Between Madness and Method: the research dimension in creativity and the creative dimension in research

EPARM III, Lyon, April 18-20 2013

European Platform for Artistic Research in Music – AEC, European Association of Conservatoires, CNSMD

Between Madness and Method: the research dimension in creativity and the creative dimension in research

Creativity and research share many characteristics – for example, they both deal with how ideas can be presented with novel variations and in new combinations. However, they reflect these shared characteristics in ways that that are shaped differently by their respective natures; so, for example, the creative impulse in research generally manifests itself in a more consciously rigorous and systematic way than the originality that expresses itself in the creativity of the artist.
Artistic research has yet to achieve a comparable stability in terms of method to the well-established norms of more traditional research. This may be something that will develop with time, but it may also reflect the special character of a research approach that is specifically rooted in the artistic sensibility and in artistic working practices. Artistic research is therefore a particularly interesting locus within which to explore the relationship between creativity and research.
With this in mind, the third edition of EPARM aims to explore the rich but ambiguous territory that exists between the ‘madness’ of artistic creation and the ‘method’ of research. In doing so, it recognises the importance of method in most artistic creation, and of inspiration – the ‘Eureka’ moment – in the trajectory of much research. Most importantly, it hopes to pinpoint areas in this territory where the growing range of activities that go under the name of artistic research might be located and better understood – both in relation to each other and in comparison with pure artistic practice and pure ‘scientific’ research.
To stimulate proposals for presentations, the following propositions are offered as encouragement and/or provocation:
• Research methods pervert artistic practice
• Artistic idiosyncrasy perverts research objectivity
• Artistic ‘madness’ and research ‘method’ are incompatible/are two sides of the same coin
• The greater the ‘madness’, whether in artistic creation or research, the greater the requirement for method
• Artistic development equals/does not equal artistic research
• Method in artistic research can/should never be rigorous
• There is no room for creative ‘madness’ in 2nd-Cycle curricula; there is room for creative ‘madness’ in 3rd-Cycle programmes
We are looking for presentations that react to one or more of these propositions and which combine verbal explanation with actual artistic demonstration. Other than some basic pre-selecting on the basis of relevance to the theme of the Platform, we propose to gather all the proposals from those attending and have the participants make their final selection by means of the ‘bar camp’ technique. The intention is that all proposers will have the opportunity to make a brief ‘pitch’ about their presentation on the first evening and those receiving the most support from delegates will go forward to give their actual presentation during sessions timetabled throughout the remainder of the event. Only if the number of potentially relevant proposals so far exceeds the available time as to make the bar camp session unworkable will we make any further preliminary selection.
The meeting will also feature a keynote and two further presentations from specially invited guest presenters.
If you are interested in making a proposal for a presentation, please submit this to Sara Primiterra at by 17th February 2013. Proposals should be based upon a timescale of 30 minutes with the first 10 minutes being uninterrupted presentation and the remaining 20 being interactive between presenter and audience. Your proposal should include the following:
• Name of presenter(s)
• Institutional affiliation (if any)
• Nature of artistic component: live performance, audio/video recording, etc.
• Brief description (up to 330 words) of content of presentation
• Brief explanation (up to 150 words) of how it demonstrates the use of artistic and/or research methods
You should also be ready to make a two-minute pitch on the first day of the EPARM event in April 2013, explaining why you believe your proposal should be among those chosen by delegates. Based on the votes of those present, you will either be given a presentation slot or, if unsuccessful, encouraged to attend the presentations that have been selected and, where appropriate, introduce aspects of the material you have prepared into the 20-minute interactive portions of these.
Those presentations that are selected will be recorded and, subject to editorial screening, will be posted online as ‘proceedings’ of the event, along with the presentations of the invited speakers. In addition, those not selected as presenters will be invited to submit by the end of May 2013 written or recorded versions of what they would have presented. These, too, will be editorially screened, after which successful submissions will be added to the online posting as ‘virtual’ proceedings. In this way, all proposals received by February 2013 will have the opportunity to be considered for inclusion in the proceedings of this third edition of EPARM, which we hope to disseminate by summer 2013.
EPARM 2013 will follow on immediately from the International Colloquium on Music & Dance being mounted by the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Lyon. Delegates who are able to do so are warmly invited to register for both events.

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