The fundamentally non-conceptual nature of this act of constitution and revelation … is what enables art to set our thinking into motion, inviting us to unfinished reflection. [AR} is the deliberate articulation of such unfinished thinking … Its primary importance lies not in explicating the implicit or non-implicit knowledge enclosed in art. It is more directed at a not-knowing, or a not-yet-knowing. It creates room for that which is unthought, that which is unexpected – the idea that all things could be different. (Borgdorff, 2010, p. 61)
I am crucially aware that this exposition has provided much material and I may have gone on far too long already. If this piece were set in a traditional publication domain I would be concerned about the ‘number of words’, atypically 5,000 to 7000 in the usual outlets. Some may view that I have created ‘a rod for my own back’ given that my dual aim is to both address the theoretical arguments (as presented in Arrangement and Coda) as well as exploring my own artistic practice in Jamming. Each of these components therefore has the word-count of a traditional paper thus explaining this matter of overall ‘length’.
Things could be different. Indeed, the structure and presentation of the exposition has been an on-going interactive and highly reflexive process. I’d thought to remix and shorten the overall work along other lines, for example: by taking the central Jamming component and recombining this in situ with the theoretical considerations from elsewhere. On balance though, I believe that the project is best served by providing the artistic portfolio as a standalone entry (or as an ‘appendix’ even) to be then framed by the various academic considerations. Here then I also have in mind my own PhD students, for example: Arrangement provides one concise interpretation that may be useful to model in other projects; the Jamming portfolio on the other hand provides another approach again.
Another concern was that a number of Coda insights were given a light touch, and through the lens of PhD supervision I might well be inclined to offer well-trodden advice to "narrow the scope". However, it would seem that a number of interesting features here may be more accurately termed emergent and are authentically indicative of this stage of the artistic research. For each of these themes then, I believe there is future potential to developed along more specialised boundaries. For example, on the matter of the relationship between so-called 'flow state' and improvisation, this is likely far too large a topic to be explored in depth here, yet which would seem to offer much for on-going research opportunities.
Finally, perhaps my word-count concerns matters for less in such a non-linear publication environment as this. This might also apply from the opposite perspective – how brief yet compelling and valid could an artistic research publication be? In this exposition then, despite a few re-workings and thoughts about alternate approaches, my logic is as follows:
- This six section exposition is intended that its components may be understood standalone. While editors and some academics may wish to work with the entire piece, I also suspect that other readers will engage with just those components they are drawn to. Wherever useful, URLs are provided to cross link between entries.
- As much as possible, the formal academic stance of Arrangement and Coda is quarantined from the multi-voice narrative in Jamming. In the latter, I wanted to explore the reservations that colleagues and students have about using their own voice(s) and artefacts with confidence about the validity of such an exploration. My intension is that this aims to be simultaneously trustworthy and valid, yet as a much as possible refrains from interrupting the creative flow.
I sincerely hope that aspects of this exposition help bring greater meaning for some.