Creative Practice/Creative Research

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Creative Practive/Creative Research
Materiality, Process, Performativity 

Contact: James Alexander

Creative Practice/Creative Research emerges at a critical moment in the burgeoning discourse surrounding ‘practice-led research.’ The impetus for this gathering is a desire to critique and disseminate insights born of practice by and for artists to impact upon the fields of art criticism, art education, cultural theory, curating and the history of art.

This rationale responds to sculptor Robert Morris’ lament in Artforum, 1970 that the creative process remained ‘the submerged side’ of the interpretive ‘iceberg’. The 1970s-80s advent of post-modern theory and the social history of art located the material production of art at an intersection of history and the social. Practice became liberated from (psycho) biographical expressivity and mastery of the gesture. Within British art historical scholarship however the object of critical discourse has remained profoundly visual. In 2008 this focus on visual outcomes acquired renewed vigour via a new model of art historical enquiry informed by neuroscience. Situated in the gallery like so many dead objects ‘art’s’ materiality remains the trace of means to ends. Caught between formalism and semiotics, theory in this paradigm is that which can only ever be applied to art.

Creative Practice/Creative Research seeks to turn the tables; to evoke a critical framework with which to imagine art practice as means by which ‘we come to know the world via handling’ (Heidegger, 1966) Bolt, 2007). The work of art as ‘co-poiësis’ (Ettinger, 1997) and ‘poiëtic revealing’ (Bolt, 2007) transforms creative production beyond the locus of a discrete subject bound exclusively by the discrete visual outcome. The production of art is here cognized as the generation of the unknown. This paradigm shift foregrounds ‘dialogical’ means through which art’s work may elicit transformations via material operations and performativity both in production and reception, reconfiguring the theoretical and historical frameworks through which it can signify.

Highlighting such a fleshy transubjective logic of art practice enables interventions in the fields of curatorial practice and pedagogy. Creative Practice/Creative Research seeks to disseminate examples of curatorial collaboration in the creative process counter to traditional practices of displaying objects/outcomes in the gallery or museum. Finally, this gathering will interrogate the assimilation of fine art education within the culture of accountability that currently structures the unruly objects of art’s ‘research’ within higher education.

Registration is now open. Please visit 

Steve Baker, UCLAN, UK 
Estelle Barrett, Deakin University, AUS 
Rosemary Betterton, Lancaster University, UK 
Barb Bolt, University of Melbourne, AUS 
Judit Bodor, Independent Curator 
Vanessa Corby, York St John University, UK 
Bracha Ettinger, European Graduate School, SWISS 
Paula Farrance, UK 
Pam Longobardi, Georgia State University, USA 
Roddy Hunter, York St John University, UK 
Linda Weintraub, Independent Scholar, USA 
Elizabeth Watkins, Bristol University, UK

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