Process in artistic research

Is process something that artists rely on when they no longer know what they are doing? Is the advice to ‘trust the process' just an example of the mystifying language used within arts education, or is the artistic process a magical tool similar to the transformations of the alchemists? Are process descriptions merely the broad mainstream of artistic research, or a method of knowledge production for the ambitious artistic researcher? Can process become the medium of research? What kind of institutional processes are built around artistic research?

Various processes are an indistinguishable part of the practices of art and research. Ever since the 1960s when works of art evolving in time or transforming in shape were presented to viewers, listeners, and participants, ‘process' has been one of the magic words within contemporary art. Repetition, variation, and works based on interaction are examples of compositional methods that underline happening and change, instead of the complete, monolithic, and intact work of art Comparing variations and analysing transformations are common methods of artistic research. In performing arts process is essential since the skill and knowledge of the artist are accumulated in a corporeal manner. Understanding is developed in interactions between musicians, actors or dancers; we can speak of encountering unknown layers or, in line with Michel Foucault, an archaeology of skill.  Opening up and articulating artistic processes is considered one of the main tasks for artistic research. At the same time, developing new interactive processes is one of the societal duties of contemporary artists and artistic researchers. Processes can be examined in relation to the starting point or the destination; as Michael Schwab writes in his editorial to the sixth issue of the Journal for Artistic Research (JAR;, in artistic research it is not necessarily wisest to wait until the end of a process before publishing an article or report.

With reference to these central and for many authors hopefully interesting questions, we invite artist-researchers from different fields to submit research expositions, project presentations or shorter texts called voices.

Established in 2013, RUUKKU is a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal for artistic research. It is published on Research Catalogue (RC), an international publication platform and database that enables multimedia elements. RUUKKU is published in Finnish, Swedish and English. (see The fourth issue of RUUKKU, published in Spring 2015, focuses on the theme of ‘Process in Artistic Research'. We encourage all artistic researchers, – within academic research and from the art world – , to join us in developing RUUKKU into an inviting, useful and evolving publication.

We ask you to write your proposals or drafts for research expositions in the RC catalogue at Note! The catalogue requires user rights and registration (see ‘register'). Please submit your proposals both via the RC catalogue (‘publish', ‘submit', and ‘Ruukku') and by email to and no later than 15 February 2015.