Between Agony and Ecstasy: Investigations into the Meaning of Pain
Pains are moving, alluring us to world-making-activities, attuning our bodies with other bodies and therefore putting us in relation to others. Pains cut into our net of habits, and even the slightest pain causes a transformation. Pains are crushing, deeply distressing, showing us our limitations – but also our capability to go beyond our limits, to outgrow ourselves.
In the course of my literary research for this project I generated 10 PAIN CATEGORIES that I derived from poems, philosophical and literary texts on pain, and my own experiences. These poetical/pictorial categories differ profoundly from pain categories as they are to be found in common pain questionnaires: They refer to the existential dimension of pain and do not differentiate between physical and mental pain in order to overcome the myth of this dichotomy. The next step of my project consisted in going into the field to look at, imagine and feel into pain. I conducted methodical observations in the casualty departments of two Viennese hospitals and developed my own method of "self-reflective observation in the mode of seeing/feeling". The assemblages as part of this exposition present the results of these investigations and reconstruct different perspectives on PAIN as an EXISTENTIAL PHENOMENON.
The Red Shoes Project Revisited
The author addresses various approaches to artistic research on the basis of her own artistic research project, The Red Shoes Project (2008-14), which consists of three closely related theatre performances for young children (0-3 years). The project was concerned with the development of dance theatre for the youngest children, in which opportunity was given for the children to participate actively and bodily in the performances. As a PhD project The Red Shoes Project (Hovik, 2014) explored the theatre event through three different art settings, following theories on performative aesthetics. Methods and research design are from the field of artistic research. The Red Shoes [De Røde Skoene] (2008) was a dance theatre performance for 1-year olds, Red Shoe Missing [Rød Sko Savnet] (2011) was an art installation, and Mum´s Dancing [Mamma Danser] (2011) was an improvised dance concert, both for 0-3 year-olds. All of these productions had red shoes as a connecting theme and playful artistic material. Playing and musical communication are core concepts guiding this interdisciplinary artistic research practice.
The research methodology changed during the 6 years of artistic research and theoretical studies. Henk Borgdorff’s division into an interpretative, instrumental and performative research perspective (Borgdorff, 2012) provided a comprehensive theory for the development of this research process. These research perspectives together are helpful methodologies in the artistic process of creating art for the very young, and the artworks demonstrates the possibility of creating common artistic experiences between performers and children, in which both can take part in reciprocal interaction and improvisation.
This exposition aims to give a presentation of the artistic research process as a whole, leaving out the more theoretical discussions from the PhD thesis, emphasizing the visual aspects of the artistic works .
As the initial research questions from 2008 might be outdated today - there are a multitude of interactive performances for babies in 2018 - the presentation will touch upon some new relevant works and perspectives within this topic. Looking back on the research process and outcomes, focus will be on the investigating progress and methods in this specific artistic research. The exposition will connect text and visual research material, and open some internal reflections on the development of the research questions along the way. The shifts in methodological perspectives will be highlighted as this still can be fruitful in further research on the topic, both as artistic and academic research.
Vocal Nest – non-verbal atmospheres that matter
Heidi Marika Fast
In my artistic doctoral research project “Vocal Nest”, I worked with the potentialities of non-verbal vocal art in the conditions of psychical suffering. The situation-sensitive human sound installation was actualized at the central corridor of Helsinki University Central Hospital´s Psychiatrycenter in Finland. I used the compositional practice of vocal affective attunement as a research medium, to catalyze groups of people, who were as inpatients in the hospital, to create a collective resonance sphere by vocalizing and listening. How did embodied encountering with the human atmospheres create differentiated patterns of meaning making in this material-discursive environment?
This exposition, made up of vocal, visual, and textual aspects, proposes that the artistic transmission from the registers of silence toward vocal utterances, as well as from the linguistic reality toward non-verbal vocal expression attuned an archaic mode of connection to the strictly regulated hospital space. It offers alternative and more holistic understanding of the assumedly clear boundaries between subject and object, and healthy and sick, by expanding the expressive scale of what is typically considered as communicative and reasonable. This exposition may be of interest to those interested in the sensate forms of knowledge production and affective potentialities of the human voice, not from the perspective of health benefits, but from the viewpoint of rendering heard the vulnerable, and peripheral attributes of being a human.
The blurred atmospheres invite the reader to slightly let go of oneself and attune to a dwelling mode of (reading as) listening.
“Vocal Nest” was first of a three-part series entitled ”Hospital Symphonies”, an artistic modulation of the mutually transformative relations between art and psychiatry.
Anarchiving (in) Ben Patterson's Variations for Double-Bass
Here I employ techniques of anarchiving to explore the dynamics of notation, improvisatory performance, and analysis in Fluxus artist Ben Patterson's Variations for Double-Bass (1961). Coined by process philosophers Erin Manning and Brian Massumi, the concept of the anarchive refers to "a repertory of traces of collaborative research-creation events. The traces are not inert, but are carriers of potential." Variations' proto-anarchival qualities drive the structure of the exposition, which includes superimposed video documentation from my own performances, as well as brief analytical texts and performance instructions for the reader. I hope that this meta-anarchival process both sheds light on Patterson's work, and shows how documentation and analysis in the spirit of the anarchive can propel experimental (musical) practice forward in unexpected ways.
Responsive Aesthetics: Remediating Digital-to-Analog Television Converters as Artist Tools
Eric Souther, Laura McGough, Jason Bernagozzi
“Responsive Aesthetics: Remediating Digital-to-Analog Television Converters as Artist Tools” documents the research process undertaken to explore the reanimation of a digital-to-analog television converter box as an artistic tool for intervention with the digital broadcast image through real-time datamoshing. We define datamoshing as an exploitation and interruption of the algorithms that comprise high quality digital streaming video, resulting in the visual distortion and alteration of the image. Our goal was to create a responsive datamoshing system that would not only modulate and distort the incoming broadcast image, but also provide artists with a level of control over these variations. We approached this process as artists, rather than technologists. Inspired by a specific visual or aesthetic result, we would reflect on how this result was achieved technically and then experiment with other methods that might offer further enhancement. The final result was the creation of a responsive datamoshing tool for use in exhibition or performance, both on its own or in combination with other systems (i.e., software, apps, image processing machines).