August Sander
Fraternity Students 1921
Gelatin silver print on paper
image: 195 x 260 mm
Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010

Creative Scholars: Research Economies in Art and Design – Part 1

Creative Scholars: Research Economies in Art and Design – Part 2

Creative Scholars: Research Economies in Art and Design – Part 3

Creative Scholars: Research Economies in Art and Design – Part 4

Creative Scholars: Research Economies in Art and Design – Part 5

Creative Scholars: 8 Dec 2008 – 16 Feb 2009

Tate Britain, Wimbledon College of Art and the University of Brighton have joined together to hold two conferences on the value of scholarship in the Arts. The first conference preceded the December announcement of the outcome from the UK Research Assessment Exercise 2008 (RAE) and the second conference was held at the Victoria & Albert Museum on 16 February 2009.

Since the inclusion of creative and performing arts and design in the RAE in 1992, the quality and volume of research in the sector has expanded, evolved and matured and now makes a significant and widely recognised contribution to the UK’s global leadership in the creative and cultural sectors. At this important point in the growing maturity and authority of creative arts research these conferences will explore the issues that surround scholarship and evidence. How and where is scholarship in art and design generated, captured and stored? How is the growth in art and design scholarship linked to the allocation of resources and the development of policy, decision-making and problem solving?

Traditionally, in creative and cultural research, the singular notion of ‘lone scholar’ has dominated much of practice-based enquiry. The idea that professional ‘communities of scholars’ may coherently and systematically build intellectual and creative infrastructures, linking past to future thinking, is now evolving and maturing. The role of research funding organisations, museums and galleries in building infrastructures for scholarship in art and design is now being acknowledged, along with a fuller appreciation of scholarship as the pursuit of a rigorous and sustained investigation within the creative arts.

Given the current and growing pressures on the economy and the fine balance between support for sports and the arts, this conference will explore the distinctive characteristics of scholarship in creative and cultural research, the role of collaboration and the relation to public and private funding. It will examine its key role in the attainment of excellence in an international context of research practice, quality assessment and evaluation and its sustainability as we move into the next cycle of funding.

Programme for 8 December 2008

10.00: Welcome and Introduction

Dr Victoria Walsh (Tate)
Professor Eileen Hogan (Wimbledon College of Art)

10.10: Session One: Historical Context: The origins of practice based research

Chair: Victoria Walsh

This session aims to outline the role, value and legacy of scholarship in creative and cultural research. Four speakers will offer alternative historical, political perspectives on the origins and development of scholarship and research in the visual arts. They will examine the interrelated and intersecting opportunities and tensions for the academic community, practicing artists and designers, the museum and gallery sector and for public and government funding bodies in supporting and building the infrastructure for future creative and cultural research.

10.10: Sir Christopher Frayling

(Rector, Royal College of Art & Chair of Arts Council England)

10.30: Professor Bruce Brown

(Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Brighton)

Chair of RAE 2008 for Creative and Performing Arts, Design and Humanities

10.50: Professor Shearer West

(Director of Research, Arts & Humanities Research Council)

11.10:& Andrew Brighton, writer and critic

From ‘Mandarins and Luddites’ to ‘The Managerial State: Culture without Art’ (or Art and the Nonconformist Conscience)

11.30: Panel discussion

Chair: Victoria Walsh
Sir Christopher Frayling
Professor Shearer West
Andrew Brighton
Professor Bruce Brown

12.00: Coffee

12.30: Session Two: The Public Purse and the Market

Chair: Claire Fox

Current debates on the nature and value of art and design scholarship are closely linked to discussion of the relationship between intellectual property and knowledge markets, private patronage and public patrimony. This discussion will explore research in the Arts in the public and private sectors, and asks whether we are in danger of privatising scholarship and knowledge within a divided cultural economy. What and how can a language be developed through which artists, designers and curators can express and document their scholarship and communicate scholarly ideas as an aspect of public culture?

12.35: Paper: David Garcia, Dean of Chelsea College of Art & Design

12.55: Panel discussion

Chair: Claire Fox

Speakers included:

  • Professor David Garcia, Dean of Chelsea College of Art & Design
  • Professor Dennis Doordan, University of Notre Dame
  • Jane Pavitt, Research Fellow at the V&A, University of Brighton

13.30: Lunch

14.30: Session Three: Scholarship: creative cohesion and social impact

In the UK, the early development of publicly-funded art education was tied to the national benefits accruing from the generation, protection and dissemination of cultural and knowledge capital. The legacy of this public mission is now reflected in the relationship between art and design research, museum scholarship and the culture and administration of research funding in the arts. Museums have recently become involved in research activity as project participants, as a complement to their long-standing commitment to scholarship and the generation of debate. In this session, representatives of new models and new methods in arts funding will discuss how new forms of collaboration and interdisciplinarity are developing innovative modes of creative research.

14.30: Paper: Dr Malcolm Quinn, Reader in Critical Practice Wimbledon College of Art

14.45 Panel discussion

Speakers Include:

  • Dr Malcolm Quinn, Wimbledon College of Art
  • Nicola Triscott, Director, Arts Catalyst
  • Professor Andrew Dewdney, Director, Tate Encounters, AHRC Research Project

15.30: Session Four: The Knowledge Pool: locating the new archives of creative scholarship

Chair: Professor Anita Taylor, Wimbledon College of Art

This session will discuss the ‘knowledge pool’ in art and design – where it is, what it might be and who are its guardians and keepers, how is it used and what is important in documenting material for future use and legacy, in institutional and extra-institutional contexts. The session will explore the differences as well as the common values that may emerge in the relationship between archives developed by art and design practitioners, the development of public archives of recorded conversations by artists, designers and architects, and new strategies for the storage and dissemination of art and design research and scholarship.

Panel discussion

Chair: Professor Anita Taylor, WCA

Sonia Boyce, AHRC Fellowship in the Arts, Wimbledon College of Art

Jeremy Millar, AHRC Fellowship in the Arts

David Toop, London College of Communications

Dr Mark Miodownik, King’s College London

16.45: Tea

17.15: ;Session Five: Futures and models: So where do we go from here?

This session will summarise debate from the four sessions and bring together the aesthetic, academic, historical, cultural and political elements that together constitute the economy of research and scholarship in art and design. This session will also address how the second conference at the Victoria and Albert Museum will take forward discussion of these themes in the context of the outcomes of the RAE.

Chair: Professor Bruce Brown

Speakers include:

  • Dr David Dibosa, The Knowledge Room, UAL
  • Professor Maria M Delgado, Theatre & Screen Arts, Queen Mary’s University

With support from Wimbledon School of Art and the University of Brighton