Blurring the lines between art and research

Svetlana Sequeira Costa
Contemporary art practice is highly saturated with theoretical knowledge and it has become research practice in and of itself. Artists have not only taken up art criticism, activism and negotiation, they now also integrate academic research methods and scientific knowledge into their artistic processes to such an extent that artistic research even seems to be developing into some sort of field in its own right.
Artistic research transcends studio practice  or formal production and is seen as knowledge production instead. Artists are increasingly researching projects, to make site-specific work and also time and content-specific work. Interdisciplinarity is fundamental to support artists whose work requires interaction with different media and indeed disciplines.
Arts Cabinet has undertaken to explore new ways of supporting artists in their research practices, that transcend the traditional forms to support artistic production namely through the traditional artistic residency context, and to create conditions that can support knowledge production, exchange and dissemination.
We are working with higher education institutions to create tailored research fellowship for artists and host residencies within the academy.  We hope that the university can become a place where ‘things can happen’ where fields of possibilities, of exchange will unfold to artists and scholars. We hope that we can generate new spaces for artistic residencies but also provide tools to investigate new modes of collaborative research,  production, archiving and dissemination. We want to explore engagement between art production and critical theory and understand how the academy can move between different spaces, both as a safe space for artistic experimentation, interdisciplinarity and research, as well as a hub that facilitates access into place, sites, and networks.
Arts Cabinet will support the artists and scholars by creating engagement platforms, discursive formations, building knowledge through documentation and dissemination in ways that can reach new audiences in different places.
Currently, we have established a number of partnerships with higher education institutions in Europe and we will soon be able to launch research fellowships for visual artists, curators, writers, translators…  We are currently focussing on establishing a first route of exchange between North Africa and Northern Europe.

Svetlana Sequeira Costa
Artistic Director, Arts Cabinet