Adeline Maxwell and Paula Montecinos
By combining non-linear trajectories between public space and studio practice through field recording and deep listening methods, we will investigate exterior sonic locations of Pace Building, De Montfort University, and it transpositions into a studio practice.
Exploring the body as a medium to other locations and people come together, and choreography as a technology to record and broadcast information, the aim is offering a context for the embodied experience of interior and exterior sonic identities, intertwine and challenge the notions of time, place, body and memories.
Concerned with the politics of encounter and politics of location, this practice-led research is ground on the anarchiving of signals, calling and listening between bodies both temporal and spatial, topographic and anatomical, immerse in a multiplicitous ecology, from where we can explore life and art, and the borders of human agency and consequences.
Through specifics scores, we will guide the movement exploration into multiples layers of social and somatics enmeshment, challenging notions of spectatorship and performer relations, through sound and listening, using the Anarchive model for tracing creative processes. “The question is how what moves an event into taking form can be archived, as opposed to documenting the content of the event. Can traces of the event’s liveness be captured, in a way that might set the stage for a next event to occur in its wake? The anarchive would then be a kind of process seed bank for the dissemination of forces of emergent taking form.” (Senselab, Montreal)
Repented as Practice Research
The dialectic between order and chaos in screen narratives can take many different forms. My paper takes one of my own films as example, and proposes to look at the ‘translation’ of a theatre play (Finding Temeraire by the Zimbabwean playwright Stanley Makuwe) into a work of cinema, but made under conditions of chaos both internal to the work (the violence of colonialism and its subjective effects on interpersonal relations between a black man and a black woman, both of “subalterns” on relation to the colonizers) and conditions of chaos external to the work, namely produced and filmed in a country whose struggle for independence has led not to freedom and justice but to economic mismanagement, corruption and a ‘failed state’. The challenge was to fashion a narrative form and an aesthetic order by shaping a tight central conflict (a classical “two-hander”), while nonetheless conveying the different kinds of violence generated by the forces of disorder (trauma, loss, guilt and shame, random oppression, exploitation, abandonment). While retaining a unity of time, place and action, I chose a narrative of split screen as well as the insertion of found footage which allows for discord, antagonism, but also the violence of an oppressive order to enter into the film as energizing elements. The paper considers the concept of inter cultural, ethnic and disciplinary collaboration.
“People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.” M. Foucault, Madness and Civilisation: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.
My multimodal approach includes information, auto ethnographic description, critical review and evaluation, discussion, editing, piecing together, layering and presenting in a way that allows for elements to be explored in a non-linear way. I hope to explicate the commonalities between ‘practice’ processes and my wider research methodology. I am interested in liminal spaces, materiality and slippage; I am exploring the haecceity’s and quiddities of ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ (spaces of event?) that can be made from them.
My film work About (facing away from the direction of travel), which will be shown during my presentation, was made in autumn 2018, using materials gathered during the theatre company Stan’s Café’s devising and rehearsal process for The Capital. It was initially an installation presented at Birmingham School of Art and was then remade as a single screen film shown at W.A.C. in February 2019. I am also currently developing a ‘book’ or document, testing how this multimodal approach might work in a poetic way to record, unpick and critically review my own research.
Collective Action: visual thinking with photographs
Join a group discussion that invites participants to experience together one photograph to discuss and share what we see, hear and understand collectively. The method used, 'Visual Thinking Strategy', is to facilitate group discussions of visual arts that particularly fosters engagement through 'listen with' each other and collective meaning-making. This methods forms part of Jaeger's researching production in photography as a continuum: unfolding the multidimensional in time, space and through the senses.
Guided by the question of 'What is fabricated in photographic production other than the photograph?', this research contributes to the debate on ‘Posthuman Photography’. The research addresses the interactive and networked nature of technologies, materials and practices in shaping the meaning and aesthetics of ‘doing and making’ in photography, investigating practices in photographic production that are hidden and marginalised.
The Body Activates the Space
My research is preoccupied with the role played by the body, specifically the role played non-human bodies or corpora - presences typically overlooked, repressed or denied – in “activating” a space for a work’s participants. I am particularly interested in the role played in elucidating and evoking such presences, by objects, sound and fictional narratives, as constituents of live performance. Following the Scandinavian model of artistic research, wherein the artist-researcher’s practice embodies their thesis and the creation of the practice is arguably the summative expression of the research process, I will perform rather than present this work through the deliberate creation of a series of speculative spaces as catalysts for dialogue and further making.
Each iteration of my work begins with an encounter with a site. Having staged performances in the recent past within liminal sites - such as unoccupied apartments, a museum without its collection and the unused benches in a public square - I would like to explore the notion of the text itself as a site for my work-making: specifically a 1958 Heinrich Böll short story, Murke’s Collected Silences, whose eponymous protagonist - like myself, a collector of intervals, gaps and pauses - I have incorporated into my previous work. “Dematerialising” the nature of the site with which I plan to work, marks a fresh approach to a challenge I face in common with other practitioner-researchers, whose work is defined by its situated character: how to address and share one’s research without being constrained to a specific, physical site or the compromises inherent in replacing the embodied experience of a situated response to site, with documentation and exposition.
Breath Wind into Me, Chapter 1
In 'The Minor Gesture' (2016), Erin Manning asks how art itself activates and constitutes new forms of knowledge, i.e. 'in its own right,' and questions 'whether those forms of knowledge can engagingly be captured within the strictures of methodological ordering' (p.26). In this paper, I argue that something that was not known that becomes known through art creation and is disseminated as such is as quantifiable as any other form of knowledge under the heading 'academic research'. New forms of knowledge require different forms of evaluation and a rethinking of what arts-practice as research can do.
Through methodological abundance (Hannulah, 2011), including auto-ethnography, I use my past, my memories and my experiences as a making and unmaking of the world. Auto-ethnography, in this instance, is a reformulation of ethnography or anthropology, an in-depth examination of context incorporating cross-disciplinary approaches where the research is one of enquiry and discovery, thinking through making staying open to the emergent properties of the intra-psychic as well as the intersubjective.
Taking the recent video: 'Breath Wind into Me, Chapter 1', as a starting point, this presentation addresses how practice allows for a re-envisioning of the traditional role of the researcher. Using an amalgamation of text, moving imagery and sound, from current and past research, I will be discussing new knowledge, embodied and otherwise, that could only have 'surfaced' through making. I will discuss 'the haptic' as an important component of research and inquiry, where the transmission of 'affect' creates a particular form of embodied knowledge through being touched by the work. I will make connections to Maria Puig de la Bellacasa's notion of haptic technologies as matters of care, and as a means of 'unpacking and co-shaping a notion of care in more than human worlds' (2017, p.95).
Fresh and Raw
Within my artistic practice, a key component is the production of immersive multi-projection audio-visual installations. During May and June 2019, I have been developing new work within the context of the OPEM Residency at The Collection, Lincoln. During the residency I have been experimenting with the notion of immersion in-and-through a filmic and an installation-based practice, working towards an immersive installation composed by footage filmed in the museum and its surroundings. This practice-as-research project aims to dissolve boundaries and question clear-cut distinctions between ‘looking at’ and ‘being in’ and provide nuanced emerging understandings on the realm of immersion.
Important within the framework of the OPEM residency is the combining of an intuitive ‘thinking-through-making’ approach that embraces testing and experimentation, alongside a wide-ranging and in-depth knowledge and engagement with the wider context in both practice and theory. Thus, I envisage that the impact that the OPEM residency will have on my practice will be manifold. As the residency finishes on 23rd June, I will present some fresh and raw reflections, discussing (1) how this residency has (or hasn’t) helped me to continue and expand my investigation on multichannel immersive moving-image installations and (2) whether the direct and ongoing contact with the gallery visitors has enabled me to develop a good understanding of how gallery visitors navigate and engage with the installations, a central question in my practice.
Working across materials and with the materiality of the human body gives people [of all abilities] the opportunity to connect to both internal and external perceptions of environment. My interest lies in combating the very real crisis of how humans perceive the environment around them and the potential of a self-directed interest in that change.
Within the parameters of practice-led research, the workshop proposes to analyse the composition of an individuals’ touch, how we perceive to be in-touch and how that touch composes experience. The vocabulary generated within this movement-based investigative practice cultivates a dynamic quality of physical articulation and one that highlights the importance of the potential power in threading a core of action as thinking. Even though I am approaching this from the perspective of an artist, any individual interested in the cross-pollination of creative vocabularies could benefit from investing in maintaining a momentum of co- dependent body-thinking. My work is both performative and process-led, with the workshop offering an opportunity to investigate a shared material-skin and/or a performative work-in-process dialogue.
Currently consumers generate inquiries through search engine software, and free applications, whose responses are delivered on electronic devices to the end user. This leads to questions of power, political economy and ideology; how democratic is the digital gaze? This exploration asks how digital technology affects the representation of the nude body through its electronic translation?
My research explores the gaze as it is viewed through digital devices by focusing on Google
and its ‘free’ apps; Google translate, and nation state specific ‘Google.com search’ home pages. The software applications is examined through the lens of a propaganda tool, by observing how the UK and US propagandize their ideology, social and cultural values. Edward Bernays, in his book Propaganda stated that in order to have democracy the masses needed to be controlled, and Google software is a contemporary solution to execute that. The consumer is placing such trust in the information delivered by software that it is beginning to replace memory. The digital gaze creates a power dynamic where the consumer - in the quest for knowledge - allows the electronic device and the software that runs it, to give answers to questions asked.
The accompanying photographic and video art pieces continue to explore the digital gaze by asking how digital technology affects the representation of the nude through its electronic translation. In the 1970’s Laura Mulvey wrote about the “Male gaze” and how the female body was objectified through the medium of film. This observation applied to Google raises the question, is the digital gaze a heterosexual male gaze?
The “Found Cambodia” Archive is the outcome of my professional and critical engagement with Cambodia’s history, pre and post Khmer Rouge, over the last 13 years. Going live in 2014, it is the first online platform to combine images and segments of interviews with several generations of Cambodians, both in Cambodia and in the Cambodian diaspora, in an openly accessible format. It uses this original format to contest dominant historical and media-formed narratives, by bringing to view Cambodian everyday life and its often-overlooked proximity to major events in the country’s recent traumatic history. Though a practising Photographer, I have been looking for different ways to engage with these narratives in other forms, using the archive as a starting point for my practice.
Found Cambodia is presented as a series of 5 prints which explore the intricate narrative of Prum Sisaphantha, who was one of hundreds of thousands of Cambodians who were marched out of Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge after the city fell on 17 April 1975. Sisaphantha hid a series of negatives of family portraits in a pouch which she sewed to the waistband of her Khmer Rouge issued black clothing. The pouch remained there for 4 years, at great personal risk and she would likely have been killed if they had been discovered.
Sisaphantha’s narrative, like so many during this period, risks becoming lost in waves of historical and journalistic interpretations. Found Cambodia is a unique platform in the discussion of Cambodia’s recent history which uses considered and robust visual investigation to understand the wider narratives contained within conventionally limited and widely consumed media narratives.
A Lecture in Reverse
Current PhD research at NTU considers the relationship between alternative art school as a site of learning. The project sets out to establish what the art institution might take from the alternative. The enquiry ‘Alternative to What? The Alternative Art School as Form’ explores artistic education by examining topologies of space/specific moments in time/location of place that the alternative exists within. The platforms in which alternative art education operate are examined, the ways in which the alternative are constructed, the experience of participation in and with an alternative art school are not only analysed but tested. Research in and through practice-based enquiry, has included participation in and playful explorations of alternative art school platforms. This has provided different results in addition to the more formal interview, questionnaires and extended conversational approaches that are also being applied within the study.
A Lecture in Reverse workshop includes the ubiquitous Powerpoint, along with props and feedback cards that expose my approaches to researching institutional boundaries, borders and the edges of the normative. This is a performative work that can last between 10- 20 minutes presented by one of my protagonist characterisations; the Articulate Detective. Starting from the premise of exposition as opposed to exhibition, I will articulate the developing forms that the artistic practice as research methodology is taking, and present some of the investigative approaches I undertake.
Gavin and Cathy Wade
“We are all used to having our dreams crushed, our hopes smashed, our illusions shattered, but what comes after hope?” (Halberstam, 2011)
A primary tool for focusing the students practical research is the 1-1 tutorial, yet this pedagogical model remains subject to the tutor’s knowledge and empathy for the contexts and methods presented by the student. Gavin Rogers and Cathy Wade collaboratively examine this exchange for the truths it reveals, ustilising the resultant ideas to form methodologies for Queer Academy, a space that revises cognitive dissonance into critical discourse.
For ‘Cracking the Established Order' we present a workshop that seeks to extrapolate the inherent value in work that have been described as “Hobbycraft Away Day” and “A bit Claire’s Accessories” imagining what these practices could vocalise if they became feral and found their inherent autonomy. The art school, a supposedly unhindered place for art processes, visual testing and philosophical enquiry, very often develop their own established rules, ways of being, ways of doing - with a danger that the establishment itself could inhibit the production of queer art. Strategies for building queer resilience, family structures, the role of the autodidact, the awkward, imbalanced and unfinished (Walter, 2017) and hidden knowledge within our institutions will be vocalised and explored through this discursive workshop.
Halberstam. Judith. (2011) The Queer Art of Failure, Duke University Press.
Walter. John. (2017) Shonky, the aesthetics of awkwardness, London, Hayward Publishing.
With the expansion of digital technologies, the body and its visual faculty are no longer simple, but are constantly subjected to mediation, augmentation and translation via machines. The way we see is no longer a straightforward and instantaneous experience but instead our sight is constantly mediated through feedback loops, playbacks, multiple channels, interfaces, juxtapositions and synchronizations of disparate space-time continuums. As these non-human visual machines infiltrate our vision, our eyes are increasingly becoming bodies without –clearly demarcated- surfaces. Through a custom-made installation of my own making, the diplorasis, I attempt to address how embodied experience is changing with-in mediated environments.
If according to Derrida telephony is the scene where ‘a voice may detach itself from the body’ (1982), then through today’s simulated visual machines it becomes possible to speculate how the body-image detaches itself from the body. The voice ‘is part of the body’ whilst simultaneously ‘it traverses the body, because it disposes of it’ (Derrida, 1982). Similarly the body-image in the diplorasis reaches an impasse due to its particular entwinement with a technical object. Is this not a case of what might be a ‘future mutation’ of a body induced by the inhuman ‘bottomless gaze’ of the machine? Thus Derrida’s statement: ‘the gaze called animal offers to my sight the abyssal limit of the inhuman or the ahuman, the ends of man, that is to say the bordercrossing from which vantage man dares to announce himself to himself, thereby calling himself by the name that he believes he gives himself (2002), might be re-thought by substituting machine for animal.
In the diplorasis, the body becomes a locus of sight and the eyes’ mediations inform the dis- location of bodies, hence any prior distinctions between self and external world collapse. The practice-based research relies on a combination of embodied and critical methods in order to investigate how the body behaves within emerging media constellations that are situated within data-base cultures.
Cut and Mix
Cut and Mix is a presentation/performance, including an extract of a newly commissioned Arts Council England theatre production, Revealed, which addresses issues of black masculinity, sexuality, mental health and wellbeing. As a visual and performing arts curator the methodological approach adopted for this practice as research is framed within Mercer’s (2012) theory of a ‘cut and mix’ aesthetic: an artistic practice of collage incorporated within the visual art of the Midlands based Blk Art Group (BAG) of the 70s/80s. Through their art and activism influenced by the likes of Mercer and Hall (2013), BAG sought to challenge the socio-political narratives of race, identity and representation of the day and would influence future generations of black visual artists.
During the presentation the aim is to illustrate how ‘cut and mix’ as method provided this practice-based research with primary data derived from a focus group discussion with black men aged 21+. Through the performance and introduction, the aim is to contextualise the practice as research approach and value of conducting a focus group as method due to (Gomm, 2008) notion of emancipatory and or empowerment research. The extract performance illustrates how narrative from the focus group discussion has contributed to the production. Whilst the presentation will also indicate how the ‘cut and mix’ approach will facilitate future socially engaged art and wider practice-based research.
The Rainbow Tribe
Taking its starting point from the embodied performances, Revue and No Need For Clothing, my paper examines historical meditations on the poetics of time and space, suggesting that our bodies are tools for action and vulnerable. My project The Rainbow Tribe actively considers agency within the collective as prompted by Josephine Baker’s Rainbow Tribe. The project’s title is taken from Josephine Baker’s pivotal 20th-century experiment ‘The Rainbow Tribe’ in which a group of 12 ethnically-diverse children were adopted by Baker.
We might think of Josephine Baker's “Rainbow Tribe” as an orphanage and by extension, through this contemporary project, Black Britain as an orphaned group: Where is my, and by implication where is the Othered bodies, space and place? The Rainbow Tribe project signals potentials for enriching the personal and political, for self-reflexivity and to recognise the spatialisation of social and political practice. The project attempts to communicate a centring through practice, which has a precariousness to it - the reality of my personal experience.
There is a demand for work/artistic practices that engage with the issues of race and colonialism. Bodies performing as artists in a gallery space, in the case of No Need for Clothing and its iterations, the body unclothed drawing durationally directly on to gallery walls, flag up concerns around ‘care’. Such embodied research based practice prompts a layer of enquiry that attempts to transcend my subjectivity, acknowledging my labour as a cultural worker, asking how do we value traumatised, labouring bodies, bodies loaded with ancestral traumas? What types of actions have been taken to secure, or institute care centred structures, what models can we steer through that suggest ways of thinking about our body’s use and navigation through the wordings and language of those actions?
Art Research Together: Co-creating knowledge in special schools
The child’s right to an ‘active voice’ to express views, feelings and wishes – and for these to be considered and taken seriously – is included in The Convention on the Rights of the Child (Unicef). Although there have been a range of projects inviting children to participate, collaborate and lead research to practice this right, there is a noted shortage of the inclusion of children who attend special schools. This exclusion is partly due to society positioning children and people with learning disabilities as ‘insufficiently competent and rational’ to participate (Kay and Tisdall 2012: 183). Moreover, as children with learning differences often express themselves in embodied and visual ways, their non-verbal contributions are labelled as intelligible and impossible to capture in research outcomes. As a result, research about these children tends to follow a medical model of disability with a focus on defining and/or fixing their perceived ‘lack’ in body, knowledge and behaviour.
This paper will discuss a collaborative project supported by the Leverhulme Foundation, which invited children attending special schools to act as researchers and experts and to collaborate with artists and their wider school communities. It will discuss how drawing on several forms of artistic expressions (such as physical comedy, creative writing, puppetry, music and film making) supported children to challenge the exclusion of their ‘voices’ and counteract the rejection of their embodied knowledge. The paper will look at the possibilities of children’s art, not as a therapeutic or educational tool, but as a medium for practice-based research. Issues such as the roles of the researchers (young and old), the challenges of the power dynamics within special schools and the responsibilities of the dissemination of research findings will be discussed by using examples from the practical process and clips from the film which was created during the collaboration.
As an artist working at the intersections between dance and technology, my work explores the use of innovative digital technologies as choreographic tools to create immersive performance environments which can shift and extend audiences’ perceptual experiences. My current performance Exposure is a mixed reality, one to one experience using 360 video and live performance. The work explores the relationship between the audience member and both the digital and live female performer, questioning notions of intimacy as they are pulled between the live and virtual space simultaneously through a range of sensate interactions. Building on the learning from this project, I have recently begun a practice-based PhD exploring the experiential potential and impact of 360-degree video (3DV) technologies in performance on the audience. My research aims to understand audience perception and embodiment by creating performance journeys using a range of VR/AR technologies, alongside multi-sensory engagement and live performance.
Under the working title of DIS/PLACE, initial investigations have been exploring how the movement language, use of space and scale, lighting, location, and visual choices in 360 video can affect the viewer experience. This research relates to the wider themes of embodiment, immersion, haptic visuality and sensual engagement of the viewer. I aim to present the 360-video work to audience groups of 8 at a time and test a new method for gathering responses to the work through facilitated discussion that differs to more traditional data collection techniques such as written feedback forms and questionnaires. I am interested in finding different modes of capturing audience responses to this work that reflect the experiential impact of the performance journey, exploring new methodological possibilities through re-envisioning the role of data collection within practice-based research.
Now That We Know (excerpt)
An excerpt of my 2016 science-fiction performance-lecture, which asks: What will change, if and when science discovers how our bodies give rise to our minds? Creation & performance: Matthias Sperling / Lighting design: Jackie Shemesh / Sound design: Joel Cahen. Created with support from Arts Council England, Sadler’s Wells, Dance4, and Siobhan Davies Dance.
No-How Generator: a walk and talk of work-in-progress
In this presentation, I will walk and talk through a solo reflection on No-How Generator, the choreographic work that I am currently developing as the focus of my PhD research. With equal playfulness and seriousness, it embarks from the question: If knowledge-generation is a fundamentally embodied process, can we see and experience it happening in a dance performance? Supported by Arts Council England, Midlands4Cities, Dance4 and Siobhan Davies Dance.
witnessing life-worlds - an eco-somatic approach to dance research
This lecture performance explores my current work-in-progress research about the linkage between dance, somatic practices and ecology. The performance will reflect on the research process and the difficulties, possibilities and questions that keep arising when I try to grasp the complexity of ‘nature’ (drawing on theorist Bruno Latour and biologist Lynn Margulis) while trusting into the unfolding knowledge within dance improvisation and dance scores. If I am a part of nature, what am I?
a nature that has deep earthly roots and a vast sky, a nature that is a landscape of folded matter, a nature that is a romantically painful absent paradise, a nature in which micro plastic and micro organisms mingle, a nature of ghosts and energies, a precarious nature, a nature that has never been pure, a lost state of human innocence, a co-reacted reality
I am a consortia of micro-worlds embedded in and co-created by micro-worlds. What if dance is a
means to experience and learn something about this life-world, by moving and sensing into a heightened state of witnessing the environing world? How do needs, emotion and cultural role come into play? And how to talk about, share, perform this research and its value?
Affection-images: imagining the world in non-images
Creative practice, although still largely considered an elite activity, conceals the imaginative power that characterises human nature. Yet today, little attention has been paid to people’s capacity to engage with creative practice on an everyday basis. An exception makes Professor Nino Fasca’s life-long exploration of the doodle as an introspective tool testifying to the human creative capacity. Following on this path and accompanied by the thoughts of philosophers in relation to productive imagination, I would like to engage in an experiment that explores creative practice as a common activity able to develop new knowledge, that cancels the dualisms individual-collective, subjective-objective and sensation-reasoning. To this purpose, I propose to work with affection-images as results of creative gesture. Affection-images should be understood as forms of resonance between the object of our perceptions and our own selves. They are neither the reflection of our emotions (internal), nor responses to perceptual stimuli (external) but rather an intertwining of both, modulations of the same matter (Deleuze), giving rise to the imaginary texture of the real (Merleau-Ponty).
The experiment is organised as an experimental Lab, combining discussions of core philosophical concepts (P1:15min) with a creative practice exercise (P2:20min) and reflection on results and their implications (P3:25min). For P2 participants will be presented with a short extract from home movie footage (object of my PhD project), to which they will need to relate through the creation of affection-images. Among proposed creative practice methods for P2 are: re-filming the scene by using a smartphone, adding subtitles or sound, video-editing, analogue manipulation (printed frames). Together with participants we will discuss the single projects and look at what knowledge was generated through creative practice, the way the chosen medium impacted on the final output and how the single results can make sense in the context of collective thought.
Artistic Research into the HE Institution: Reading the neoliberal education market as a Socialist production play.
Facing extensive restructuring efforts in the context of the increasingly competitive marketisation of the HE sector, all staff at UK universities experience traumatic shifts and defamiliarization within their working environment and cultures. Though institutional procedures, for instance mobilisation by Unions, neither institutions nor staff are offered time, space or frameworks in order to reflect or discuss their experiences and the affect on their academic identities. But instead the increased workload that austerity in University Finance Policies brought about entraps staff into the day to day objectives and obligations.
In this context, the Artistic Research Project, entitled "The Redundancy" attempted to create an heterogenous space within the university institution in order to reflect on the ongoing changes. Inspired by texst from East German dramatist Heiner Müller (1929-1995) which are focusing on concepts of labour, the project "The Redundancy" invited colleagues from the School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at Bangor University to engage in diverse performative settings to explore the neoliberal University and the part they play in it.
At the same time, the project aimed to better understand Heiner Müller´s text which are very specific to the historical circumstances of the early GDR. Here, a juxtaposition - reading the more and more deregulated educational market through the lens of the socialist regulated market and vice versa - aimed to alienate both and by doing so exploring the potentiality of both realities.
At CteO I will mainly talk about artistic methods in order to generate insights into both, the institutional situation at British Universities and the chosen texts by Heiner Müller. Besides discussing the generated knowledge, I would also like to negotiate the empowering force emerging in the course of the work, for instance by the re-poetization of working spaces.
This performance lecture uses the phenomenological concepts of cyclical, non-linear time and multiplicity of spatial perspective as a methodology to explore micro and macro perception, human subjectivity and environmental change. The work itself involves audience members sitting on a low bench or similar, at a table, so their viewing position is laterally across the table at eye-level, exploring the gestalt as well as Don Idhe’s post-phenomenological concept of how we ‘read’ the world in western literary terms. The performance lecture involves myself as a performer working with materials on the table, including tracing paper, charcoals, a portable projector, lights and other small props.
My aim with this research is to explore the gaps between perception, both in reference to the nature of practice-based research, as well as the human condition and experience of being-in-the-world. It explores how we see our environment, the changing landscape and climate. It involves the sharing of personal memories and self-history, in reference to a wider context of the human timeline as cartography. The work itself is a topographic study into experience as a horizontal landscape of continual becoming. It is telescopic, and aims to switch between micro and macro perspectives through proposing the performative space-time as hyperobject (Morton), touching on concepts of inter-objectivity, liminality and alienation.
Throughout the time-span of the performance, the map of experience that is created is eventually deconstructed and destroyed, the remnants of which are placed alongside the remains of all previous iterations of the performance (see documentation). Mark-making and gesture also play an important part in my performance of the work; I will be wearing a white boiler suit which will eventually be covered in black charcoal marks from my repeated labour, as I question the sustainability of my actions, my resources eventually running out.
“Imperceptible Dance” (Foucault, 1966); an intervention (ab)using VR to examine how 360 technologies effect participants’ perception of an event on a micro level.
Rose (2001) suggested that the technological site privileged the audience’s reaction to an artwork. How does the medium alter the event? Does the participant become an agent of the work by using their movement to alter the experience?
The 3D scan of my sculpture, young dancer aged 14, contains glitches: these holes enable the viewer to enter the artwork, to effectively walk inside the digital bodyscape; the image becomes architectural and topological.
In VR there is no longer a body + space, as in Euclidian geometries, there is only space plus a multiplicity of images; the participant’s body is no longer present. “We cannot define where a body begins and where external nature ends.” (Whitehead. 1968,21)
This digital artwork was first presented as a masterclass in the Data Arena in UTS, Sydney, Australia. The Data Arena allows participants to interact with the work, wearing 3D glasses, the audience becomes the centre of the work, enveloped in the 3D body. By using VR, I am creating an interface that recreates this experience on a micro level.
This iteration has an original 360 soundtrack by Ana Rutter.
It’s Big Mouth!
This work-in-progress performance demonstrates how my performance art practice dissects and challenges fetishized representations of the lived and performed female body. This performance will explore the often-reductive positioning of the ageing diva film figure, and through a re-envisaging of Mulvey's male gaze, will examine how my practice presents her as an active figure of feminine excess.
My practice explores modes of subversive hyper-femininity, a transgressive and deliberately constructed version of the normative femininity that Mulvey discusses. This hyper-femininity manifests in It’s Big Mouth! through a layering of excessive personae, that draw upon Irigaray's theorised challenges to lack, displaying the female body as excessive in its sexuality, with 'sex organs more or less everywhere' (1985:28). This performance will present the diva, as a figure who's abject behaviour seeps out from the internal and hidden areas of the feminine body, in order to disrupt the dichotomy between female performer and the male gaze. Through exploring this behaviour, this presentation argues for the necessity of continuing to resiliently challenge the male gaze, uncovering its potential impact upon feminist performance art and spectator consciousness.
Play in Practice
In 2014 the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University, developed the innovative Doctoral Training Programme in Practice Based Research, followed by the development of the CTx programme Creative Technologies Innovation through Doctoral Practice) in 2018. These programmes have been designed to support practice based doctoral candidates in developing and strengthening their individual practice. Key to this is embedding play into the training programme, as a way of taking the students back-to- basics in terms of recognising and celebrating the excitement and strength of open exploration. Following years of formal academic education, students often arrived ill-equipped to develop ideas freely, without restriction, both individually and play in groups. One particular strength of this approach is it’s value across discipline areas. Rather than being of relevance solely to arts-based areas, play became central to developing wider creative practice. One student reflected; Initially I will have a broad concept and work towards it as if I were writing functional code. Then as the development progresses I will begin to play around with the various parameters built into the code, and based upon these experiments my idea of the outcome changes. This playful mode of programming gets gradually more prominent the further through a piece I am, becoming the dominant way of working when I have fixed the structures and processes which control the final piece.
Drawing on the experience of developing and running the Doctoral Training Programme for Practice Based Research, this chapter outlines how the 5 main characteristics of play ((self-chosen and self-directed; intrinsically motivated; guided by mental rules; imaginative; and conducted in an active, alert, but relatively non-stressed frame of mind), (Gray, 2013), have been embedded into doctoral practice and learning at PhD level. The paper explores how embedding play into doctoral training can enable learners to experiment and innovate within a supportive creative environment.
The complex process of research is often presented as a polished thesis; a “complete” achievement, flattened-out and divorced from the other aspects of our work. Most of the times, professionalism forces many of us to edit our narratives of messy development into smooth, systematic body of text. Inspired by London Underground map, the researcher created a map showcasing the dynamic thinking process of research. In a quirky approach, the map celebrates the uncertainties of research process and the multi-dimensional ways of thinking.
In a multifaceted research where collaboration lies at the heart of the process, the various roles of the researcher take an important part in the process of “creating” knowledge, and yet this complexity is not quite pan out in the final written thesis. In this research, the researcher positions herself at the converging point of research context; at one aspect, she is a designer, and at another she is a moderator. At times she is a teacher, and at others she is an apprentice. But within what is seems to be a crazy mimic of underground map, she is a curator who is assembling all of it into one narrative experience embodied in the thesis as object.
This paper shows a glimpse of this narrative and unfolding the multi-faceted process; shifting the linear understanding of the written thesis to an interacting object that challenges the conventional approach in presenting research knowledge. This highlights ways of knowing that are taken for granted, dismissed, or erased. It fosters the messiness, the failures, and the wanderings as integral parts that feed into the research thinking process.