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What does it meme? The Exegesis as valorization of creative arts research

conference contribution
posted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by Estelle BarrettEstelle Barrett
This paper will draw on Richard Dawkin's idea of the 'meme' to discuss how the creative arts exegesis can operate as valorisation and validation of creative arts research. According to Dawkins, the rate and fecundity of replication permits an artefact to achieve recognition and stability as a meme within a culture. The value and application of traditional forms of research is underpinned by a secondary order of production, publication, that establishes visibility of the work and articulates its empirical processes and findings as sources of social benefit and cultural enhancement.

In the arts, conventional modes of valorisation such as the gallery system, reviews and criticism focus on the artistic product and hence, lack sustained engagement with the creative processes as models of research. Such engagement is necessary to articulate and validate studio practices as modes of enquiry.

A crucial question to initiate this engagement is: 'What did the studio process reveal that could not have been revealed by any other mode of enquiry?'

Re-versioning of the studio process and its significant moments through the exegesis locates the work within the broader field of practice and theory. It is also part of the replication process that establishes the creative arts as a stable research discipline, able to withstand peer and wider assessment. The exegesis is a primary means of realising creative arts research as 'meme'.



Illuminating the Exegesis. Symposium (2003 : Ballarat, Vic.)


1 - 7


Arts Academy, University of Ballarat


Ballarat, Vic.

Place of publication

Ballarat, Vic.

Start date




Publication classification

L2 Full written paper - non-refereed (minor conferences)

Title of proceedings

Illuminating the Exegesis : one-day symposium

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