Jyoti Mistry: Some Propositions in Artistic Research in Film

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
300MARF Z 1 English summer

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The aim of the course is to provide an introductory survey of artistic research with special focus on film. Students will learn about history and current approaches to this special field of research.

Mode of study

Online lecture and seminar in english language. Link for the online meeting will be send to attendants before the class.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

The course is advisible mainly for doctoral and master students who are interested in research methods combining scientific and artistic tools.

Course contents

The course is taught by Jyoti Mistry, artist and researcher from Gotheburg University.

The aim of the course is to provide an introductory survey of artistic research with special focus on film. The course will address some methodological approaches with case studies and suggest how research enquires may be directly related to practices in film. The course undertakes to further address the role of writing in artistic research. The focus on writing will give consideration to the different approaches to writing forms and styles that have become part of artistic research practices and the function of the exegesis in artistic research in third cycle education. It has been argued that the writing either serves to document or may arguably serve to compliment or provide an extension of the artistic practice itself. Once again, the course will draw on case studies to make various approaches concrete and participants will be encouraged to engage in discussion in order to find ways to make the propositions offered relevant to their own practice and research interests.

Course Dates:

5 March 2021 (Friday)


10h00 – 13h00

1.Introduction to the broader concept of artistic research

Over the last twenty years artistic research has gained institutional visibility across Europe and the Nordic context and the urgency has been to develop ways to address artistic research within institutions primarily in order to comply with legislation (Bologna and the Frascati Manual) and the need to address capacity in third-cycle education. But there is a valuable opportunity in artistic research to develop research culture and practice-led projects within the institutional community. Moreover, some interesting propositions of artistic research are evident from Australia and the global south that have important political resonances.

The first part of this section focuses on the broader context of artistic research and its different conceptions across different regions and institutions in arts education.

2.Artistic Research in Film

This section focuses in the conditions and contexts of artistic research not just in the contemporary but its deep connection to the history of cinema itself, the developments to technology in the past and present and the socio-political possibilities that it enables for film practice and how it informs pedagogy. Case studies from various research projects will be used to highlight some these research initiatives.

Participants will be invited to also discuss their own current research interests and projects.


14h00 – 16h00

3.The Role of Writing

If film is a language and is capable of expressing its ideas through the medium itself, the function of writing has become a fairly contested issue.

What role does written work or the PhD thesis play in artistic research and what forms of writing support, complement or contrast the creative project. In this session we consider the different approaches to writing and how the exegesis might be used in different ways to augment the creative project. The discussion will be anchored in various case studies and open-up to how film research can use writing to advance research propositions.

19 March 2021 (Friday)


10h00 - 13h00

4.Focused presentations

Each participant will have an opportunity to offer a presentation of their project proposal and it will be an engagement with a feedback model developed by Jyoti Mistry called Six Working Hands.

The six core concepts of working hands seeks to highlight the conceptual and material aspects of artistic research, but also draws particularly on the core disciplinary areas of film practice: concept (may be interpreted as what informs the story or enquiry), the content (structure), the form (aesthetic choices), the audio (what is the aural-scape ranging from sound (design), voice (voice-over), soundtrack and score - then to address the implications of the sum of these choices in its representational terms. A moderator/ facilitator is appointed to keep the conversation focused and buoyant for the presenter who is seeking the feedback.

There will be breaks in this session and participants are invited to share and listen and offer feedback using this model which will be explained at the start of the session. It is a highly interactive and collaborative method of sharing research specifically for the medium of film.

Recommended or required reading

NOTE: The reading list provided is a reference and participants are NOT expected to have completed any readings in preparation for the course. This bibliography is by no means exhaustive but rather offers an cursory gloss of different approaches over several years in the discussions and debates on artistic research from different positions: institutions, its understanding by artists, practitioners, researchers and scholars.

Brief Bibliography


Barrett, E. and Bolt, B. (eds)(2007). Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry. London: I.B. Tauris.

Butt, Danny (2017) Artistic Research in the Future Academy, Intellect, University of Chicago Press

Carter, P. (2004) Material Thinking: The Theory and Practice of Creative Research. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

Hannula, Mika and Juha Suoranta, (2014) Artistic Research Methodology: Narrative, Power and the Public, Peter Lang Publishing

Henk Borgdorff, (2012) The conflict of the Faculties: Perspectives on Artistic Research and Academia, Leiden University Press

Maharaj, S. (2004). Unfinishable Sketch of ‘An Unknown Object in 4D’: Scenes of Artistic Research. In: Balkema, A. & Slager, W. (eds.). Artistic Research. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Maharaj, S. (2009) Know-how and No-How: stopgap notes on “method” in visual art as knowledge

production. Art and Research: A Journal of Ideas, Contexts and Methods, [online] (2) 2, Available

at: http://anr.studio55.org.uk/v2n2/pdfs/maharaj.pdf. [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].

Martínez, C (2012) How a Tadpole Becomes a Frog. Belated Aesthetics, Politics, and Animated Matter: Toward a Theory of Artistic Research in: Christov-Bakargiev, C. Documenta 13. The Book of Books, Hatje Canz, Berlin

Michelkevičius, Vytautas (2018) Mapping Artistic Research: Towards Diagrammatic Knowing,

Vilnius Academy of Arts Press

Rosenberg, T.E. & Fairfax D. (eds) (2008). Studies in Material Thinking. [online] Vol. 1, (2).

Available at: https://materialthinking.org/sites/default/files/papers/MT%20Foreword%20TR.

pdf. [Accessed 18 Jun. 2018].

Wesseling, J, (2011) (ed.), See it Again, Say it Again: The Artist as Researcher, Antennae, Valiz, Amsterdam

Wilson Mick, and Schelte van Ruiten (ed) (2013) SHARE Handbook for Artistic Research Education


Related to Film:

Alter, Nora. M (2015) Two or Three Things I Know about Harun Farocki October Magazine, Ltd. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ednei de Genaro and Hermano Callou (July 2016) “Keep the horizon open”: An Interview with Harun Farocki in Senses of Cinema


“Exposing the delimits of not-understanding” – A conversation about artistic research with South African filmmaker Jyoti Mistry (2020)


Harun Farocki, (2011) Yilmaz Dziewior, Jan Verwoert ,Christa Blümlinger: Soft Montages, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Germany

International Journal of Film and Video Arts: Vol. 5 No. 2 (2020): GEECT Special Issue: Mapping Artistic Research in Film


Journal of African Cinemas, Special Issue: Filmmaking as research: Pedagogy and practice (2017) Volume 9, Numbers 2-3, https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/intellect/jac;jsessionid=3kahri7uu58h.x-ic-live-03

Mistry, J and Andrew, David pp. 119-132(14) “Pedagogies and practices of disaffection: Film programmes in arts schools in a time of revolution”

Mistry, Jyoti (2017) Places to Play


Steyerl, H. (2014). The Wretched of the Screen. Berlin: Sternberg Press.

Steyerl, H. (2009) In defense of the poor image, in e-flux Journal #10 - November 2009


Assessment methods and criteria

Completion of all sections of the course is required.

In preparation for session 3, on March 19, attending participants are invited to a submit short

(approximately 500-800 words) description of their current or forthcoming research project(s). Please include links or references in this document and it will form the basis for the discussion in this session. The preparation does not have to be extensive nor fully resolved in any way – rather it is an opportunity to have a focused conversation on your work, interests, research and practice.

In preparation, please email your written material with links and visual references to Jyoti Mistry by no later than WEDNESDAY, 17 MARCH 2021 to: jyoti.mistry@akademinvaland.gu.se

Subject title: FAMU Artistic Research proposal


Jyoti Mistry is Professor in FILM at HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University and works in film both as a research form and as a mode of artistic practice. She has made critically acclaimed films in multiple genres and her installation work draws from cinematic traditions but is often re-contextualized for galleries and museums that are outside of the linear cinematic experience. She has published extensively on artistic research, pedagogy and race, archive and memory.


Further information

No schedule has been prepared for this course

The subject is a part of the following study plans