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Artistic Research

KADK  artistic research 2019 

Criteria for artistic research at KADK 

framework for artistic research at KADK. They address the criteria for scientific research, but are defined in such a way that they consider the difference between scientific and artistic practice. In essence, artistic research rests on a criterion about new meaning in parallel to science’s criterion on new knowledge. 

Artistic research is a reflected artistic practice. It creates a work and develops a reflection on the meaning, presentation and appearance of the work. The criteria and documentation requirements mentioned below describe the fundamental scientific research and artistic research form part of a continuum on equal terms. When artistic practice is supreme in relation to exterior demands, artistic research is integrated into the artistic practice with established criteria for reflection and documentation. This creates knowledge that retains, develops and disseminates insight related to the artistic practice. 

As artistic research creates a work and develops a reflection, there are two levels to the material that is produced. On the one hand, this means that the reflection is closely linked to the work and can be included directly in the degree programme and the profession. It also means that the reflection can be developed in various ways in both an artistic and a scientific direction. 

In extension of this, it is essential that what can be assessed by means of the criteria is the correlation between reflection and work. The reflection will never be able to identify all of the aspects that are tied together in the work, but it can shed light on carefully selected artistic issues. The criteria are therefore not the basis for an explanation of the work, but for an opening of perspectives in its investigation. 


The three criteria, Clarity, Density and Depth, denote the aesthetic, technical and meaning levels that are brought into play in artistic research. Along with these criteria, there are requirements on the documentation and the character of the material that is produced. 

Criterion 1: Clarity
The appearance of the work is effective. It should be possible to identify the modus operandi, what works, and how it works. 

This criterion is about the relation between the concept on which the work is based and the work’s expression. Here, a reflection takes place on the particular time-spatial context and the work’s specific materiality. What is the effect of the work here and now, and how does it appear in relation to its premises and conditions? Reflections on the work’s aesthetics and the chosen idiom are described. 

Criterion 2: Density 

The work involves phenomena and structures in contexts that are not established in advance. It should be possible to understand what is made effective together in the work’s appearance, and in what way the connection is established. 

The problematics of the work are developed through the specific way in which a number of different conditions are gathered in the work’s material. As the individual work is unique, the technique is never quite the same from one work to another, which means that it transgresses the scientific method’s requirements about reproducibility. Under this criterion, a description must be given of the work with different material conditions, concepts and functions, which are not necessarily related from the outset, but which meet through the work in contexts that create new meaning. 

Criterion 3: Depth 

The work sets out new rules for the artistic practice and establishes a new framework for interpretation of the surroundings. It should be possible to identify relations with existing meaning- making in culture and society. 

The objective of the artistic practice is primarily to produce new meaning. It should therefore be possible to place the work nationally and internationally, and to ask in which way it contributes to our understanding of the cultural conditions in question. The work should fit into a class of works within the profession that has demonstrated relevance to its development. What does it build on, and what does it add? 


The documentation must describe the criteria mentioned above. The artistic research must be available in a publically accessible and permanent material consisting of one or more works and of a medium through which the reflection takes place. 

The three criteria address mutually related dimensions in the artistic practice, and should be seen together in order for the work to be reviewed. The structure and the format of the documentation is therefore up to the individual artistic researcher. 

As a rule, the reflection is textual. However, the crucial factor is that dissemination takes place in a medium that can be acknowledged and used for peer review. The reflection is typically developed by the artist himself/herself. However, it will be possible to enter into collaborations where the participants take up different roles in the overall work. 

Documentation forms 

Below follows a list of the media through which artistic research can be reviewed. The list is open, as the decisive requirement is that the documentation form meets the criteria mentioned above. It is therefore presumed that there may be other forms than those mentioned. 

It should also be noted that the work may well have been made in other contexts, but that it does not appear as artistic research until the moment it is accompanied by a reflection. 

1. Presentation of work 

This item covers a number of documentation forms that place emphasis on the importance of the works’ appearance. This includes, for instance, exhibition, showing and certain digital presentation forms. 

These are not necessarily accompanied by a reflection, and it should therefore be considered when, in which way, and through which medium this takes place. 

Similarly, the presentation of the works is not necessarily permanent and typically requires other media in order to be documented. 

2. Conference, symposium and seminar 

The three documentation forms share the condition that the artist presents his/her work to an audience, making it available for a discussion. It is a prerequisite that the documentation presents 

both a work and a reflection. The three forms offer different possibilities of presenting the two levels of the material. 

The three forms are not permanent and therefore require other media in order to be documented. 

3. Publication 

The publication covers a number of formats, i.e. monographs, anthologies, articles etc. It contains a textual reflection as well as a visual material that document the works concerned. 

The publication will tend to emphasise the textual reflection rather than the works’ appearance. However, it should be stressed that the relation varies a lot due to the character of the different works. The publication as an object can also be an integrated part of the artistic research. 

The publication is a permanent material. On the other hand, it has to be distributed in order to be publically accessible. 

The documentation forms mentioned all include a combination of work and reflection. Each of them has different conditions as regards public accessibility and permanence. Although the first two presuppose that at some stage, subsequent documentation will be produced – often a publication – it is important to retain them as independent documentation forms. This is because they offer essentially different frameworks for the dissemination and review of the work. It is therefore possible that the subsequent documentation will exceed the framework for a normal publication, thus reflecting the strengths of the respective documentation forms.