On essaying art (version 2) – DART Symposium

Second biannual Symposium fo Didactic Art at DiAngewante in Vienna, Austria.

Teaching Artistic Research? Curriculum and pedagogy.

28-30 May 2018

Title : Essaying art

Subtitle : an unmethodological method for Artistic Research

Emily Huurdeman, Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, Education in Arts, The Netherlands


Original video and voice recording of the event:


Science is bound to academic an ethical rules, art is free from these bounds. In the expanding field of Artistic Research, science and art are integrated. However, the definition of this institutionalized field, and the methods and evaluation criteria of its output, is highly debated. This research investigates the hybrid position of the essay in order to gain insight into the methodological questions concerning Artistic Research, specifically focussing on the educational context.

The essay is viewed as a hybrid of science and art, it drifts between the subjective and the objective, the experiential and the intellectual. What if we were to use the essay as an unmethodological method for Artistic Research? The artistic researcher approaches the topic of investigation, as it were, essayistically; essaying art. The expression of this act of essaying can encompass all possible artistic media, and all possible combinations of media.

To investigate how an essayistic approach to Artistic Research could be practically used, I developed a pilot practice tutorial the reMA Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam (NL). The tutorial makes use of a performative space for essaying and a digital space for essaying, in order to discover and develop individual Artistic Research strategies.

The presentation of this research will include the theoretical background, the practice tutorial format and the initial results, in the form of a performance lecture using multiple synchronized television screens.

Keywords: essay, method, hybrid, education, Artistic Research.