‘Who creates the creator’ – and the limits of interpretation?
In this presentation I will discuss some associative thoughts and preliminary results arising in connection with the forthcoming production of new stage-settings of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Albinoni’s ‘Adagio’. The goal is to re-read and re-set the music and relieve it from some of the cultural layers and interpretational rituals that conventionally have been assigned to the pieces. The first part of the title, ‘Who creates the creator?’, refers to a question raised by Pierre Bourdieu in relation to in whose interest the present interpretational tradition is upheld? Is it for the sake of the art object or just for upholding the business around virtuosity and the genius?
I want to bring forward a slightly different story, and this from within the musical material. Both of the works are exceedingly well known and are in different ways incorporated in our cultural canon. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is seen as the overall emblematic piece for the whole classical tradition. Albinoni’s Adagio on the other hand plays a different role in the cultural landscape and addresses nostalgia in a more direct manner.
“A musician, as is obvious, must, in the Western musical tradition, know how to intelligently read a score… For once one leaves meaning-interpretation for — what shall I call it? — structure-interpretation, the spell of monism is broken. Why shouldn’t a structure have more than one interpretation, more than one way it goes?”
This citation from philosopher Peter Kivy can be widened, I will show, to also include the interpretation of form within a piece of music.
By presenting two, in a way opposite, interpretational strategies in the same concert program, there is a larger possibility than is usually the case, for the audience and the musicians to start reflecting on the question of musical interpretation in a broader sense. With orchestras around the world relentlessly upholding the classical and romantic tradition in their repertoire there is a great need for new interpretational angles. The two new interpretations are to be performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in October 2011.
Diagrammatic Praxis was a post-doctoral research process drawing upon applied concepts of the diagram previously explored in my dissertation, ‘The Translocal Event and the Polyrhythmic Diagram.’ As a researcher in the Art, Research, Theory and Innovation (ARTI) lectoraat of the Amsterdam School for the Arts, the primary focus was on image/text relationality as a vehicle for investigating applied theoretical practice in artistic processes. I worked with Foucault’s concept of the diagram, rejuvenated by Deleuze as abstract machine and Massumi’s concept of the biogram. Thinking the diagram entails negotiating several registers of relations between forces immanent to a field of experience. A diagrammatic practice emphasizes movement with and through the dynamic intensities of an inter-disciplinary field, instantiating the commingled performativity of theory and artmaking through fielding. It experientially engages energetic transductions between unformed matter and unformalised function, between the discursive and the non-discursive, the visible and articulable, content and expression, chaos and order, catastrophe and rhythm. The research aims to contribute to emerging discourse on artistic research as experimental methods of reading and writing are interwoven with artmaking processes.
Additionally, the current wave of discourse on vibrant materiality, object ontologies and thing theory resonate with collaborative, diagrammatic methods. Diagrammatic praxis is situated within interdisciplinary investigations of the collaborative dynamics of mattering. How, as Bruno Latour has pointed out, matters of fact emanate as matters of concern. How objects, things, performers and publics might generate the felt concerns of the event. This proposition of gathering, through an intricate mesh of mattering inclusive of things at all scales of experience, from quarks to cosmos, from facts to fictions excites what matters as the experience of the relational dynamics of the event and its emerging concerns.
The material presented in JAR is a compilation of a fraction of the image and text elements from a three-year process, shaped as a graphic essay. Works include graphic translations, works on paper and published texts created from an integral diagrammatic method.
An Alphabet for the Nose.
Given that our societies have developed a language for colour, it is remarkable that we have not yet developed one for smell. Generally, when we categorize smells we only use the subjective connotations ‘like it’ or ‘don’t like it’. This is why I began to invent the first words for a language of smells, which I named NASALO. After nearly twenty years of collecting and archiving smells and dozens of artistic research projects on smell and smelling, NASALO has developed into an alphabet for the nose with its own logic and linguistic rules.
A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog) - II Memo of Time
A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog) – II Memo of Time is a pair of performances where the basis of the presentation is weather, time, potentiality and non-human co-actors. A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog) was performed on the ancient shore of the post-ice-age Yoldia Sea in the northern suburbs of Helsinki. A Performance with an Ocean View (for a Dog) took place on a potential future seashore on the roof top of a city centre department store. It was created and performed for a dog as its main spectator, though human spectators were present part of the time. The performances moved in the space between live art, environmental art and conceptual art. They were performed in May and August 2008 in Helsinki in Finnish and in English as part of the program of Kiasma Theatre / Museum of Contemporary Art and Baltic Circle Festival. Memos of Time is a performance series, which forms a central part of my artistic research at the Theatre Academy, Helsinki: ‘The potential nature of performance. The relationship to the non-human in the performance event from the perspective of duration and potentiality’.
The underlying question in my research as well as in the exposition for JAR, is the role of art and artistic research in an age of ecological crisis. What does it mean if we begin to perceive nature, its beings and phenomena, as agents or actors - and how will that perspective possibly change our understanding of the human, of performance and the question of duration. These issues were explored through the practice of working with non-human agents - as co-actors and as spectators - and with non-human durations and rhythms. The questions were/are examined in a dialogue with Bruno Latour’s notion of non-human actors, Giorgio Agamben’s notion of (im)potentiality and with animal studies.
Glide: design, indeterminacy and the specificity of the contingent
There is a moment that paddlers and rowers all know, the pause between one stroke and the next, a kind of suspension of things when trajectory takes over from purposeful endeavour and the future belongs to the gods, or, to be more precise the designer of the hull. A good hull glides. A poor one does not. The glide exists also in other, even social forms. At the end of a good dinner party there is a similar moment, a sort of social version if you like, an unspoken understanding that the party is over even if it is not quite ended, time to move on. We recognise that we know these moments most intensely in the awkward presence of those that have not yet understood that it is time to leave.
The occupation of such moments is critical, how to move from one purpose to the next, to move between purpose, without disturbing the glide from one place to another, to have a good hull.
Architecture passed through the end of the last century, leaving behind it a splash of empty isms, and entered this one in a glide. Our digitally enhanced and technologically advanced cultures suspended. Not frozen but caught in a trajectory, a propelling forward, a movement beyond some edge. We’ve entered a new space, one that is not yet a place that we recognise. How is it possible to design as gliders of our indeterminate condition?
In the second year of this century the architectural practice Terroir completed their first significant commission Peppermint Bay, a restaurant project set in a stunning estuarine landscape on the south eastern cost of the Australian island Tasmania that hangs on the extreme southern edge of the globe. This year, the practice completed a paper maker’s gallery on the northern coastline of the same island in a town called Burnie. In between these two projects the three practice directors – Gerard Reinmuth, Scott Balmforth and Richard Blythe – undertook practice-based design research higher degrees that drove key developments in the way these designers grappled with their practice.
This paper will chart the design journey from one project to the other exploring how a new practice discovered a way of working as gliders of our digitally enhanced globally challenged condition.
Otto von Busch
In artistic research, the ‘reflective practice’ promoted by Donald Schön (1983) runs the risk of mere self-gratification. More perspectives need to be put into the equation, into something more ‘diffractive’, as Donna Haraway (1997) would say.
As part of artistic research we could be inspired by, and use, a wide range of methods for navigating a research process and take the journey into safer waters. Here we
Cargo: Dwelling in the Archive of Slavery at the Cape
In 2006, together with a group of collaborators, representatives from two Cape Town-based performance companies with connections to the University of Cape Town, I set out to create a production on the history of slavery at the Cape. The production, Cargo, was first produced as part of the Spier Arts Summer Season in March 2007 in Stellenbosch and then at the National Festival of the Arts in Grahamstown and the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town later that year. Cargo is the fourth part of a series of productions based on ‘key sites of memory’ in and around the city of Cape Town. The term is taken from Pierre Nora (1989) and refers to a conglomerate of physical, material and archival sites that function to concentrate remembrance in a world in which, to paraphrase James E. Young, the more we monumentalize, the more we seem to have “divested ourselves of the obligation to remember” (2000: 94). In making each of the works in the series, my collaborators and I faced two fundamental and interconnected problems related to the themes of time and silence: How to find an appropriate image in the present for something that has past and how to make the archive speak in unspeakable ways. The productions were created through a dramaturgical process based on the idea of ‘dwelling’ borrowed from the anthropologist Tim Ingold (2000) based on a question posed by Heidegger on the difference between ‘building’ and ‘dwelling’ (1971).
Daniel Kötter, Constanze Fischbeck
‘staats-theater: Lagos/Teheran/Berlin’ is a modular art and research project initiated by Berlin based video artists Daniel Kötter and Constanze Fischbeck in collaboration with performers and architects from Lagos, Tehran, and Berlin, as well as the collective Hunter & Gatherer (Manuel Shvartzberg and Fabian Faltin). The project undertakes an exemplary investigation of the state-representational and socio-political conditions of theatre and the opposing informal potential of performativity in three capital cities: Lagos (Nigeria), Tehran (Iran) and Berlin (Germany).
Song No 3 – Singing through Gestures
Cathy van Eck
This exposition discusses the performance Song No 3 in the context of research into the use of loudspeakers and microphones as musical instruments, and analyses what kind of categories of movements are generally used in music as well as how these different categories are connected to each other. Song No 3 is a performance for a performer with a small loudspeaker in front of her mouth and a microphone in her hand.
This exposition analyses what kind of categories of movements are generally used in music as well as how these different categories are connected to each other. Whereas some are more perceived as ‘silent’ movements, others clearly have a audible result. Due to working with loudspeakers, microphones and digital sound processing, the audible results of movements in a performance can be changed during the performance itself and these changes are essential elements of the composition.
The Double Skin/Double Mind Interactive Installation
Bertha Bermudez (Collaborator), Scott deLahunta, Marijke Hoogenboom, Chris Ziegler, Frederic Bevilacqua, Sarah Fdili Alaoui, Barbara Meneses Gutierrez
The Interactive Installation Double Skin/Double Mind is a virtual interactive version of the Double Skin/Double Mind workshop. This workshop, which has been taught by dance company Emio Greco | PC since 1996, represents the basis of the creative work of choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten.
Participants in this workshop are challenged to discover new interpretations of their dancing body through the movement tracking program Gesture Follower developed by Frédéric Bevilacqua (IRCAM). As result of this comparison different feedback, including emotive icons, sonification and text displays is given through an interface lay out developed by Chris Ziegler. Participants are accompanied by different visualization and sonic information while mentally and physically travelling through the Double Skin/Double Mind structure.
Professional as well as non-professional dancers are invited to experience this installation.
Thanks to Lysenko, we got Haldane
The exposition contextualises a set of artworks that reflect on the notion of error - both scientific and political - and the epistemological implications of partisanship. The artworks juxtapose diverse historical contexts, which might or might not share actual causal linkages.
Miltä hiljaisuus kuulostaa? What does silence sound like?
The contribution consists of a nine-minute video Room and a text entitled ’What Does Silence Sound Like?’ The video records changes that take place in a bedroom after the occupant’s death. The text describes the making of the video soundtrack, focusing on the question of how to render auditive the silence of an emptying room. The text is mostly in the form of a dialogue, and it is based on taped conversations between Saloranta and sound designer Tatu Virtamo.