Inspired by a series of Research-Creation roundtables at the University Art Association of Canada (UAAC) PROTOHYVE seeks to create a constellation of artists, curators, scholars, and professionals to share resources across so called Canada.
Research-creationists who have attended UAAC Research-Creation Caucus Roundtables have outlined a lack of consistent guidelines for graduate student project assessment; a lack of exhibition space; limited access to research journals and publication opportunities; misunderstandings of research-creation as a methodology from supervisors and colleagues; limited funding opportunities; no training frameworks for undergraduate students practicing research-creation; limited supervision by faculty with experience in research-creation, and minimal examples and support for artist-scholars seeking research ethics board approval.
The Research-Creation Caucus roundtables have cultivated and nurtured numerous perspectives and ideas. One of the most urgent demands from participants is the need to share expertise, resources, and facilitate consistent conversations with artist-researchers across institutions.
Some of the core conversations PROTOHYVE will address within its first two years of inception are:
ETHICS – FUNDING – STUDENT SUPPORT - INSTITUTIONS
As outlined by Lois Klassen (2016) in her chapter “Research by Artists: Critically Integrating Ethical Frameworks”, artists “have been affected by the increase demands for ‘ethics’, both in regulatory contexts of research institutions and in the critical discourse encountered outside of universities” (238). Klassen reveals that artist-scholars engaging with research ethics encounter three challenges: situating artist research in academic worlds; non-institutional practice standards present relevant ethical framing for artist-researchers and reviewers, and the perception of “ethics creep” as censoring artist research (238).
The Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC) defines research-creation as an “approach to research that combines creative and academic research practices, and supports the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression, scholarly investigation, and experimentation” (SSHRC, 2020). However, this definition does not fully address the immense number of publications and research produced in the last decade, that unsettle and further expand this definition to address the often-shifting needs of research-creationists in the academy (Loveless, 2019; Chapman and Sawchuck, 2012 and 2015; Manning, 2016a and b; McKnight, 2020).
Graduate and undergraduate students practicing research-creation need access to examples of research-creation based proposals, funding applications, ethics board applications, and spaces to showcase their scholarly work. Schools of Graduate Studies across Canada have inconsistent evaluation methods for research-creation projects, and non-traditional thesis submissions. There is further need to support graduate and undergraduate students who may not work academically after their degrees but would like to continue research-creation outside of academy. More work needs to be done to include research-creation in undergraduate programs to prepare them for graduate studies.
Research-creationists have acknowledged that the definition of research-creation is used inconsistently across institutions and beyond. There are also conflicting debates across scholars and research-creationists about the definition of research-creation and if it can be practiced outside of academic institutions and settings.