Jan Kaila (FI)

ARTISTIC RESEARCH FORMALIZED INTO DOCTORAL PROGRAMS

I will start my paper with somewhat straight forward arguments: Artistic research is an activity practiced by artists. Therefore it is essential that artworks and artists reflections on artworks are the key elements that artistic research is based on. Unfortunately artistic research and practice based doctoral programs in Europe and elsewhere have already too often become playgrounds for art historians, curators and others who practice arts research instead of artistic research and who do not produce art themselves.

Then Ill go on with my essential theme which is not about discussing theoretical and /or philosophical questions that concern artistic research as a paradigm. Instead Ill make a pragmatic presentation about the process of formalizing artistic research into doctoral programs for artists. I chose to speak specificly about doctoral programs (not about art with research potentials in general nor about post-doc activities etc.) because of two reasons: 1) I consider the doctorate for artists to be the most interesting and demanding question that artistic research is facing 2) I have been in charge of a practice-based artistic research doctorate program now for seven years and want to speak about what I learnt.

The most important questions in my paper are dealing with the quality (assurance) of artistic research doctoral programs. For example:
How do you select the best possible students for a practice-based doctorate program in arts? What kind of a curriculum should be established to support artists research activities? How should the students supervising system look like?
Who are the people that can guarantee the quality of the studies and their outcome? And: How should the dissemination of the doctorate happen?

My presentation will also include visual material based on three Doctorates in Fine Arts (DFA) achieved at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts.