What is Arts-Based Research?

Arts-based research is defined as research carried out by scholar/practitioners – artists, designers, curators, architects, writers and musicians – who, through their practice, are able to contribute new concepts, methods and models in order to participate in the production of original knowledge.

Arts-based research is not research conducted for a particular project in order to enhance that project's foundation or scope, but is instead research dedicated to generating new knowledge to be shared by a community within a field or fields.

Arts-based research recognizes the diversity of methods appropriate to research; the plurality of objects of study; and the array of values associated with these diverse research methods and objects.

Arts-based research is by nature interdisciplinary; it often involves close collaboration with partners from diverse fields, and practitioners must therefore be attuned to diverse methods and adept in communication and modes of collaboration.

Arts-Based Research at SCA

Arts-based research at the USC School of Cinematic Arts recognizes the power of critical making, understanding that a robust research question may arise through the practice of cinematic arts as much as that practice may be used to pursue a particular research question.

SCA’s arts-based research is dedicated to the exploration of emerging forms of media-based storytelling; user experience; and emerging tools and technologies. It is a profoundly creative process, acknowledging the power of the imagination, tacit knowledge, and embodied knowing. However, it is still rooted in critical theory, framing the research process within the context of power and a deep questioning of the ethical and ideological implications of knowledge and change in the context of the cinematic.