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collective self-education in the arts and culture…

Research (Experiment >Laboratory) :: Ana Vujanović

Art practice as research broadly present in contemporary Artworld, symptoms was initially introduced in visual arts in the 1960s, viagra order developed and spread through later history of art. The concept is established by art historian Giulio Carlo Argan in his essay: Art Practice as Research (1958).[1] As Argan suggested, treatment research in and by way of art entails “the ability attributed to art for addressing and solving certain problems or for addressing itself to the artist as the problem that should be solved”.

Argan’s concept implies that artwork as research – in difference to a normal artwork[2] – introduces into the art production and practice elements and competences of second-level discourses on art: art theory, aesthetics, history of art, sociology and other sciences of art. So, points of departure of non-research-based art as normal artistic activity are established values: paradigms, technics, and knowledge existing in the Artworld. In that sense, its aim is to produce art objects as skillful and valuable as possible. In opposite, the research-based art, as incidental artistic activity tends to reflect, re-think, problematize, and question the existing values or itself as a value. In that sense, its aim is not the production of valuable art objects but critical artistic practice, focused on certain problems of Artworld (research in art) or on certain social problems through art (research by way of art). In the field of today’s art the interweaving of theoretical discourse and art production is constitutive for more and more works. They don’t exist in the system of history, tradition, and actual paradigms of art as in their natural environment whose values are accepted and used for the production of artworks. Instead, the values are here seen as the problems of the art-researches.

The problem with this practice that we meet in the most recent time is that art-research is already assimilated in the Artworld as a normal artwork, a ‘piece’. Further, this very problem must become an urgent topic for ‘art practice as research’ that still aspires to be critical.

Notions closed to the art practice as research are laboratory and experiment. Their increasing usage in the field of art from the 1960s to nowadays is usually superficial and makes as much problems as it tries to resolve. The concepts of laboratory and experiment are in fact taken from natural sciences, where they indicate place and procedure that provides optimal conditions for solving certain problems, testing certain presumptions, and discovering certain rules of surrounding world that can hardly be found in their pure shapes. In accordance to this, their common employment in the field of art – lab as free environment for unlimited experiment with human creativity – is basically wrong, since modern art (and post-modern too) in opposite to natural sciences is not based on positivistic approach to its ‘object’: phenomena, subjects, or topics from the surrounding world. Moreover, art in western cultural tradition doesn’t tend to achieve objective insight and conclusions on the object, but quite contrary encourages subjective points of view on certain matters of fact. Hence numerous labs and experiments in contemporary art are artistic self-evidence of its own weakness – in the absurd comparison to the natural sciences, in which art puts itself. Looking through these lens, the concepts are introduces into the field to provide more relevant status of art and its production of knowledge in contemporary society. However because of that they often miss that art is already-yet a kind of social production of knowledge whose intellectual and affectational peculiarities and material specificities are what should be constantly reflected in art and by way of art, as ‘the proof of artistic particular relevance’ in society.


[1] Giulio Carlo Argan (1982), »Umetnost kao istraživanje«, in Studije o modernoj umetnosti, Ješa Denegri (ed.), Belgrade: Nolit

[2] The term normal here refers to Thomas Khun’s theorization of development of science, through normal states of science and scientific revolutions, in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolution.

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Deschooling Classroom

Deschooling Classroom is a project that addresses the contemporary independent cultural scenes in the region, researching and offering an alternative to the hierarchical models of education in the art and culture. Methodologically, the project moves away from the concepts of individual authorship and expertise, and advocates open collective educational structures where self-organised communities facilitate horizontal production, exchange and distribution of knowledge.