Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Creative Arts & Social Sciences

2/6/15 Shift/Work gave two short presentations at the ISRF Workshop: Social Science as Communication #Summerhall #Edinburgh http://t.co/yikqyqNS4i on:

Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Creative Arts & Social Sciences

In recent years, there has been a growing concern with materiality as a field of enquiry across the arts, humanities and social sciences. Not to be confused with the field of ‘material culture studies’, or with ‘historical materialism’, emerging research calls into question the binarism and anthropocentrism of critical theory and the cultural turn. The ‘new materialisms’, in their different ways, speculate on how things are material, singular and/or entangled. They have radically redefined post-human politics, agency, corporeality, criticality, representation, and time. In response to these concerns, a group of colleagues from the University of Edinburgh’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences established the Visual & Material Research Group, a network of arts and social sciences scholars and staff from museums and art galleries in Scotland.

Aims:

Our meetings have foregrounded a number of ways in which disciplines within CHSS and our non-HEI partners each have their own protocols and methods for making material available for study in the form of objects. Yet, as we make radically distinct objects from the same material, what remains to be formulated within this multidisciplinary field are the concepts, equipment, and techniques that would generate the truly collaborative ability to fabricate common research objects.

How will the work be carried out?

Visual & Material Research Group recently formalised their research processes, academic and non-academic partnerships in the form of a network project entitled Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Arts and Social Sciences. The aim of the network is to develop models of making and enquiry that can bring together often separate visual and material research practices within the social sciences and humanities through the creation of an ‘Atelier’. Our Atelier is a commons that allows us to make shared research ‘objects’ through collaborative research practices.  

A series of charrettes – participatory workshops involving interested colleagues across UoE and partners in the museum and gallery sector – will, in turn, focus on a particular object that will facilitate and contrast different methods of material enquiry. By engaging with ’things’ in the custody/field of our non-academic partners the charrettes will enable us to map and improve conditions for cross-disciplinary collaboration, shifting the emphasis away from doing research towards the creation of research objects. 

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