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Inherently interdisciplinary: Four perspectives on practice-based research

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-27, 15:59 authored by Clive Cazeaux

 Ireview four book-length studies of practice-based research: Carter (2004); Gray and Malins (2004); Hannula, Suoranta, and Vadén (2005); and Sullivan (2005).I outline the positions adopted by each of the books on the nature and scope of practice-based research, and assess the extent to which they present clear, coherent and applicable accounts. A thesis present in all four books, I argue, is that art is uniquely placed to generate research on account of its being inherently interdisciplinary, that is to say, art in and of itself involves combining different subjects and methods. However, while all four books set out perspectives and methods relevant to this view, none provides a fully worked-out theory. Carter and Sullivan offer the most explicit andsustained studies of interdisciplinarity, but omit to say precisely how it generates knowledge. Interdisciplinarity is hinted at by Hannula, Suoranta, and Vadén, and by Gray and Malinsas being crucial to artistic research, but the ideais not pursued. I demonstrate briefly how Kant‘s theory of knowledge can go some way towards filling the gap left by the four books in the interdisciplinary debate. On his view, concepts determine the content of experience, and the interdisciplinary tension between conceptscreates occasions for reality to surprise us and new observations to be made. 


Published in

Journal of Visual Art Practice


Taylor & Francis


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Cazeaux, C. (2008). Inherently interdisciplinary: four perspectives on practice-based research. Journal of Visual Art Practice, 7(2), 107-132.

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Electronic ISSN


Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Art and Design

Cardiff Met Authors

Clive Cazeaux

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

Artistic Research

Copyright Holder

  • © The Publisher


  • en

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