SIG in Arts-Based Research

Arts-Based Research (ABR) Special Interest Group (SIG)

Wednesday, May 18 – Saturday, May 21, 2022

As part of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI), Arts-Based Research (ABR) events will take place as a Special Interest Group (SIG) throughout the conference.

The ABR SIG events include and welcome you to: (a) attend the entire Wednesday ABR SIG Pre-Conference Symposium, (b) register for Thursday Workshops that relate to Arts-Based Research, and (c) and/or attend ICQI Friday/Saturday plenary, panel  and individual paper sessions sponsored by the SIG.

Introduction and Background

Arts-based research is based upon the premise of utilizing various forms of artistic practice as a primary means of investigating and understanding human experience, extending to more materially sensitive, discursive, and intuitive ways of knowing.  Grounded in a worldview of pluralistic ontologies and dialectic aesthetic epistemologies, ABR seeks to disrupt usual binaries such as thought and sense, mind and matter, the human and the inhuman, space and time resulting in new intersubjective and social constructions. Through provocation and contested interactions that result in startling crystallizations, permutations, and mutations, ABR invites exploration of multi-dimensional human sensory, emotional, and embodied phenomena otherwise inexpressible and out of reach through formal, academic, explanatory analysis. ABR also transcends disciplinary boundaries and is intended to therefore have applications across multiple domains and impact global socio-cultural and socio-political arenas. While the potential contributions of ABR are vast, the pragmatic issues of methodology, translation, evaluation, credibility, ethics, and, in some cases dissemination, require ongoing productive and creative discourse.

To cultivate this trans-disciplinary discourse during the 2022 ICQI conference, the ABR SIG envisions a series of activities:

  • Pre-Conference Symposium: On Wednesday, May 18, 2022 we will once again convene a full day symposium led by experts and engaging participants in addressing current issues in ABR using interactive forms of inquiry, expression, and performance. All are welcome!

  • Workshops: On Thursday, May 19, 2022 there will be a series of workshops with scholars whose practice relates to or influences ABR. You will need to register for the workshops.

  • Conference Panels and Individual Paper Presentations: On Friday May 20 and Saturday, May 21, 2022 more traditional panel and paper presentation sessions about diverse topics in ABR will be presented as part of the general program. Formats for sessions will include roundtables, conversation/performative pieces, and panel presentations that address troubling topics or provocations central to the development and articulation of arts-based philosophies, theories, and methods.

Provocations that will guide the ABR SIG program include:

  • Re-visiting definitions of Arts-Based Research–How would you characterize arts-based research? What is arts-based research and what is it not?

  • Constructing and characterizing worldviews implicit in arts-based research. How do we conceptualize and articulate the onto-epistemology of ABR? How do these perspectives guide the identification of ABR problems, questions, and strategies? How do socio-political contexts contribute to how we construct these worldviews, form our questions, and formulate our investigative and disseminative strategies to effect socio-political resistance and change?

  • The problem and the question. What are the unaddressed research problems and social issues that might require arts-based research approaches?

  • Methodological dilemma. How do we maintain the onto-epistemological integrity of the arts-based worldviews while developing systematic inquiry?

  • How do new ABR methodologies facilitate the addressing of new research questions?

  • What arts-based investigative practices have you applied to your own research?

  • What is the level of arts-based skill required to conduct arts-based research?

  • What are some unnamed methodologies for conducting social research that can be extrapolated from your explorations as an arts-based researcher?

  • Advancement of knowledge. What implications might arts-based research have for yours and related fields in advancing knowledge? How might arts-based research practices from other fields influence your work?

  • Social justice, dissemination, and global impact. What are examples of critical-activist arts-based research outcomes serving as models of social justice and public engagement—whether rethinking global and intellectual contexts, critiquing contemporary events, problematizing norms, or contesting ideologies?

  • Evaluation and credibility. What are current methods for evaluating the authenticity, credibility, and aesthetic power of arts based research projects?

  • Ethical issues and responsibilities. As an arts-based researcher what are some of the challenges for authenticity and credibility that we face? What is our moral and ethical responsibility?

We welcome additional topics that interested participants may want to suggest.



Wednesday May 18, 2022


Preconference Symposium: Conversations and Constructions the Politics of Resistance
A full day interactive symposium led by ABR experts while engaging participants in addressing current issues in ABR inquiry, expression, and performance with implications for addressing the conference topic of research as political resistance. Although there is no fee to take part in the symposium, all participants must register for the ICQI conference.


9:00-9:15     Welcome and Introductions:  Nancy Gerber and Amber Ward

9:15-10:15    Points of Provocation

Senior scholars in ABR will each introduce a methodological point of debate within ABR. Each presentation will not exceed 7 minutes. Presentations may be delivered linguistically or performed.  Following all presentations, there will be brief discussion on how we will work together to build on these themes throughout the day.

Breakout groups:

  • Group 1: Jacelyn Biondo: From Conceptualization to Data Analysis: Artistic Inquiry as a Multidimensional Process

  • Group 2: Michael Viega: Ambient Listening: Creating Sonic Images in Arts-Based Research

  • Group 3: Charles Vanover & Trace Taylor: Blow the Emergency Hatch: A Safe Story of COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Group 4: Dafna Moriya: Creating a Circle as a Laboratory for the Exploration of Practical, Ethical and Theoretical Issues in Arts-Based Research

  • Group 5: Sarah Travis: Personal Objects as Provocations for Arts-Based Inquiry

Select groups prior to break.


10:30-12:15 Provocation Workshops
The workshop portion will include small group breakout groups each with an assigned provocation and senior scholar facilitator. Each group will include dialogues and arts-based processes to address philosophical, theoretical, and practical aspects of ABR related to their topic and related issues. These dialogues are inclusive of the multi-disciplinary and socially engaged nature of ABR and how different disciplines may create tensions as to how ABR might or might

not be conceptualized, practiced, and defined. As the conversation emerges, these ABR discussions will debate what might constitute a coherent response to the provocation. Each group will synthesize the arts-based, textual and theoretical conclusions from their discussion for a presentation/performance to the entire group in the afternoon session. The afternoon presentational formats can also explore distinctly ABR modes of opportunities for audience engagement and feedback.

12:15-1:14 Lunch

1:30-3:15 Afternoon Presentations

Groups will present the results of their morning provocation driven discussions and arts-based inquiries.



Entire group reconvenes to review and summarize the learning from the day. A final discussion will summarize the day’s activities and will identify emergent responses, questions, and phenomena central to continued investigation in ABR