Art Worlds, Voice and Knowledge: thoughts on quality assessment of artistic research outcomes

Keywords: artistic knowledge, assessment, voice, art worlds


This paper discusses the nature of artistic knowledge, and proposes that knowledge production through artistic research takes material and embodied forms. Further, the author proposes that artistic researchers must be clearly situated in an art world, as well as in academia. The assessment of artistic quality must be carried out to a great extent outside academia, by agents identified in the art world within which the project is situated. In the paper, four recent PhD theses produced in three institutions in Sweden are presented and analysed from the socio-cultural perspective of their art worlds. Further, the paper proposes that artistic knowledge can be further accessed through a systematic inquiry into the material and performative forms in which it is manifested. A brief analysis of the emergence of a shared voice between a composer and a performer - through a study of the use of transcription in the working process - aims to further unpack the possibilities of accessing artistic knowledge through multiple methods for documentation and analysis. In the final analysis, the author proposes that artistic research must develop more considered approaches to artistic knowledge, and thereby, also to aim for artistic results that allow artistic researchers to make a difference in their respective art worlds.

Author Biography

Stefan Östersjö, Piteå School of Music, Luleå University of Technology

Stefan Östersjö is chaired professor of Musical Performance at Piteå School of Music, Luleå University of Technology. He is a leading classi­cal guitarist and  has released more than twenty CDs as a soloist, improviser and chamber musician and toured Europe, the USA and Asia. As a soloist he has coop­erated with conductors such as Lothar Zagrosek, Peter Eötvös, Mario Venzago and Andrew Manze. Between 1995 and 2012 he was the artistic director of Ensemble Ars Nova, a leading Swedish ensemble for  contemporary music. He is a founding member of the Vietnamese group The Six Tones, which since 2006 has developed into a platform for interdisciplinary intercultural collaboration. He received his doctorate in 2008 and since then he has been engaged in research projects across Europe, as a research fellow at Orpheus Institute in Ghent, and in other senior research funded by AHRC, MAW and the Swedish Research Council. 


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