We are pleased to announce the formation of the Arts in Research (AiR) Group. This effort grows out of the experience of HSC’s ReThink process and previous work at HSC in using tools from the Arts in carrying out research, disseminating findings and sharing them with students, colleagues and communities beyond the University. The Group is open to members of any School with an interest or even curiosity in how they might infuse their interest in the arts within more routine research and/or presentation practices.
The interest in Arts-based Research is international and growing. Areas such as video, film, photography, dance, drama, poetry, radio production, creative writing—even clowning—are becoming more mainstream. Conferences, for example, no longer routinely consist of hour-after-hour packed with 20-minute PowerPoint presentations. Young students balk at PPT and expect more creativity from lecturers in their learning experiences. Reaching wider audiences (including ‘service-users’ and the public) is now routinely demanded by funding bodies. Tools from the Arts can greatly enhance all of these efforts.
Using Arts-based approaches in research requires thinking about Method from novel viewpoints. Involving research participants in producing outputs frequently enlivens projects, for one example. Finding the right arts-based method for the research questions or findings is key to their use. Finding the right collaborator for your project can be central to its success.
The ARTS in RESEARCH (AiR) Group will begin meeting in January (watch for announcement by email, Facebook and Twitter). We will begin by exploring what interests group members have and what resources are already available. We will also explore the possibility of collaborations with working artists, so no need to feel that great personal skill is required, just enthusiasm.