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A/r/tography Around the World


Irwin, RL and Pardinas, MJA and Barney, DT and Chen, JCH and Dias, B and Golparian, S and MacDonald, A, A/r/tography Around the World, The Palgrave Handbook of Global Arts Education, Macmillan Publishers Ltd, G Barton, M Baguley (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 475-496. ISBN 978-1-137-55584-7 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Editors and The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1057/978-1-137-55585-4_29


In 2004, Alex de Cosson and I edited the first book dedicated to a/r/tographyi. A year prior, de Cosson completed the first PhD using a/r/tography as a methodology for his dissertation (2003). Now slightly more than a decade later, there are two books in English (Irwin & de Cosson, 2004; Springgay et. al., 2008), one in Portuguese (Dias & Irwin, 2013), one Chinese translated book in press, one Turkish book being compiledii, one Japanese book being compilediii, countless articles and chapters in books (in various languages), untold numbers of performances, exhibitions, events and encounters, and an extraordinary number of people learning about a/r/tography around the worldiv. While de Cosson and I published that first book, the inspiration and hard work of a/r/tography did not begin with us nor is it limited to us. Countless works attest to this fact. A/r/tography existed before it was named yet in its naming and further theorizing, credibility has been acquired and nurtured in various cultural contexts.

Over and over again I have heard people talk about what a relief it was to discover a/r/tography. They were practicing artists and educators searching for a form of inquiry that resonated with their ways of being and becoming in the world, and most importantly, a credible form of academic research that recognized how their artistic practices could be understood as research. Coupled with appreciating their educational practices as research and inquiry, these arts educators began to conceptualize how to engage in practice based research that used the arts and education as their basis for inquiry. A/r/tography offered them a form a practice based research that has been created, reimagined and critiqued making it a living form of inquiry that adapts to new directions over time (Irwin, 2013). While many have used particular philosophers to develop the ideas around a/r/tography (e.g. Deleuze, 1990; Deleuze & Guattari, 2004), many have also borrowed from other philosophers (e.g. Bourriaud, 2009; Levinas, 1995) as they extended, examined, critiqued, and recreated the methodology to meet the needs of their contexts, questions, substantive concerns, artistic intentions, and pedagogical interventions. It is a form of living inquiry that has been embraced by many and will likely go on to be embraced by many more. Most importantly, it is a form of inquiry that is different from research that posits questions in order to discover what already exists. A/r/tography continually asks questions in an effort to engage with ongoing practices in art and education in order to create knowledge rather than discover it. In so doing, it is only resolved retrospectively as new understandings are shared upon reflection on practice (LeBlanc et. al., 2015). This shift in paradigm may be immense for the broader field of research but in arts education, it affords us opportunities to engage with creative and challenging ideas in and through time.affords us opportunities to engage with creative and challenging ideas in and through time.

This article attempts to capture a glimpse of how a/r/tography has been taken up around the world. Six individuals representing six continents share their experiences as university professors teaching undergraduate and graduate classes or supervising graduate students completing a/r/tographic dissertations, or as PhD graduates who used a/r/tography as the methodology in their theses or dissertations. The goal of the article is two fold: a) to recognize the use of a/r/tography within a network of global arts education; and b) to begin to appreciate how a/r/tography can be used to reinvigorate enduring questions as well as new questions facing arts educators, no matter where they live in the world today.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:a/r/tography, pedagogy, Arts-based research
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and Pedagogy
Research Field:Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other Education and Training
Objective Field:Education and Training Theory and Methodology
Author:MacDonald, A (Dr Abbey MacDonald)
ID Code:114518
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2017-02-17
Last Modified:2018-03-06

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