Discourses on artistic research in Flanders: Non-scholarly perspectives on research in the arts

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The research presented in this paper collects and analyses a set of documents disseminating discourse on artistic research in Flanders – the Northern, Dutch-speaking region of Belgium. In doing so, it identifies hegemonic constructions structuring the (im)possibility of fostering fruitful interlinkages between the often-dichotomised notions of ‘art’ and ‘science’. Hinged on the officialisation of the first Flemish doctoral degrees in the arts, the study points to earlier, ‘inclusive’ discourses on artistic research that allowed articulating a variety of activities and outcomes as ‘research’. The introduction of the PhD gave way to ‘exclusive’ discourses that restrict artistic research to the higher arts education context. Notably, these ‘exclusive discour-ses’ – often disseminated by higher art educators – are expressively critical of the research agenda. Highlighting its artificial origins in the Bologna Process, artistic research is normatively constructed as an infringement on the arts’ autonomy. Its potential is not denied altogether, however, but only touched upon in cryptonormative terms that reject current conditions without addressing what it should or could be.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2021


  • artistic research
  • higher arts education
  • research in the arts
  • arts-based research
  • Flanders


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