Announcement title

mdw - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

Lecture Series "Knowing in Performing"

Lecture Series “Knowing in Performing” – Artistic Research at the mdw

The new lecture series “Knowing in Performing” at the mdw-University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna will investigate the cross-disciplinary dynamics of Artistic Research with a special focus on the performing arts. The lecture series starts on October 23rd with the pianist and artistic researcher Paulo de Assis who is the principal investigator of the research cluster MusicExperimentX at Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium.

Further information:

Time and Place

  • Tuesday, 23 Oct 2018, 6 - 8 p.m.
  • Fanny Hensel-Hall, mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Anton-von-Webern Platz 1, 1030 Vienna

Title of presentation

Logic of Experimentation: Rethinking Music Performance through Artistic Research


The performance of Western notated art music is usually associated with the notions of execution, recitation, transmission, reproduction, or interpretation, relying on the existence of a commonly accepted, sedimented musical text, and on a set of stabilised conventions that regulate the communication between composer, performer, and audience. From this perspective, performance is the moment for the concrete sonic representation of an already known sound structure. In this presentation a different view of things will be offered by thinking performance first and foremost as a space of problematisation, not of representation. The lecture will provide a critical stance on the diversity of the available musical sources and materials, stressing their epistemic complexity and their potential for productive reconfigurations, suggesting new modes of creatively operating with them. Moving beyond the work-concept, this new perspective allows for the construction of a new image of musical works, based upon the notions of assemblage and diagram, proposing innovative practice-based methodologies that integrate archival and musicological research into the creative process leading to a performance. Such new image of works also appeals to a new kind of performer, emancipated from authoritative texts and traditions, and open to critical reconfigurations of past musical objects. More than an executioner or an interpreter, the performer becomes an operator, activating unexpected assemblages of forces and materials. Beyond representational modes of performance — be it mainstream or historically informed performance practices — this presentation addresses an ontological, methodological, and ethical space for experimental performance practices, suggesting a new mode of performance that is sustained by thorough research and driven by passionate imagination.


Paulo de Assis is an experimental performer, pianist, and artistic researcher, with transdisciplinary interests in composition, post-structuralist philosophy, psychoanalytical theory, and epistemology. Research Fellow at the Orpheus Institute of Ghent (BE), he has been the Principal Investigator of the EU project “Experimentation versus Interpretation: Exploring New Paths in Music Performance”. In addition to his artistic practice, he is the Chair of the international conference series Deleuze and Artistic Research (DARE), and the editor of the book series Transversality (Leuven University Press), and Artistic Research (Rowman & Littlefield International).

Photo Credit: Lucia D’Errico




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