Challenging research issues to grapple with

QuestionsAs we progress on the research side of the 53 Million Artists project, varying difficult questions have arisen that require thinking through and exploring further.

Listed in no particular order:

  • Methodologically – how do you undertake activist-scholar research (see Pink 2012), where the research and the researchers are always in movement?
  • How do you go about advocating a free ‘movement’ without imposing a top-down agenda of what needs to be included?
  • How do you encourage a reflexive focus on everyday art practice within a context where ‘art’ is something exceptional, carried out by artists?
  • How do you maintain a distinction between ‘artists’ as they are currently understood (see Atkinson), which serve a useful distinction between those making art works and those not, and a new conception of ‘artist’ as someone actualising their universal capacity to do art, even where this doesn’t produce an art work?
  • Can you be an artist without producing art?
  • How can this project avoid a cultural relativism in which good and bad art is reduced to just art?
  • How might the label ‘everyday’ life be taken so as not to imply necessarily mundane or unimportant tasks, practices etc. being accomplished?  We are calling for a level of everyday activity to be re-considered in theory and in practice as extraordinary and exceptional.

As we work through these challenges, any comments, feedback or suggestions are very welcome!

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