Friday 14 November 2008

Creative Practice/Creative Research Conference

Creative Practice/Creative Research: Materiality, Process, Performativity

15 April - 17 April 2009

A gathering of emerging and established voices in the criticism, curating, history, pedagogy and production of art

Final Call for Papers: Deadline 1st December 2008
Registration Opens 1st January 2009


James Alexander
Senior Administrative Assistant-Project & Outreach

Faculty of Arts
York St John University
Lord Mayors Walk
YO31 7EX
+44(0)1904 876433

Event Synopsis:

Creative Practice/Creative Research has emerged at a critical moment in the burgeoning discourse that surrounds what has been named 'practice-led research.' The impetus for this gathering has been a desire to critique and disseminate insights born of practice by and for artists in a context that will impact upon the fields of art criticism, art education, cultural theory, curating and the history of art.

This rationale responds to the lament of sculptor Robert Morris who in 1970 noted in Artforum that the creative process remained 'the submerged side' of the interpretive 'iceberg'. In the 1970s and 1980s the advent of post-modern theory and the social history of art located the material production of art at an intersection of history and the social. Practice had thus been liberated from the (psycho)biographical expressivity and mastery of the gesture. Within British art historical scholarship however the object of critical discourse has remained profoundly visual. In 2008 this focus on visual outcomes acquired renewed vigor via the generation of a new model of art historical enquiry informed by neuroscience. Situated in the gallery like so many dead objects 'art's' materiality remains the trace of a means to an ends. Caught between formalism and semiotics theory in this paradigm is that which can only ever be applied to art.

Creative Practice/Creative Research seeks to turn the tables; to evoke the writing of Ettinger (1997), Jones & Stephenson (1999), Bolt & Barrett (2006, 2007) as a critical framework with which to imagine art practice as the means by which 'we come to know the world via handling' ((Heiddeger, 1966) Bolt, 2007). The work of art as 'co-poiësis' (Ettinger, 1997) and 'poiëtic revealing' (Bolt, 2007) transforms creative production beyond the locus of a discrete subject bound exclusively by the discrete visual outcome. The production of art is here cognized as the generation of the not yet known. This paradigm shift seeks to foreground the 'dialogical' means through which art's work may elicit transformations via material operations and performativity both at the point of production and reception to reconfigure the theoretical and historical frameworks through which it can signify.

To highlight such a fleshy transubjective logic of art practice will enable interventions in the fields of curatorial practice and pedagogy. Creative Practice/Creative Research seeks to disseminate examples of curatorial collaboration in the creative process counter to the traditional practice of the display of objects/outcomes in the gallery or museum. Finally this gathering will interrogate the assimilation of fine art education within the culture of accountability that currently structures the unruly objects of art's 'research' within higher education.

Submissions are invited from artists, critics and scholars in all fields of the creative arts.


Steve Baker, UCLAN, UK
Estelle Barrett, Deakin University, AUS
Rosemary Betterton, Lancaster University, UK
Barb Bolt, University of Melbourne, AUS
Judit Bodor, Independent Curator
Vanessa Corby, York St John University, UK
Bracha Ettinger, European Graduate School, SWISS
Paula Farrance, UK
Pam Longobardi, Georgia State University, USA
Roddy Hunter, York St John University, UK
Linda Weintraub, Independent Scholar, USA
Elizabeth Watkins, Bristol University, UK

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201