Research in the Arts : A Paradigm for Collective Imagining
Laura Levin, York University
Rebecca Caines, York University
Joel Ong, York University
The integration of arts within the university environment since the 1970s has arguably exposed growing tensions between creative practice within the demands of higher education, not least through the ambiguities of the exploratory modes of knowledge production and presentation in the arts, and the often pained evaluation of it by non-practitioners. As Sophie Stevance, Canada Research Chair in Research-Creation in Music at University Laval frames: “How can the imperatives of intellectual (and sometimes restrictive) rigour characteristic of scholarly endeavours be reconciled with the more explorative and intuitive approach of artistic creation?” (Stevance and Lacasse, 2018). Attempting to answer this question cannot be reduced to ontology or semantics, evidenced by ongoing debates around naming conventions of artistic research across literature and official granting programs. But through diverse manifestations, this panel acknowledges art and creativity expression as fundamental, crucial and interdependent processes in research studios, classrooms and external spaces. Furthermore from a sociological perspective, these practices critically expand to address other contexts of socio-cultural significance, becoming catalysts for a collaborative reimagining of an inclusive, socially engaged research environment. The panel will explore these ideas from two scales - outward in the internationalisation of collaborative networks and transborder practices; and inward through a hyperlocal engagements around York and its promise for the academic culture here. Additionally, we consider the nature of embodied, lived and sensory experience, particularly in the role of improvisation and spontaneity in collaborative art making, and in the considerations of public/performance art as community care (NEFA, 2022).