An Embodied Approach to Academic Writing?
Keywords:embodiment, dance improvisation, artography, academic writing, artistic research, writing, dance philosophy
This essay is the reflective writing of a novice arts-based researcher on her way towards becoming an a/r/tographer. Through the research questions ‘How can I make academic writing an embodied ecological and artistic practice?’ and ‘How can I better understand my artistic practice through academic writing?’ the author searches for a way of including her art, dance, and the physical experience of the art, in the writing process, hence, an ‘embodied artistic practice’. She seeks foundation in theory, drawing on different views of embodiment, neurocognition, meaning-making in the brain, embodied cognition, and embodied understanding. She searches for a way to make meaning of abstract concepts through movement in relation to the world (hence, ecological), and how she can translate these concepts from written form into an embodied (dancing) artistic practice that will function as a catalyst for new ideas and perspectives, and then back into written form again (academically).
The goal of the essay is to provide the reader, artist or otherwise, coming from a practice-based field of knowledge, with inspiration when embarking on a process of theorization through academic writing. The main focus of the essay is on the learning process of the author, and the style is personal. However, the author attempts to provide a six-point algorithm for the inclusion of an embodied practice to a writing process, based on her findings. This algorithm might be applicable for other a/r/tographers, as well as serve as catalyst for further research on the bridging of practice and theory. Both for artists going into research and students in higher arts education.
An Embodied Approach to Academic Writing? Reflections from an Artist on Her Journey towards Becoming an A/r/tographer