blogging and practice

It will probably come as no surprise to those of you who know me that I think there is enormous value in blogging as a form of writing practice. It enables people to:

  • test different kinds of writing in public (or indeed private)
  • get used to writing regularly in different registers and scales
  • consider types of audiences in very particular ways
  • develop ongoing sensitisation to ideas
  • shape and question artistic practices through text-based approaches
  • develop a simple space to collect ideas, images, etc (probably the most common form of blog in relation to practice-research)

The work of Australian artist Lucas Ihlein is useful in this respect. His PhD (completed in 2010) was called Framing Everyday Experience: Blogging as Art and (as the title suggests!) it includes blogging as an art practice. Lucas is online at and @LucasIhlein. I’m sure he’d happily send you a copy of his PhD if you drop him a line.

Lucas’s writing and thinking reminds me of this:

Whether economic, philosophical, social or cultural, the context in which an artwork is created and the complicity of the artist within that context is intrinsic to its meaning.

— David Pledger,

In other words, context is everything (just replace artwork with product / writing / research / etc.). And what about this word complicity? What are the circumstances of resistance and complicity? Blogging (and other social media) technologies for sharing, publishing and producing are not value-free or transparent. They shape how we read and see, and invite particular assumptions on the part of the writer and reader.

Finally, anyone know of any other examples of blogging as artistic-scholarly practice that have formed part of doctoral (or other) submissions?



jar – call for submissions 15 july 2016

For those of you who might have missed this call for submissions (deadline quite soon):

Journal for Artistic Research
The online, peer-reviewed journal for the publication and discussion of artistic research

Call for Submissions: JAR Issue 12 – Winter 2016

The deadline for consideration is 15 July 2016

The Journal for Artistic Research is the publishing space for a growing community of artistic researchers, interested in archiving, disseminating and discussing their work. It uses the Research Catalogue (, an innovative repository for the documentation of artistic research, which has over 5000 registered users.

Rethinking the traditional journal format, JAR offers its contributors a free-to-use online space where text can be woven together with image, audio and video material. Developed over the last five years, the Research Catalogue is continually being updated with new functionality and displays research practice in a manner that respects artists’ modes of presentation, while incorporating web-enabled possibilities for collaboration, debate and discussion. The journal aims to promote experimental approaches to the ‘writing up’ of research and provide a unique ‘reading’ experience, while carefully fulfilling the expectations of a peer-reviewed academic journal.

JAR publishes research from artists of all disciplines, worldwide, with or without academic affiliation. The Journal is specifically interested in contributions that reflect upon and expose artistic practice as research, and welcomes submissions from artists interested in exchanging ideas and opening up the processes and methodologies that underlie their practice.

To submit an article, contributors are required to register for an account and use the writing space to layout and expose their research. JAR provides editorial guidance and technical help with these processes.

For our guidelines on submissions visit:

JAR works with an international editorial board and a large panel of peer-reviewers.

Editor in Chief: Michael Schwab
Editorial Board: Annette Arlander, Sher Doruff, Barnaby Drabble, Mika Elo, Leonella Grasso Caprioli, Yara Guasque, Julian Klein, Jen Liese, Isidro López-Aparicio and Mareli Stolp.

For submissions information, contact the managing editor Phoebe Stubbs:
For all other information:

JAR is published by the Society for Artistic Research (SAR), an independent, non-profit association. You can support JAR by becoming an individual or institutional member of SAR. More information can be found on our website.
For updates on our activities, join our mailing list.

arts archive

Arts Archive: “an international digital moving image resource for performance practice research”

The information about each artist (and their work) is pretty limited and how to purchase the materials is not particularly intuitive, but perhaps the site is a way of getting a feel for what is *out there*.

Thanks to Scott deLahunta for the link.


Don’t have much time at the moment to write fuller posts but here is a small piece of writing by Simon Jones sent to me by C-DaRE PhD student Teoma Naccarato:

I would argue that the epistemological difficulties inherent in the phrasing of a judgment of practice-as-research are analogous to those encountered by physicists in their attempts to measure the quantum world using the experimental machinery developed to demonstrate Classical or Newtonian mechanics. The aporia between these realities – the everyday and the quantum – challenged the belief that systems could be finally known through measurement.

– Simon Jones (p.30), in Practice-as-Research in Performance and Screen (2009). Ludivine Allegue, Simon Jones, Baz Kershaw, and Angela Piccini, eds. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan. Print and DVD

no song at all

John Cage is pretty useful in relation to questions of knowing and process:

Everybody has a song which is no song at all: it is a process of singing, and when you sing, you are where you are. All I know about method is that when I am not working I sometimes think I know something, but when I am working, it is quite clear that I know nothing.

– John Cage, in Larson, Kay. 2013. Where the Heart Beats. New York: Penguin Books, p.239

Ongoing sensitisation 

I think I use practice in different ways. It’s a daily thing, the practice of my body. The practice of reading and the practice of writing as things that are my ongoing sensitization. Being sharper, interested, available.

Thinking of my idea, or mind, as something that is already material and trying to make it into another material in order to handle it differently. To touch it, be able to work with it. I find that through practice you can produce a certain know-how that is so specific to the idea. That’s why I find it interesting with practice. The know-how is so embedded in the body more than on the paper.

— Rosalind Goldberg,