The Research Catalogue (RC) is a non-commercial, collaboration and publishing platform for artistic research provided by the
Society for Artistic Research
. The RC is free to use for artists and
serves also as a backbone for teaching purposes, student assessment, peer review workflows and research funding administration. It strives to be
an open space for experimentation and exchange.
Between Freedom and Fixity: Artistic Reflections on Composition and Improvisation
Ilya Ziblat Shay
Between Freedom and Fixity: Artistic Reflections on Composition and Improvisation is a practice-based research project that aims to highlight the role of freedom and fixity in music and to develop a discourse based on these two concepts. The research suggests a creative approach based on the interrelationship between freedom and fixity, for example their combination, juxtaposition, and tension, and describes them as abstractions or placeholders for musical agents such as rhythm, notes, structure, timeline, and interactive computer systems. Another important notion is the inherent coexistence of the two concepts, and proposing the constant oscillating between them as a creative musical approach. Furthermore, the research aims to establish the use of freedom and fixity as a productive paths for extra-musical disciplines. Four works by the author are used as case studies to examine the integration of the research concepts as tangible musical forms. In each of the case studies freedom and fixity are embodied differently, and the relationships between them develop into distinct paths. This study relies on the author’s experience and experimentation as a composer, performer, improviser, and electronic-music practitioner, and draws inspiration from works by other musicians and scholars.
Six Hours of Exploratory Improvisation
Arja Anneli Kastinen
Creativity is seen as a fundamental human capacity which also seems to be very sensitive in escaping scientifically controlled conditions. During the last decades, musical improvisation has become a more and more interesting channel for studying the cognitive neuroscience of creativity. On 6 February 2017, I improvised for six hours without a break on eight different kanteles in the Black Box hall of the Musiikkitalo, Helsinki Music Centre. There were EEG caps on me and three listeners, and the data was recorded for about two hours from the beginning of the event.
From the musical perspective, my personal starting point for the six-hour improvisation was to test and experience the reactions of my mind and body to this way of making music in a time scale that was stretched close to the limits of my capacity. My text will look into the project and analyse it solely from my point of view: as a musician researching the process of long-lasting kantele improvisation based on ancient Finnic tradition.
The main questions in my study are: What is happening in the consciousness preceding and during the state of the so-called quiet exaltation? What are the elements or components needed to be able to achieve this kind of mental state? What is the meaning – the importance – of this music to its producer? What would be the relation of the musical elements and automatized finger movements stored in my long-term memory through the years of practise with the consciously invented and unconsciously produced music?
Probationary: An Artwork for Civil Servants
Hwa Young Jung, Nathan Jones
This exposition describes a game-artwork called Probationary, which was commissioned to present the 'lived experience' of men on probation. The game has been played by the men on probation ("on licence"), by criminologists at Liverpool John Moores University, by civil servants involved in probation services, and by a wide range of players in art and design contexts.
In the exposition we show how the question of who can and should play the game leads into fascinating critical trajectories unique to interactive arts of this nature: namely, if someone can interact with an artwork as an employee, how can the relation of art and work be recalibrated? What follows is a description of the theoretical basis for games as forms of critical media artwork, and a tentative framing of the concept of "Art for Civil Servants" as a method for social artivism. The exposition frames this example of "Art for Civil Servants" within a lineage of new media art, and socially engaged art, while seeking to distinguish an original methodology and emerging mandate for this form of artistic research.
The distinctive proposition of this exposition for the field of artistic research, is that art's utility as a research practice can be purposefully deployed outside of cultural fields. "Art for Civil Servants" is therefore a name for a speculative field of artistic research, which will draw on social science methodologies, and seek agency in the world in this way.