Art and Research



Research as an Artistic Strategy is about one way of approaching art making, one position among many. On the one hand it may seem a paradoxical standpoint to take given historical clichés regarding artists’ sources of inspiration - the somewhere-from-inside-their-own-psyche approach - but if an artist wishes to contribute to a discourse which is (or should be) on-going in society, finding a site from which to do that becomes a necessity of the first order. Thus in order to produce images relevant to a debate or to formulate pertinent questions that need asking requires knowledge. Knowledge which is transformed then into images because, in the final analysis, we are visual artists. The position we take has geographical, chronological and cultural co-ordinates. These act both as parameters and as the subject of a discourse in themselves. The stance is also determined by such things as gender, skin colour and political convictions. What is not implied here is that by reading the texts and looking at the images here the art works themselves will be fully explained. If that was the case they would not be art works but illustrations of aspects of a theory. What is on offer is a certain degree of reverse engineering and contextualisation of our work. Both of us would assert that what follows is an approximation in text and images of what we were reading, thinking or discussing while in the process of generating certain works. Those processes take place in parallel.


They are interlocked and clearly influence each other but they are not chained together. It often appears that, having started from one position, the world itself insists on connecting us up to everything else from that (temporary) starting point. A spider’s web of interrelationships. The real creative work usually takes place at times and in places unrelated to the research and readingówalking along the street or lying in bed half asleep. Ideas come unbidden and, when the idea is good, it feels sometimes as if it had been there all along waiting to be discovered. Thus what is made available here is a way of thinking or a way to approach specific thematic territories. All of this should be borne in mind while getting involved with this project since much of our work is concerned with hidden definitions, diverted attention - and occasional wilful misdirection.

Using research as an artistic strategy implies the critical acquisition of knowledge in particular areas and its artistic transformation. The definition of the field of knowledge, the methods of collecting information, the kinds of information collected and where it comes from are all open-ended.