The role of ‘process’ in artistic research is not necessarily clear. There is a general tendency to believe that a research process starts with a set of questions to which over time answers are given. Two fixtures, a beginning and an end, here bracket a process. Accepting this crude order for the moment, it seems that a publication in JAR must be associated with the later stages of this process – ideally perhaps a report on a research project’s findings.
After an artistic practice is exposed as research, it is easy to believe that it has always been research, regardless of its exposition. Conversely, if a case has not been made for something to count as research, a doubt on its epistemic relevance will linger over it. While a different attempt at an exposition may yield different results, we are tempted to see the research in the thing itself and not also in its exposition. This conjecture is problematic.
Welcome to the fourth regular issue of JAR! Over the last three years, we have demonstrated that the journal publication of artistic research and its associated peer-review is possible without overburdening artists and researchers with sets of criteria that can negatively affect the often quite fragile fabrics that are made by and, in turn, support artistic practice.
During the past three years of working on the Journal for Artistic Research, we continuously asked ourselves how we may want to negotiate the artistic and academic poles of the debate on artistic research. Fuelled by ideological interests and distorted by economics, this debate has yet to deliver a critical foundation to the kinds of practices we are interested in. As a consequence, we decided to help digging those foundations by supporting concrete projects rather than simply voicing our own expectations.