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Research in the Arts

By Dean Cyrus Parker-Jeannette and Associate Dean Margaret Black,
College of the Arts - December 2015

Margaret Black
Margaret Black

Cyrus Parker-Jeannette
Cyrus Parker-Jeannette

Many people are surprised when they learn that research is an integral part of the artistic practices of our students and faculty.

By definition, art is a process of exploration. Its implementation is experimental in nature. Each performance, composition, artwork, project and collaboration is a process that involves moving from the internal to the external, the unknown toward the known or conversely the known to the unknown. Following the seed of an idea, an artist may engage in scholarly inquiry in addition to experimentation as part of the methodology to give it form and structure.

Gathering and analyzing information, ideas, cultural trends and historical facts, seeking context and relevance is an essential component of artistic processes. This inquiry both deepens and broadens the work. It may generate new iterations or unimagined new paths for exploration. The final product is always the result of a process of discovery.

We share this with those involved in scientific inquiry; there comes a point when we can step back and say, “right now, I am the only person in the world who knows this thing”.

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