TAAG’s combinatory, interdisciplinary methodology proceeds from practices of research that draw on the means of art. In contrast to established practices for producing traditional artworks, research by means of art employs diverse visual, sensorial, and discursive strategies to produce new knowledge about objects of study and analysis. Research by means of art (also known in some contexts as “practice-as-research” or “practice-led research”) includes the development of appropriate combinations of interdisciplinary methods to approach objects of study in novel and productive ways: “The art of the art-based researcher extends to the creation of a process of inquiry.” (McNiff 1998) Here, artists study methods and emerging knowledges from pertinent disciplines, in order to develop appropriate contexts for entering into dialogue with other research communities. Art-based research practices typically develop consultative processes of inquiry and discovery, and organize productive encounters and collaborations across traditional boundaries; the artist’s inventive competence and expert attention to processes and contexts of representation are combined with the curator’s search for combinations and juxtapositions that foster insight, synergy, and surprise. (Bijvoet 1997; Kester 2011; Kwon 2002; Sullivan 2010) The results aim “to extend beyond the limiting constraints of discursive communication in order to express meanings that otherwise would be ineffable.” (Barone & Eisner 2012) The documentation of these hybrid processes of inquiry and reflection in turn become available to other researchers. In this way the aesthetic and sensorial practices of art are activated for the production of knowledge.
Image: Marie Velardi, Terre-Mer-(Oostende). 2014, pencil and watercolor on paper, 75 x 109 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
Related interview: Marie Velardi