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Drawing: Embodied and Situated Knowing

Co-editor of the anthology: Fentz, C. & McGuirk, T. (2015) Artistic Research, Strategies for Embodiment. Århus, Denmark; NSU Press and authored chapter McGuirk T. (2015) ‘Drawing: Embodied and Situated Knowing’.

This co-edited anthology (two editors), Artistic Research, Strategies for Embodiment contains a co-authored ‘Introduction’ chapter (Fentz & McGuirk, pp. 11-20) and a sole-authored chapter (McGuirk): ‘Drawing: Embodied and Situated Knowing’ (pp. 227-243).

The anthology emerges from engagement with the group: Study circle 7: Artistic research - Strategies for embodiment' (2010-2012), of the Nordic Summer University (NSU). NSU is an independent, academic institution, dedicated to interdisciplinary research see

Published by NSU Press and themed around Artistic Research as a nascent research discipline, the book presents examples of theory and practice across a range of fields, with embodiment, and the body’s role in artistic research as the thread that runs throughout the eighteen chapter contributions. These examine how the arts, perhaps more than any other field of human knowledge, question and challenge the idea of a separation of body and mind. The anthology addresses the topic from the viewpoint of several disciplines, encompassing the performing arts, dance, voice work, fine art, drawing, film, video, architecture and philosophy. The co-authored introduction comprises a general discussion of this broad topic. The contributions are from a multi disciplinary, international group of eighteen artistic-researchers and scholars from ten countries, many from the Nordic countries; Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, with half coming from Ireland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Greece, the US and the UK.

My sole authored chapter (McGuirk) ‘Drawing: Embodied and Situated Knowing,’ addresses the epistemological status of drawing. It draws on situated cognition theory – grounded in phenomenology and pragmatist philosophy – this text posits drawing as “an embodied, situated and enactive mode of thinking and knowledge generation, [comprising] integrated conceptual and perceptual dimensions” (p. 241). Drawing as a mode of artistic research is a subtheme of the anthology, which includes several contributors from drawing studies, ranging from architectural to medical drawing.

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