30 - 31 January, 2014 | FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg


Increasingly, in the South African academy, practice-led research (PLR) is becoming not only a recognised, but a necessarily acknowledged means of furthering research in the fields of art and design. While the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, along with several other national and international institutions, promotes PLR as a point of positionality in its teaching and research, emphasis has, to date, been on PLR as an approach to creative outputs. Comparatively little discussion about possible PLR approaches to textual outputs, and how these have the potential to manifest new forms of, and forums for, non-traditional writing and publication have taken place. Such positions would necessarily impact on issues such as what may be accredited as written outputs by academic institutions, as well as how such outputs may be appraised by peer-reviewers, editors and publishers.

In this regard, the Visual Identities in Art and Design (VIAD) Research Centre, University of Johannesburg, organised a two-day roundtable discussion focussing on the possibilities for writing using PLR approaches, with particular emphasis on how these approaches may be deployed by PLR practitioners working across the fields of art and design, and more broadly, across the spectrum of visual representation. The key questions posed were:

–     How can PLR approaches to writing be used to model new forms of textual outputs in art and design?

–     What are possible PLR approaches in writing?

–     How are articles that employ these approaches to be appraised by peer-  reviewers, editors and publishers?

–     What is required in order for PLR-based writing forms to be acknowledged as scholarly outputs?

The roundtable hosted key thinkers and practitioners working within, and outside, the field of PLR. Substantial time provision was made to allow for in-depth engagement from the audience with any issues that arise after each presentation, and/or possible inclusion of practical exercises and examples by the presenters.

Presenters included:

–       Prof Nathaniel Stern (Associate Professor, Peck School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

–       Prof Allan John Munro (Research Facilitator and Playwright)

–       Prof Keyan Tomaselli (Editor-in-Chief, Critical Arts, Director, The Centre for Communication, Media and Society and Research Leader:
Culture, Health and Communication, School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal)

–       Prof Thad Metz (Professor Research Focus and Head, Philosophy Department, University of Johannesburg)

–       Dr Louise Hall (Contemporary Artist)

–       Prof Raimi Gbadamosi (Associate Professor, Fine Art Department, Wits School of the Arts, Wits University)

–       Prof David Andrew Senior Lecturer and Head of Division, Fine Art Department, Wits School of the Arts, Wits University)

–       John Roome (Senior Lecturer, Department of Fine Art and Jewellery Design, Durban University of Technology)

–       Dr Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, School of Literature and Language Studies, Wits University, Editor and Co-Director of Fourthwall Books)

–       Dr Fiona Siegenthaler (Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture, Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel and Research Associate, Visual
Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg)

–       Dr Leora Farber (Director, Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg).


Click here to download the programme