This research is about Artistic Research education. Artistic research is a relatively new academic field where science and art are integrated. But defining this institutionalized field, and the methods and evaluation criteria of its output, is highly debated. There is no one universal definition, criteria or evaluation for this in this educational field. Which isn't surprising considering that both the artistic as scientific element can consist of a vast verity and combination of fields, topics and disciplines. But definitional difficulties are also inherent to the field because the scientific and artistic methodologies are subject to different criteria. Science needs to articulate its sources, as well as its relevance and its context, and it must provide clear argumentation. Furthermore, it is strictly bound to academic and ethical rules. Art is not constraint by these methods, ethics and rules. Can we integrate the scientific and artistic in a working method?
The essay inherently embraces both the artistic and the scientific. It drifts in-between the subjective and the objective, the experiential and the intellectual. The essay expresses a train of thought, and critically reflects on those thoughts: it experiments and speculates. What if artists use the essay as an un-methodological research method? The artistic researcher approaches the topic of investigation essayistically; essaying art. The form of expression can encompass all possible artistic media, and all possible combinations of media like: writing; video; photography; sound; composition; performance and more.
In order to put this theory to the test, I have formulated an elective course for first-year students of the research master Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam (NL). In this experimental pilot, I investigate how an essayistic approach to artistic research could be practically used as an unmethodological method for developing individual Artistic Research form and approaches. This research describes, evaluates and critically reflects on the educational project and the theoretical debate in Artistic Research.