Exploratory Essay Writing

An Aesthetic-Phenomenological Research Practice


  • Alex Arteaga University of the Arts Helsinki




This paper presents a practice—exploratory essay writing—as well as conditions for evidence and arguments that substantiate the categorization of this practice as an aesthetic-phenomenological research practice.

Four different strategies have been chosen in order to publish this practice. The first and most relevant was to perform this practice, that is, to write a new exploratory essay to be published in this Special Issue. To read this essay may allow the reader to enter in contact, retroactively, with the practice that generated it and, on this basis, achieve intuitively a sense of how the process of writing might have been developed. The second strategy consists in recording my reading of the new exploratory essay. The change of medium and the consequent aural presence of the essay provides on the one hand another access to the practice and, on the other hand, a bridge to the reflection about this practice as an aesthetic-phenomenological practice. The third strategy presents three different “scores” for writing exploratory essays. These instructions or guidelines disclose step by step the actions that constitute this practice. Eventually, the fourth strategy of publication presents some reflections about exploratory essay writing as an aesthetic practice and as a phenomenological practice as well as about the possibility of conceiving and practicing—or better, of conceiving through practicing—an “aesthetic phenomenology” as complementary to a “philosophical phenomenology.”