Art Practice as Research
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Art Practice as Research

Inquiry in Visual Arts

Second Edition



© 2010 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said that the test of a 'first rate intelligence' is 'the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind and still retain the ability to function.'

In this book, his magnum opus, artist and scholar Graeme Sullivan shows us a first rate mind at work. He convincingly straddles the often wide gaps between art and science, mind and body, research and practice, teaching and doing, traditional and postmodern views of education and of art, creative and critical thinking. Indeed, as his enigmatic title indicates, he is actually able to keep three usually disparate concepts—art, research, and practice—in mind at the same time. Through his skilled use of compelling sidebars and apt illustrations, Sullivan shows that he can practice what he preaches. I have been arguing with and learning from Graeme for thirty years and am grateful that he has the opportunity to share his provocative ideas and insights with a wider readership. Indeed, whether or not we agree with every contention, he heightens our own intelligences."
—Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Author of Five Minds for the Future

Substantially updated and revised, Art Practice as Research, Second Edition presents a compelling theory that the creative and cultural inquiry undertaken by artists is a form of research. Sullivan argues that legitimate research goals can be achieved by choosing different methods than those offered by the social sciences.. Artists emphasize the role of the imaginative intellect in creating, criticizing, and constructing knowledge that is not only new but also has the capacity to transform human understanding.

New to this Edition

  • Two new chapters explore debates surrounding art practice as research and projects undertaken within the art world, community, and institutional settings.
  • New, expanded sections make reference to the work of over fifty artist-researchers from countries such as Azerbaijan, Australia, China, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Serbia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Documentation of a series of approaches (for instructors and students), grounded in art-making traditions unique to visual arts research, is included.
Would you like to connect with the author?
Go to Graeme Sullivan's website, or visit a blog by Graeme Sullivan welcoming contributors interested in discussing ideas and sharing information about art as a form of research.
Preface to the Second Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Re-Viewing Visual Arts Research
Changing Demands of Visual Arts Theory and Practice  
Art Practice as Research  
Using Art Practice as Research  
PART I: CONTEXTS FOR ART PRACTICE AS RESEARCH
1. Pigment to Pixel
The Enlightenment as a Research Project  
Promise of Progress  
Fractured Realities  
Conclusion  
2. Paradigms Lost
Method as Truth  
Doubting Doctrines  
The Visual Turn  
Conclusion  
3. Practice and Beyond
Theorizing Practice  
Practice-Based and Practice-Led Research  
Conclusion  
PART II: THEORIZING ART PRACTICE AS RESEARCH
4. Art Practice as Research
Beyond Knowledge to Understanding  
Frameworks of Art Practice as Research  
Art Practice as Relational Research  
Art Practice as Transformative Research  
Conclusion  
5. Visual Knowing
Visual Cognition  
Visual Arts Knowing: A Framework  
Visual Arts as Transcognitive Practice  
A Case Study: Critical Influence  
Conclusion  
6. Artist as Theorist
Sites of Making  
Reemergence of the Artist-Theorist  
Critical Perspectives and Practices  
Conclusion  
PART III: VISUAL ARTS RESEARCH PRACTICES
7. Visualizing Practices
A Framework of Visual Arts Practices  
Visual Practice: Experiences  
Empirical Inquiry: Exercises  
Interpretive Discourse: Encounters  
Critical Process: Enactments  
Conclusion  
8. Visual Arts Projects
Exhibition and Performance  
Visual Arts Research Projects  
Solid Endings and Liquid Beginnings  
Uncertain Conclusions  
References
Index

“F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said that the test of a 'first rate intelligence' is 'the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind and still retain the ability to function.'

In this book, his magnum opus, artist and scholar Graeme Sullivan shows us a first rate mind at work. He convincingly straddles the often wide gaps between art and science, mind and body, research and practice, teaching and doing, traditional and postmodern views of education and of art, creative and critical thinking. Indeed, as his enigmatic title indicates, he is actually able to keep three usually disparate concepts—art, research, and practice—in mind at the same time. Through his skilled use of compelling sidebars and apt illustrations, Sullivan shows that he can practice what he preaches. I have been arguing with and learning from Graeme for thirty years and am grateful that he has the opportunity to share his provocative ideas and insights with a wider readership. Indeed, whether or not we agree with every contention, he heightens our own intelligences.”

Howard Gardner
Harvard Graduate School of Education and Author: Five Minds for the Future

This is an excellent text and I have recommend to students who are engaged in arts-informed and alternate research practices.

Professor Nancy Davis Halifax
Critical Disability Studies, York Univ
March 22, 2011

This would be great for a graduate level course; I was considering it for an undergraduate general education course and it's not a good enough fit. Good book, though!

Dr Sarah Kuhn
Interdiscipline Dept, University of Massachusetts at Lowell
April 23, 2010

Offers an approach to developing interpretation that is simultaneously profound and accessible. This has been a great addition to my Media Criticism class.

Dr Ralph Beliveau
College Of Journal & Mass Comm, University of Oklahoma
March 8, 2010

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ISBN: 9781412974516
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