“It would be wonderful to have some conferences, and then some books, on which practices are best served by self-awareness. (And another set of conferences and books on the practices most amenable to research, as in point number 2.) From a philosophic standpoint, two more even more difficult problems would then follow: Who can measure self-awareness? Who is trained in teaching it?”
From James Elkins – Reasons to mistrust the phd ( Updates for a second edition of ‘Artists with Phd: On the new doctoral degree in art’
Source: http://jimandmargaret.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/reasons-to-mistrust-the-phd-numbers-5-7/

This seems to me to go to the heart of the problem. I am mid-way through a M.A. by registered project which a more flexible version of a standard M.A. where the student sets own parameters. I am going to suggest to my supervisors that the second year consists of two distinct self-set pathways.

One studio practice in painting ignoring ‘research’ and secondly an analysis of this from a very ‘research-orientated’ perspective via my cartoons. Not sure how that will go down but it does attempt to wrestle with the problem. Can one have two heads? Probably not. I will keep a reflective journal of my practice day by day that purely practice driven.

The cartoons/research will comment separately on where I think practice does cross-over naturally with ‘research’ or not as the case may be. This then begs the question ‘where is the research located’?