Practicing Research as Consciousness Raising: On Disruption, Mending, and Care
Keynote lecture by Elke Krasny
Research has become a still-new paradigm, which is considered central to contemporary artistic practice and to innovative and critical art making. What then makes a good research question for artistic practice? Who defines that? Who defines and who judges what is good about doing research? Research has been described as a dirty word by professor of indigenous education Linda Tuhiwai Te Rina Smith. This lecture looks at power dimensions of research connected to the sciences, the military, the industry, and university education. Acknowledging the historical implicatedness of research in systems of violence, harm, extraction, and domination, the lecture seeks to prolong possibilities that research can be emancipatory, transformative, and of relevance to futurity and caring imaginaries for ecological and social justice. Insisting that different research questions are very much needed, the lecture argues that artistic research practices can make space and time for consciousness raising. Such an open-ended approach would disrupt managerial ontologies of research, which are managed through deadlines and expected outputs. Envisioning research as consciousness raising draws on feminist activist traditions that were collective and connected lived experience to theory and to politics. Understanding systemic conditions through sharing individual experiences was at the center of this strategy. In relation to making research the subject of artistic investigation, this can mean the following: raising awareness for what it means to live in the aftermath of research as well as to collectively mend the effects of research in order to build emancipatory and caring forms of knowing.
Elke Krasny is Professor for Art and Education at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She is a feminist cultural theorist, urban researcher, curator, and author. Her scholarship addresses ecological and social justice at the global present with a focus on caring practices in architecture, urbanism, and contemporary art. With Angelika Fitz, she edited Critical Care. Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet (MIT Press, 2019). With Sophie Lingg, Lena Fritsch, Birgit Bosold, and Vera Hofmann, she edited Radicalizing Care. Feminist and Queer Activism in Curating (Sternberg Press, 2021). Her forthcoming book Living with an Infected Planet. Covid-19 Feminism and the Global Frontline of Care develops a feminist perspective on the rhetoric of war and the realities of care in pandemic times.
Teaching Artistic Strategies is a four-day symposium on research and pedagogy in the context of art and design institutions. It addresses the challenge of transferring academic knowledge to teaching programs, formats, and skills. The symposium is jointly organized by Dorothée King, Selena Savic and Fatma Kargin. IADE x MAKE/SENSE FHNW Academy of Art and Design Basel.