Artistic reseach

Liisa Jaakonaho

Although PIMDI is not an artistic research project per se, the practices developed in the project are in many ways close to artistic research. Many of the teachers and students that worked in the project do artistic research, and their approaches have influenced the practices and methods of PIMDI.

Artistic research as a methodological paradigm is rooted in the practices of artists and arts educators. In artistic research, knowledge emerges from and is articulated through artistic, embodied, experimental, and performative practices (e.g. Bolt, 2016  Borgdorff, 2012; Hannula et al., 2014; Varto, 2018). Artistic research is constantly developed and redefined through different approaches and artistic practices, often in close relation to other research traditions (Borgdorff, 2012).

Artistic research can also be seen as part of a broader transformation and call for change in academia, which fosters “(…) non-discursive knowledge forms, unconventional research methods and enhanced means of documentation and presentation, as witnessed by developments in areas such as visual anthropology and cultural studies” (Borgdorff & Schwab, 2014, 13). International networks of the Journal for Artistic Research (JAR), the Society for Artistic Research (SAR) and the Artistic Research Catalogue (ARC) project operate inside and outside academic institutions, creating new possibilities for the academic publication of artistic research (Borgdorff & Schwab, 2014).

ExampleIn one of the groups of PIMDI-researchers, who had as its task to work with documentation (Intellectual Output 4), we (Liisa Jaakonaho, Eeva Anttila, Taneli Tuovinen and Riikka Theresa Innanen) have developed the notion of reflective documentation, which is influenced by artistic research. During and after the intensive weeks of the project, we have asked the participants to reflect on their experiences and document these reflections in artistic and embodied ways. For example, during the PIMDI intensive week in Groningen, Netherlands in April 2023 we asked the participants to reflect on their experiences through writing short poems inspired by the Japanese-origin form of Haiku. This exercise was repeated at the beginning and at the end of the week, and we also invited anyone to add a haiku to a shared wall at any point during the week.

Examples of Haiku style reflective poems written by participants of the PIMDI intensive week in Groningen, the Netherlands, April 2023.

Relevance for the pedagogy of imaginative dialogueAs multimodal, artistic, and embodied practices, imaginative dialogues resemble artistic research in many ways. In the project, the practices of documentation have been entangled with artistic, pedagogic and reflective practices, as ongoing non-linear processes, akin to artistic research. As one of outcome of this work, we collated a Research Catalogue publication, presenting examples of reflective documentation [Link ?]. This multimodal publication is linked with an academic paper, in which we develop the notion of reflective documentation as a methodological and theoretical apparatus. 


Bolt, B. (2016). Artistic Research: A Performative Paradigm. Parse Journal, (No 3), pp.129-142

Borgdorff, H. (2012). The conflict of the faculties: Perspectives on artistic research. Leiden University Press.

Borgdoff, H. & Schwab M. (2014). The Exposition of Artistic Research: Publishing Art in Academia. Leiden University Press. 

Hannula, M., Suoranta, J., & Vadén, T. (2014). Artistic research methodology. Narrative, power and the public. Peter Lang.

Varto, J. (2018). Artistic research. What is it? Who does it? Why? Aalto ARTS Books.