The 12th SAR Conference on Artistic Research of the Society for Artistic Research in 2021 was hosted by mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. It was oriented on the three attractors "care", "dare" and "share" and was the first SAR conference to be organized as a live online event. The online format also reached out in order to facilitate participation by individuals from new geographical regions and invited artistic researchers to share their work, processes, methods, discoveries, knowledge interventions, new insights, and understandings and to engage in exchange—in actions and words, and in ways complex and simple, conventional and unconventional, robust and fragile.
A selection of conference contributions has been assembled for documentation in this roof exposition managed by Jonas Howden Sjøvaag.
In their Paper Performance ‘Elastic Ekphrastic,’ Korsten & De Jong will test the translatability of an ‘original.’ They will explore what narrative is formed out of the context of instruments of translation. What is the agency of misunderstanding, misinterpreting and miscommunication? And if one translates, does one free a text from a fixed meaning or does one force the text in yet another prison of meaning? Korsten & De Jong conduct artistic research through recorded dialogues over the phone with bad connections and interruptions. After transcribing the dialogues, they combine different conversations, they switch position, manipulate the texts and translate them. They will attend the conference via a live conversation in a long distance call with Austrian interpreters that live outside of Austria. This paper performance also reflects on the current SARS-CoV-19 measures in which live communication is a dangerous action forcing the dialogue to take place behind plexiglass panels and computer screens.
“If science attempts to understand the phenomena of the world, this understanding is communicable only when the world re-emerges through the scientist’s instruments – either through statistics, or formulae, or diagrams, or images. Thus, it can be argued that the world is presented after undergoing a treatment of translation. (12)”
Mapping the Unseen investigated unseen, undiscussed topics - topics that are absent from public discourse, because of their implicit social taboo potential.
The artistic research was carried out by means of mapping, encompassing performative interventions and an interactive archive. It was realised with artists and art groups in four countries: Croatia, Iran, Bangladesh and Austria. The research method was interwoven with transdisciplinary methods. Enabling a visualisation of the respective topics and generating dialogue through participatory processes were at the core of this project.
Art project using research and cross-disciplinary work, applied to contexts in transition and defined by asymmetries, in which ways of living, locations or activities are the result of instability, transience or fragility, circumstances which at the same time demand projects which open up to change these situations.
ASYMMETRIES is founded upon applied research, and will attempt to generate projects based on methodologies combining the analysis of spaces with proposals which incorporate structures, components and various agents working to resolve them.
This presentation introduces the artistic research carried out in collaboration with social groups in the Ciutat Vella district of the city of Barcelona and that has taken the name of Asymmetries-Abecedarium (2019).
An Ecology of Care provides a philosophical basis for developing practical and aesthetic ways to requalify and improve the experience of being-in-the-city. This experience involves the relationship with spatial boundaries that inform gestures in the urban environment, such as fences and walls or social and political limits; it also implies our being sensitive to temporal boundaries that tacitly shape our perception of the city, such as disposable architectures, working rhythms and natural cycles.
In this video paper, we focus on a common performance-drawing project, carried out in two different cities: Helsinki and Porto. Through several actions, we pretend to challenge the dichotomy between human gestures and natural cycles and address the complexity of the relationships between spatial boundaries and the idiorhythm of walking in the city. Our project begins with the premise that the observation of gestures allows us to understand the way we exist in the world. Also, the re-enactment of those gestures in art practice allows us to understand, in an embodied way, the existential and social changes we are currently undertaking.
In “Follow me”, a drawing performed on the fence surrounding the construction of the new KuvA (Helsinki), we problematise drawing as an act of care and relation, built upon idiorhythmic, embodied and communal gestures in a shared space. In “Insula Perdita” we re-enact the death of palm trees in the city of Porto and the inevitable natural cycles and changes that moulds the perception of the city as a frame and ecosystem.
Both practices explore approaches to the Ecology of Care as a frame for artistic research, through the geographical concept of Throwntogetherness: to perform/draw as a responsive relationship between human and non-human (objects, plants, animals) to emphasize the interdependence between non-human and everyday life gestures in building the value of communality.