New version page

OSU DESIGN 785 - Research at the Edge of Chaos

Upgrade to remove ads
Upgrade to remove ads
Unformatted text preview:

'Artistic' Research Procedure: Research at the Edge of Chaos?© Gray & Pirie, 1995 1‘Artistic’ Research Procedure:Research at the Edge of Chaos ?Carole Gray and Ian Piriein collaboration withJulian Malins, Anne Douglas & Irene LeakeThe Centre for Research in Art & Design,Gray's School of Art, Faculty of Design,The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen,Scotland, UK.tel: 01224 263647/8 fax: 01224 263646email: [email protected] and [email protected] paper attempts to advance some of the ideas proposed inour initial paper on 'artistic' research procedure (Gray &Malins, 1993 ) and brings together some of the most recentreferences and ideas in our continuing work on this topic.Rather than provide answers or be prescriptive, we hope it willfunction as a catalyst for debate.The paper sets out the importance of procedure for research,examines the 'methodologies' used to date in formal Art &Design research in the UK, and outlines some of the recentlycompleted research for the award of Ph.D. The development ofthese 'artistic' procedures is taking place simultaneously withadvances in other disciplines: as Social Science evaluates anumber of alternative paradigms of inquiry, ScientificPhilosophy is moving away from a Newtonian position toembrace Complexity. The paper concludes by suggesting thatConstructivism in Social Science, and Complexity in Sciencehas implications for the development of modes of inquiry inArt & Design.AbstractWe use the term 'artistic' withsome hesitation and recognisethat there are perhaps otherterms e.g. pluralist, holist,hybrid. 'Artistic' encompassesFine Art and Design, and'artistic method' suggests acomplementary phrase to the'scientific method'.‘Research Procedures /Methodology for Artists &Designers’, C. Gray & J.Malins, in: ‘Principles andDefinitions: Five Papers by theEuropean Postgraduate Art &Design Group’, WinchesterSchool of Art, 1993.'Artistic' Research Procedure: Research at the Edge of Chaos?© Gray & Pirie, 1995 2Part 1 - Introduction: Why 'methodological' issues are importantAn examination of procedures used for formal research(Art & Design, UK)'methodology'1. the system of methods andprinciples used in a particulardiscipline.2. the branch of philosophyconcerned with the science ofmethod.'method'1. way of proceeding or doingsomething, especially asystematic or regular one.2. orderliness of thought,action, etc.3. (often pl.) the techniques orarrangement of work for aparticular field or subject.(Collins Dictionary, 1982)As the growth in Art & Design research continues (especially inrelation to higher degrees), it is becoming increasingly urgentfor us to structure research appropriately. One of the mostimportant aspects of this for any research project is the choiceof general 'methodology' and specific 'methods' (from this pointon we shall substitute the term 'methodology' with 'procedure'when referring to Art & Design research). We must not losesight of the simple definitions of ‘methodology' and ‘method',and must relate their meanings as closely as possible to thenature of ‘artistic’ practice and research.There is nothing in these definitions which claims‘methodology’ and ‘method’ as pertaining solely to Science andSocial Science. Procedures must be responsive, to solve theproblems or tackle the challenges prompted by our disciplines.This is why we must examine procedures of practice, andwhere appropriate, use them in research. The use of aninappropriate procedure can invalidate the whole of thecredibility of a piece of research, or render it invisible.Until fairly recently, Artists and Designers undertaking formalresearch drew heavily on the existing and validated methods ofthe Sciences and Social Sciences. We have opted for safety andconvenience! According to the 'Allison Research Index of Art &Design’ (ARIAD) the predominant procedures adopted so far inArt & Design research are illustrated in the graph.In decreasing order of popularity they are:• descriptive and historical -clearly these 'methodologies' relate to the classic text baseddissertation or thesis, and conform to what are the traditionallyacceptable research procedures in arts and humanities;• experimental -quasi-scientific methodologies', demonstrating attempts toperhaps ‘objectify’ research;• practical and philosophical -the growing use of practical procedures is encouraging, as anincreasing number of researchers are drawing on their ownpreferred practice-led procedures for conducting research);this leaves only relatively few projects which have used a‘Allison Research Index of Art& Design’, Brian Allison,Leicester Expertise, 1992.see next page for full scaleversionResearch for HigherDegrees e.g. MA, M.Phil.,Ph.Dfrequency of useprincipal methodology (2133 projects in Index)Most commonly used methodologies in formal Art & Design Research (UK)(source: Allison Research Index of Art & Design, 1992, p.8) descriptivehistorical experimental practicalphilosophicalcomparativenaturalistic10000100200300400500600700800900subsumed method / strategysurveys,causal - comparativepre-, post-testingcreative,expressive /productivetheoreticalcross-culturalinterpretative,phenomeno-logical,qualitative9326852281341113222'Artistic' Research Procedure: Research at the Edge of Chaos?© Gray & Pirie, 1995 3frequency of useprincipal methodology (2133 projects in Index)Most commonly used methodologies in formal Art & Design Research (UK)(source: Allison Research Index of Art & Design, 1992, p.8) descriptivehistorical experimental practicalphilosophicalcomparativenaturalistic10000100200300400500600700800900subsumed method / strategysurveys,causal - comparativepre-, post-testingcreative,expressive /productivetheoreticalcross-culturalinterpretative,phenomeno-logical,qualitative9326852281341113222ARIAD Graph'Artistic' Research Procedure: Research at the Edge of Chaos?© Gray & Pirie, 1995 4• comparative 'methodology', and lastly a• naturalistic 'methodology'.Naturalistic (with its emphasis on context and humaninvolvement) and practical are the ones which perhaps willgain the greatest popularity in the future, and which can bedeveloped into more ‘artistic’ procedures.Even though these have been identified as principal proceduresused, they are not mutually exclusive; it is clear that mostresearchers in Art & Design have displayed characteristiceclecticism, adopting a ‘multi-method’ approach to informationgathering,


View Full Document
Download Research at the Edge of Chaos
Our administrator received your request to download this document. We will send you the file to your email shortly.
Loading Unlocking...
Login

Join to view Research at the Edge of Chaos and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Research at the Edge of Chaos 2 2 and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?