MAGIC - Multimodality, Art, and Gender in Interdisciplinary Communication

The aim of the research group is to develop and evaluate methodologies for interdisciplinary collaboration and communication between artistic, empirical, and theoretical research. The group is lead from the Music Conservatory by Kate Maxwell, and has members in the fine arts and humanities, as well as external and international contacts.

Artistic research is a methodology which should play a fundamental part in more theoretical and empirical research than it currently does. This research group intends to help increase the knowledge of artistic research methodologies outside of the fine arts and thus issue a challenge to rethink what ‘knowledge’ actually means. We also hope to help to strengthen artistic research projects through the integration of theoretical and empirical methodologies and concepts, and to contribute to the research culture of the fine arts. By its work and existence, the research group will challenge the divide between ‘art’ and ‘theory’ through the premise that they are, in fact, two sides of the same coin: that a deeper understanding of art can inform theory and vice versa.

            The three poles of the research group – multimodality, art, and gender – have been chosen because they are each areas in which interdisciplinary communication has a vital role to play. ‘Art’ is intended in its broad sense, in which studies of artistic products too often fail to include the art itself: there is, after all, no musicology without music, no art history without art, no literary studies without literature. Nevertheless, very few books on poetry include new poems; likewise musicological and art historical research can all too easily forget that (re-)creation is also research. ‘Multimodality’ is a theoretical framework which seeks to analyse and explain how different elements of a ‘text’ or artefact make up the whole – yet once again, it is rare that creative and performative aspects are incorporated into scholarly outputs. Finally, ‘gender’ is a societal construct, a performance that casts a shadow over our entire human society, and whose intrinsic presence in art is too easily overlooked. All three poles cover past, present, and future, and are powerful areas in which established constructs (such as genius, masterpiece, authorship) can be challenged by categories more relevant to the needs of our changing society (places, networks, diversity).