Very happy to announce the publication of an article I co-wrote with Alise Upitis, “On the Research Paradigm in Contemporary Art: A Dialogue,” in Intellectual Birdhouse: Artistic Practice as Research (U. M. Bauer, F. Dombois, C. Mareis, M. Schwab, eds.) by Walther Konig! It is being distributed by Pro qm, amongst other respectable bookshops.
GB: If artistic research and a host of similar terms have indeed become shorthand for artists, curators, funders, and critics alike, we need to ask what they indicate, and what possibilities and repercussions may follow.
AU: Referring to artist’s research attends to the position of artist as agent in the production of her or his work through time. As an artist one must operate relative to societal norms but with the capacity to test, reconfigure, and on occasion overturn them. The unification of artist and artmaking, evidenced in the meanings of the term ‘artistic,’ is particularly problematic given the current dominance, at least in the US, of one’s professional role being united with one’s identity. Nonetheless, it is important to note that in the Western context, at least since the Renaissance, art has been persistently limited by the figure of the artist.
GB: I’m invested in the ‘research’ part of the term ‘artistic research’ because it implies that artistic production is carried out in time, in relation to history and fields of expertise, and that this process entails the production of knowledge. It should be noted that the acknowledgement of production is a crucial element of the term ‘artistic research,’ because it designates the particular relationship of art production to capitalist production more generally.