Philosopher and biologist Herbert Spencer described society in 1851 as a superorganism with organs, growth and disappearance. Later biologist William Morton Wheeler then used the term superorganism (1910) in relation to his work on ants. Since then, the idea has been developed in many directions.
The work "SUPERORGANISM #1 – Bengaluru" is inspired by a residence at the NCBS (National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India) and the conversations with various scientists, as well as the experience of the intense and vivid megacity of Bangalore.
We have developed this exposition for ‘scoring an aesthetic encounter’ with the multimodal (visual, textual, sonic, performative) findings from Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, an artistic research project by Emma Cocker, Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil. Choreo-graphic Figures stages a beyond-disciplinary encounter between the lines of choreography, drawing and writing, for exploring those forms of knowing-thinking-feeling produced in the slippage and deviation when different modes of practice enter into dialogue, overlap and collide. Within this exposition, our aim is not to present an exhaustive account of the Choreo-graphic Figures project. Rather, we seek to test the specificity of this online context for extending our investigation through the following questions: how can we create a digital archive capable of reflecting the durational and relational aspects of the research process, a mode of online dissemination that enacts something of the liveness or vitality — the energies and intensities — within collaborative live exploration? Beyond the limitations of the static two-dimensional page, how can an enhanced digital format enable a non-linear, rhizomatic encounter with artistic research, where findings are activated and navigated, interacted or even played with as a choreo-graphic event?
We have modelled the exposition on the experimental score system developed within our research project, for organising our process of aesthetic enquiry through the bringing-into-relation of different practices and figures. The score is approached as a ‘research tool’ for testing how different practices (of Attention, Notation, Conversation, Wit(h)nessing) can be activated for sharpening, focusing or redirecting attention towards the event of figuring (those small yet transformative energies, emergences, and experiential shifts within artistic process that are often hard to discern but which ultimately steer the evolving action) and the emergence of figures (the point at which the experience of ‘something happening’ [i.e. figuring] coalesces into recognisable form).
Within this exposition, our research can be encountered experientially through → Playing the Score, whilst the → Find Out More section contains contextual framing alongside conceptual-theoretical reflections on the function of our score and its ecology of practices and figures.
This exposition forms part of a chapter entitled ‘Choreo-graphic Writing – Towards More-Than-One Means of Inscription’ by Emma Cocker, Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil, published in Leena Rouhiainen, Kirsi Heimonen, Rebecca Hilton and Chrysa Parkinson (eds.), Writing Choreography: Extending the Conventions of Dance (Routledge, 2023).
Abstract for the chapter: Choreo-graphic Figures - Deviations from the Line is an artistic research project by writer-artist Emma Cocker, artist-performer Nikolaus Gansterer and dancer-choreographer Mariella Greil, for exploring those modes of thinking-feeling-knowing emerging between the lines of choreography, drawing and writing. This research project involved the cultivation of various modes of “choreo-graphic writing” [more-than-one / means of inscription] at the interstice of choreography, drawing and writing, the evolution of experimental language practices as artistic research. Drawing on various “practices” and “figures” developed within Choreo-graphic Figures, Cocker, Gansterer and Greil explore how different performative, sensuous and experimental textual practices and bodily inscriptions emerge as immanent means of articulation for that which remains strictly beyond words: the embodied, relational, affective and material sensitivities and sensibilities of collaborative, co-emergent sense-making taking place in and through the interaction between bodies, between human and non-human agencies. The chapter comprises two parts: PART I — an “exposition” (encountered here) showing how Cocker, Gansterer and Greil performed choreography/writing beyond the page within the context of Choreo-graphic Figures presented online using the Research Catalogue (RC), an online platform for publishing artistic research; PART II — an “essay” (within the printed publication, Writing Choreography: Extending the Conventions of Dance (Routledge, 2023) for exploring the different resonances of and implications for these various approaches to choreo-graphic writing.
The exposition is designed in dialogue with Simona Koch.