Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal (ARI) is a forum
dedicated to exploring and advancing art as and/or within the research process across
disciplines and internationally. We began this journal, because, over the last decades
research practices that draw on the arts have grown exponentially. There are numerous
books devoted to these practices as well as conferences, special days at conferences,
special interest groups of national and international professional organizations, and
journals that are friendly to these approaches, including those that have published
special issues. We saw the demand for a journal devoted to these practices. It was
important to us that the journal was an inclusive space in two key ways: accessibility
and content.
First, while we saw value in creating a peer-reviewed forum, allowing academic
practitioners to meet the demands of their institutions, we were equally committed to an
open source publication. The journal system has historically been a paid system, with
libraries paying high subscription rates for journals, excluding many from accessing
these published works. In recent years there has been a move by some publishers for
authors to pay for publishing their work, which is then free to the public. This too creates
an exclusionary and ethically compromised format. Moreover, funders are moving
towards requiring open access scholarly outcomes for the research they fund. As a
result, ARI is a peer-reviewed, open access journal. All those on the staff and editorial
board donate their time. We are enormously grateful to everyone involved with the
journal, especially those who oversee the day-to-day operations including the website
management, the submission and review process, and copyediting.
Second, we felt it was vital that the content of the journal reflect the diversity of
practices in which art and research merge. The following chart reflects some of the
terms practitioners use to describe their work:
Arts in qualitative research
Alternative forms of
Arts-based educational research
Aesthetically based research
Arts-based health research (ABHR)
Aesthetic research practice
Arts-Based Research Practices
Art as inquiry
Arts-Informed Inquiry
Art practice as research
Arts-Informed Research
Art-based enquiry
Critical Arts-Based Inquiry
Art-Based Inquiry
Living Inquiry
Art-Based Research
Performative Inquiry
Artistic Inquiry
Practice-Based Research
Arts-based research (ABR)
Research-Based Art (RBA)
Arts based social research
Research-Based Practice
Arts-based qualitative inquiry
Transformative Inquiry through Art
Reprinted with permission from Gioia Chilton and Patricia Leavy (2014) The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative
Research. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 406.
In addition to this list the fine arts disciplines have recently taken up the notion
of Research-Creation as a way to more explicitly frame fine arts practices as scholarly
activities. Researchers in various disciplines have developed methods to describe
their artistic scholarship, such as Applied Theatre Research, Ethnocinema,
Ethnodrama, Fiction-Based Research, Poetic Inquiry, Visual Inquiry, and new and
innovative artistic approaches are continuing to emerge.
ARI was founded with the intent to include work within all of these
categorizations, as well as others to reflect the diversity of the art/research
scholarship undertaken. As an online journal, we are able to include art works across
genres. Further, bound to no specific disciplines, we created this space as a truly
transdisciplinary and international forum, open to a range of practices - presenting,
side-by-side, works reflecting diverse expectations for scholarly writing across
disciplinary areas that are met through various arts-based methods, and addressing a
range of inquiry subject matter. Finally, to reflect the range of ways practitioners are
using and exploring the intersections of the arts and research, we created three
sections: Art/Research Theoretical Musings, a section dedicated to exploring
methodological and theoretical issues related to art/research practices; Art/Research
In Action to showcase examples of scholarship in and through the arts, and
Art/Research Reviews for authors to comment on others’ work taking place in the
field. Submissions for our first issue indicate that the Art/Research In Action section is
particularly attractive to researchers; it allows as a space for arts and media rich
scholarship that was lacking up until now within academic forums.
Contributions to this issue reflect a range of artistic approaches undertaken
across various disciplines. The Art/Research Theoretical Musings section includes three
contributions, which combine theoretical discussion of issues related to art/research
with reference to specific creative practices: Sara Scott Shields (Florida State) and
Leslie Rech Penn (Georgia) in “Do You Want to Watch a Movie? Conceptualizing
Video in Qualitative Research as an Imaginative Invitation” explore the role of
representation in arts based research focusing on the potentialities offered by the
medium of video for researchers and their audiences. Patti Fraser (Simon Fraser, BC)
and Flick Harrison (Simon Fraser, BC) in “Art for? Framing the Conversation on Art
and Social Change ‘with’ Steven Hill,” in conversation with theatre director Steven Hill,
in the form of a creative video, explore the frames artist-researchers bring to the project
of art “for” social change. Dorit Netzer (Hofstra, NY) and Judy Schavrien (Walnut
Creek, CA), in “Transpersonal Art: A Conversation with Artist Judy Schavrien,” offer an
insightful dialogue on Schavrien’s transpersonal art practice and scholarship.
The Art/Research In Action section’s nine contributions span disciplines from
health care, to education, to the fine arts, which make use of various art forms in their
scholarly work including narrative, poetry, play/scriptwriting, music, and visual arts, such
as photography, installation art, video-recorded dramatizations and animated video.
Mindi Rhoades (Ohio), in “imprints,” offers poems in response to a number of artworks
reflecting on art-making and meaning-making processes. Silvo Machado’s (Berkeley,
CA) autobiographical poems, in “Faggot Speaks: A Poetic Inquiry into the Experience of
Antigay Mistreatment and Sexual Prejudice,” are based on his personal experiences
with exposure to antigay mistreatment and sexual prejudice. Mindi Rhoades (Ohio),
James Sanders (Ohio), Kimberly Cosier (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Courtnie Wolfgang
(Virginia Commonwealth) and Melanie Davenport (Georgia), in “Finding Big Gay
Church: Lost Heretics Seeking Salvation at the Intersections of Art, Religion, +
Education,” present an evocative re-enactment of and a theoretical framing for an
annual conference presentation in the form of a queer church service exploring LGBTQ
issues in arts, education, visual culture and society. Gail Crimmins (Queensland, AU),
in “A Dramatisation of Research Outcomes: A Verbatim Drama Based on the Lived
Experience of Women Casual Academics,” discusses her research to create space for
the voices of women casual academics to be heard through dramatization. The team of
Mitchell McLarnon (McGill, QC), Pamela Richardson (Royal Roads, BC), Sean
Wiebe (UPEI), Veena Balsawar (Ottawa, ON), Marni Binder (Ryerson, ON), Kathy
Browning (Laurentian, ON), Diane Conrad (Alberta), Lynn Fels (Simon Fraser, BC),
Peter Gouzouasis (UBC), Anja Human (North-West, SA), Eun-Ji Kim (McGill, QC),
Carl Leggo (UBC), Amélie Lemieux (McGill, QC), Kathy Mantas (Nippising, ON),
Karen Meyer (UBC), Silvia Morelli (de Rosario, AR), Robert Nellis (Red Deer, AB)
and Julie Vaudrin-Charette (Ottawa, ON), in “The School Bus Symposium: A Poetic
journey of Co-created Conference Space,” present a compilation of poetry and
photography resulting from a experiential conference session focusing on childhood
experiences of riding a school bus that took place on a school bus. Charles Vanover
(South Florida Saint Petersburg) in “Listening to the Silences: A Teacher’s First Year in
Words and Music” presents an ethnodramatic script that evokes a teacher’s first year in
the Chicago Public Schools, and commentary on his process of writing and producing it.
Amber Ward (California) in “Deconstructing Panty Pennants and Revealing Absent
Presence,” deconstructs her research-based art installation on women’s sexual identity
through a process of visual arts and music. Kaisu Koski, (Tampere, FI), Fenna
Heyning (Assn. Tertiary Medical Teaching Hospitals, NL) and Robert Zwijnenberg
(Leiden, NL), in “Collaborative Meaning-Making in Arts-Based Research: Data
Interpretation with an Artist, a Physician, and an Art Historian,” explore an arts-based
process of collaborative meaning making of medical students’ understandings of the
female reproductive system. Jennifer Lapum (Ryerson, ON), Linda Liu (Toronto
General Hospital), Kathryn Church (Ryerson, ON), Sarah Hume (Ryerson, ON),
Bailey Harding (Ryerson, ON), Siyuan Wang (Ryerson, ON), Megan Nguyen
(Women’s College Hospital, ON), Gideon Cohen (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
& U Toronto, ON), and Terrence Yau (Toronto General Hospital & U Toronto, ON) in
“Knowledge Translation Capacity of Arts-informed Dissemination: A Narrative Study”
discuss how arts-based knowledge translation in the form of an art installation about
patients’ experiences of heart surgery influenced cardiovascular practitioners’ delivery
of care.
In the Art/Research Reviews section, three reviews conclude the issue. John
Guiney Yallop reviews the book Arts-Based and Contemplative Practices in Research
and Teaching: Honoring Presence, edited by Susan Walsh, Barbara Bickel, and Carl
Leggo. Monica Prendergast (Victoria, BC) in “What I Learn from Theatregoing: Review
Haiku,” offers a suite of theatre reviews in the form of haiku along with reflection on the
application of theatergoing on her teaching and scholarship. Sarah Hobson (SUNY
Cortland) in “The Power and Possibilities for Understanding Teaching in these Times
with Ethnodramatic Inquiries into Teacher Stories: Two Reviews,” examines two
ethnodramatic performances of two teachers’ interviews including a performance of
Vanover’s ethnodrama presented in his contribution in the In Action section of this
We thank authors for all their submissions to this, our first issue of Art/Research
International. We invite readers to peruse the various contributions, to engage in
reflection, dialogue, and critique and to take up these conversations in new ways.
Diane Conrad & Patricia Leavy, Co-Editors-in-Chief