The Impact of Artistic Research on Topography of Knowledge

Vytautas Michelkevičius, Aldis Gedutis

This is an experimental workshop on topography and mapping of knowledge. The task of the project is to map / to research two cemeteries (in Sierre and Chippis) applying participants’ own epistemic approaches and to bring back knowledge about it in any form available. In current use “to map something” means to achieve particular and precise knowledge about it. But the very moment the mapping is accomplished, it becomes the map of the past, i.e. it depicts a topos at a certain moment of time, which freezes with the finishing of the map. In this case traditional research-based epistemology faces a choice between constant updating of the map and acknowledging the temporality and finitude of it. If a map is a metaphor of limit and finality, cemetery is another one. Thus, “mapping” the cemeteries with the help of artistic means could possibly help us to understand knowledge and the meaning of “to know” better. The following discussion (on train) will concentrate on the relationship between a place and a map (= knowledge) of it and on the potential of different kinds of epistemic approaches to understand various ways of knowing.

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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vytautas Michelkevičius (Vilnius, LT) is a curator, writer and researcher whose focus was gradually shifting from photography in expanded field to media art & theory and lately to artistic research in academia and beyond. He has served as artistic director of Nida Art Colony (2010-2019). Since 2019 he is the head of Photography and Media Art Department and Doctoral Programme in Fine Arts in the same academy. He has curated numerous symposiums and exhibitions, among them Lithuanian Pavilion in Venice Biennale (Dainius Liškevičius project “Museum”). He has edited and authored more than 10 books on art, media, artistic research and residencies. Recent books “Mapping Artistic Research. Towards Diagrammatic Knowledge” (2018) and “Atlas of Diagrammatic Imagination” (together with Lina Michelkevičė, 2019).
Prof. dr. Aldis Gedutis (Klaipeda, LT) is philosopher of science and specializes in the evaluation practices in social sciences and humanities, and works on the social studies of science and visual aspects of research communication, including the ontologies and epistemologies of mapping. He is a senior researcher at Klaipėda University, Lithuania, and a co-author of two monographs: Aldis Gedutis and Liutauras Kraniauskas, [The Evaluation Practices of Social Sciences and Humanities in Lithuania, 2013]; Kęstas Kirtiklis ir Aldis Gedutis, [Between Value and Impact: On Real and Imaginary Crisis of the Humanities and the ways to Overcome it, 2019].