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Silvia Henke, Dieter Mersch, ...: Manifesto of Artistic Research

Silvia Henke, Dieter Mersch, Thomas Strässle, Jörg Wiesel, Nicolaj van der Meulen

Manifesto of Artistic Research
A Defense Against Its Advocates

Softcover, 128 pages

PDF, 64 pages


Since its beginnings in the 1990s, “artistic research” has become established as a new format in the areas of educational and institutional policy, aesthetics, and art theory. It has now diffused into almost all artistic fields, from installation to experimental formats to contemporary music, literature, dance or performance art. But from its beginnings—under labels like “art and science” or “scienceart” or “artscience” that mention both disciplines in one breath—it has been in competition with academic research, without its own concept of research having been adequately clarified. This manifesto attempts to resolve the problem and to defend the term and the radical potentials of a researching art against those who toy all too carefully with university formats, wishing to ally them with scientific principles. Its aim is to emphasize the autonomy and particular intellectuality of artistic research, without seeking to justify its legitimacy or adopt alien standards.

  • art theory
  • knowledge
  • artistic practice
  • aesthetics
  • epistemology
  • artistic research

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Silvia Henke

is a Cultural Studies Scholar at University of Applied Sciences and Arts Lucerne, Design and Art, in the BA Programme and in Master Fine Arts/Art in Public Spheres/Art Education. Since 2002 she is Head of the Department for theory. She studied French and German Literary Criticism, Media Sciences and Philosophy, at the Universities of Basel and Hamburg. Her research focuses on Art and Religion, Transcultural Art Education and Aesthetic Education.
Dieter Mersch

Dieter Mersch

studied mathematics and philosophy in Cologne, Bochum, Darmstadt. In 2004 he became Professor for Media Theory and Media Science at the University of Potsdam. Since 2013 he is Head of the Institute for Theory at ZHdK Zurich and visiting professor at University Potsdam, where he is one of the chairs of the DFG Research Training Centre 'Visibility and Visualization – Hybrid Forms of pictorial Knowledge'. Dieter Mersch was a visiting professor in Chicago, Budapest and Luzern, and Fellow at IKKM Weimar and at ZHdK Zurich. His work focuses on media philosophy, aesthetics and art theory, semiotics, hermeneutics, post-structuralism and philosophy of the image and language.

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Thomas Strässle

is Head of the transdisciplinary Y Institute at the Bern University of the Arts and Professor of Modern German and Comparative Literature at the University of Zurich. He is also the President of the Max Frisch-Foundation at the ETH Zurich and member of the Literaturclub on Swiss Television SRF.

Nicolaj van der Meulen

studied Art History and Philosophy and wrote his habilitation about the Experience of Space, Time, and Movement in the Late Baroque. His main areas of interest are aesthetic experience, embodiment, imagery and culinary art. Van der Meulen is co-head of the Institute for Aesthetic Practice and Theory at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel, Switzerland.

Jörg Wiesel

co-director of the Institute for Aesthetic Practice and Theory, FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel. Theatre and literary scholar; teaching and research focus: piracy, fashion, aesthetics of contemporary culinary practices.
Other texts by Jörg Wiesel for DIAPHANES