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The role of the art studio in contemporary artistic production
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2013 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the modern art studio as a central space for individual creative actions and knowledgeproduction by focusing on the methodological and productive function of London-based studios. Drawing onLondon-based visual artists’ narratives and on material traces of their work processes – such as sketchbooks,collected objects and prototypes – the article presents the art studio as a microcosm of an artist’s self-directedwork in progress, creativity, knowledge, thought and expression. It is argued that the studio offers insights into amaking and knowledge that is investigative and experimental; into the practices and skills visual artists need inorder to transform initial plans, ideas into material work. The article presents the studio as a space where oldworks, works in progress and the fruits of the artist’s research activities mingle in controlled chaos. The studio isdiscussed as a space of discovery, where collected and selected objects and research materials and experiencesresonate with each other and provoke reflection and thinking. Furthermore, in contrast, the studio is alsopresented as a space of material engagement and enchantment, a workshop, where a large part of themethodological practice is based on the recurrence of manual labour. It is a space where artists persistentlypractice their craft until practical knowledge becomes embodied skill and the physical act of making becomessecond-nature. Experimentation and creativity in the studio is seen to rely on a productive and ambiguoustension based on the knowledge practices of contemplation and elaboration, critical thinking and bodilyengagement, instruction and improvisation: the studio is a personal laboratory. In the context of the culturaleconomy as well as the individualization of the economy, this paper highlights individualized and dynamicartistic production processes and reveals how micro spaces of work and creativity are arranged to engage withexperimentation, making and knowing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: CIND Centre for Research on Innovation and Industrial Dynamics , 2013. , 34 p.
CIND research paper, 2013:1
Keyword [en]
art studio, visual artists, self-directed work, knowledge, experimentation, London
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-195962OAI: diva2:608916
Available from: 2013-03-04 Created: 2013-03-01 Last updated: 2013-03-04Bibliographically approved

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Sjöholm, Jenny
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