Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Art and Visual Culture


Kelly Wood


This dissertation is an inquiry into the nature and significance of artistic knowledge, as a subset of the larger category of tacit knowledge. Art, both in its production and reception, encompasses many diverse forms of knowledge, so by artistic knowledge I am referring to the intangible components of art that do not conform to traditional notions of codified, propositional or explicit knowledge.

Such forms of qualitative and subjective knowledge are undervalued within our current Western context, which is dominated by a rational, objective and scientific mode of thought. This is primarily due to the impossibility of quantifying such intangible knowledge, or measuring its results.

As someone with a background in both science and art I can see great value in both forms of knowledge and feel it is critical to find ways of combining different ways of knowing otherwise an awareness of the bigger picture and an interconnected view of the world is lost. The integrated articles included in this dissertation explore the application and potentials of artistic knowledge and arts-based research within science (Chapter 2: “The Idea of Colour”), design (Chapter 3: “Design of the Absurd”), and art history (Chapter 4: “An Uncertain Experience”). Additionally, my own projects, The One Pixel Camera, Locations, and A Series of Boring Videos: Watched, Watching, Watch are discussed (Chapter 3: “Design of the Absurd, Chapter 5: “A Brief Statement on Locations" and Chapter 6: “How to Watch Video” respectively) as artworks that present single or very limited modes of knowledge transfer. On one level, these limitations might work to frustrate the viewer, but on another, they open up the potential for new forms of appreciation and new ways of knowing.

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