VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research

VIS Issue 1

Risk – and associated topics such as vulnerability, unguardedness, precariousness, failure and uncanniness – are frequently raised as concerns within artistic research arenas. VIS # 1 – Risk in Artistic Research – jeopardy or validation? moves through more artistically-stylised accounts of ‘danger’ towards the more hopeful linkage of risk with discovery and the reconfiguring of the imagination.

The Lost and Found project: Imagineering Fragmedialities (2019) Jenny Sunesson
The Lost and Found project began as an attempt to challenge my own sound making in opposition to a linear, capitalist, narrative tradition, dominated by visual culture. I wanted to explore the possibilities of sound as a counterpart material risking our perception of what sound is and what it can do. To reach beyond my own aesthetic and sociocultural baggage, I started to experiment with chance operated live performance as a method. By multilayering uncategorised sound scraps the work emerged to “produce itself” and I began to catch glimpses of alternative sound worlds and sites. I called the method fragmenturgy (fragmented dramaturgy) and the alternative realities that were created; fragmedialities (fragmented mediality, fragmented reality).
open exposition
Melliferopolis – collaborating with uncontrollable, flying, stinging insects (2020) Christina Stadlbauer
This exposition explores encounters between humans and insects, in the framework of a long term project around honeybees in urban contexts called Melliferopolis. The interventions proposed by Melliferopolis create shared spaces of encounters for Bees and Humans. The choice to work with these insects in an urban and participatory setting creates situations that are surprising, unpredictable or challenge concepts of "safety". The exposition aims to develop an understanding for risks that arise when collaborating with non human animals, explores reactions to situations that are not entirely controllable and elaborates on notions of safety, hazard and unpredictability within practice based artistic research. As the territory to investigate these questions we look at interventions, performances and installations produced in public spaces in the city of Helsinki in the framework of Melliferopolis since 2012.
open exposition
(Not so) Casual Conversations: Experiments in Attunement as Method in Investigative Art Practice (2019) Livia Daza-Paris
This exposition considers how investigative poetic practices could broaden notions of ‘forensis’ in terms of contemporary art. By developing my concept of ‘poetic forensics’ with attunement as a method that is “palpable and sensory, yet imaginary and uncontained” (Stewart 2011) it admits the nonhuman—trees, rocks, streams, animals—suggesting new relations beyond the human as possible witnesses (Williams 2018). This presents an invitation to think differently about articulations of public truth. The question ‘Who else is witness?' emerges while exploring material intrinsically elusive to testimony on what and who has been disappeared by oppressive geopolitics. Human-rights issues are implicit given the project’s focus on historical erasure and state violence at “the threshold of detectability” (Weizman 2017). It also attends to my family’s experiences as we faced the “political disappearance” of my father Iván Daza, in 1960s Cold War-era Venezuela. The project grapples with validity through methods and lively approaches that decolonize both knowledge (Tuhiwai Smith 1999) and nature (Demos 2016) presenting posthuman challenges to a privileged human onto-epistemological position (Viveiros de Castro 2015).
open exposition
Black Lungs (2019) Sepideh Karami
The ultimate act of taking risk in life lays in the proximity to death. When a risk being taken is prone to fail, failure can potentially become the failure to live. These risky moments involve decisions, dreams, imaginings that motivate one to take action. The motivation is strong enough to push one to a fragile border between death and life. In this exposition, I situate the discussion of risk in coal mines, investigating the work of coal miners as a craft through which they develop subversive modes of labour. The story in this exposition starts millions of years ago and gives a fictional geological history of Earth, where the formation of coal plays an important role in the planet’s evolution; coal becomes the political summary of Earth, where various moments of risk lead us down into a coal mine. Through a vertical structure poised on the edge of death and life, and by means of writing and drawing, risk is experimented with using concepts such as imprecision, the materiality of darkness, and the fragility of working with such materiality.
open exposition
Oppdagelse og navngivning (2019) Asle Nilsen, Niklas Adam, Eirik Arthur Blekesaune, Piotr Pajchel
There is a fundamental enthusiasm and curiosity that drives our attitude towards experimentation. Free basic research is the fundament for all new apprehensions. Each production leads us into new landscapes. Experimentation is artistic immersion.The concept of risk and possible failure is a natural part of this experimentation.Without taking risk, art would remain stagnant, and the creative spirit would be wasted on our own fears. In this exposition we will elucidate some of the many fields of interest and tools for expression we have worked with during the development of our latest production – HANNAH – which premiered September 2017 at Henie Onstad Art Center in Oslo in connection with the Ultima Festival. In HANNAH Verdensteatret works with elaborate spatial compositions that provokes a state of absorption in an immersive audio-visual space. These compositions consists of material generated in an electronic feedback system. This material forms a sedimentation process that unfolds as a fixed attention towards exhaustion and the act of observing slow changes. Like a physical object slowly affect its surroundings. A production from Verdensteatret is a glimpse of a present, a state of transitions and passages through phenomenons. The present is a memory in motion. At the same time, there has never been so much past as right now.
open exposition
“On whose side are you?”: Artist-researcher positionality in a global public health challenge (2019) Kaisu Koski
This exposition discusses risks that emerge from the artistic researcher’s fluid position within artistic research. The research entails the artistic researcher interviewing vaccine-critical parents and a vaccine scientist about their opposing standpoints toward immunization and vaccination, while remaining ambivalent and sympathetic toward both views. The exposition uses concepts such as positionality, insider-outsider, and sameness to unpack the various risks arising from the stimulation and staging of conflicting voices about vaccines. These risks include upset participants due to unmet expectations raised partially by the artistic researcher’s understanding attitude, and the pervasiveness of the “voice” of the documentary film being created throughout the artist-researcher’s interactions with the participants.
open exposition
Tracing gravity (2019) Geir Harald Samuelsen
The goal of this exposition is to investigate the particular qualities of painting and mountain climbing. Do they have their own aesthetics, their own processes and patterns of movement, their own environmental structures and psychology – and do they share some of these characteristics? The texts and pictures in this exposition, four essays all together, deal with the potential of mountain climbing and painting to map out space, quietude, euphoria, fear, skill, autonomy, instrumentality and movement in an expanded field.
open exposition
A Few Notes on Getting Lost (Once Again) (2019) Michelle Teran
This essay is about risk in artistic research. It is about obstacles and turning points; a shift away from the familiar and move towards an unfamiliar terrain. It begins on a boat, heading to the North of Norway, in the darkness. December 2012 is when I turn away from a media art practice and move towards a more socially-engaged, activist way of working. I depart from Bergen; eventually arriving in Madrid, in the middle of an eviction crisis. Along the journey, I will invite various people to think with me, which takes the work in unplanned and unintended directions. I understand risk in the sense of ‘staying with the trouble’ (Haraway) until it becomes quite clear what is at stake. It is the risk we will take in finding meaning, by trying to locate the means to exist in and act on the present.
open exposition
VOLDELIG LYD (2019) Edvard Haraldsen Valberg
At our concerts we want to be firestarters for chaos, the unexpected, and fierce moshpits. We attempt to establish directionless energy with no particular purpose other than to fuck shit up in an everyday existence that we often feel to be dull, passive and predictable. Through this practice there is in particular one type of experience for which I have garnered an interest – what role danger and fear can play in a musical experience. And, right in the midst of it; the encounter of “zen” in chaos. When I, by chance, came across an article on danger music it became clear that danger in music already was conceptualized. What sort of experiences do we share? What accesses to understand the phenomena danger music is there? What place can these seldom and special experiences of mine of quiet, calm and clearness have in danger music?
open exposition
The Risk of Breaking (2019) Joanna Sperryn-Jones
My sculptural installations 'risk' 2011 and 'Celebration' 2015 were developed after I broke several bones mountain biking and wasn’t able to work in my studio for a year. When I returned to making sculpture I found I could only relate to previous artwork by breaking it. I explore how and why my aesthetic preferences changed after experiencing injury, in particular the new element of risk. I reflect on contrasting experiences of mountain biking and being injured, the tension between the support and restriction of being in plaster and my alienation to my broken arm. Through this I question what motivates people to take risks, how our judgement of risk can change in different circumstances, and if the motivation for men and women taking risks is different. I reflect on the risk to the artwork and to the viewer and different forms of risk in artwork. Finally I recount how this informs the making of 'risk' 2011 and 'Celebration' 2015.
open exposition
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