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Collaboration for the Improvement of Tolerance: Artistic Practice in a Societal Context
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (IPR (Innovation and Product Realisation))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5058-2841
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (IPR (Innovation and Product Realisation))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6889-3456
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (IPR (Innovation and Product Realisation))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9057-0063
2013 (English)In: The International Journal of the Arts in Society, ISSN 1833-1866Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract: This study is carried out in connection with The Living History Forum (LHF), a Swedish public authority that uses the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity as a starting point for exhibitions and other activities focused on tolerance, democracy and human rights. The case study concerns a project in which artists were asked to read the report The Many Faces of Intolerance as an inspiration for their own creative power (Löwander, B & Lange, A, 2011). The explicit idea from the assigner LHF was to create – through art installations – a stimulating environment for reflection, discussion and learning. The interaction between the visitors and the suggested art pieces was in focus. The purpose of this study is to look into artists’ ability to reflect upon and mediate perspectives and messages in a collaborative process. Practice-based research, with a focus on exploring, elucidating and benefitting practical experiences from the investigated area, is our methodological starting point. In terms of theory, the research field draws upon an understanding of ancient philosophy developed by, among others, the philosopher Martha Nussbaum. The thoughts originate from Aristotle's analysis of the different aspects of knowledge, with the concepts techne (practical-producing) and phronesis. Phronesis is the Aristotelian concept that combines the capabilities of thinking ethically and considering actions that can deliver desired effects. This study demonstrates that it is crucial that the assigner have the patience and ability to accept (and even encourage) some uncertainties during the process. The reason for that is to gain the often implicit and not pre-formulated practical knowledge of the artists.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Common Ground Publisher , 2013.
Keywords [en]
Practical knowledge, Collaborative projects, Artistry, Museology, and Reflection.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-23303ISBN: ISSN: 2326-9960 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-23303DiVA, id: diva2:679356
Projects
Communicating Contemporaries and Connections. To interpret and communicate cultural heritage in transnational timesAvailable from: 2013-12-15 Created: 2013-12-10 Last updated: 2015-04-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Konstnärskap i samspel: : om skapande arbetsprocesser i myndighetsledda samverkansprojekt
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Konstnärskap i samspel: : om skapande arbetsprocesser i myndighetsledda samverkansprojekt
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Artists in interaction: creation processes in official collaborative projects : Creation processes in official collaborative projects
Abstract [en]

Artists in interaction: creation processes in official collaborative projects is a doctoral thesis that explores the creation processes of artists, when the project owner defines the purpose, theme and framework. The area is explored from the artists' perspective and the overall research question deals with the opportunities and obstacles that artists face when working in collaborative projects.

To be able to explore the artists' working processes, in which sketches and models were tools, concepts from the visual research field were combined with knowledge theories that derive from the area of practice-based research. The knowledge theories draw on an updated understanding of ancient philosophy developed by, among others, the philosopher Martha Nussbaum. Rudolf Arnheim’s concepts of visual thinking are also vital for the interpretation of the visuals.

The results indicate that skills in different sketching techniques build trust and enable communication. However, the artists experienced that it was more difficult to integrate the more indefinable parts of their knowledge, which relates to improvisation and intuition, even though this was highlighted as the most vital force in their working processes. The consequence is that the artists have not always followed their artistic intentions, which in some cases also meant compromising the quality of the works of art  they produced. The collaboration between the artists and the project-owner representatives could be more enriching for both parties if the artists' implicit knowledge is respected as a resource and given some room, although this may involve certain risks.

The study also provides results regarding the interpretation of models and sketches, and discusses in what way different sketches can support (or hinder) communication in different stages of a design process, i.e. what aspects are important to consider when sketches are used to support communication. Particularly interesting is that the findings demonstrate that spoken and written language has a significant impact on how sketches are interpreted; the use of verbal language is therefore an important factor in presentations built on visuals.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen Konstnärskap i samspel: om skapande arbetsprocesser i myndighetsledda samverkansprojekt undersöker konstnärers arbetsprocesser i projekt där uppdragsgivaren formulerat tema, syfte och ramar för gestaltningsarbetet. Genom tre fallstudier har konstnärers arbetsprocesser i samverkansprojekt, med inriktning på utställning och gestaltning i musei- och kulturmiljö undersökts. Den övergripande frågeställningen behandlar vilka möjligheter och begränsningar konstnärer upplever i sin praktik i myndighetsledda samverkansprojekt.

Materialet till studien har samlats in via intervjuer, observationer, artefakter och dokument. Till artefakter räknas skisser, modeller och verk. För att undersöka konstnärernas arbetsprocesser, där olika typer av skisser är ett verktyg, har teorier från det visuella fältet kombinerats med teorier om praktisk kunskap. Från det visuella fältet är Rudolf Arnheims teorier om visuellt tänkande centrala och vad gäller kunskapsteorier är utgångspunkten en samtida tolkning av Aristoteles teori om olika kunskapsformer som utvecklats av bland andra filosofen Martha Nussbaum.

På en övergripande nivå visar studien att skicklighet i hantering av olika skisstekniker möjliggör kommunikation och skapar förtroende, medan mer svårbeskrivbara delar av konstnärers kunnande med improvisation och intuition som vitala krafter är svårare att integrera i samverkansprojekten. Följden av detta är att konstnärerna inte alltid valt att genomdriva sina intentioner i projekten till fullo, vilket i ett par fall också inneburit avkall på gestaltningens kvalitet. Samverkan mellan offentliga uppdragsgivare och representanter från den kreativa sektorn (som konstnärerna i projekten representerar), skulle kunna bli mer berikande för båda parter om konstnärers implicita kunnande ses som en resurs och om uppdragsgivaren ger utrymme för improvisation, även om detta innebär visst risktagande.

Studien förmedlar också ny empiribaserad kunskap beträffande olika skiss- och presentationsformers funktion i kommunikationsakten mellan konstnär (skissproducent) och uppdragsgivare (beställare). Detta kan komma till nytta i flera sammanhang där skissmaterial används vid presentationer av idéer, i kommunikationen med en beställare eller som ett verktyg i grupprocesser. Intressant nog demonstrerar resultaten också att talat och skrivet språk har stor inverkan på hur skisser tolkas. Därför är detta en viktig aspekt att beakta i presentationer som inkluderar visuella material, både för skissproducent och beställare.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2015
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 179
Keywords
Creative work processes, collaborative projects, sketches, models, presentation, practical knowledge, visual communication, Skapande arbetsprocesser, samverkans projekt, skiss, modell, presentation, praktisk kunskap, visuell kommunikation
National Category
Design Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27899 (URN)978-91-7485-209-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-12, L 249, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 14:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-04-27 Created: 2015-04-26 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Florin, UlrikaOrre, IngerEriksson, Yvonne

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