e2: theory of practice-based research


image from Graeme Sullivan’s 2005 book Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts

This week we will delve deeper into the theory of practice-based research, using as main text Chapter 5- Artist as Theorist from Graeme Sullivan’s 2005 book Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts. The objective is to deepen the debate on the model of art as knowlege production, whilst developing critical reading skills that can be applied towards critical writing.


Read Chapter 5- Artist as Theorist where the author argues on “the reemergence of the artist-theorists as important sources of vision and voice within the cultural politics of these times… and the approaches they use that require different ways of thinking about artistic enquiry” (p.150). He goes on to describe three areas of visual arts practice Making in Systems, Making in Communities, and Making in Cultures.

Firstly, identify the central claims of the text, examining the evidence used and how is this deployed to support the argument towards these three sites of practice.

Secondly, evaluate the argument, by positioning your practice within and/or outside this diagram. Can you argue along the author’s line of reasoning, that working within this site you are producing new knowledge? Or do you need to defend an opposing argument? In that case, what sort of (counter-) evidence are you presenting?

In this blog, follow your classmates posts and choose one to leave a comment on their analysis of Sullivan’s argument and on how they see their sites of practice.

Monday, December 1st (task),
Tuesday, December 2nd (respond)


Sullivan, G. (2005). Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts. SAGE.Chapter 5- Artist as Theorist

Deborah Knott: Critical reading towards critical writing


About paula roush

I am a Lisbon-born artist based in London, UK. I am the founder of msdm, a platform for art practices that are mobile-strategies-[of]-display-[and]- mediation. It is a platform for both individual and collaborative work, shown in the context of exhibitions, publications, conferences and teaching/seminars. I work with photography, archives, found material and performance through editing strategies that investigate notions of authorship, authenticity, history and memory. I am interested in publishing as artists’ practice and as platform to explore the intersections between the roles of artist, editor and curator. My current projects look at ideas of (re) production in the work of art, resulting in publications in several formats that encompass the hand-made, the print on demand and the ebook.
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