This is a default account to stand in for JAR reports that are kept anonymous. This profiles does thus not represent a single person.
Mielestäni ekspositio vastaa hyvin kirjoituskutsuun esitellessään taiteilijan positiota yhteisössä. Se kysyy paikan, mimesiksen ja läsnäolon suhdetta mielekkäästi, perustuen tekijän pitkään ja pitkäjänteiseen taiteelliseen työskentelyyn yhteisötaiteen perusteella. Tekijä haastaa myös sitä tapaa, jolla yhteisöä ja sen ilmenemistä nykytaiteessa usein lähestytään etäältä, kun taas tässä ekspositiossa keskiössä on taiteellinen työskentely, yhteisöt ja tutkimus.
Ekspositio rinnastaa äänitallenteet, jotka ovat tarinoita, joiden avulla muuten teoreettispainotteinen kirjoitus saa viitekehyksen siitä paikasta tai tilanteesta, jossa tällä hetkellä, tekijän sanoin kapitalistisessa kontrolliyhteiskunnassa eletään. Tekstiä ryydittää myös kuvat tekijän yhteisötaiteen projekteista ja kokemuskuvaukset Toisissa Tiloissa –esitystaiteen ryhmän tapahtumista. Jaettu ympäristö on kirjoittajan mukaan konfliktin, itsen ja toiseuden ristiriitaisen kohtaamisen paikka, joita hän omakohtaisissa äänitteissä kuvaa.
Kysymys on yhteisön ja tekijyyden suhteesta, mikä erottuu kollektiivista. Siitä voiko tekijyys olla jaettua, ja miten se voi tapahtua taiteessa. Esiin nousee teknologia, mutta jollain tavalla ulkoamäärittyvänä ongelmana joka on sidoksissa markkinavetoiseen kapitalismiin ja globalismiin. Ristiriita, jossa elämme yhteisönä on kokemuksen, kuvan, ruumiin ja teknologian eripuraisesta suhteesta, joka antagonistisesti voi kirjoittajan mukaan tuottaa myös kollektiivisuutta ja yhteisöllisyyttä. Eräs käsite kirjoittajan mukaan on mimesis, joka saa ekspositiossa olennaisen roolin.
Kirjoittaja lähtee siitä väittämästä, että kaupunkitila on paikaton ja poissaoleva, jossa ihmisen on löydettävä oma ’paikkansa’. Tähän hän käyttää pohjana mm. Martin Heideggerin ajattelua paikasta, olemisesta ja asumisesta. Paikalla on selkeä vuorovaikutussuhde, jossa rakennettu ympäristö on Heideggerin mukaan ihmisen jatke. Vain sitoutumisen kautta voimme löytää paikan, josta voimme pitää huolta, ja tällöin ajattelemme Heideggerilaisessa mielessä. Tämän yhteyden kautta paikasta tulee merkityksellinen, ja asuttava, ihmisen elettyä tilaa, kuten kirjoittaja viittaa Henri Lefebvren ajatteluun. Ymmärrän kirjoittajan teeman niin, että paikka syntyy elämän ja ajattelun merkityksellisestä, mutta myös merkitystä tuottavasta yhteydestä.
Vastaavasti, ja ymmärtäisin kirjoittajan seuraavan Heideggerin ajattelua, yhteiskunta määrittää toisaalta millaisen suhteen luomme paikkaan. Yhteiskunta siis muokkaa paikkaa, tai paremminkin rajoittaa tai kontrolloi sitä, millaisia paikkoja, ja kenelle niitä mahdollisesti rakennetaan. Tässä kirjoittaja nostaa esiin teknologian ja ihmisen suhteen, ja erityisesti digitaalisen teknologian sekä mimeettisenä, että sumentavana kalvona ruumiiden välissä. Kirjoittajan pyrkimys on tuoda esiin moniäänisyys, jonkinlaisena vastarintana teknologian sumentavalle ja etäännyttävälle vaikutukselle — ja näin myös markkinataloudelle, joka on määrittelemätön ja hallitsematon entiteetti.
Kirjoittaja jatkaa analyyttisesti Theodor Adornon ajattelun kautta, pyrkien ajattelemaan mimesistä sekä filosofiaa eräänlaisena välittäjänä, ja poissaolon kautta toimijuutta luovana tekijänä. Tällöin kyse on siitä, kuinka tekijyys voisi olla jaettua, ja viitaten kirjoittajan logiikkaan, jossa kapitalismi on rajoittava ja kontrolloiva koneisto, kuinka silloin toimijuus voisi olla ilman yksilöllistä omistussuhdetta. Tämä olisi siis merkityksellinen erityisesti yhteisötaiteen parissa, eli kuinka taitelija voisi luopua oman toimijuutensa omistussuhteesta. Tähän kirjoittaja ehdottaa, oman taiteellisen työskentelynsä pohjalta, kuinka sisältö itsessään on jaetun tekijyyden lähtökohta, ja väittää kuinka se tällöin voi paeta markkinatalouden toimintamalleja.
Mielestäni kirjoittajan argumentit ovat perusteltuja, ja teksti toimii erityisen hyvin silloin kun sen viittaukset liittyvät tekijän kokemuksiin kaupunkitilassa, omissa yhteisötaiteen projekteissa tai harjoitteissa.
Tunnistan kirjoituksessa vireen, jossa nykyinen kapitalismin vaihe määritellään kategorisesti elämää vieraannuttavaksi ylärakenteeksi. Tämä ylärakenne ja sen luoma digitaalisuus on ihmisten kykyjen, halujen, kosketuksen ja kohtaamisten välissä. Ajatuksena esiin nousee se, että yhteisöllisyys voi olla yhteiskunnan antagonistinen voimavara, jota kapitalismin muoto digitaalisuutena pyrkii heikentämään, mutta samalla hyötymään ristiriidasta.
Ekspositio on ansiokas juuri tämän ristiriidan tutkimisessa taiteellisen tutkimuksen keinoin.
Ekspositio piirtämisharjoituksista kytkeytyy erinomaisesti harjoittelu ja harjoittaminen taiteessa teemanumeroon. Tämä on samalla uusi ja mielenkiintoinen avaus piirtämisen tutkimukseen ja taidon harjoittamiseen ja harjaantumiseen. Heikkisen lähestymistapana on ollut suunnitella ja tunnistaa henkilökohtaisesti tarkoituksenmukaiset piirustusharjoitukset ja reflektiivisen tutkimuskäytännön mukaisesti analysoida sekä piirustusharjoituksia että tuloksena syntyneitä piirustus- ja videomateriaalia taitojen kehittämisen yhteydessä. Artikkelin alussa Heikkinen rajaa ja perustelee kolme kolmiulotteisen perspektiivin muotoihin ja tiloihin suuntautunutta harjoitustyötä, joita hän myöhemmin tarkastelee taiteellisen tutkimuksen näkökulmasta perusteellisemmin. Tero Heikkinen taustoittaa lukijalle hyvin piirtämisen merkitystä taiteen tutkimuksen ja piirtämisharjoituksiin liittyvän kirjallisuuden kautta ja kytkee siten hyvin oman tutkimuskontekstin aikaisempaan keskusteluun. Tekijä kuvaa mielenkiintoisesti omaa piirtämisprojektiaan taidon kehittämisen näkökulmasta ja samalla keinona kehittää reflektiivistä ajattelua. Piirtämisharjoitukset on kuvattu todella mielenkiintoisesti ja käytäntöpohjaisen tutkimuksen näkökulmasta.
The theoretical framework of this exposition remains problematic, even after earlier revisions. The author states: “The text is not about developing theoretical concepts of philosophy or the social sciences in a community project in jazz and surely not about discussing the seminal conceptions of the notions of identity and authenticity found in the scholarly literature. . . . Imposing scholarly rigidity onto this project would have meant to exclude the majority of the group members from participating in the process of exploring the contextual background and artistic possibilities.” This may very well be the case, but that doesn’t mean the author shouldn’t to provide an alternative discourse. The scholarly literature is looking at constructions of identity and authenticity as it is understood also by non-academic groups. So while the participants need not to be versed in that debate, that doesn’t let the author of the hook to provide a reading of their understanding. If he doesn’t want to engage with the scholarly discourse, he still needs to provide an alternative framework. Furthermore, the suggestion is that the scholarly discourse has validity only for academics among themselves (as if it is a game of sorts), and that too needs to be explained. Remarkably, the author does cite some scholarly texts, which makes one wonder whether he only wishes to engage with the texts that suit him.
Substantiation is another issue. The text speaks of debates and discussions, but nowhere do we get to see what these are. It is not clear either who are represented by “the community.” Is that the 13k inhabitants of the region, or the 30 (?) people (actually musicians—barely representative I would think) involved in the project? Has there been any form of inquiry on how the people in the region felt that the project represented issues of identity and authenticity? This isn’t clear from the text at all.
Substantiation is needed as well for remarks such as “the local jazz scene has become an integral part of Austria's traditionally rich musical life” or “Jazz Big Band Graz [has] achieved international recognition”: how is all that established? The author states that “I had the opportunity to instigate specific definitions by means of circulated email letters and formal project descriptions for funding applications. I introduced some definitions which, in my perception, contributed to the clarification of thoughts raised by the community.” What are these specific definitions? Why aren’t we let in on “the thoughts raised by the community?” I would expect quotes here from debates, or possibly a filmed summary of how these debates evolved—JAR’s website seems to be an excellent platform for such media.
Another example, of such bold announcements: “Here the soloist was given the instruction to think of his cultural background as a native of the rural area. Gradischnig expressed these thoughts spontaneously by employing connotations of folkloristic melodic ideas, without neglecting his jazz background.” It makes one wonder whether the author is aware at all of the deep problematics that surround concepts of “folklorism” and “jazz”, about which ample literature has been published in the last two decades or so—these are concepts that need to be unpacked before it is clear what they mean. A transcription of the solo with an analysis that details how all this works would be needed to evidence such statements.
Similarly, the author states that “USBBF is embedded within these European-wide initiatives regarding identity in jazz as a specific local case-study and it is particularly connected to Jazz & the City in its exploration of a musical expression of the local identity of a distinct community, which is situated close to the city of Graz.” Again, it is simply announced, but it remains unclear how all that works.
That leaves us with a project of which the theoretical framework is deeply problematic, and since the theoretical framework seems to be the rationale behind the project, i.e., to create something that musically expresses local identity and authenticity, the research part of the project is flawed. This is furthered by the self-congratulatory tone: apparently the project is a towering success, in which nothing misfired, everything worked exactly as expected, no major adjustments were called for, and there was no need to rethink the project.
This is an interesting and engaging artistic project, but the research perspective is seriously underdeveloped. The theoretical framework is problematic, there is insufficient substantiation of many of the claims, and there is not enough critical reflection on both the process and its resultant outcomes. Finally, it is not clear to what artistic problem this project provides an answer.
I was interested by the presentation, but feared that it was so open, so discursive and conversational that it actually resisted engagement. I was being asked to bear witness to a series of reflections and artists’ statements, without being presented with a contextualised argument about what was going on… it feels more like an elaborate (and interesting) artists’ talk, rather than a grappling with intellectual and artistic problems. While the conversations are interesting insofar as they provide an insight into a particular collaboration, there does not seem, to me, to be much that is conceptually innovative, and while the work cites Luciano Berio’s work of 50 years ago, there is nothing that anchors the project in contemporary theory and thought. I am aware that I am a harsh marker in these kinds of things. In fact, the work itself declares itself to be “deliberately partial and elusive”. But my anxiety is that this is something of a cop-out, and there needs to be more of a proposition put to the viewer reader. Too much of the talk was mundane and bordering on the unremarkable—although, as I suggest, there is an inherent value in accessing artists’ processes, I would like to see this done in a developed, considered, contextualised and theorised manner, rather than in a somewhat chatty, partial manner. The conversation between the artists needs to be edited for publication.I am struggling to see this presentation as being anything significantly more than the presentation of an artwork with some conversation about that artwork from the artists’ perspectives. There is a lack of criticality, a radical assertion of authorial authority, and little for me, as the reader, to take away. There was so much talking that it was hard to sustain my listening. It was unclear what I was being asked to engage with, and too much of the talk seemed to return to similar territory, and too often returned to a simple discussion/exposition of ‘what we were doing’. I consider this to be the least convincing dimension of practice-based research.
The exposition has an interest for the debate on the practice of artistic research, and more in particular for the question on the way scientific research and artistic research can be combined to gain exceptional results. The example given is the research project into the reactions of visitors to a museum under the title eMotion. The results of this project are not presented, as the exposition mostly focuses on the transdisciplinary method and its advantages and costs. Because of this the exposition remains rather abstract, stating advantages and results, but not showing them in detail.
The role of the artist, always a difficult and much debated point in this kind of project, is not elaborated enough here, although the research project seems to have gathered enough material to offer more reflection on this.
It is not completely clear in what way exactly the efforts of the artists, if not in the form of artworks, contributed to the success or failure of the research project. Stating towards the end of the exposition that the advantage of this transdisciplinary way of working is to be found in the openness the art practice offers for ’taking into account the ambiguity of complex objects of study’ is simply too general.
In general, I consider the topic of the submission as interesting. However, I wish the artist’s actual practice and research questions would connect to the given theoretical framework more convincingly.
The structure of the paper and the English used are very good, most of the times a pleasure to read. Furthermore the submission’s references are well chosen - it would have been nice to see a few of my interactive video favourites added (Toshio Iwai, Scott Snibbe, and David Rokeby), but of course the list of examples never can be complete.
I believe that quite often the facts (e.g. under the section ‘Theoretical Framework’) don’t connect well with the author’s conclusions and assumptions. For this reason I suggest reformulating suggestions made by the artist (making usage of the word ‘may’) as questions.
The intended research also could have more impact on the execution of the final piece — I have seen frame difference visualisations in a lot of different pieces, with a lot of different explanations for them, so I would like to see something new and more to the point.
The exposition is indeed of artistic and intellectual interest. It reflects the changing face of musical performance and/or performance art in the public sphere especially in terms of audience location and embodied involvement. The fixed boundaries become permeable, the workspaces, negotiable. This leads to a hybrid artwork having the potential to re-vivify views about the nature of performance.
The author calls this a ‘young trend’, but it arguably has antecedents in the experimental approaches of the 1950s and -60s, particularly in the United States. The attempt to address this in the section Sounding Sound Art needs more historical grounding; there was very little reference to secondary literature, both in this section and in the project as a whole, and this makes one uneasy about both historical grounding and aspects of the empirical research. (The final Reference section of the weave indeed shows very few secondary sources).
However, the detailed presentation of Oorwonde itself revealed much more clearly the creative and working processes of the artist-researcher. This section was very engaging. The weave was particularly effective here in helping the viewer to dissect aspects of the quasi-medical set up. The exploration of boundaries between ‘patient and environment’, power relations and objectification was noteworthy here (though not unprecedented, having models at least as far back as the eighteenth century [Rameau]).
The mapping of the creative process of the evolution of the structure, the employment of user feedback in its development, was significant in its additional challenging of the boundaries of artworks (i.e. in making us question who is actually creating the artwork at such points – artist or ‘patient’?).
The Introduction section of the exposition describes clearly the research scope of the work that is to follow, and this shows an approach that is clearly embedded in the artist’s practice. As stated above, the exposition would be stronger with a more rigorous historical apparatus and a more clearly articulated following up of statements concerning social relevance.
The short list of exemplary works that precedes the detailed study does not reveal clearly enough the relationship to specific data being collected, being descriptive rather than analytical. The mapping of the ’12 parameter analysis’ to specific works presented in Precursors was not transparent; though the text on Leitner was analytically sound, but presented more as a paraphrase than an original synthesis.
However, the detailed presentation of Oorwonde itself revealed much more clearly the creative and working processes of the artist-researcher and aspects of the quasi-medical set up, as mentioned before. This is not without precedent, but forms a potentially significant contribution. It might have been of interest and help to have a video in which the viewer could see a subject being ‘installed into’ the setup, in order to better understand how invasive the process might be, and how ‘free’ the ‘subject’ actually remains. For example, the use of the lamp in Oorwonde blinds the ‘patient’ which seems to bring the initial assertion within the exposition that subjects are ‘in full control’ into doubt. And the invasive aspect (e.g. the need to make a dental plate to conduct sound) would be helpful to observe, so that the viewer of the weave could develop a sense of physical empathy with the situatedness of the ‘patient’.
The navigation of the weave is reasonably straightforward, though as is often the case, one has to work out reading direction (whether to read rows or columns). It is a shame that the physically sensate sound/sensation world of this project cannot be exposed more overtly by the mode of presentation (see idea concerning use of video, above).
The referencing in the weave was correct, but the light use of secondary sources led to a sense of doubt about the way this exposition is situated in historical/social terms. The reliance on Leitner was too heavy, and the references to Pook and Staalplaat Sound systems led to some ethical questions that were not answered, or even raised, in the narrative. (This latter point may have been a deliberate strategy on the part of the artist-researcher).
Arguably, there are ethical questions within this work that would have been productively addressed by the artists-researcher as part of the whole rationale. The ‘intrusion’ of art-making into one’s personal space, the use of heavily-freighted terms such as ‘patient’ and ‘therapy’, call for clarification of ethical practice.
The detailed presentation of Oorwonde. The use of Oorwonde as a means of questioning aspects of boundary-making and dissolution.
Problems to address:
Sketchy explanation of historical and social situatedness of the artwork.
More transparent presentation of how the twelve parameter empirical analysis maps artworks.
Possible use of video to generate viewer empathy.
Closer editing of the English language to eliminate tautology and re-use of stock phrases.
Clarification concerning ethics (including whether an absence of such a clarification is part of the strategy of the work).
While this is already a project with important strengths, with some additional work, this could be made into a stronger exposition, particularly with regard to the critical apparatus.
The essay consists of an AV description of Oorwonde, an interactive sonic art installation developed by the author/artist. This description is preceded by an introduction, some general remarks about sound art and an enumeration of some works and artists dealing with the same kind of materials. The description is followed by a short conclusion.
I find Oorwonde as well as some other works by the author/artist absolutely interesting and definitely contributing to the corps of sonic art works. As far as the textual part of this exposition is concerned, I encountered some problems:
In the section titled Introduction the author/artist introduces the idea that sound art uses different presentation forms compared to traditional musical concerts. In Sounding Sound Art the author writes that it is her aim (at least in her research) to ‘define’ sound art, on the basis of 12 parameters, by attempting to differentiate it from other related art forms such as experimental instrument building and visual installations that produce sound. In Precursors she gives some examples of artists experimenting with infrasound or ultrasound.
So here we have three different contextualizations: presentation, definition, and ultra/infra-sound. It is not clear at all that she will link all three to Oorwonde; there is no clear relation between the Introduction, Sounding Sound Art, and Precursors, which makes it difficult to understand where the essay will go to/for. In addition, the description of Oorwonde starts out of the blue without even a sentence introducing this topic. In the section, Conclusion, all three elements (presentation, definition and ultrasound) come back, which is positive. However, the conclusion is too short without any critical reflection. Furthermore, she hardly mentions any sound art literature in which the relation between sound art and e.g. visual arts are discussed (see for example Brandon LaBelle and Seth Kim-Cohen, but there are many more).
In short, I see an artistic interest but no intellectual interest: there is no clear question; the 12 parameters mentioned in Sounding Sound Art are not developed or explained; the Introduction is not a real introduction to the essay; the emphasis on trying to define sound art in Sounding Sound Art is not developed in the rest of the essay; Oorwonde is not introduced; the fact that Oorwonde was somehow dealing with the ‘problems’ exposed before (presentation, definition, ultra/infra-sounds) is indeed mentioned in the Conclusion but not really elaborated.
The author claims that there is a direct relation between her research and her artistic practice: the one is influencing the other. In her artistic practice she is (implicitly) questioning the borders between sound art and other art forms, she is experimenting with alternative forms of presentation, and she’s working with the concepts ultra- and infrasound. A relation between her research and her practice is absolutely possible and it does exist, but it is not explained very well in this essay. There is no clear starting point (as there are in fact three different ones) and theoretical issues are hardly discussed, let alone critically reflected upon. In my opinion those omissions absolutely matter, as I don’t get any new knowledge from the essay.
Although I really like the design and navigation proper to both an online journal and more experimental art forms, I am less enthusiastic about navigating to the Oorwonde section/part. I encounter a blank screen and it needs scrolling from left to right as well as from up to down to find texts/images.
The author is an interesting artist making sonic art installations of high aesthetic standards, and has an interesting research topic and the input of artistic work absolutely increases the value of this research. However, there seems to be a gap between her research and what she presents in this exposition seems too much like a cut and paste result. A clear focus is missing, the link with the principle work Oorwonde is lacking and in the conclusion there is no critical reflection whatsoever. Furthermore almost logical references to books on sound art are missing.
The relationship between art and politics is important to sustain and develop critically and analytically through art and research into art practice. On this basis, the submission is a welcome addition. The review of historical art / socio-political influences on contemporary practice is also valuable; on this basis, the submission offers a correspondence of contemporary practice and social interaction with the now historically framed ambitions of the nineteenth-century Arts & Crafts Movement.
The drawback is that the discussion of Arts and Crafts ideals and ideology is quite limited. We are made aware in scant description, rather than analysis, of Morris’s social and moral tenets, but of Morris himself as also a writer of fiction, eloquent bookbinder and typographer we learn little; the emphasis is on TJ Cobden Sanderson, the link as teacher of Miss Ellis Gates Starr (1860-1935), Chicago-based binder and founder of the city’s first social settlement in 1899, who is the central focus of the research.The more enticing comparative discourse, therefore, is between the Chicago story of Ellis and a contemporary visual interpretation by the author/artist with her own interactive project. Also as artefacts, Alford’s book works are of interest as they deconstruct and critique the standard composition of a book and draw our attention to the material effects of word and image, 2D and 3D, which the book as sculptural object can offer.
Deliberately ‘collaged’ layout of text and image, presumably to ‘layer’ the historical and contemporary multi-disciplinary material and make a parallel between the navigation of a storyline and the literal navigation through the article and its visuals. Written with clarity and feeling.
The visual impact and purpose of Alford’s own artwork is interesting in relation to her engagement as a contemporary female artist / activist with the story of an historic female artist / activist. However, it is preferable to view it as that and not an academic treatise on the legacy of Arts & Crafts ideals, either political or artistic.