Art as Legal Method

by | 30 Jan 2023

Initially, our project was an experiment. What would happen if an artist created a visual response to a piece of legal scholarship that criticised how law regulates public spaces? What insights into art, law and justice might be generated? 

What started as an art commission quickly shifted into an exploration. In meeting every few weeks to talk about the artwork’s development, we found a way of working that suited us – not only as researcher participants but as individuals who value conversation as a means of connecting with others. We experienced the joy of a methodology that frees one from the constraints of doctrinal thinking; a conduit for creativity, relationship-building, and deep listening.

In this podcast, Art as Legal Method, we discuss how Practitioner Based Enquiry (PBE), a practice-based method that involves techniques of action and the self-reflective or self-reflexive examination of that process, facilitated for us an intuitive and organic research experience. How it helped us to “get behind” the problematics of law’s regulation and protection of racist public artworks, and experience something of the unsettlement, artistic provocations, and profound impacts required for sitting with – and moving through – the resonances of colonial injustice in public spaces in contemporary settler states. The power, delight, and discomfort of experiencing law and its effects through the creative person.

*Marie Hadley is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Newcastle, Australia, with research expertise in intellectual property law and sociolegal methods.

Travis De Vries is an artist, writer and social commentator whose work can be broadly described as Gamilaroi Futurism.

 

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