What is Research Creation?

Research creation is a creative and critical approach to research and art-making, combining theory, artistic practice, and experimentation. It often foregrounds process over output, and may seek to empower those not formally trained in artistic or academic protocols.

The knowledge creation process “is situated within the research activity and produces critically informed work in a variety of media (art forms)” (SSHRC).

According to the Pedagogical Impulse, research-creation “can be described as the complex intersection of art practice, theoretical concepts, and research. It is an experimental practice that cannot be predicted or determined in advance. It is trans-disciplinary and is used by artists and designers who incorporate a hybrid form of artistic practice between the arts and science, or social science research; scholars attuned to the role of the arts and creativity in their own areas of expertise; and educators interested in developing curriculum and pedagogy grounded in cultural production. Research-creation is attuned to processes rather than the communication of outputs or products.”

An installation at the Tate Modern London, illustrating the pervasiveness of immigrant detention centres
in U.K.

The above photo shows the results of an investigation into migrant carceral practices in UK, mobilized as an art installation. Some examples of research creation in this project include: Dr. Caroline Lenette’s use of the walking method to generate data about how refugees in Australia create a sense of home; or Dr. Marusya Bociurkiw’s work with Toronto-based LGBTQ+ refugees, using discussion, video and animation workshops to uncover and share information about migrants’ experience of racism, housing and employment in Canada.