Art as a practice of research seminar: Prof Tim Ingold

20th May 2021 | 15:00-16:30 GMT | Online

We are delighted to invite guest speaker Professor Timothy Ingold, world renowned Anthropologist and author of books including: Lines (2016), Making (2013), Being Alive (2011) and The Perception of the Environment (2000).

It is a commonplace that scientists do research. We might reasonably ask the scientist to justify his or her research, to explain how it is done, and to disseminate the results. But that research is what the scientist does is not in question. With artists, however, it is precisely the opposite. It would have been unusual, in the past, for artists to admit to carrying out research, and even more unusual for the public to recognise it as such. Nowadays however, for a variety of reasons – partly institutional, partly to do with funding, but largely connected to changing practices in art itself – more and more artists present what they are doing as research. And this leaves the public puzzled. Are they pretending to behave like scientists? And if they are, what are they trying to find out, and what kinds of knowledge do they think their art can contribute that science cannot? That artists often find such questions difficult if not impossible to answer only serves to increase public suspicion.

In this lecture Professor Ingold would like to turn these normal expectations upside down. In brief, he will argue that research is fundamentally a practice of art, in which science has consistently fallen short.

This event is open to Material Encounters Research Cluster members on a first come basis after which additional places will be made available for BCU researchers via an email invitation. The event is expected to be extremely popular and booking is essential. Any questions, in the first instance, should be directed to

This event has ended. Take a look at our post-seminar thoughts here.

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