Group of Research, Art, University. Documents & Debates

Department of Art History
Faculty of Fine Arts

We are a group of professors and lecturers (from the Fine Arts Faculty of the Complutense University of Madrid and the Philosophy Department of the University of Zaragoza), postdoctoral researchers and young PhD candidates.
Our work and research focus in developing Art Practice-based Research at the university, Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts, Visual Studies and Social Sciences.
We are situated at the crossing point of diverse fields, weaving scientific and artistic research proposals, which are shared through collaborative work dynamics. These collaborations are reflected in the co-direction of doctoral thesis, joint publications and the participation in theoretical debates about practice-based research in the arts. The group devises and tests methodologies and tools oriented to materialize the aforementioned debates, both within the academy (we consider Faculties of Art as learning artistic communities) and in connection with the outside, from a position that we have called “critical exteriorities”. To make it possible, we undertake back and forth journeys which aspire, in a political sense, to reelaborate narratives about artistic potentialities in the construction and the imagination of both embodied and theoretical knowledge.
Among our contacts with non-academic institutions there are art centers such as: Museo Reina Sofía, CA2M, La Casa Encendida, Medialab Prado, Intermediae and Campo Adentro in Madrid; MACBA in Barcelona; MUSAC and Fundación Cerezales in León.

The libraries of the Complutense University of Madrid answer to the transdisciplinary nature of our research with extensive literature in fields such as Live Arts, Visual Arts, Social Sciences, Art History, etc… Specifically the library of the Faculty of Fine Arts is a highly interesting center of documentation and development of cultural activities, workshops, and conferences that fully coincides with our research interests. We also have spaces available to develop seminars, encounters and presentations in the Faculty of Fine Arts and infraestructures to record and disseminate these activities.

The connection between art and research in the artists’ work is at the center of an intense debate that we place in a porous and interconnected context at the university around the following topics:

A) THE SPECIFITY OF ARTISTIC RESEARCH.
To the extent that “academic artists” subscribe to the various forms of academic research, (I+D+I), areas of disciplinary “competition” arise among sciences, humanities and the arts, distinguishing their specific methods and research fields. On this horizon, certain artistic practices that are called “of resistance” claim its critical knowledge content.

B) FORMS OF KNOWLEDGE IN THE ARTS
a) What forms of knowledge do we talk about when we refer to artistic practices? What are the specific forms of knowledge of art? Are they what modernity called “confused knowledge”? Are they “minor forms of knowledge”? What are the forms of knowledge of the image? Do we differentiate between scientific “demonstration” and the “presentation” of art?
b) These questions, based on antagonisms such as art vs. science, to demonstrate vs. to show, or discourse vs. image, can be answered from within art practices themselves, often in collaboration with other disciplines, such as Ecology, Genetics, Anthropology, Physics… In a world of nets and multiple contexts, research and invention should be closely linked.

C) THE LIMITS OF ACADEMIC FORMATS. We differentiate between research made for artworlds, from within artistic practices; and research that has its most characteristic model in master and doctoral thesis.

D) We want to go beyond the creation of archives enclosed in the academy, imagining and putting in practice ACCESIBLE mechanisms of sharing and circulation.