About Artistic Research

Previously, research in the field of performing arts has mainly been carried out by researchers from other disciplines who have looked at art as an object of their methodology. This has led to a large number of results in musicology, humanities, social studies, psychology and many other areas, but in the last decades, a field has emerged that explores art as a phenomenon seen from the “inside” – from the artists themselves. This is usually called Artistic Research, and since 2012 the Danish Ministry of Culture has encouraged the national higher cultural education institutions to pursue activities within this field. After a preparatory work, and strongly inspired by the other Nordic countries, this field was called “Kunstnerisk Udviklingsvirksomhed”

I was among the first recipients of funding for a project of this nature, and my supervisor / sparring partner was Anne Gry Haugland. The project was FormingPerforming, and this e-book is a central part of the reporting of this project.

As a new field, which was basically defined by open, non-stringent and non-reproducible methods, the way into a project like this was not quite easy for me. I have big interest in natural science, and the many reflective closed circuits and the strong focus on individuality, and even subjectivity, as I could see in other international projects, seemed a little dissuasive. (Recent developments tend to focus on collaboration with students as a basis for new projects, which is very meaningful. However, one still faces the problem of how the acquired knowledge finds a way out of the people involved and into the surrounding artistic community).

Because the subject of my research was fixed – a relatively recent discovery, the Piano Concerto by Paul von Klenau – it made sense that the core of the project should be myself and my own reflection. But from the outset, I wanted to do a project that would have the potential not only to improve my own knowledge but to create value for other pianists. And, moreover, I was hoping that a look into an artist’s highly subjective journey towards the goal could have broader interest, both for other art professional’s skills and for a wider public. (See About recording yourself)

Nevertheless, I have not excluded insights from more traditional research areas, but I have had many considerations about how this can be done in a way that wouldn’t interfere with the open diversity of our investigative methods. At the top of my mind, I think the dangers can be: 1) to be closed around our own thought and ideas or 2) to allow other scientific areas to determine the direction and objectives of the studies. (See About scientific research)

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