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Linden Reilly
An Alternative Model of Knowledge for the Arts

Internet Publication

Working Papers in Art & Design
Vol. 2
ISSN: 1456-4917

November 1, 2002

full paper

This paper was presented at the Research into Practice conference, University of Hertfordshire, July 5, 2002.

Research into Practice 2002 website

The paper proposes that an alternative model of "knowledge" is needed for the arts. Exploring the model of "knowledge" dominant in society, the epistemological debate in relation to which it was proposed, and its implications for art and design, led to the following points:

a) that the still dominant (objectivist) model of "knowledge" is incompatible with practice-led research
b) that this dominant (objectivist) model of "knowledge" is unjustified and some propose unjustifiable and, this has important implications for art and design
c) that some within sociology have ceased to delegate epistemological debate for their disciplinary area to philosophy and have redrawn the boundaries of their discipline to encompass this debate.

This paper aimed to bring these issues to the attention of art and design and, raise the question, paraphrasing the sociologist Niklas Luhman, "under what conditions should meaning count as ‘knowledge’ in art and design", in other words, What is "knowledge" in art and design?

Epistemological considerations connect all four outcomes put forward for the RAE. The question, "What is ‘knowledge’ in art and design?" is addressed again in relation to the Experiential Knowledge Conference co-organised with Kristina Niedderer and Chris Smith.

This paper is cited in Graeme Sullivan, Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts (Sage Publications, Inc., 2005) and in other places.

related outcomes:
Linden Reilly: New Knowledge in the Creative Disciplines
Mike King: From Max Ernst to Ernst Mach - Epistemology in Art and Science

back to Linden Reilly home page

London Metropolitan University