Nina Malterud: Artistic Research – necessary and challenging

It is the artist's own experience and insight that are the point of departure for artistic research, unlike research on the arts, which is based on looking in from the outside.

: Artistic research, researcher training, methodology

Artistic research is an established term in the statutory framework for higher education, it is part of the everyday vocabulary of art education and it is discussed in the philosophy of science literature. In the Norwegian Act relating to Universities and University Colleges, artistic research has been treated on an equal footing with other research since 1995, and this still needs to be followed up structurally and in terms of content in the educational system. Internationally, the term artistic research is understood to mean research in and through the arts. It is the artist's own experience and insight that are the point of departure for artistic research, unlike research on the arts, which is based on looking in from the outside.

The Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme, which is funded by the Ministry of Education and Research, was established in 2003 in order to develop an arts-based alternative on a par with already established doctoral programmes. It now encompasses around 40 active research fellows in different institutions. The programme, which underwent a major evaluation in 2009, has been characterised as a great success. For the research fellows, completion of the programme fulfils the learning outcomes for the third level in the new qualification framework, and should in the future be formally recognised as a doctorate. Critical reflection is an implicit part of all artistic processes at a high level and, in the educational context, reflection must also be explicitly formulated with a view to dialogue and debate. Focus on this aspect of artistic research has in many ways changed the culture among the artistic staff at art academies. Enduring documentation of temporary results such as exhibitions, performances and concerts is one of the many challenges in this context. The consolidation of artistic research has contributed to vitality and quality and it has a great potential for further work.

This article was published in Norwegian in InFormation 1/2012, and translated into English by
Bergen Academy of Art and Design.

Read the online version (in Norwegian)
Kunstnerisk utviklingsarbeid - nødvendig og utfordrende

Download the whole article in English (PDF)
Artistic research - necessary and challenging

On the author
Nina Malterud was rector of Bergen National Academy of the Arts (now Bergen Academy of Art and Design) (KHiB) from 2002 to 2010, and she has been a member of the Steering Committee for the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme since 2003. NIna Malterud has a background in art/ceramics and was professor of ceramics at KHiB 1994-2002. She was responsible for KHiB's Sensuous Knowledge Project, 2004-2009, which, with support from the Research Council of Norway, focused on artistic research through international conferences and publications.


Image: Rita Marhaug & Traci Kelly, for The British Ceramic Biennial 2013, part of the artistic research project  'Topograhies of the Obsolete. Exploring the Site Specific and Associated Histories of Post-Industry'.
Rita Marhaug was Professor of Printmaking at the Department of Fine Art til 2013.

Published: 4/27/2012 by Peter Klasson Updated: 8/17/2015 by admin