Therefore, while we agree with Ingold and Johnson, the problem remains how to explicate and communicate the knowledge that is contained within works of art, how to make it discursive?
How to articulate artistic practice as an alternative, yet valid form of scholarly research?
In contrast, artistic research as a specific, inquisitive mode of dealing with the environment requires an explicit articulation of what is at stake, the formulation of a specific problem that determines the focus of the research.
‘Problem’ is used here in the neutral, etymological sense of the word: something ‘thrown forward’, a ‘hindrance, obstacle’ (cf. A body-in-an-environment finds something thrown before him or her, an issue that grabs the attention.
It is projected along different lines in this virtual Denkraum, lines that cross and influence each other: an existential line turns into a line of form and composition; a conceptual line merges into a narrative line, a technical line echoes an autobiographical line.
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There is no strict hierarchy in the different ‘emanations’ of a problem.
Art is thus able to take into account (and to explore) many other different meaningful aspects of our human relationship with the environment and thus provide us with a supplementary form of knowledge.
Hence Ingold’s remark in the introduction of Making: anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture (2013): ‘Could certain practices of art, for example, suggest new ways of doing anthropology?
In the process of making images of our environment, different bodily experiences, like affects, emotions, feelings and movements are mobilised in the creation of meaning.
As Johnson argues, this happens in every process of meaning-making, which is always based on ‘deep-seated bodily sources of human meaning that go beyond the merely conceptual and propositional’ (Ibid., p. The specificity of art simply resides in the fact that it actively engages with those non-conceptual, non-propositional forms of ‘making sense’ of our environment.