a map for our discussions that will create path to delve into our creative processes, and explore what part of that process is usefully covered by the term 'practice-based research'.
As an armature for our discussion I post a document by BRUCE MAU - A MANIFESTO FOR GROWTH - that attempts to give 40 short points - 'rules' as it were - for creative practice that leads to growth.
Please read it and we'll discuss point by point on Monday.
Provocations/questions after discussing Bruce Mau
We decided on a sort of structure for the focus group:
- There will be a student moderator.
- The outgoing moderator picks a subject for the next discussion. The incoming moderator (currently on a volunteer basis) oversees the conversation.
- Repeat the structure for the next session.
Based on what we have discussed, Jue, the 1st moderator, picks the following subject:
Since we talked about what growth is not, thanks to the provocations of Bruce Mau — What IS growth with regard to our own practice(s)? This is related to: what is your secret question as you make things??
WE NEED SOMEONE TO MODERATE. Let's figure that out the week of the new term?
The remaining notes from the group discussion:
- How do we approach these topics broadly?
- Some relatively big (and somewhat specific) topics will come up in discussions. Let's acknowledge them — however we don't have to find "the one answer." These topics are: remaining independent in education, thinking about our responsibility/moral/ethics, defining growth.
- Simon suggested a prompt question: What's the relationship between individual voices and the larger languages (historical, societal, etc.) they use? Do highly stable societies produce better art?