On 6 November 2014, Janneke Wesseling will give a keynote presentation, entitled On Methodology, at the Symposium Conversations on Artistic Research in Porto (PRT). This symposium is organized by the Research Group of Arts Education of the Research Institute in Arts, Design and Society, Faculty of Visual Arts, University of Porto, on 6 and 7 November 2014.


In the discourses related to artistic research there is a significant propensity to encompass methodology. More than a set of procedures to achieve (or to construct) knowledge, methodology, as we understand it here, concerns a wider discussion of the study of the very notion of method in artistic research: its utility and rationale. Methodology as the logic sustaining method, rather than the search for the most adequate path or the cataloguing of the available ways-to-do artistic research. Also the fact that artistic research has been frequently appropriated and paired by other domains of knowledge has turned it into an auxiliary tool of these domains (often distorting its original potential), transforming itself, and all its complexity, into not much more than sheer method to achieve goals of psychology, cultural studies, anthropology, etc. Artistic research regarded as method emerges as a colonizing idea played by other scientific domains (especially in the field of human and social sciences), which empty the disruptiveness and autonomy of artistic research and make it dependent on the activity of more legitimate sciences. Or is this just part of its potential and one of the advantages of its (momentary?) indefiniteness?

Far from reaching consensus, the discussion(s) of method and methodology has been responsible for the publishing of great amounts of literature and the formation of specific departments of research in universities and art academies. Is the community of researchers, scholars and artist-researchers pursuing an answer to these dilemmas or is everybody just staging their roles in the play of productivity in the terms generated by the Bologna agreement? (Catarina Almeida).

Keynote speaker: Janneke Wesseling