To submit or not to submit – negotiating artistic research in the academic world

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


How we think about research practices is immediately linked to the environing research traditions, scientific communities, the shared agendas and spaces of disciplines, and broader to our history, our education and the ideological framework or worldview we have inherited and adopted. We are encultured into thinking our relationship not only with nature and experience, but also with the ways of interpretation and communication of these. The science- art debate, the rational- intuitive debate, the objective- subjective debate, they all are linked with presuppositions and value judgments. These polarising ways of thinking help us often to cope in an easy way with the world but at the same time disable us from an exploration 'out of the box' or from an open involved interest in seemingly distant topics that nevertheless offer a potential to the own disciplinary perspective to be shared and understood.
This chapter will explore that potential of artistic research as a member of the broader research culture and focus more specifically on the -- for artists somewhat alien -- practice of academic publishing. It will question the artistic research's possibilities and problems of sharing that family resemblance of the broader family of research cultures.
Wittgenstein's framework of language games and family resemblances offers us an interesting tool to understand what a research culture is, and how different disciplines can be a 'family member' of such a research culture. We can consider artistic research as part of the language game of the family of research culture. However, it is a recent, new member of that wide family that recognises it barely as a discipline or a domain of research. It has still to prove itself as it has not yet clearly developed its own territory nor a broad body of shared knowledge. And it searches eagerly to understand the game of research. One of the rules in research culture is to publish in academic research journals. To submit or not to submit artistic research articles to traditional academic journals is a question of participating to (part of) that game. But are the rules defined and clear for the youngest sibling in the family of research culture?
The first part of this chapter will shortly unravel the notion of a research culture. This will be elaborated by making some analogies with other members of the family which share some specific characteristics. Secondly, artistic research's fear or difficulties to enter the broad realm of research culture will be analysed: its fear of academic discourse, of writing and of theory. The main questions here are: should artistic research share the family trait of academic writing and publishing? Should it follow these academic rules totally, partially or should it develop its own channels of dissemination -- and even refrain from traditional research publishing? Finally, some resemblances, affinities and links with other domains of research and potentially familiar journals can help the artist researcher to integrate that realm and consider publication in academic journals. While artistic research is deeply embedded in artistic practice and can only be the fruit of such practice and its reflection, the conclusion will assert that, because of these peculiarities, it has a unique research content and reflection that is worth disseminating in broader contexts of research cultures -- challenging and fertilising both the own and other disciplines' repertoire of both practice and knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvaluating Research in the Arts
EditorsBinke van Kerckhoven, Walter Ysebaert
PublisherASP Academic and Scientific Publishers
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print) 9789057186998
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational conference “Evaluating Research in the arts” - Academy Palace Hertogsstraat 1, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 15 Nov 201216 Nov 2012


OtherInternational conference “Evaluating Research in the arts”
OtherEvaluating Research in the Arts donderdag, 15 november, 2012 - 09:00vrijdag, 16 november, 2012 - 09:00 The conference ‘Evaluating Research in the Arts’ will focus on different levels of evaluation of artistic research, on modalities regarding pre- and post-funding and on international and institutional perspectives and constraints. The first day of the conference serves as a general introduction to research in the arts and related issues such as inter- and transdisciplinarity, diversity of output forms and questions regarding evaluation and funding. The second day provides an in-depth exploration of the different levels on which artistic research evaluation operates: ex-ante evaluation in the context of journals and project assessment and ex-post evaluation and funding of artistic research, examined from an international comparative perspective. Policy perspectives will also be considered.
Internet address


  • artistic research
  • method
  • research culture


Dive into the research topics of 'To submit or not to submit – negotiating artistic research in the academic world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this