Artistic Criticality

Judging from past attempts at exclusion of the creative arts from consideration as research … reform will not involve reasoned argument. The arbitrary nature of all classification processes becomes the perfect arena for selective disempowerment by using semantic word juggling and modification. This means that terminology is always vitally important.

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The problematic nature of creative arts supervision: How well do we service our postgraduates?

There is no denying that creative arts in the university have been successful over recent decades. Yet Jen Webb still asks, in a July 2018 NiTRO piece, “Are we there yet?” - the ‘we’ being the collective staff and students of the creative and performing arts disciplines. I want to site this discussion at the ground level where creative arts postgraduates and supervisors interact.

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University management should take creative practice research seriously … before it’s too late

It was heartening to read QUT Vice-Chancellor, Margaret Sheil, write in support of the arts and humanities in the last edition of NiTRO. In it, she insisted that universities “must foster the creative arts and the human and social sciences, not only alongside the sciences but in concert with them”. It’s the human aspect that I want to pick up on here.

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Two perspectives: In conversation

Drawing on Draper and Harrison’s earlier reflections in NiTRO on doctoral projects at Queensland Conservatorium (QCGU), I met with Charulatha Mani, an artist-researcher who has recently submitted her PhD on intersections between early opera and Karnatik music. From the perspective of a supervisor and a recent student, we talked about research in - and through - music in an institutional context.

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Artistic Research in Europe

Art and research, typically, have their own focal points and contextual understanding of relevance for their fields. But there is at least one strong overlapping area, and artistic research is at the core of this today. Artistic Research is multi-coloured, curiosity driven, open to apply and adapt methods and reach out for topics challenging the given

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Conference Report: 2017 Best Practice in Artistic Research in Music Symposium

I had the pleasure of joining colleagues from music at the 2017 Best Practice in Artistic Research in Music Symposium held at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the University of Sydney on 27 - 29 September. Conference Organisers Neal Peres Da Costa, Linda Barwick, Jeanell Carrigan, Damien Ricketson and Christa Jacenyik-Trawoger had drawn together a host of key names in music who brought diverse perspectives to some of the fundamental questions surround artistic research: how it materialises and presents in practice, its connections with science, with knowledge truth and beauty, questions of metrics, funding and its relationship with practitioners outside academia.

But this was no dry talkfest. Fantastic performances and musical illustrations were incorporated throughout the program. Keynote presenter Lisa Lim gave an intriguing insight into her compositional approach which included a performance of her work “An Elemental Thing“ by Eugene Ughetti.

On day three the discussion turned to the topic of metrics for artistic research in music particularly encompassing the ERA, Impact and engagement landscape.  Lively debate threw up a few practical steps that the discipline, and possibly the wider tertiary creative arts community, may wish to take forward and I am sure that we will hear more of these over the coming months.

The event closed with the delivery of the Alfred Hook Lecture by recorder virtuoso and artistic director Genevieve Lacey - a mesmerising mix of musical recollections and visual illustrations recounted in an almost poetic presentation entitled Life in Music: Field notes from a practitioner

Artistic Research: In Conversation with Henk Borgdorff

The term artistic research is gaining popularity in Australia, particularly in music, where a number of conferences and symposia focused around this terminology including DDCA’s own 2015 symposium: The Outstanding Field: Artistic Research Emerging from the Academy. But what does artistic research encompass? Is it any different from other terminologies used to describe research in and by creative arts disciplines. 

The term is perhaps most closely associated with the work of Professor Henk Borgdorff, President of the Society of Artistic Research in Europe, who has published widely on the theoretical and political rationale of research in the arts.  Jenny Wilson caught up with him in Amsterdam in April 2016,  hot on the heels of his recent speaking tour of European and UK universities, art and music schools, to find out more about artistic research and European experiences of the politics of art and higher education...

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The Creative Arts and New Knowledge – Do We Aim For Questions or Answers?

'But what is the new knowledge you’re producing?’ Recently I was asked this question at dinner with a colleague from the social sciences, who didn’t intend to challenge the creative arts sector. She really wanted to understand how researchers in the arts went about their work. After explaining as best I could, I realised that having these conversations were eminently useful, because they make us, as creative artists, distill what we do. So what did I say?...

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Beyond a Doctorate in Music

It was not long after the Dawkins reforms that a disenchantment with the pure research PhD model emerged. Commentators began to ask why the preferred model seemed to serve the needs of academia and urged the development of models that were more relevant to the needs of society (Australian Higher Education Council, 1989). Less encumbered by a university-based history and highly focused on practice, the creative arts responded and the sector has since witnessed an exponential uptake in creative arts doctorates.

Yet university understanding of the creative doctorate has remained clouded by traditional expectations for higher degree research...

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