We have seen the topic of writing (essays, creative writing, academic writing) popping up quite often in the field of artistic research. It may come as no surprise that artists, investigating their own artistic processes find it difficult to accept academic writing as the only means to document and reflect upon their work. I personally don’t have a strong opinion for or against academic versus creative writing but I do find it interesting that the question of academic or non-academic writing, is getting more interest than the question of the quality of the content. Now, obviously, the formal academic writing method is partly a system for assesment, a way to efficiently evaluate the quality of a paper. But is there any one topic that could not equally well be described in academic writing as well as creative?
As for our own field, artistic research, I believe my problem with creative writing is that it tends to make the reader expect the text itself to be an artwork. This may not be a problem in some cases, but if we have a composer documenting his artistic and creative work and publishing his results in creative writing that asks for an artistic interpretation, nothing has really been gained in terms of knowledge about composition. Whether academic or fictional, I believe that a distance between the modes of descritpion and that which is described is useful. Which initself is an argument for using creative writing in the social and natural sciences.