JAR has always been careful to invite ‘expositions of practice as research’ rather than just ‘expositions.’ The reason lies in one aspect of the term ‘exposition’, which suggests that ‘to expose’ is to explain something or make it public. While not incorrect, this reading is not sensitive enough to a central idea in JAR: that in the act of exposition, that which is seemingly exposed is also constituted.
Say, you come across JAR for the first time perhaps during a search for a journal to publish your research. You might ask yourself: what is this journal after? You may browse our website and submission guidelines and find the expression: ‘to expose practice as research,’ which doesn’t give you much of a clue what precisely it is that we ask you to do to make a submission. In fact, you might think that our guidelines are cryptic to a degree that makes you question whether there is any way of telling if the work you invest is worth it. Does the beginning need to be so difficult?
An abstract is a very important element of a journal article. Next to the title and author name(s) it is among the first items of information a prospective reader encounters. It primes readers for what is to come. However, it also functions as a gateway, since many readers will not proceed to the article if the abstract fails to raise sufficient interest. In particular, this includes potential peer reviewers: as the full article remains inaccessible at this stage of decision-making, the abstract needs to convince them to take on the work.
Including media and, more generally, non-propositional content in a journal article undoubtedly increases its complexity allowing more demanding things to be communicated. The labour involved in understanding media-rich, multimodal, and often non-linear articles can be either rewarding or frustrating depending on how, on reflection, we evaluate this encounter. As a reviewer recently commented: ‘I really enjoyed working on this article and want to thank you for the opportunity.
This is JAR’s tenth peer-reviewed issue. We are massively proud of having made it this far, but also grateful to the many artists and researchers across the globe who have been supporting the project by submitting their expositions of practice as research, by acting as peer-reviewers or – as members of the Society for Artistic Research – by supporting us in general. A big Thank You to all of you.