Henk Borgdorff talk, 11th March 2016
HB used the phrase ‘practice-infused research’, which struck a chord for the TtWL project. He invited criticism of this from the audience, citing his lack of facility in English. It seems both fresher but also more meaningful, being poetic rather than managerial (as opposed, perhaps, to ‘practice-led’).
HB also put forward his thesis that there is no need for a mentality of inadequacy in the arts, of trying to defend practice research as ‘equivalent’ to the traditional modes of academic research. His case was that we can have confidence in our research as a different ‘mode’, involving a very rich set of approaches and methods, many of which we adapt or invent.
Particularly usefully, HB talked about the boundary between practice and ‘practice-infused research’. When does the research happen, take place? He proposed that when you are setting out consciously to engage with a research context, then it’s research. With this comes the acceptance of and responsibility on the part of the practice-researcher to explain their methods and show their reasoning – and give an account of it to a research audience. But this can be done in many ways. We choose to become ‘inscribed in a research community’.