Abstracts – Circle 7 Summer Symposium, Orivesi 2016
Alia Zapparova – Being-in-a-room: on habit and waiting as artistic strategies
The presentation I propose approaches the theme of slow spontaneity by exploring the relationship between the everyday, time and the interior. The artistic work that I would like to present is an ongoing series of experiments concerned with habit and waiting as forms of time and a result of a process of production that is itself an enactment of these categories.
I explore the interior as a form of temporality and not only as a kind of space. The interior is more than merely a setting for everyday routines: it is not where something happens, but how it happens. Here the interior is the everyday, it is the passage of the day, the passage of time. In a room, time happens in the forms of repetition and stillness. We encounter this time as habit and waiting; repetition-habit is acted out as domestic ritual, while stillness-waiting is performed as nothing happens.
I take the being of a thread as a starting point and investigate how following its lines in a room can be a thinking of time. It is a kind of a search for points where time stills and solidifies, in the gaps between the events and activities of daily life. It is also an attempt to trace the repetitions, minor variations and imperceptible shifts that are the indistinct markers of nothing happening. The artistic process is conceived as a series of photographic non-events to record, measure and explore the times of waiting and habit.
Taking photography as the raw material, lines of thought are materialised as threads. Each photograph in a series is a full stop, a pause in the lines of thought between the photographs. The thread’s existence on the threshold of visibility acts on the interior, recomposes the image and alters the possibilities of what can be seen. A thread is a line through space into time; it connects and splits; remakes and unmakes the image.
My presentation develops this line of thought about habit and waiting as forms of time and explores how the being of the thread becomes the temporality of the room.
Ami Skånberg Dahlstedt – the Female Immortal
Ami will perform a slow reflection of Fujiwara no Akihira´s 11th century description of a performance:
When she dances, he says, she is like a female Immortal…. Her performances attract men and women of all classes, who come from near and far, crowding around her as if at a marketplace. Her admirers
have donated so much rice, Akihira notes, that there is nowhere to store it.
Anastasia Artemeva – Prisons and presence – Political engagement through collaborative practices face to face and over the wall
My proposal is based on the research topic of my Master’s studies in Aalto University, Helsinki. Here I will present my artistic research, centred on presence as a means of political and artistic engagement, focusing specifically on collaboration with Helsinki prison. My presentation will be divided into two parts – first I will discuss the philosophical and political framework for presence, referencing, among others, Martin Heidegger, Herbert Marcuse and Christian Norberg-Schulz.
I regard presence as a process, a dialogue between people in a shared environment, be it a physical or long-distance interaction. Focusing on processual practices and urban studies, I will argue that through our communication we create a space for the presence to take place, and that presence, in turn, creates us. It is not something permanent, but is fluid, ever changing, and exists through exchange between people. These ideas are applicable not only for artistic works, but also relate to everyday life.
The second part of the presentation will focus on a practical application of these theories in a context of prisons. I will start by discussing my own on-going collaborative project in Helsinki prison, where the aim is to connect the inmates to the neighbourhood and the city in general. The project started in 2014 in collaboration with artist Annika Niskanen. Since then, it is constantly being continued and developed, through own reflections, feedback from collaborators from both inside and outside the prison, as well as the prison coordinators.
I will then reference other artistic projects that took place in prisons around the world. I will present methodology for activating the exchange between the prisoners and people outside through collaboration with artists and non-artists. In this long-term engagement, necessary in such a context where trust is built throughout the process, slowness is the key.
Anna Frew – Reactions, Considerations: Exploring the journey from initial reactions to perceptive media storytelling, through to its consideration/application
My PhD research is about Perceptive Media storytelling. It’s a form of digital storytelling that uses knowledge of the audience to make the way the story is told personal to them. For example, in a radio play, it may mention landmarks local to that listener. Much like traditional theatre, it offers a way to tell a story in sensitive way to its audience.
Presenting my research provokes reactions ranging from confusion, through to fear of the technological unknown. Therefore, in line with the conference theme of slow spontaneity I’d like to invite other circle members to explore their reactions, and their change over time to my research topic. My aim is to collaboratively move from initial reactions, through to considered opinion and possibly new stories through slow spontaneity.
Previous experience of NSU, and of similar groups (Secret Hotel: Lab and Micropractice Gender workshop), has led me to find the spaces in-between the programme to be fertile ground to discuss and develop ideas. Sharing the space, and meals with other practitioners from varying fields creates rich opportunities for collaboration and slow spontaneity off programme time.
The format of these collaborations is open to interpretation by the practice and preferences of those that take part. This could be as simple as my gathering the thoughts of others through conversation or audio recordings, though to drawing, dance or a written piece of work. The results of the journeys from reaction to consideration will be presented back to the circle by myself and/or the others in the form best suited to the work.
Anna Svensdotter – Solitude
The planets are travelling with great speed and at the same time very slow, through the stillness of space.
The music in Solitude moves slowly forward, altering between faint ”morse signals” asking if someone is out there, and long phrases accepting the loneliness. Faint answers can be heard, or are they also calls? Also attempts to find a meaning, a someone, a purpose?
Anne-Laure Vernet – Floating images: Germinated Landscapes / Lansdcaped Germinations (Images flottantes: Paysages germés/ Germinations paysagères)
As I did in last year’s proposal, I would like to offer to the people attending circle 7 to go shoot with a digital camera natural or urban landscapes. Anyone from the symposium who would wish to participate would be more than welcome to. The idea is for each person to choose one of their pictures, and to make it germinate and grow. Those budding images will give us the opportunity to communicate on some of the ideas developed in my previous lecture of 2013 as well as on the NSU as a place for transformative societal strategies, for which this step of “germinated landscapes” can be seen as a kind of allegory. And most of all, the budding images could speak by themselves of slowness, hazard, and not-controlled processes in artistic research.
Then these germinated images, destroyed and regenerated by an organic process, will be part of a participative exhibition, which form could be based on hanging mobiles, if the layout of the building and its surroundings allow it.
Annikki Wahlöö – A critical Wedge a performance lecture
My research has investigated how performance can be a critical wedge in our society, an in-between where alternative ways of approaching and experiencing the way we build and look upon society can be explored. I have taken an interest in memories and how they can be a way to share experiences and thus expand our common knowledge. Memories of the past of the present and of the future. During my research within my MFA I developed a performance where I invited the audience to reclaim our city by sharing memories. A subtle and slow way to reclaim but nevertheless reclaim.
Another theme that has been vivid in my work is that I often refer to water, the sea, the ocean. This hug that creates the signifying blue colour of the blue planet – the earth we inhabit. I want to share the sensation of the sea, sounds, and the sensory experience of the sea, through smell, taste, tactile touch, sound and vision. Water represents a different pace. The water is an element that moves in a slightly slower pace since it is dense, making us move slower and maybe think a little differently, remembering other memories.
My experiment in the presentation will be to merge my earlier work on making the invisible visible through memory, and the theme ocean. Ocean as life giving as life taking. There is immersiveness about water that interests me in relation to the immersive theatre-performance.
Camilla Graff Junior – MIDDLE LIFE? A performative diary
To me “slow spontaneity” is a “deep response” to the surrounding world within one’s personal rhythm. My way of responding and reflecting on being in the world has since young age been to write a journal. This practice in my teens took a more performative turn. I at first would read chosen passages from my diary aloud to friends. Then later to an invited audience that I only partly knew. My interest was to establish a dialogue with others to talk about topics that I felt alone with. I am currently working on the performance trilogy entitled “Journal(s)”. The common point for all three works is that they integrate autobiographical material and that I use myself as a projection surface in relation to the audience to talk about identity, family relations, grief, norms, gender and love. The works are based on situated knowledge. The sharing of personal narratives is a performative strategy to build a “space of trust” and gradually involve the audience and their experience in the work. The way I integrate this research into activities within society, is to meet different groups of audiences within various settings and on various locations*.
I already have presented the two first projects of the trilogy “My mom is a wolf, my dad…” and “Ex(s)” at the NSU. This summer I would like to present the third project “Middle Life? A
Performative diary” which is based on the forty-one acts, I did in my 41st year. The acts where divided into four series: acts “of celebrating”, “for leaving the past behind”, “of healing” and “for entering the future”. The first act happened on my birthday in 2014 and the 41st one on my birthday one year later.
The chapter of the diary that I would like to perform this summer is from the celebration series and will build on the act of celebrating my birthday, which I did together with Study Circle 7* in Vilnius on March 1st 2014. I hereby would like to raise questions such as ‘What happened during the act?’ ’What did the act lead to?’, and ‘What did time make visible?’
Cecilia Lagerström – Walking the every day as performative events
Since 2013, I have been conducting a collaborative project on walking together with the actress and tightrope walker Helena Kågemark, where walking has become a means for inquiry-based performing. The purpose of this project was to apply techniques and strategies from the theatre work we pursue in situations outside of the theatre on walking actions in urban spaces – in order to create attention as well as bring forth poetry in situations of everyday life. The project included a wide range of activities and events; from our own explorative walks documented through “walking journals” to participatory walks with others and public presentations of many different kinds. In our project, we used physical acting techniques to create attention and meaning in situations that emerged in the streets. Our aim was to go beyond the automatic patterns of the everyday when walking through town in order to activate a way to relate to the environment and to create experience that develops both the perception and imagination of the one who walks. We chose to focus on the seemingly small and invisible stories and observations of the everyday, while actively carrying out a psychophysical walk.
In this interactive presentation, I want to discuss the outcome of this type of activity, in the interface between art and everyday life. How can the artist contribute with ways of seeing and perceiving the surroundings and in what forums? In particular, I would like to focus on the type of performative writing that has evolved during this project, where documentations in the form of walking journals and walking instructions have turned into performative reports.
The idea that documentation of a performance itself has a performative character is not new. Theatre scholar Philip Auslander suggests that: ”Documentation not simply generate image/statement that describe an autonomous performance and state it occurred: it produces an event as a performance”. The aspect of performance gives rise to a fictional dimension where narratives and even invented elements may appear, in order to better put forward its ”real” content. But when involving the concept of performativity I also imply that the walks as texts do something to its reader, creates an affect.
Christine Fentz and Ragnhild Freng Dale – Slow tempi – but how? Exploring artistic strategies when wanting big things, but walking small steps
If you want to embrace the slowness that both creativity and growth often needs and at the same time you want to affect your surroundings – then you also must relate to what you have, and what you perhaps want to change, as well as to what your ideal tempi are. How can our intertwined artistic practices grow with the slow transformations we wish to see?
For Aristotle, everything exists in a suspension or tension between potential and realization, an in-between state where the very thing or phenomena we seek to understand is changing as we reach out to grasp it. What tempi are at work here? Fast or slow, it seems that understanding the true nature of what we wish to change is always just outside our grasp. That spark of a good idea, that spur of “lets go this way” are not slow events in themselves, but sudden appearances. But they need the slowness that creativity demands in order to appear at all.
Ragnhild and Christine will share their experiences and concrete examples of work which aim at slow changes; aim at creating space for actual changes to appear – often changes in speed.
This shared presentation will explore how our artistic strategies interlink, how to talk about the potential of our work beyond the performance situation, and how we may begin to articulate how types of creativity, and types of tempi may be mapped from both inside and outside our own practices and most importantly what tempi means to how we work artistically; both we as artists, but also non-artist collaborators.
We will interweave material from two in-absentia contributors, philosopher Carsten Friberg and anthropologist Mathilde Højrup (part of AURA, Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene).
Elina Saloranta and Myna Trustram – In the Paltanmäki museum: Exploring slow museum time
Museums are slow. In fact, they try to stop time altogether by keeping collections exactly as they are and by promising to keep them forever. Time does not exist in a museum.
In this session we invite people to spend some slow time or even timeless time in the Paltanmäki museum. The museum consists of fourteen timber buildings including dwellings, farm and trade buildings that show life in Orivesi in the 19th and 20th centuries.
In the Paltanmäki Museum time has stopped.
But might there be room for spontaneity in a museum? Museums are tended, cultivated, inhibited places. They are cautious places that store up treasures just in case they might be needed in the future. You can rarely touch the treasures and most are hidden away in stores.
What might happen when an impulsive artistic researcher enters a museum?
We are both attached to museums:
Elina is a frequent museum visitor who particularly enjoys house museums. She has also made artworks inspired by museum collections and picture archives. Currently she is inspired by Finnish village photographers from early 1900s — pictures that represent the same kind of life as the Paltanmäki Museum.
Myna is interested in the states of mind that museums evoke in their visitors, and the state of mind that causes all Western societies to create museums. One of these is melancholia aroused by the thousands of lost, abandoned and unused objects housed in the museum.
Henrik Andersson – Fluid gender acting – a workshop to experience masculinity and femininity in the body
I have been questioning the way of representing/seeing one self as the role of male or female both in stages/media and in ordinary life through out my life. When studying my MA of fine arts in Theatre I got inspired by Glücks opera Orpheo, in which the male role is sung by a countertenor (a male singing in falsetto voice) and the female role by a soprano. It is common that the male role is often played by a woman dressed as a man, but it seems never to be questioned or seen as a problem. Or for that matter something to work with, to investigate. The male role is portrayed as a classic male (the hero, active and strong) and the female role is the lovable victim (beautiful, sensitive and passive). In my research I let two female singers create characters that wasn’t male nor female, using either femininity or masculinity in their acting, also changing if they saw it benefitting the goal. Due to stripping the characters of their gender (dressed and masked in the same way) the audience read them as male or female, very few saw them as opposite sex. The result of the performance was that the actors become almost neutral towards gender expression and not exploring femininity nor masculinity.
I would like to give this a new try at NSU and Circle 7 in a workshop, to explore the process of stripping gender of a body, and how to play with femininity and masculinity. We get influenced through out our lives how to act as a male or a female – slow. To try out how masculinity and femininity reads in ones body and then to use that kind of quality in a room/situation needs improvisation/exploration – spontaneity. I believe this workshop would benefit the symposium by questioning how we interact with each other, how the interaction changes when changing posture and sound of ones voice, and how different sense of gender gives special benefits.
Inta Balode – Value of “Another” and “New” Bringing contemporary dance to new communities
In 2004 I brought first contemporary dance performance to my home town. The press release had title “Another Dance in Another Place”. Since then I keep bringing dance pieces, lectures and workshops to culture houses, schools, retirement houses. In 2014 within Baltic Nordic network project kedja Writing Movement I started seminar / festival “New Dance in a New Place”. I did not think about title from 2004.
There was no slow time to think what it is what I am doing. What I am bringing? In 2016 I met an American choreographer Abby Zbikowski whn she was teaching at the Latvian Academy of Culture. She said that she realized how American is her work. Long talks become a catalyst for me to start more clearly realizing that I am not bringing dance, I am bringing certain values. And as I label them as “Another” and “New” it must be that I have an ambition to replace or at least to shift the old ones.
What are general values (if there are such) contemporary dance has? What are the ones that are met and challenged in new communities? What if those communities have already what “new dance” is aiming for? Because values change slowly. Slow might mean not changing. Slow might mean noticing that there is actually not much to change. May be I am working to bring the values that are still there because of slow change. So task is actually to slow it down even more, to stop the change. Bringing of new becomes the best tool of keeping the old.
I am asking Study circle 7 for help in my interest to develop methodology that will be part of the project called “Living dance archive”. The idea is to revisit places contemporary dance has been before, talk to people and through concrete things try to figure out what are the value issues and slow change impact.
Jon Irigoyen – The secret of Slowness. Memory and Amnesia in Late Capitalism
A slow processual performance.
This action is based on Milan Kunderas book “Slowness”. The author of the novel writes about the loss of the pleasure of slowness in the chaotic contemporary society. Kundera ties slowness to the act of remembering, and speed to the act of forgetting. When one wants to savour, remember, or prolong a moment, one moves and acts slowly. On the other hand, one travels fast in order to forget a past experience.
The project consists of a slow processual writing performance, at a wall or similar open surface. The wall should be visible in our everyday routines.
Day by day, a letter by an hour, I will write slowly, as my grandmother gently used to do with that beautiful antique renaissance calligraphy, a sentence from Kundera’s book:
“A secret. The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory. The degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting.”
As I perform the text, a table with a few chairs and refreshments will stand near me, welcoming the spontaneous encounter. Perhaps this process could happen after dinnertime, as part of the Lab Night.
This space will allow the casual and voluntary meeting with other NSU Summer conference attendants. It is expected that this encounter could invite an unhurried South European-style chat about life, Kundera’s book, slowness, or any number of insights – or even a pleasurable slow stroll around the Manor house garden.
This proposal works as continuation of a past project I created for the festival Flesh experiences in 2013, and which took place in the city of Lima and in the province city of Huaraz, Peru. A fascinating meeting-gathering public space project inspired by my spontaneous encounters and slow conversations with strangers throughout all Latin America while waiting for hours the bus, the main popular public transportation.
Joanna Sperryn-Jones – Folding away bureaucracy: reflecting on and within contemporary society
Over the last two decades I’ve found an increasing demand to produce paperwork that supposedly justifies the quality and productivity of my work. It takes an increasing amount of time resulting in a decrease in productivity. My workload is such that I rarely stop from the time I walk in the door to work until hours after I should have left. Emphasis is placed not only on producing regular outputs but in proving you have done this. Recent books (Berg & Seeber 2016), articles and anecdotes point towards an increasingly trend in this direction.
I propose to run a workshop that aims to encourage reflection on this trend by giving people a method to create a temporary pause in their hectic work pace for reflection. This applies to both the duration of the workshop and for the future.
I would ask participants to bring paperwork with them to NSU that they feel has constituted a waste of time or of paper. During the workshop I would teach participants to create origami cranes from the paperwork. I would also propose to involve the children’s circle as they often already experience the pressure of government curriculums in schools. This means that addition to helping create an installation of paperwork they can also learn a means to stop and reflect on what is important in life. I would also be happy to work with any local groups.
I would propose the workshop as an event early in the week to allow people to reflect on the difference between their normal workplace and the ethos of NSU. A ceremonial burning of the installation of origami cranes and flowers (for the more advanced!) would take place towards the end of the week and the time of burning would be a time of reflection on how to counteract the increasingly hectic and unproductive bureaucracy of institutions. My hope is start people making paper cranes during their workday to create a space for reflection and change and post these on Facebook as an on-going conversation.
Lucy Lyons – Slowly drawing spontaneity
I see the world through the tip of my pen or pencil. Each encounter is unique. I capture these experiences and encounters as they happen. As I draw them I am in the moment yet this moment moves on faster than I can draw. They are my memories, my experiences. There is a strange dichotomy where the act of note taking is spontaneous, immediate and fast yet it suspends time and when I look at my notebooks a day, a week or even a year later I am transported back in time to the place and moment the event happened. Time may have moved on but I return to that moment instantaneously. The act of drawing, places me in the presence of the encounter, in the moment whether that moment is now or happened years ago. In this presentation/workshop I will be discussing, demonstrating and sharing visual note taking with the group and show that drawing is both spontaneous and eternally slow; drawing as a form of time travel.
My presentation as part of the study circle would involve a collaborative hand stitch workshop exploring slow, sensory knowledge and understanding. Weather and space permitting I would like the event to take place outside, involving collaborative sewing into grass. However if this is not practical I can adapt the session for an indoor location. This haptic, performative event would explore self-identity and shared working practices and investigate how hand-stitch methods can present a different form of communication. The workshop also advocates how this tactile form of engagement can enable dialogical exchange and allow other, non-vocal voices to be heard.
I would also welcome the opportunity afforded by this study session to discuss some of my previous shared stitched-based projects with the rest of the group. This would take the form of a visual presentation detailing the hidden benefits of shared slow embroidery as well as some of the points of tension in collaborative working where issues related to power relations and authorship are intertwined with making.
The chance afforded by this residency would also offer an invaluable opportunity to share varied working practices with a range of international artists from disparate disciplines.
Magda Mrowiec – How the Real contributes to the conception of an artistic project. Presentation the “Urban Dawns” project.
… “From now on, I’ll describe the cities to you,” the Khan had said, “in your journeys you will see if they exist.” But the cities visited by Marco Polo were always different from those thought of by the emperor. “And yet I have constructed in my mind a model city from which all possible cities can be deduced,” Kublai said. … Extract from “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino.
That extract from “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino is the guiding thread for the presentation the project “Urban Dawns”. This nomadic video project has been developing over more than 3 years. It involves the urban spaces exploration at dawn in order to film the sunlight phenomenon which happen during the switchover period from night to day. The project will be achieved when twelve European cities are explored.
It is therefore a question of a long duration project which forms and work process conceived at the beginning are constantly being tested by unforeseen situations and hazards because of different contexts where it is developed. This part of hazard imposed by the real constitutes an important part of the project’s essence. It doesn’t matter the real becomes an obstacle or a peril for the project but rather how the hazard could also bring something unexpected to it.
At the beginning Urban Dawns was a single-medium project. Today it has become a manifold project: video, book, and performance with an important part of the city-dwellers contribution. Numerous steps of Urban Dawns research were experimented within the Circle 7 sessions. Especially the performative part of this project.
The presentation of Urban Dawns is focusing on the most significant stages which have made derailed the project from its primary way and enriched it by adding other mediums.
Maggie Jackson – TRANSFIXed
Every day people gather in the Trinity Cathedral at the shrine of St. Sergius in Sergiev Posad, a nondescript town outside Moscow with the dominating presence of the monastery complex, one of the most important in Russia, overseeing the area. The Lavra, or monastic complex, re-attained importance after the official rehabilitation of Orthodoxy by Stalin in 1940, having had an illustrious past history. It forms part of the “Golden Ring” of architectural sites associated with the warlord princes of the region, who in the late Middle Ages held sway in their particular fiefdoms in this part of Russia.
St Sergius of Radonezh holds the usual credentials of miracle worker and charismatic inspirer of souls and since his main claim to fame is in persuading the fractious princes of Rus to rid the lands of the Tartar hordes, he is exalted as a national as well as a religious icon and his shrine, where the body is preserved, is subjected to constant veneration , in an atmosphere of magical charm.
My first encounter in September 2014 provoked a strong urge to return once again and to try to capture the intense atmosphere which permeated the building.
The inner sanctum of the church is visually dominated by the iconostasis, which is the work of Andrei Rublev, the most illustrious of Russian icon makers. The silver splendour of the shrine itself is theatrically set against the shimmering palette of Rublev’s works. The outer sanctum has a range of seats, where, in one corner, a group of women can be found melodiously chanting throughout the day in shifts, their sublime noise and intense beatific expressions pervading the space, itinerant visitors, both locals and long-haul pilgrims circumnavigate the space for variable lengths of time, passing through and out in a constant stream.
An attempt to capture the sensory richness of the space was the main intention behind the work. The site not only represents a sanctuary from the outside world, but also an interesting collision with the mundane and the quotidian. My collaborator in 2015, Dr, Sergei Savinich of the Moscow City Teacher Training University was a crucial link as translator both of the language and the prevalent cultural mores.
The process and significance is explored, not in a documentary sense, but more as a visual poetics, capturing the transfixing effect of the liturgy both on the monastic community and the devoted or curious visitor alike. This is a performative liturgy which appeals to all the senses; celestial chanting, pungent candle smoke and the gorgeous soaked colours of Rublev’s iconostasis. The appeal is beyond reason.
The film, which is called ‘Transfixed’, forms the main part of an exhibition, ‘Ritual and Spectacle’, which explores and discloses work which I have been engaged in at a monastic site in Russia. The work explores issues which deal in part with spectacle, gendered space, the Gaze and ritual practices. I believe that it may fir the bill in terms of ‘slow spontaneity’ because I was desperate to go back to the site, and to Russia, having first and encountered it, and because the slow aspect included long, though not unpleasant, negotiations with the Orthodox church. Nor is this just rarified work. A lot of the interest lies in community transactions and the avid involvement of ordinary people. I have been collaborating for over two years with Sergei Savinich of Moscow University.
Malin Arnell – What can a »live« dissertation do?
An activation of something that has already happened, and which by these actions continues to happen.
We will engage in Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_action). It is a »live« dissertation in choreography in the field of artistic research at Stockholm University of the Arts, which will take place May 27-29, 2016. It is a dissertation that will be written through space-time-matter- language with and for human and more-than-human bodies, and other discursive-material becomings. It spans 72 hours, situating itself within and proceeding from a decommissioned nuclear reactor hall 25 meters below ground.
Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_action) engages a posthumanist and agential-realist reworking of the notion of performativity where the material-discursive apparatus of bodily production intra-act with knowledge and knowledge production practices. It asks what happens to the notion of research objectivity when the researcher (»I«) and the research (»object«) occupy the same location (»my body«), and further what happens when this understanding of location shifts, to become a location without a locus?
If we are of the world, how can we ever avoid participation? In an on-going continuum of entanglement, the moment of connection is unavoidable. It demands that we are attentive to our mutual co- constitutiveness, and that we take responsibility for what gets excluded as well as what comes to matter. During Avhandling / Av_handling (Dissertation / Through_action), diffractive choreographic methods and techniques will be tested as we engage in a process of dislocating authority, as (my/the/our) human and more-than-human body/bodies pursue(s) embodied affinities, and a state of becoming-with.
Monique Wernhamn –The Sustainable Woman’s feedback-clinic
– services and favours in return as acts of resilience
The performance-lecture will be based on the question: In what way can artistic research, slow, spontaneous and long-term processes and dialogues create acts of resilience, utopian alternatives, to sustain and survive in our society today?
Since august 2014 I’ve been working with the art and life research project THE SUSTAINABLE WOMAN (TSW), a project that aims at exploring how an artist – woman – human can be sustainable by finding a balance between work and private life. I, TSW, am searching for and trying out strategies and utopian alternatives to survive and become more sustainable in an unsustainable contemporary society.
TSW is the tool, she is not an alter ego with specific characteristics, but a framework and method by which I filter my thoughts and ideas, turn around and twist them into interpretations. I use myself as artistic material, as the protagonist and guinea pig for experiments, performative actions and participatory events. I bring in other people, artists, researchers perspectives and theories. I invite them to explore methods, situations and perform experiments collectively to see what happens; physically, mentally, financially and socially. The work and long-term process develops organically and is built on curiosity, spontaneity, playfulness and seriousness.
The Sustainable Woman’s feedback-clinic is an ongoing exploration, a dialogue based and process oriented episode in TSW-project. During one week at Steneby Exhibition hall TSW offered bookable one-hour-consultations with her – in exchange for a favour in return. She gave clients feedback on a project, a private dilemma or talked about sustainability, capitalism or the state of the world. In exchange she got massage, an Asian cooking course, matchmaking – help to find a partner, lunch boxes, promotion and marketing or an own proposal that made her more sustainable.
The feedback-clinic has potential to create awareness, interpersonal relations look at non-economical values, generate transformation and movement by dialogues, collective and community-based actions. It’s an act of resilience that step by step can produce real changes in life and society as well as illustrate alternatives to our economical system.
Nastassia Yaromenka – Unmade Beds (as a personal attempt to battle depression by public intervention)
Photo project exhibition
Olivia Glasser – On the spontaneity of a collaborative student / staff trip to the Merz Barn within the slowness of a longer-term working relationship
I propose to present an essay about my experience of facilitating a residency-cum-volunteer weekend in which twenty BA Interactive Arts students cooked, walked, dry-stone-walled and responded to the Merz Barn, a rural arts centre in the beautiful Langdale valley in Cumbria, one wet March weekend. Written in the style of a reflective narrative, I have investigated how within slowness, spontaneity can occur, with teaching and learning opportunities arising from ‘…unexpected resources, at unexpected times’ (Ramsey & Couch, 1994).
Hit by flood and wind damage over the notorious winter of 2015 / 16, I suggested I get together a group of volunteers to help with restorative work at the Merz Barn. Through dialogue and a cross-pollination of ideas, this initial exploratory suggestion mushroomed, merging with a student’s curatorial project. The longevity of a slow, working relationship with the Merz Barn provided fertile ground for last minute, collaborative ideas generation and a working ‘between the institutional cracks’ (Smith, 2015). Furthermore, it allowed us to use an alternative residency model whose ‘partners’ consisted of staff and students as volunteers / artists, a student as curator and the Merz Barn as host organization. Promoting a mutually supportive investment of time, energy and hospitality from all parties, a catalyst for further collaborative endeavours was created.
Per Roar – Docudancing Griefscapes
In the proposal Docudancing Griefscapes I will present and discuss my doctoral research (Roar 2015) with the same title in which I explored a contextual approach to choreography through addressing specific contexts of grieving. (See: http://www.uniarts.fi/en/newsroom/väitös-docudancing-griefscapes). Through this process, it emerged an artistic strategy as well as concerns for how to balance the aesthetics and socio-political interests at stake in such contextually based projects. Concerns I connect to Hal Foster’s discussion of the artist as an ethnographer in his Return of the Real (Foster 1996). In this presentation I want to present and share the outcome of this doctoral research as a result of a process marked by slow spontaneity.
Tom McGuirk – A Ladybird Walks Slowly Along the Edge of a Form
Subtitle: A workshop and accompanying short paper. The proposal is to present a drawing workshop and to provide a short (fifteen hundred word) paper to be given to the participants/circle before the workshop.
In the workshop participants will be asked to take one of a number of objects provided and to imagine the insect walking along an edge of that object. They will be asked to draw as a graphing of this movement. This experience will be a slow meditative one. Through this workshop I wish to discover drawing as a phenomenological practice of slow engagement with the physical environment. The eye and the hand; members of the body, will be recruited to this meditative exercise in phenomenological perception and thinking.
The paper, to be distributed beforehand, will address this exercise from a theoretical standpoint with particular emphasis on the work of a number of thinkers including Maurice Merleau-Ponty, but will also look at more recent theory including the work of Alva Noë.
Noë’s “enactive” theory of perception presents vision as an explorative interaction with the environment more analogous to the active way a blind person uses their stick than to conventional understandings that appeal to “internal representation”; the “pictures in the mind” paradigm.
The accompanying paper will argue that the participants in the workshop have been engaging in “enactive cognition,” a conception that “perception and thinking are fully integrated with motor action” (Gallagher, 2009: 39). This will be contrasted with the passivity of other conceptions of drawing, specifically the traditional relation of the Cartesian subject to her equally passive object. In the “enactive cognition” view, it will be argued, not only is perception active, but it is also indistinguishable from the sensory-motor action of which it is composed, and furthermore it is indistinguishable from thought.