Map Ethics! is part of  the Strategic Partnership Project  Advancing Supervision for Artistic Research Doctorates, supported by Erasmus+. The project aims to improve doctoral education at art universities, and proposes to closely investigate six areas in which tools and measures will be created to advance doctoral supervision in artistic research: 

  • defining supervision (supervision vs. other concepts like mentoring, coaching, etc.);
  • ethical dimensions in supervision;
  • new competencies for supervisors;
  • professional education for supervisors (training); 
  • the art of giving feedback in artistic research (transdisciplinarity);
  • the role of the research environment for supervision.


 The presentation is an output from the Work Package 2 "Ethics in Art, Ethics in Supervision, Ethics in Artistic Research" in the Strategic Partnership Project Advancing Supervision for Artistic Research Doctorates funded by Erasmus+ and the project partners.


About the project, working group and background


This web exposition offers tools for exploring ethical issues in research projects during workshops, discussions and other training situations. The target group is foremost people involved in education of doctorates in artistic research, but as the topic is widely relevant there are reasons to believe one could find the approach usable for other circumstances and practices as well.


The working group at Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen was established in September 2018. The group consists of (in alphabetical order)


Jostein Gundersen, Associate Professor, Music

Nina Malterud, Senior Adviser

Anne Helen Mydland, Vice Dean, Professor Fine Art 

Aslaug Nyrnes, Professor, Didactics of Literature and Fine Art

Hans Knut Sveen, Associate Professor, Music (chair)

Map Ethics! A workshop model

Map Ethics! is an open model for unfolding and mapping ethical aspects and issues within the frame of artistic PhD projects and doctoral supervision – not with a normative approach, but to instigate discussion, curiosity and consciousness.  The workshop model is developed through sessions with research fellows and with PhD supervisors at the Fcaulty of Fine Arts, Music and Design (UiB) in 2019-20 at at the Multiplier Event in Stuttgart 24 Sept 2019.

Three papers on art, artistic research and ethics


These texts are based on previous presentations in the seminar dedicated to ethics in the Norwegian Artistic Research School. The texts were commissioned for the project Map Ethics! to provide a broader context for  open ethical discussions.

Bibliography, credits and acknowledgements


See a page with listings of

  • The literature directly related to this presentation
  • Further literature and textual references
  • The fair amount of people and institutions making this particular project possible
  • The editor group responsible for this presentation

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Map ethics! A method for identifying and addressing ethical dimensions of artistic research projects

Text by Gundersen et al

The messiness of doing v. the integrity of action: towards an embodied ethics of artistic research

by Darla Crispin

Perspectives on Ethics in Performance Practice 

Text by Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk

Researching Ethics through Musical (or Artistic) Experience

Text by Nanette Nielsen

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Premises for choices and action in research and education require understanding of ethics, on a formal level as well as in practical decisions and judgements. Development of such understanding constitutes a basis for the professional performer or practitioner to make judgements and decisions in how things are being done. 


National and international ethical assessment committees use principle and discourse based methodological frameworks in their work. In the European Textbook of Ethics it is pointed out that principles and discourse not necessarily offer clear answers to ethical problems or issues, but imposes the participants' engagement in fair dialogue and decision-making on plausible principles1.


The four ethical principles are referred to (and further explained) in the European Textbook of Ethics (p. 28) as


• respect for autonomy (the obligation to respect deci- sion-making capacities of autonomous persons);

• non-maleficence (the obligation to avoid causing harm);

• beneficence (the obligation to provide benefits and to balance benefits against risks); 

• justice (the obligation of fairness in the distribution of benefits and risks). 


This present web-exposition offers one model or strategy to develop methodology in recognising, mapping and discussing ethical dimensions in artistic research, with a special focus on the relation between the PhD candidate (or equivalent), the supervisor and the institution with its staff and frameworks. For deeper study of ethics methodology the resource page offer literature and reflection connected to the conviction that «ethical assessments are best made in a community» as Habermas and Apel&Kettner are cited by The Norwegian National Research Ethics Committees2.

Recognising, mapping and discussing ethical dimensions might lead to insight in how action or situation have beneficial effect. Discussing ethical dimensions in context of artistic practice and research may reveal how the particular action or project contribute to an ethical discourse, from within the artistic field and to the society in general. 


The more at stake, the more judgement and consideration becomes central when carrying out the action or project. The introduction text Map ethics! A method for identifying and addressing ethical dimensions of artistic research projects addresses – as a point of departure – the PhD candidate's search for ethical dimensions. The premise is that all projects have such. The text argues for and proposes a method for approaching the researcher's responsibility to identify and connect the practice with the world.


Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk points at such perspective when framing ethics as a relational practice in performance art. Dealing with subjects as storytelling, identity constructions, real and fake news, she discusses the ethics of staging documentary material in the article Perspectives on Ethics in Performance Practice.


Constructions of PhD programmes and funding artistic research in academic institutions raise questions related to how things are done and what regimes they constitute. As they still belong to a fairly young academic practice, Darla Crispin suggests in her article The messiness of doing v. the integrity of action: towards an embodied ethics of artistic research ways to develop work on ethics in artistic research by looking at the various elements of power structures.


The workshop model presented through this exposition takes its idea from the seminars on ethics as they developed through the Research Fellowship Programme run by Norwegian Artistic Research Programme (NARP) in the period 2003-2017. Norwegian 3rd cycle education in arts opened for PhD graduation in 2018, and NARP's fellowship seminars were transformed into a national research school for artistic research. Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at the University of Bergen took, through the participation in the project Advancing Supervision for Artistic Research Doctorates, the initiative to build on the seminars and develop methods for workshops on ethics. The present workshop model attempts to support the idea of unfolding project work and guide the individual or group to articulate and discuss matters with their ethical dimensions. As institutional life and structures vary, a need for adaptation of practicality and terminology may be necessary. However, the readers will hopefully find help to develop ways to reflect upon, address and articulate aspects of hitherto unknown or unspoken nature in their art and research projects.


1 European Textbook on Ethics in Research (Brussels: European Commission, 2010). https://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/textbook-on-ethics-report_en.pdf


2 Ellen-Marie Forsberg, "Methods For Ethical Assessment"  (The Norwegian National Research Ethics Committees, 2019). https://www.forskningsetikk.no/en/resources/the-research-ethics-library/systhematic-and-historical-perspectives/ethical-assessment/

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