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What do we do?

In 1999 ResCen established what has become one of the most extended longitudinal studies of artists’ processes. ResCen set up a variety of structures that enable practising artist-researchers to pursue advanced research into art-making, while also providing them with broad opportunities to interface with the traditional university structure.

The Centre’s overall objective is to modify the knowledge-status of practice-as-research, prioritising the roles and responsibilities of the art-makers themselves. This provides two strands to ResCen’s work: knowledge generation and knowledge transfer. Our core research concerns are practice and research: we enable artist-researchers to define their own research questions as they attempt to develop a definitional and analytical language with regard to their own practice.

Knowledge generation

ResCen enables the artists themselves to:

  • interrogate their own practice, and the articulation of the concerns that form and inform their work;

  • use a variety of relevant modes and media and to reflect on the relationship between process and product.

In terms of practice-as-research, ResCen is principally concerned with processes in art making, rather than with the outcomes. ResCen seeks to identify commonalities and distinctiveness in the making processes across established disciplines, and to identify the professional engagement of the artist as worker.

ResCen exploits a number of strategies for observing and mapping practice including self-reflection, third person and participant-observation, often through the formation of research teams.

Knowledge transfer

A primary objective of ResCen is the building of bridges between the university sector and the cultural industries. A significant number of ResCen activities take place in a public context, open to all-comers. We aim to contribute to the national debate concerned with the knowledge-status of, and the means to evaluate, art-practices in a professional context.

ResCen seeks to influence the larger debate about the ways in which a nation supports the making of new work, and how creative processes can be promoted by a supportive infrastructure. We provide opportunities to bring practitioners, presenters, funders, academics and policy makers together to discuss some of these issues, working with our partners in Arts Council England, British Academy, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), South Bank Centre. ResCen also contributes to this debate through international networks and partnerships with artists, universities and agencies in Europe, North America and Asia.

   
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