Art and Research



As are the connections made between different nodes of information. What is important in this first stage is the process of investigation itself. After a while, continuous immersion in the chosen material enables certain interesting problems to crystallise and may also suggest methods of materialising them.

Up to this point the process is not unlike systematic, scientific investigation. This is not to suggest that the process (either in science or art) is linear. It is interactive in nature. Thus one of the interesting features is how various ‘levels’ of information may find themselves in the same category-a scientific study of stereotypes along with a matchbox from Sweden and Korean stick-it notes bought in Senegal, for instance.


It may be even more indiscriminate. A found image may generate associations and ideas which have to be followed up; reading may produce an mental image that has to be refined and investigated and so on. Thus although the chain leading to the final image(s) may well turn out to be purely associative, there are references to various levels ranging from the personal to the socio-historical and to current social and political debate.

However, where the scientist is bound to produce results which can be subjected to a special form of logic and verification, the artist has greater freedom to speculate and the work produced is more likely to represent a process of questioning than the presentation of any (however theoretical) answers. The formulation of the question is more valuable (artistically) than any answer could be because it leaves room for the viewer to move around in and to interrogate the work from their own point of view.