This seminar invites artistic researchers of all disciplines to discuss and reflect on method. Method is the framework for the activities undertaken during the research, it decides what and how the researcher is going to do: how he/she recognizes particular phenomenon, reviewing the existing theories, data collection and analysis, understanding a foreign practice, describing the tacit and ineffable experience, organizing the arguments and evaluating empirical results etcetera. Method is, therefore, the steering wheel that guides the researcher to unknown territories and knowledge, and the supporter and stimulator to the artistic researcher's intuitive ideas.

 

Method can take shape through a vast array of approaches, such as experimentation, hypothesis, theorization and creation, while each step is defined by the researcher’s aims, position and interests. I argue that artistic research method is idiosyncratic in nature and no two artistic research methods are identical. The configuration of method is always up to the researcher. Same as each culture has their own principles of baking bread, artistic research method can develop from different methodologies, for example, a deconstructive approach, an exploratory-oriented experimentation, or growing out of the clusters between different musical cultures.

 

Given the permission to design our own methods, we are left with various questions and doubts. On sustainability: can we reuse a method in different artistic research domains? If not, are we facing the problem of ambiguity of classifying artistic research method? Or should we embrace diversity without labeling? Other questions concern the practicality, effectiveness and feasibility of method: how do we know this is "the way" that directs us to the answers of our central questions? How do we evaluate the quality of a method? Eventually, is method the element that defines artistic research, and the element that distinguishes research from pure artistic manifestations?

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