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January 23, 2016

Research experience and competence in the field of artistic research

Why is artistic research experience and competence not valued in the field of artistic research? Why do I claim it isn't?

There are numerous examples from schools and universities, research committees, and other academic and artistic missions. My quite subjective impression and suspicion is that we are now in fact in the position that some warned about fifteen years ago: Artistic researcher will be too academic for artists and not enough academic for academics.

With few exceptions, the new committee for artistic research at the Swedish Research Council appears to be comprised mainly of academics with non-artistic degrees and backgrounds. The music representative comes from the field of musicology and music pedagogy. More academic than last years member who is a professor of music but with no research background. Either musician or academic appears to be the message.

I would say that there are roughly 10-15 people in Sweden, in music that have either an artistic PhD or specific experience in working with artistic research or both. Extremely qualified and competent artists with a broad and sensible understanding of artistic research. Now, it is indeed very odd that this competence is not made use of, and I would say that one reason that we end up in the same, quite boring, discussion of the nature of artistic research is that we keep involving new people in the process and ignoring existing competence.

If anything, this method is very unacademic and shows proof of lack of respect for the scientific method of accumulating knowledge through peer-to-peer communication within the field of expertise.

Posted by henrikfr at January 23, 2016 10:51 AM

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