The Society for Artistic Research (SAR) was established in March 2010 as an independent, non-profit organisation for the purpose of publishing the Journal for Artistic Research (JAR). It is a dynamic, international group that is encouraging discussion and activity dedicated to artistic research. SAR is comprised of both individual and institutional members from around the globe, who support SAR through the payment of a membership fee, sponsorship, and the gifting of their time and expertise.
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The JAR review process
All expositions in JAR are peer reviewed (except those in our inaugural issue 0). The steps of this process after the reception of a submission are:
1. Assessment by the Editorial Board
The Editorial Board assesses if the submission meets the basic requirements to be passed to review (see submissions) and may suggest some changes before doing so.
2. Invitation of Reviewers
The Editorial Board invites at least three reviewers for the submission, approaching experts from disciplinary fields of the submission, including artistic, scientific and scholarly disciplines. The author(s) may propose one of the three reviewers. JAR expects the reviewers to engage critically and supportively with the field of artistic research.
JAR employs a 'single blind' review process. The reviewers are anonymous until publication; while the names of the authors are announced. In the art field, a 'double blind' review process can be seen as particularly inappropriate, as the research often carries the ‘signature’ of those who conducted it.
Peer-reviewers are asked to use the JAR Peer Review Form to report on their assessment. The form can be downloaded here.
3. Decision on the basis of reviews
Having received the reviews, the Editorial Board decides whether the submission is:
If a submission is accepted, the reviewers are asked to compile a final set of comments based on the re-worked submission. These comments are then published alongside the submission as ‘JAR Reviewer Comments’ and linked to from the JAR table of contents.
We continue to debate what peer review entails in the context of JAR. We believe that research can be assessed, while at the same time we recognize that artistic research work is, by its nature, an open undertaking, resisting overly rigid regulations. JAR itself is work-in-progress. The emerging community of artistic researchers will learn and define through practice what it means to expose artistic research.
If the submission is accepted, it will be published in one of the next issues of JAR.
Points of attention for reviewing JAR submissions
Note: This is work in progress. Reviewing criteria are suggestions that allow the probing of an exposition in particular ways without being prescriptive.
1. Which aspects of the submission are of interest / relevance and why?
JAR seeks submissions that address important issues or problems in an artistic manner that engages others in the field. When answering this question, please take into account the submission’s subject matter, its methods, outcomes or any other aspect that you deem important.
2. Does the submission live up to its potential?
Please reflect on the potential of the submission and the way it is realised. How might the submission be improved to better match its potential?
3. How does the submission expose practice as research?
JAR is open to submissions from various methodological backgrounds, as long as they expose practice as research. By this we mean that the submission exposes, translates, stages, performs etc. the practice it presents so as to engage with its own meaning, to challenge existing epistemic horizons or to offer new insights.
Please take into account:
Ultimately, a submission may successfully expose practice as research despite disappointing conventional academic criteria for the assessment of research. If applicable, please state where the breaching of such criteria is detrimental to the submission.
4. How well do design and navigation support the submission?
Design and navigation should support the proposition. Its reception should make sense and not frustrate (in the case that ‘frustration’ is not deemed an important element of the submission).
JAR does not operate with a minimum or maximum word count because, as a rich-media publication, we could technically accept an exposition without words. But, as a guide, we advise that a reader/viewer should be able to explore the main part of the exposition and understand the research in approximately one hour.
Reviewing for JAR
JAR has a growing database of reviewers who generously agree to contribute their time and points of view aiding us in our aim to publish and debate artistic research. The journal welcomes the interest of possible reviewers from all disciplines, whether operating inside or outside the academic context. Contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you feel you can help us in this important role.
The 'sonozones' project investigates sound art practices in public places through personal and public acts of listening and sounding. The topic is explored using artistic processes developed on site in Mülheim in the Ruhr region of central Germany. Four sound art practitioners collaboratively explore ideas and concepts that question the significance and impact of listening and sounding in public places and suburban and urban spaces. The project collects traces and artefacts of the artistic processes as a basis for investigations into key elements of the individual and social dimensions of sound art. The exploration of forms sets the stage for experiments, interventions, and performative presences carried out on site by the artists. A continuous dialogue and the collection of verbal reflections frames these activities. In addition to texts, this exposition lays out a collection of audio recordings, photographs, and videos in order to document and convey sensory experiences as well as thoughts.
This exposition discusses an artistic research project involving a field trip to a medical school. It introduces part of my postdoctoral project as a case study, discussing photography and video self-portraits as a means for exploring anatomy and clinical skills education. Instead of analysing the resulting photo series and video piece, the exposition has a focus on process and methodology: it elaborates on the artistic process and the various roles an artist-researcher can claim at the site of the medical school and in the study outcomes. The exposition also discusses the ways in which this process may engage medical school participants, and how the participants’ reflections intertwine with the artistic outcomes.
This exposition presents diverse materials related to, or inspired by Luigi Nono’s piece for piano and tape …..sofferte onde serene… (1975–77). Organised in seven modules, the exposition offers different perspectives on a vast collection of materials around the original work, its performative renderings, and its orchestral transformation. Without imposing any sequential logic of reading or listening, the seven modules are numbered following a scale ranging from a more scholarly approach (module 1) to a more creative perspective (module 7).
In a non-prescribed journey they offer diverse insights into different facts, things, objects, and performances, which are presented as archaeological and problematising layers in a continuous process of aesthetic-epistemic cross-references. Some modules are more stable, dealing with what the original piece 'is' (context, sketches, editions, recordings, analysis), while others propose lines of flight, pointing to states of permanent becoming (renderings, transformations, transcriptions).
The popular perception of the University today involves notions of hierarchies of knowledge distribution and centres of excellence. The University is also regarded as a space where the values of social equality and mobility allegedly are reproduced, carrying the traces of sentiments such as those in which education is seen as a social good, a preparation for public life and civic responsibility. However, despite this general conception, students may look to a University for material, that is, career advantages, lecturers believe that universities are for critical inquiry and self-development (at least in Europe and America), and managers see it as a business enterprise and replicate the economic strategies of neo-liberalism. None of these conceptions sit very well together. In fact, they conflict sharply. The pressing question then is, What is a University?
This project investigates and responds to this problematic question by looking more carefully at how people imagine the idea of a University. What exactly are the assumptions of say, a group of research students? How do different universities instigate and enforce the boundaries of membership and participation? And exactly what kind of education is on offer when universities operate as a 'service' industry with a managerial rationale borrowed from the business models of corporate capitalism? These questions weave through a series of collaborative and interventionist art projects, some of which are still under development and others have yet to be realised. The point is not to arrive at an answer, but to capture the experience of the University in transition and to problematise its conditions.
This work examines the material entanglements of humans and touch screens. The starting points are Donna Haraway's 'Cyborg Manifesto', read now over twenty years after it was first published, and the figure of a black mirror. The black mirror does not pretend to reflect back only that to which it has been turned. It also shows itself.
This exposition is a fragmented essay in which the NSA, gendered technologies, manufacturing plants, selfies, new gestures, poor digital images, and self-performing human bodies attach to and collide with one another. I refer to academic as well as popular sources, but I also use my personal experiences and everyday observations as a material.
One trace of the entanglement of humans and devices is greasy fingerprints on touch screens, hence the name of the exposition. But the entanglements of course go far beyond this – for instance to the manufacture of the machine and 'responsibility to the entanglements of which we are part' (Karen Barad).
The exposition is a part of my artistic research on the interplay of human and non-human agencies and the frictions between them. I began my research by examining the intertwinement of clothes and the human body and later also considered other aspects of technology–human relations.
I conduct my research mainly through writing. Writing is artistic research for me – in contrast to writing about artistic research, for instance. While more poetic or fragmented research writing is not without problems – it could be argued to be less falsifiable for instance – it carries the potential for more frictions within a text, or changing points of view, or different agential collaborations and enactments; all issues that may be in the core of research and that sometimes need to be brought forward in ways departing from more traditional styles of academic writing.
1. Rick Dolphijn and Iris van der Tuin, ‘Interview with Karen Barad’, in New Materialism: Interviews and Cartographies (Ann Arbor, MI: Open Humanities Press, 2012), pp. 48–70 (p.52).
The Research Catalogue (RC) is a searchable, documentary database of artistic research work and its exposition. The RC is an inclusive, open-ended, bottom-up research tool that supports the journal's academic contributions.