Assessing new knowledges that emerge from expositions of practice as research puts a particular kind of responsibility on peer-reviewers (as well as editors, and ultimately also readers) that goes beyond a simple application of expertise. While a reviewer’s expertise may tell us which elements of a submission are already dealt with in a particular field, the other, arguably more interesting and innovative parts of a submission are more complex to assess, since they are by definition departures from the very field a reviewer is an expert in.
Insofar as artistic research takes place within rich fabrics of practice, it is always also embedded in a multiplicity of languages – both verbal and non-verbal ones. Requiring submissions in English is – in some aspects – like asking for text as the only mode in which to report on an artistic research project: fixed formats that restrict options of articulation.
Achieving quality in artistic research must be a key concern. In academia, quality is often assessed with regard to the content of a research project, e.g. how novel and substantiated findings are; how those findings are presented usually does not matter. In art, however, both form and content are crucial; hence, the notion of quality must apply to more aspects of a project and in particular to the relations between them.
JAR is invested in the mediality and non-verbal articulation of artistic research. The journal’s creation was linked to the development of the Research Catalogue (RC) and with it came the possibility to publish media in ways not controlled by a preconceived layout or styling. Having worked with rich-media submissions of artistic research for a while, it has become clear that technology matters insofar as it enables certain modes of articulation, but that it will not determine how practice is exposed as research and what understanding is gained in the end.