Dorsal Practices - Murky Back Thinking
Emma Cocker, Katrina Brown
Dorsal Practices — Murky Back Thinking is a collaboration between choreographer Katrina Brown and writer-artist Emma Cocker, for exploring the notion of dorsality in relation to how we as moving bodies orientate to self, others, world. How does cultivation of a back-oriented awareness and attitude shape and inform our experience of being-in-the-world? The dorsal orientation foregrounds active letting go, releasing, even de-privileging, of predominant social habits of uprightness and frontality — the head-oriented, sight-oriented, forward-facing, future-leaning tendencies of a culture intent on grasping a sense of the world through naming and control. Rather than a mode of withdrawal, of turning one’s back, how might a backwards-leaning orientation support an open and receptive ethics of relation? How are experiences of listening, voicing, thinking, shaped differently through this tilt of awareness and attention towards the back?
Exploring North Nordic Landscapes in a ‘Hyper-constructive’ Fashion
This exposition details an experimental art/research endeavour pivoting on an improvised exploration of the broader North Nordic region. It accounts for a hybrid, maximalist, and materialist performance practice that draws on an unconditionally eclectic exploration of a particular geographic region and of certain (non)human related activities and mobilities encountered therein. The endeavour is contextualised with respect to trains of thought and empirical research methods in experimental arts, object oriented ontology, non-representational theory, techno-scientific culture, post-humanism, and improvised ethnography. It is shown to concern, inter alia, on-location audio/video recording, DIY making, (found) physical artefacts, interviews, data displays, prose, cooking, knitting, and landscape cinematography/photography. The particular methods at play are detailed and theoretical ramifications are outlined. It is accordingly claimed that a structural, procedural, and sensory hybridity of sorts may bring forth original and genuinely exploratory artistic manifestations that contribute (non quantifiable, nor discursive) ways of knowing the North Nordic region under scrutiny; ones that lie at the crux wherein poetic, enactive, epistemic and speculative tactics meet, mingle, and intertwine. This exposition also features an extensive pool of audiovisual material to aid detail the method and to support this claim.
Arja Anneli Kastinen
This exposition examines the possibilities and problems of using the elements of ancient musical culture for producing new music. It contains eleven video clips and associated texts explaining my artistic research on the Karelian kantele improvisation of the 19th century and earlier, which the kantele players called "soittaa omaa mahtia" ("playing their own power"). The word "mahti" ("power") means inner strength and knowledge. In this article, I call this particular music inner power improvisation.
In addition, the article includes two case studies that exemplify the use of tradition and its philosophy as tools in creativity education. I address the question of whether I can surpass the challenges of understanding a musical culture from a different time era and of an entirely different society than my own. Is it possible to receive an insider view through artistic research, by learning to make music according to the information found in the archives, historical texts, and folk music research? How do I perform responsible research and introduce my conclusions and musical interpretations when there is not enough reliable information about the original tradition?
Eka Chabashvili, Nino Jvania, Tamar Zhvania
"Piano music has come to an end and something quite different is coming. I sense it clearly: with the claviers made up to this time, there is nothing new to discover any more," declared Karlheinz Stockhausen in 1992. Truly, the piano, a brainchild of its era, has gradually been alienated by our epoch. Contemporary composers engage themselves less and less with the piano – particularly as a solo instrument. Though, we have to consider that a musical instrument is a musical chronicler with the structure, tuning system and performance techniques reflecting to certain extent the epochs it was created and employed in. Consequently, the main principles of music representative of every epoch lead to transformation of the instrument, its renewal, refinement, enrichment of performance techniques. Each epoch adapts the instrument to the principles of the corresponding musical thinking in order to make it capable of producing contemporary sound. Using our artistic imagination, we compare this situation to the Apocalypse, trying to find some ways of dealing with it. In this exposition we present some results of our experiments with the piano and its sound conducted within the artistic project "Has Piano Music Come to an End?". Methodology we employ is comparative and experimental. Analysis of piano music repertoire, its compositional and performance techniques and instrument's structure in various epochs led us to the reconsideration of the piano and inspired us to offer to you some new experimental options of its employment and modification, the latter resulting in a new instrument “ModEkAl”. Of course, no artistic research about music and a musical instrument could be conducted without making the research and its results public. Publicity is an inherent part of music which has to be performed and perceived in order to fully fulfill its purpose.