Issue Two



holt journal for artistic research is a platform for sharing practice-led research carried out through artistic practice. In the second issue entitled Situations, we consider the situatedness of artistic practice and how artists/researchers engage with places, spaces and sites to investigate, situate and share their research. The term situations offers a range of interpretations and applications relevant to the discourse of artistic practice as research, which we seek to examine through the following propositions: the exploration of artistic agency in particular places, the situations or circumstances instigating artistic inquiry and experimentations, and the context in which artistic practice is situated. Of particular significance in this issue are reflections on the social, political or cultural resonance of artistic research, from which it is derived and how it seeks to leave its mark.

Whilst holt shares in this issue contributions from artist researchers who unpack the diverse interpretations for the term situations, it also seeks to examine, over time and through various perspectives, the situatedness of practice-led research through artistic practice in the vast ecosystem of the research environment. The term situation, which is derived from the medieval Latin word situare – ‘to place’, offers an opportunity to position and bring together contributions from artistic research that could emphasise the interdisciplinarity and significance of these emerging methodologies.

Relevant for this issue is Estelle Barrett’s work to identify what distinguishes creative art practice as research.1 She draws on the writings of Donna Haraway in Situated Knowledges, who highlights the partiality in objectivity and argues for modes of knowledge production that do not pretend to be from everywhere and therefore from nowhere, but that are rather situated and speak from specific bodies and places that form earth-wide connections.2 Barrett sees in Haraway’s argument a model that mirrors artistic practice as research, and which its features she unpacks here:  

This mode of knowledge production acknowledges the particular, the subjective and the personal as important aspects of enquiry; it articulates the notion of ethical or embodied forms of observation – ways of looking and being accountable for knowledge claims that do not deny the agency of the objects of research – in particular human participants; it is a mode that replaces traditional notions of objectivity with the idea of situated knowledge and partial objectivity; finally it asserts the potential of situated and partial knowledge for forging webs of connections – identifying for whom, how and where else knowledge can be put to use.3

It is through these approaches of embodied and emergent practices that we seek to visit situations and situatedness in artistic research and highlight the relationality and fluid positioning explored by artists researchers. With this in mind, we are presenting papers that range from examining situations in concrete to abstract notions. This could entail the sites and their socio-political significance, the material sites of making or the transformation of specific sites to become both the subject of inquiry and site for experimentations and interventions.


1  Barrett, E. (2014) ‘Introduction: Extending the Field: Invention, Application and Innovation in Creative Arts Enquiry’, in Barrett, E. and Bolt, B. (ed.) Material Inventions: Applying     Creative Arts Research. London: I.B. Tauris.
2 Haraway, D. (1988). ‘Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective’. Feminist Studies, 14(3), pp. 575–599.
3  Barrett, ‘Introduction: Extending the Field: Invention, Application and Innovation in Creative Arts Enquiry’, 9.

Read the full issue here