About EARN

EARN (European Artistic Research Network) was established to share and exchange knowledge and experience in artistic research; foster mobility, exchange and dialogue among artist researchers; promote wider dissemination of artistic research; and enable international connectivity and exchange for artistic research.


The network was originally established through a series of meetings between 2004 and 2006. Throughout the 2010s the network was primarily based on the cooperation across ten European art academies. The key task during this period was to advocate for forms of research and enquiry realised within, and through, artistic practices, and to provide various platforms to profile these.

The 2020s

Since 2020 the agenda for EARN has evolved. There is now a new approach to co-development of research through thematic working groups; a new emphasis on active research generation; and a process of expanding membership (beyond the provincial boundaries imagined as ‘Europe’).

EARN, as an Expanded Artistic Research Network operates as a network of working groups. The membership model is no longer defined exclusively through institutional affiliation. The current working groups that comprise the network include:

Working Group 1. Methodology
Working Group 2. Sustainability
Working Group 3. On Value
Working Group 4. The Politics of Aesthetics
Working Group 5: Curatorial Studies Workshop
Working Group 6: Communication
Working Group 7: Space + Practice

Each Working Group has a membership that builds upon the ten academic institutions that comprised EARN in the 2010s, seeking to develop new collaborations and partnerships and invite new menbers. For the current membership of the network see the work group pages.


Nameless Science, Apexart, NY, 2008


Network Aims

EARN is a network of artists, researchers, educators, research leaders, and their host institutions established in 2006 in order to:

(i) share and exchange knowledge and experience in respect of artistic research, with particular reference to the development of postgraduate programmes
(ii) foster mobility, exchange and dialogue among researchers, artists, educators and across diverse institutions and cultures
(iii) develop and promote platforms for the wider dissemination of artistic research
(iv) enable global connectivity for artistic research while respecting the diversity of paradigms, models, and cultures of art research.


Changing Terms of Artistic Research

The term ‘artistic research’* broadly describes research which entails actual practice within the arts. The network is not limited by a single model of artistic research but based on a pragmatic recognition that research which entails actual practice within the arts is a specific and dynamic space of cultural creativity. This allows of a range of models, interpretations and paradigms (practice-led research, practice-based research, art research, research in and through the arts, research creation etc.) while establishing a shared core concern with research grounded in art practices.

These models are divergent and range from institutional constructions such as the AHRC’s – “Research in which the professional and/or creative practices of art… play an instrumental part in an inquiry” – to internalist constructions that see art practice as not only then means, but also as the primary object of enquiry such as Hannula et al’s description – “Artistic research means that the artist produces an art work and researches the creative process, thus adding to the accumulation of knowledge.” (Hannula et al, 2005. p. 5.)

In 2021, the Postresearch Condition conference considered the need to renew the terms of engagement after a “research decade” which saw some versions of artistic research becoming mainstreamed. The conference website announced that:

it is important to start from the three conceptual spaces that fundamentally determine what we mean by research: creative practice (experimentality, art making, potential of the sensible); artistic thinking (open-ended, speculative, associative, non-linear, haunting, thinking differently); and curatorial strategies (topical modes of political imagination, transformational spaces for encounters, reflection and dissemination) – and to comprehend these spaces in their mutual, dynamic coherence as a series of indirect triangular relationships.

The network seeks to explore these different conceptions and modalities of artistic research and to enable exchange and critical dialogue across these different paradigms. It does this in order to enhance the international research environment and to support researchers in the development of enquiry.

*NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY: The terms “artistic research” and “art research” are used as synonyms with reference to research ‘in and through’ the artistic practice. Both “artistic research” and “art research” are employed as distinct from the broader category of the (university) “arts” – e.g., “arts & humanities”. “Artistic research” and “art research” are used to emphasize an orientation to research that is primarily rooted in/routed through artistic practice.

Network Activities

The network operates through a variety of means including regular international working-group meetings, workshops, seminars, symposia, conferences, winter/summer-school programmes, exhibitions, and publications. For more, please see Past Events.

Read more about the website.

Page last updated on 23/03/2023 at 06:48