A Singing Orna/Mentor's Performance or Ir/rational Practice
Elisabeth Laasonen Belgrano
This exposition is an orna/mentor’s doing, an attempt, an essay, a performance, a line-of-thinking, a series of relations, a performance-research-model, a beginning of an orna/mentor’s manifesto. It might appear chaotic for some, and inviting for others. Its aim is to allow for the visitor to dive into the ‘orna’ (as in ‘urn’ meaning: an ornamented vase) mentored by a vocal performer. The exposition performs the raw and asymmetric intimacy of a research process searching to penetrate into (while at the same time radically opening up) that-which-is-yet-to-be-known. The performative caring has created an endless amount of philosophizing figures/sounds-in-themselves, as ornamented variations of an original musical score; a translation of one doing of another doing of another doing. Included in this exposition - as yet another ornamented variation – is a ‘peer-review-dialogue’ (a Q & A) between the orna/mentor and a Chorus of Unknown Reviewers. This dialogue has been included to clarify (or perhaps confuse even more) some of the questions that might arise in the mind of the visitor while moving through the exposition.
Practices of Performing at Senegalese Sabar Dance Events
In my PhD thesis Performing a Tradition in Music and Dance (2014), I analyzed sabar dance events as ‘places’ for (re)constructing social relationships, identities, and tradition. In these celebrations, the participants in a sense perform themselves and their relationships to others present, embodying communal conceptions of their social roles and the related norms and values, but sometimes also challenging them. These performances of self can thus primarily be identified as cultural performatives, following Butler, but they still happen in the frame of the dance event, which allows also expressions deviating from the performatives of everyday situations. Here, I will consider how the modes of performance in sabar dance events can be characterized in addition to the obvious repetition and variation of traditional dance genres. Additionally, I will reflect on the value of practical involvement in performance as a methodological tool in ethnographic fieldwork.
Algorithmic Thinking and Musical Performance
This presentation examines instances of elementary algorithmic thinking and musical examples that bear the same principles. A particular focus is given to the function of algorithmic thinking as a performative skill in action. The presentation takes as its background that the application of the procedural logic of algorithm has a long history in music, and that examples can be found in many types of music-making as activities. While much of this application is already discussed in the discipline of musical composition, I observe that the significant presence of algorithmic thinking in performance is still to be articulated. In the three sections titled ‘affordance’, ‘combinatoriality’, and ‘sequence’, I examine each concept in algorithmic operations, and how the same principle can be observed in musical practices. These three sections provide reflection on the nature of the processes involved in music-making. They also simultaneously argue that contemporary musicians possess the capacity to process necessary information and tasks algorithmically, consciously or not.
Quest for a Breathing Performance
In this exposition, I study the concept of ‘experimentation’ in artistic research. I describe how the interdisciplinary collaboration of the Silence Ensemble influenced a violin-piano recital through both conscious and unintentional experimentation.
The focus of the experimentation is on the ‘now-moment’. A detailed explanation of the technical practicing process before the concert is also offered to introduce the experimental approach.
To define my individual experimentation, I refer to experimentation studies in artistic research and especially to Bart Vanhecke’s concepts of experimentation ‘in’ and ‘through’ art.
Return to the Site of the Year of the Rooster
This exposition is centred around a video essay, which uses some parts of Animal Years, a series of one-year performance-projects recorded on Harakka Island in the years 2002-2014, as examples to create a form of "digital autotopography". Returning to the site of the performance Year of the Rooster (2006) and Christmas of the Rooster - Tomten (2006) twelve years later serves as a starting point for reflections on the materiality of the site, on the birches growing there as co-performers, and on revisiting and assembling old works as way of doing things with performance.
Strategies of Fiction
Fictional Worlds as Structures for Public Space Performance is an exposition that fractures into multiple parts, text, performance, spatial design, and creative writing. Fiction is seen as a device for creating shared experience, a familiar process in the performing arts but also observed in the public domain of politics, where a key example is taken to discuss the dynamics of how fiction may be both symbol and action. Relating aesthetics to politics through fiction as a method, a collective influence is confirmed by the event.
Fiction is split into various strategies in a poetic reflection on archetypes of space, proposed as 8 distinct fiction-types that open the way for common understanding. Using the format of a screenplay, 8 types are fleshed out and supported by reflections on influential international artworks and theories. Finally these types are used as a tool to analyse my own public space performance experiments in Auckland, New Zealand.
The experience of ‘something’ in performance
This paper regards the notion of ‘something’ in the context of performance and performative speech-acts. ‘Something’ is a crisis, an element of systemic cycles: it distorts both as a signal and terminal crisis for any system or standards of thought or practice. My aim is to consider this crisis in loose connection with performativity, economy, and philosophy – or through a broad articulation of ‘performance with something’. We can question why there is a notion of experiencing ‘something’, which does not signify anything but only ‘something.’ Is ‘something’ something else when the quotation marks are left out, when ‘something’ or “something” becomes something? Is something then the act of becoming, eluding us as it moves, escaping its inverted commas? Many concepts can be used to approach this issue, such as Gilles Deleuze’s construction of the terms ‘aliquid’ and ‘sense’. We can regard how decisionality, the term that François Laruelle has proposed as a decisive element for all philosophical inquiries, might cut off something and slice it into pieces. Or we can consider whether something is simply gnosis, an expression of the mystical and mystifying experience of the Gnostics – an approach that recognizes our epoch’s search for a correlation with the paranormal. Still, is something the thing-in-itself, which we may not ever possess except as a correlation with consciousness? We might even ask if something is the foreclosed Real, something that cannot be captured with a noun, something that cannot, in the nature of things – the nature of somethings – be captured at all.
Objects that Matter - Performance Art and Objects
The Study on Objects (2018-) is an ongoing art project that focuses on everyday life objects we are surrounded by. While considering the objects and working with videos, I contemplate the relationship between new materialism and performance art. Feminist new materialism offers a perspective to explore many performance art works that reveal how we are related to objects and how we deal with them.
Re-imagining: A Case Study of Exercises and Strategies
Exploring a case of a historian collaborating with dance makers on the contemporaneity evident in a past work, this exposition outlines how the corporeal methods of dance practice can assist a historian in their archival inquiry just as the historian's methods can subvert dominant ways of understanding re-performance of past dance. Interest in how past performances survive and are made to re-signify in the present and what is the role of the archive in a performing art are growing trends in both dance and performance scholarship and in performance practice. Drawing from this scholarship and critical performances, I distinguish between reconstruction (re-creation of dance from the archive) and re-imagining (working from the present practice towards corporeal relationship to past dance) to argue that any performance holds potential to uphold and conserve as well as question and subvert predominant histories of the art form. In contrast to theories of performance that juxtapose performance with history, repertoires with archives, I argue that it is possible to perform the epistemological questions through emphasis on what is not known. The practical exercises used in the studio and the strategies in the performance of Jeux: Re-imagined (2016) offer one example of destabilizing earlier claims to knowledge about a historical work. The seven pages of this exposition follow the structure of the seven events of the performance.
Indigenous Knowledge, Performance Art and the Faltering Act of Translation
Lea Kantonen, Pekka Kantonen
In collaboration with Wixárika teachers and community museum planners we have planned and carried out performance art events in which video footage on pedagogical situations is screened and the teachers explain and practically demonstrate to the audience what happens in the footage – in Dwight Conquergood´s words the teachers "perform their own experience". They present and contextualize the knowledge we have recorded together with them in a fieldwork situation. It is important that our Wixarika co-performers themselves perform as the experts and teachers of the knowledge both in the live event and in the video footage. They have studied both formally in a university and non-formally as apprentices in the shamanistic institution of rukuri+kate that can be dated back to pre-colonial times. We artists-researchers function as documentarists and translators, often hesitating between different translation options. The significations vary from one language to another, from one translation to another. The translation is performed as a hesitant act, open for different meanings.