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Review of Natalie Loveless (ed.) "Knowings and knots: methodologies and ecologies in research-creation".

Clarke, Jennifer



Knowings and Knots itself offers few detailed discussions of actual knots, save for Caroline Cambre's impeccable description of Inca khipu knots, which 'exist at the juncture of memory, language, visual signs, and tactile processes' and could 'be undone and re-done' (89). The titular knots are of course metaphorical, referring to Donna Haraway who writes in When Species Meet about how: 'Figures are not representations or didactic illustrations, but rather material-semiotic nodes or knots in which diverse bodies and meanings co-shape one another' (2007:4). Natalie Loveless' Afterwords accordingly describes knots as that which 'name[s] sites of productive dissent and dissonance' and an 'invitation to join the debate' (303). A debate on research-creation is exactly what this curated collection offers. I am familiar with the metaphor of knots and knotting as a trope and find it an apposite metaphor for the sorts of work(s), performances, events, conversations and publications (making publics) that feature here. Knots, then, are employed as a 'principle of coherence' as the anthropologist Tim Ingold suggests they can be, because they can help describe how 'contrary forces of tension and friction, as in pulling tight, are generative of new forms […] one can never determine what is on the inside or on the outside. Knots don't have insides and outsides; they have interstices'. (Ingold 2016:6). This book opens up to the doing and undoing involved in the generation of research-creation, the makings of new forms of knowledge, and what it is to work at the interstices – the interstices of thinking-feeling, of bodies, human, nonhuman, entangling with places and other communities, ecologically. Doing so also means it asks urgent questions about what it means to make things, what it means to co-compose with the world (cf. Manning, 2014).


CLARKE, J. 2020. Review of Natalie Loveless (ed.) "Knowings and knots: methodologies and ecologies in research-creation". Journal for artistic research [online]. Available from:

Journal Article Type Book Review
Acceptance Date Jul 2, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 15, 2020
Publication Date Jul 15, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 16, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 16, 2020
Journal Journal for artistic research
Print ISSN 2235-0225
Electronic ISSN 2235-0225
Publisher Society for Artistic Research
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Item Discussed LOVELESS, N. (ed.) 2019. Knowings and knots: methodologies and ecologies in research-creation. Alberta: University of Alberta Press. ISBN 9781772124859
Keywords Creative research; Arts-based research; Research-creation; Practice-led research; Anthropology; Epistemology; Knowledge; Ecology
Public URL


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