The Problem of Artistic Research


  • Catarina Almeida Universidade do Porto



Novelty, Uncertainty, Pendency, Productivitism, Artistic research.


Although almost every debate about artistic research highlights its novelty in references to «uncertainty», »indefinability», and to its lack of identity whilst «bound to a tradition external to itself», this novelty has lasted for a few decades already. Many of the problems raised today are to be found back when research and art education began to relate within the academic context in the 1980s. So where is the speculative discussion on its uncertainty taking artistic research to? Is a solution intended to be found? Is there a problem to be solved?

Through ‘productivitism’ this text argues that the aprioristic idea that artistic research is problematic has been securing its state of pendency and increasing its fragility. The final part of the article suggests a creative potential and a challenging dimension in the process of institutionalization, and ends by pointing out possible topics of work for a shared agenda with contemporary art.


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Author Biography

Catarina Almeida, Universidade do Porto

Catarina Almeida does research on artistic research (and is developing a PhD thesis at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto). Grant holder of the Foundation for Science and Technology, she was a visiting researcher at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki (January-February 2015) and at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague (February-June 2015). Since 2011 she has been a researcher at the Arts Education Group of i2ADS – Research Insti­tute in Art, Design and Society, and associate editor of Derivas magazine. She has a Master’s degree in Teaching of Visual Arts (2011) from the Univer­sity of Porto and a degree in Fine Arts – Painting (2008), FBAUP.