Hard Times. Lecture Performance as Gestural Approach to Develop Artistic Work-in-Progress
author(s): Falk Hubner
published in: RUUKKU - Studies in Artistic Research
Artistic work is often an essential mode of articulation within artistic research, specifically when practice is understood as both source and target domain of the research. Therefore, within the performing arts, both process and product are essential gestures of artistic research and are indeed “justified and critical articulations of an interest in knowledge production."
In this exposition, the format of a lecture performance is investigated and discussed as an explicit articulation through which the process of both artistic work and research is shared, rather than functioning merely as a format for disseminating findings. The format of lecture performance that is investigated here frames the artistic work and theoretical-conceptual framework as two distinct, yet interrelated, processes shared with a conference audience. This includes the deliberate choice for a live performance of artistic work-in-progress, adding a gestural and at times very kinaesthetic aspect to otherwise textually-dominated forms of presentation.
The exposition as such has two focuses that are strongly related to each other, approaching the form of a feedback loop: on the one hand, the creation process of a new experimental performance work by Falk Hübner is investigated. "Hard Times" refers to the title of this artistic work: I will carry you over hard times. The performance itself is part of an artistic research into reduction in music, a continuation of the completed PhD research of the author (Hübner 2014). On the other hand, the lecture performance that employs this artistic work-in-progress as "material" as well as the related discussions with conference audiences is also explored.
The exposition will demonstrate how these conference discussions strongly inform the work process of the specific artistic work in question and attempt to shed an alternative light on the well-known concept of "audience talks", which typically serve to generate feedback and insights into audience perspectives for artists after tryouts or performances of unfinished work. The audiences of conferences are, in most cases, considerably different in nature than "standard" audiences, offering the possibility of insightful input on quite different facets of both artistic work and research process––provoked by the very form of a lecture performance as described above. The exposition suggests that this type of lecture performance, explicitly including the audience at a conference as important source of information, feedback and peer-review, forms a gestural method of artistic research in itself, whose full potential within artistic research is yet to be explored.