Assembly of Journals

Sala del Camino
Campo S. Cosmo 621
Giudecca, Venice


24 August 2019, 5-8pm

5–7: Assembly of Journals

7–8: Book Launch Lucy Cotter: Reclaiming Artistic Research

The Research Pavilion #3 is a meeting place for artists and researchers, a catalyst of emerging co-operations, and a generator of new artistic thinking. The six research cells that are actively working in the pavilion during the summer 2019 have developed new ways of working together in a series of assemblies organized during the winter 2018/2019. A series of joint events emerged from these internal workshops. 
In August the Research Pavilion -project brings together several journals that are publishing research in the arts. The key idea of this collegial assembly is to facilitate discussion and exchange of ideas about shared interests, challenges, and possible forms of future cooperation.
Among the confirmed participants are representatives of Journal for Artistic Research, RUUKKU – Studies in Artistic Research, Journal of Visual Culture, MaHKUscript – Journal of Fine Art Research, and VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research.
The event is open to all interested. We especially encourage editors, reviewers, contributors and readers interested in artistic research to join us. 
One of the key concerns we share can be summed up in form of a paradox: Journals publishing research in the arts are committed to developing differentiated epistemic approaches to artistic phenomena. Diversity, openness and heterogeneity are the key elements of our activity. At the same time, we are facing the fact that effective inclusivity is hard to achieve.
  • How to develop more inclusive editorial processes without compromising rigor? 
  • How to deal with multi-lingual discussions?
  • How to organize peer-review?
  • How to reach out to non-academic communities?
  • How to cultivate the epistemic potential of images?
  • What can we learn from each other?
The Assembly will be immediately followed by a publication launch: Reclaiming Artistic Research (Lucy Cotter, editor) and drinks. 
Reclaiming Artistic Research (Hatje Cantz, 2019)
Twenty conversations with leading artists and curators explore the dynamic nature of artistic thinking, tracing how ideas and forms co-emerge through material, conceptual and embodied ways of working. Seeking to reclaim artistic research from academic definitions and institutionally focused debates, this book highlights its artistic significance. Foregrounding art’s engagement with diverse fields, it manifests how artists produce new paradigms and questions, rather than supplementing existing knowledge. The book’s contributors include Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Katayoun Arian, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Sher Doruff, Em'kal Eyongakpa, Ryan Gander, Mario García Torres, Liam Gillick, Natasha Ginwala, Sky Hopinka, Manuela Infante, Euridice Zaituna Kala, Grada Kilomba, Sarat Maharaj, Emma Moore, Rabih Mroué, Christian Nyampeta, Yuri Pattison, Falke Pisano, Sarah Rifky, Samson Young, and Katarina Zdjelar. Designed by Tomáš Celizna. More information about the publication here.

Background Assembly of Journals – recently expressed concerns:

Journal of Visual Culture:
"We have decided to rethink the journal’s format, observing the transformations in how academic writing is accessed and disseminated. Our new design is a result of extensive discussions within the Editorial Group in order to find a balance between digital and print readability, as well as to elevate images – our primary resource – to a place where they serve not merely as illustrations to an argument, but rather become an essential part of it. The redesign process is also a result of the feedback from our contributors, who have progressively found the need to foreground images in their contributions, and who have begun to develop curated image collections and visual essays for which JVC has become a natural home.” 
"Including media and, more generally, non-propositional content in a journal article undoubtedly increases its complexity allowing more demanding things to be communicated. [...] One issue that comes with this layered complexity is, of course, accessibility; another one is quality. In the publishing business quality seems to fold back on accessibility, as if really great publications must also be universally accessible, putting pressure on authors to reduce the depth of images they create. [...] in the context of JAR we don’t ontologise this resistance to simplification as negativity, sublimity, or concealment, all of which have been associated with notions of art; the word ‘artistic’ in JAR’s name highlights artistic forms of sensitivity when it comes to what can be said and how. This acknowledges the problem of the complexity of knowledge objects on all levels, including that of articulation.” 
"This edition of MaHKUscript seeks to re-create space for artists to lead and shape conceptions of artistic research and its place in art. It proposes the need to reclaim artistic research in response to a strange paradox; namely the increasing centrality of artistic research within art practice on the one hand, and artists’ widespread lack of identification with artistic research discourse on the other. The very concept of artistic research has been over-associated with academic-led concerns, with several competing understandings of what constitutes artistic research overshadowed by the widespread adoption of the ‘reflective model’ in doctoral programs, in which the artist writes a supplementary text that reflects on their practice and this text largely qualifies the existence of artistic research. The PhD in Fine Art continues to secure a context for artistic practice that is nourishing in many respects, demarcating space for slow research, for reflection and digestion at a distance from the pace of art institutional production and the demands of the art market. Yet the doctoral thesis for artists is viewed by many artists, and arguably by the art world at large, as a form that is alien to the languages of art practice and in tension with the affinities and intellectual sensibilities that inform the very core of what is it to be an artist. Artistic research discourse has in turn become isolated by too often addressing an inner circle of ‘doctoral-artistic-researchers’ and their institutional counterparts, drawing relatively little on current concerns in art discourse at large, and rendering itself of little or no relevance to most artists and art workers.” 
"Since its very beginning artistic research has openly or unconsciously deemed as its reason for existence the task of finding new ways of doing things; namely new ways of researching this world and new ways of understanding artistic practice. For many, artistic research could be defined as the amalgam of 'research' and 'artistic practice' reinventing and reconfiguring themselves in each other's shadow. It has become customary for us to orient this search for research according to the figures of difference in tasks that we feel artistic research should undertake in comparison to the other forms of research or artistic practice. Or then we can orient our search in more positive terms, by investigating the practices, occurrences, events and outcomes of such 'new research' and seeking for ways of describing them, perhaps employing new language or tropes. As editors of this issue we most certainly used 'catalysis' in that latter way; inviting layered and also conflicting understanding of the term: Firstly, the term could refer to how research activities provoke actions and reactions in the context of a particular research process or the larger social or political realm – that is to say exploring how artistic research acts as a catalyst for something. Secondly, one can consider the way in which some things can accelerate and become catalysts for the artistic research process itself. This would entail a different approach and place under scrutiny the framing of artistic research, its parergon. This approach would investigate not so much how artistic research requires different academic criteria, venues, conference presentation and publication formats (creates, for example, the preference to speak of 'expositions' instead of papers) but how that new frame itself acts as a catalyst to precipitate events yet unseen.” 
"If Artistic research situates itself as the alternative to stratifying disciplines within Academia, if it wants to be known as the polymorphous symphony of “outside” voices that is de-limited in its mediums of investigation and expressions. So, while there are many trans, queer, non able-bodied, neuroatypical, gluten-intolerant, nut-allergic, persons-of-colour practitioners within the field, what may not be present is support for the topics that they find relevant, or food they find edible. Perhaps what is needed is a more tangible attempt to reach out— even if it means stepping into the overtly political, impossibly messy, conflict-laden, and undeniably difficult topics — as such is always the case when one decides to be inclusive.” 
"The relationship between art and risk is both complex and important. At the extreme, it could be argued that an art that is devoid of risk can never be more than trivially decorative. There is risk in any speculative act and, to have meaning for us, art must speculate, must take steps whose consequences cannot be fully determined beforehand – and must accept the possibility of failure. Research is also a speculative activity, always seeking to push further the boundaries of certainty. However, the apparatus of research method is largely concerned with mitigating the risk surrounding speculation – or, at least, with circumscribing a precisely defined area in which risk may occur, eliminating all the other possible variables that might contaminate the research results. What, then, of artistic research? Should it be risk-taking in its art and cautious in its research? Should it seek for some middle ground between daring and prudence? Or should we be seeking methodologies for artistic research which are more accepting of risk than their scientific counterparts – and might doing so bring its own risks of delegitimising in the eyes of some the outcomes of artistic research?”