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Troubling Research. Performing Knowledge in the Arts

Project leaders:
Tom Holert, Johanna Schaffer (IKW)

Project team:
Gangart (Simonetta Ferfoglia, Heinrich Pichler)
Johannes Porsch
Stefanie Seibold
Carola Dertnig
Axel Stockburger
Diedrich Diederichsen

Funded by:
WWTF | Art(s)&Sciences


WWTF | Art(s)&Sciences
led by Tom Holert and Johanna Schaffer, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies
Duration: 1.3.2010 – 31.8.2011

Troubling Research responds to the WWTF Art(s)&Sciences call by interrogating the very conditions of the current upsurge of the art/research articulation. The project shifts attention from defining (and eventually solving) a problem to that of rendering a 'problematic.' A core feature of this problematic concerns the fact that place, status, and function of any claim to 'research' are discursively and socially produced and therefore ultimately contestable. The insight in the "ubiquitous, taken-for-granted, and axiomatic quality of research" (Arjun Appadurai) enables to question the "strange and wonderful practice" known as research, its "cultural presumptions" and its "ethic".

Following on this track of reasoning and aligning with the Institutional Critique tradition in the arts, Troubling Research aims at unsettling any existing consensus concerning the nature of arts-based research and the art/science relationship. It achieves this through establishing a - deliberately - diversified cluster of artistic and research practices (represented by the participating researchers) the commonality of which will be constituted by working through the potential of the problematic to be excavated and/or developed in the course of the project. Accounting for a multiplicity of diverging perspectives, the participating researchers will work, independently and as a collaborative entity, towards a reconsideration of an alleged interdependence of the categories of art and research assumed by the current politics and economy-driven research orientation within the European system of higher education in the arts.