In this exposition, I study the concept of ‘experimentation’ in artistic research. I describe how the interdisciplinary collaboration of the Silence Ensemble influenced a violin-piano recital through both conscious and unintentional experimentation.
The focus of the experimentation is on the ‘now-moment’. A detailed explanation of the technical practicing process before the concert is also offered to introduce the experimental approach.
To define my individual experimentation, I refer to experimentation studies in artistic research and especially to Bart Vanhecke’s concepts of experimentation ‘in’ and ‘through’ art.
If there is one thing that complexity theory has taught us, it is to consider phenomena not as isolated events with properties of their own, but to observe them from a different perspective: as relations in a vast network of interdependent systems. In this light, the role of contemporary music performance has changed, and will continue to change, precisely because the context in which it is created and takes place is constantly evolving. Artistic research can provide the tools to be aware of these changes and to actively re-act in this changing context, not by simply transposing the context or its elements into a representational or aesthetic framework, as happened with the avant-gardes of the 20th century, but by breaking cultural boundaries through transpositions into distant fields with isomorphic functional principles. It is precisely because of this characteristic, which reveals the intrinsic interdisciplinarity in artistic research, that it is possible to revolutionize the traditional conception of music performance and not confine it to an aesthetic regime, but rather expand it to include the context. However, since relationships are not unambiguous, it is not just a matter of revising the concept of performance, but also of reviewing the way we experience and live in the context, as artists, as human beings, and as elements of a circuit of which we are only a small part. In this paper, I will first examine how environmental and social changes have been reflected in performative changes and the ways in which the context of the ecological crisis and contemporary performance are interrelated. Then, I will focus on my research project, “[in situ]”, highlighting its site/situation-specificity, flexibility, immersivity, and interactivity, and explaining how it aligns with and differs from other contemporary music performance practices.
This proposed exposition aims to critically examine the pitfalls of Orientalism and Occidentalism within the context of artistic research in music. By delving into the complexities of cultural representation and misrepresentation, it seeks to challenge preconceived notions and foster a more nuanced understanding of cross-cultural musical encounters.
Comparative Analysis: Through an in-depth comparative analysis, I will investigate the ways in which Orientalism and Occidentalism manifest in music performance practices. Drawing on diverse musical traditions, including Japanese influences, I will explore the power dynamics, stereotypes, and misappropriations that can arise when engaging with cultural musical expressions.
Building on my expertise as a professional musician, I will create original compositions and sonic installations inspired by the concepts of wabi sabi, mono no aware, and ma. These explorations will serve as sonic reflections on the intricate relationship between artistic research, cultural heritage, and personal interpretation, allowing for a deeper engagement with the complexities of musical representation.
Throughout the exposition, I will engage in critical reflection on my own artistic practice, acknowledging and addressing the potential biases, blind spots, and unintended consequences that can arise when navigating the cultural landscape of music. By scrutinizing my own work and interrogating the underlying assumptions, I aim to foster a greater awareness of the ethical and social implications inherent in artistic research.
Providing insights into the manifestations of Orientalism and Occidentalism within music performance practices and their impact on cultural representation.
Illuminating the potential pitfalls of cultural appropriation and misinterpretation in artistic research, while proposing alternative approaches that embrace collaboration and respectful dialogue.
Fostering critical dialogue within the field, encouraging fellow artists and researchers to engage in self-reflection and thoughtful engagement with cultural differences.
To ensure a broad and inclusive audience engagement, I plan to organize interactive workshops and performances, inviting participants to immerse themselves in the sounds and stories that emerge from my artistic research. By actively involving the audience, I aim to facilitate meaningful conversations about cultural exchange, representation, and the potential transformative power of music.
This exposition seeks to challenge established paradigms, disrupt Orientalist and Occidentalist frameworks, and promote a more equitable and culturally sensitive approach to artistic research in music. By critically examining the pitfalls of cultural misrepresentation, it aims to contribute to a more inclusive and respectful musical landscape that celebrates diversity and fosters cross-cultural understanding.
This exposition describes collaboration between three artist-researchers (Kirsi Heimonen, Anu Vehviläinen, Petri Kaverma) and respectively three art genres (dance, music, fine arts). The incentive for this collaboration stemmed from the notion of ‘silence’. On the one hand, silence offers a conceptual umbrella for this interdisciplinary praxis; on the other hand, using silence was an important methodological solution throughout the collaboration.
The artists consider that through their collaborative praxis they have created a specific, practice-based artistic research method. This exposition describes that method by using both individual and shared thinking: the exposition is written partly individually (three columns: ‘silence’, ‘praxis’, ‘writing’), partly together (‘discussion’). In the ‘discussion’, the artists meet each other and reflect their understanding of the idea of artistic research through the notion of silence, within the art institution.
The active collaboration entailed seven sessions during the period between Jan 2016 – May 2016, as well as a few preparatory sessions for two conference presentations during the fall of 2016. In March of 2017 the group spent a two-day writing period in Järvenpää to write this exposition.