This month on our project has seen our work developing and the presentation and preparation for presentation of our emerging ideas at summer conferences. It has led us to one of the emerging themes of the project, which is what is knowledge. University research has a role in legitimising knowledge and in shaping what sort of knowledge is given priority. Our project has taken a broader view of knowledge, in choosing to co-produce we have chosen to view knowledge as situated, relational and embodied … but what does that mean?
Knowledge production has diverse forms, knowledge encompasses space, place, histories and a variety of practical and relational skills, and frequently requires emotional intelligence to navigate. When considering creative approaches to arts enquiry we can consider art practice as the production of knowledge. The strength of arts based research is that it enables multidisciplinary forms of knowledge. Indeed this type of research often contradicts what is expected of research.
Knowledge is most often presented as a finished product the opus operatum, yet this most often fails to recognise the modus operandi (Bourdieu 1993). The processes of knowledge development, reflection, discussion and debate are often overlooked in the process of creating the finished product. In moving beyond the traditional theoretical, philosophical, empirical binaries of knowledge creative arts research enables knowledge to be articulated that is emotional, personal and subjective.
Arts have the potential to enable democracy, to create uncomfortable conversations, which generates values. The notion of ‘embodied knowledge’ integrates notions of explicit and tacit knowledge, recognising the fluidity of knowledge forms. Knowledge production then becomes a sensory activity that is situated with and between us and embedded in the relationships we build as a project team. Taking yourselves Seriously in co-produced projects means recognising the diversity of our knowledge and creatively crocheting our individual expertise into a whole.