The exposition is treating explicitly the requested RUUKKU theme, the artistic process. It describes the current phase of the authors’ artistic research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, which tries to investigate and reflect some (pre)conditions and potentialities of a collaborative and interdisciplinary artistic process.For me the main research text (and the two additional texts on related concepts) are the strongest parts of this exposition. The conceptual clarity, the use of relevant references and the consistent elaboration of the core ideas are finely developed. The researchers are well read and able to operate within the current discourses relevant to their research question. The attempt to focus on something as fleeting and indefinite as the ‘thinking-in-action’ or the event of ‘figuring’ is intriguing and bold. However the research area they have stepped into is vast and slippery and needs sharp focusing and constant reflection on the hierarchies of the research questions (on one hand what is the main intention and core question and on the other hand what are the questions, means and methodologies to unravel that). The authors manage to do this so far quite well.
I understand that this exposition aims to describe the findings of the prologue phase of the process. I see that they have already been able to establish a relevant terminology, found carefully written articulations and identifications describing the ‘thinking-in-action’ within an artistic process. Especially I respect the reach for the philosophical aspects of their research, e.g. Negri’s kairos and the problematics of naming, language, and ‘figuring’.
In the further theoretical steps of the research I see the need to tackle the issue of poiesis (bringing something from non being to being, the creation of something), instead of concentrating solely on poetics (the making, the artistic process as such, the process in itself). I understand that it has been a choice to do so, to research the process as such (although the main intentions were described to “produce new articulations of ‘expanded practice’ between the lines of drawing, choreography and writing”.)
But I question how far one can go with the knowledge production of an artistic process, without actually confronting the issues of poiesis, the “causes” that the composition is indebted to, or without any framed intentions for the created composition (as an event of relatedness at work). On the other hand I think it is necessary for any evolution and investigation in art to be able to concentrate to the sole play of the materials and minds without pre-given representational or instrumental relation to them. This aspect of the process differentiates the artwork from the commodity. But on the other hand, how I see this exposition from the artistic point of view, so farfrom the brief excerpts, is, that this research might benefit from pondering the relation between poiesis and poetics, to avoid the arbitrariness and possible shallowness of the art making.
I find it very pleasing and informing how this research is making efforts to link the subtle experiences in artistic practice to insightful use of references and concepts that help the researchers identifying and articulating those experiences. I can see that they are also able to reflect the ontological aspects of their findings in such a sophisticated way that it will produce new understandings of creative and collaborative processes. However, I think the research would benefit from even more careful delving into the actual artistic problematic in the course of their research.
For example in the video “finding the emergence”, I saw a dancer moving and handling the material, perception-reflection wise, in somewhat general manner so that it did not open to me the ‘chairotic’ moments, where the emergence of a new figure/gestalt is drawn from the reciprocal relation with the materials own being (its way of existing) and the subjects unique and singular perception-action with it. The perception-action seemed to be still in such a general and abstracted level that the core question of the ‘thinking-in-action’ is in danger of emptying out to be ‘acting-without-thinking’. I could think of that the aforementioned reciprocal relation and ‘chairotic’ perception of time-space-self-other could re-configure the dancer’s movement and bodily perception in a more profound manner than is happening so far. This is maybe due to the researchers intention of interdisciplinary collaboration, which I think is very challenging to carry out in the same time when one is focusing systematically on individual experiences in the artistic process.
The exposition is built carefully and presents its research problem accurately. The main questions are contextualised skilfully within theoretical discourse, but not that much within artistic research. It might have been interesting to read some reflections and comparisons to other artistic research projects, which handle process as their main theme. I’m a bit doubtful whether the practical research methods that are presented in this exposition, a working space that resembles a science lab, with the arrangements of various instruments, are arising from the framed singularity of a specific artistic process rather than an abstraction of a general 'artistic process'. These two differing circumstances produce different results, I assume. From here follows also the problematic of notation. How is the research going to define the intentions why, what, for whom with the question of notation? I think that the possible notations are very different according to specific artistic intentions and figures (their way of being). Are we notating something in general or in particular – and in relation to what? Do we want to methodise the creative process or is it more like an ontological consideration about the nature of creation, of poiesis? This research might benefit in the future if these questions are taken into consideration to some extent.
In overall I find the form of the exposition both innovative and clear to read and see. I liked that there are additional paragraphs for the references so that the main text is not too loaded. Also the idea of putting videos and text on top of each other is enriching for both. But in the research proposition I read, I found the pace, the rhythm of the text, especially in the opening video, too fast to be able to really read and comprehend what’s been said. There is the danger of inflating the language to fancy words.
In overall I think this research is theoretically very promising and developed indeed. I hope that for the future some more consideration is being put to the problematic of poiesis and the singularity of the artistic process and work of art so that the artistic part of this very promising research will develop as beautifully as the theoretical aspects of it have done so far.