Experimentation and the Creative Process

I believe the drive of experimentation is to deliver questions rather than answers, the creative process, whatever it is, is part of the same approach and concentrates on the present mind, and the objects of direct experience. In this form of play questions are formed, ideas are structured, tested, questioned, iteratively.

Experimentation as part of the practice led research process begin with exploration, understanding, and knowledgeable practice, acquired through years of research interest. I have found the longer I practice my field of inquire the more the exploration phase of research benefits from my work.

Experimentation and discovery mirrors a critical inquiry within creative process. In this example, I took pieces of a wooden puzzle to form the word design after various attempts using rocks, wire, paint, and string to open my mind to explore new ideas. The outcome after experimentation, revision, testing, and critical reflection resulted in an entire modular alphabet that was used for a logo design and header text for other media throughout the collateral.

digital sketchboard block lettering 1digital sketchboard block lettering 2alphabetdesignmuseumwall

Fig. 1-4 Shappee, M. 2016 (Experimentation)

I agree that his experimentation was highly capricious and arguably, lays the groundwork for a different perspective to view experimentation as research methodologies for the arts in that, β€œthe arts place a great value on individual idiosyncrasy, whereas science is a collective effort in which individual differences are eliminated by application of the scientific process.” (Lapointe, J. 2015)

Does this form of reasoning attempt to abate experimentation and discovery as legitimate forms of practice-led research for the artist practitioner? Or rather does this challenge researchers and practitioners working in art and technology? Could it be that the antithesis to this manifesto is creativity itself?



Arnold, J. (2012) Practice Led Research: Creative Activity, Academic Debate, and Intellectual Rigour [online] www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/hes/article/viewFile/16403/11817 [accessed 04-07-2018]

Black, L. et al (2018) STONE: A practice-led study of the legacy and future of stone in art. Landscape Institute, United Kingdom (Lead Research Organisation) http://gtr.ukri.org/project/37635619-BCF3-4575-96A1-D2517356C59D [accessed 04-05-2018]

Lapointe, J. (2015) On the Role of Experimentation in Art (and Science) [online] http://median.newmediacaucus.org/research-creation-explorations/6095-2/ [accessed 04-06-2018]

Shappee, M. (2016) Experimentation for Competition Brief, University Project IDI – UH



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