The approach as described in the Introductory Text makes clear, that Lab 4 has two levels of Methodology:

Meta-Methodology, as applied by the board and organizers, and then numerous methodologies in the context of the different workshops. The intense clash of so many different perspectives and approaches, resulting in a kind of overflow situation for the participants, is crucial for the “Meta-Methodology”. The purpose is not to provide one homogenous approach of trans-cultural reflection but rather to slightly overburden the participants with the variety of approaches, challenging them to develop their own take on the topic and to reflect through agreeing and disagreeing on elements and approaches offered in the workshops. 

Furthermore, one of the common characteristics of most workshops – with their own sub-methodologies – were constituted by the combination of a) establishing some kind of theoretical framework for the proposed topic and – in some cases – b) the presentation of examples of artistic works and/or artistic research projects of the presenters themselves were used as illustration of concepts. Finally, in many cases exemplary situations of practical activities in the given context were created.


Examples of creating a theoretical base / defining key terms

“trans-traditional” instead of “transcultural” (Bhagwati)

    The use of the term “tradition” helps to avoid the problems with the term "culture", especially when it is geographized and thus localized, as it usually is. “Culture” may work for ways of life that are adapted to local climate and geography - but for music, especially for so-called presentation music (Turino), such a localized definition of music (music culture) is very problematic.

   For in every highly interconnected place in this world - whether through social distinction or migration - there often exist multiple ways of making and receiving music, interwoven with and within each other. Every highly networked place is a place of practice for a multitude of musical traditions. So, unlike "culture", "traditional music-making" is always a conscious choice - in any culture, most listeners do not become music-makers, especially not music-makers-for-others! 


 “eurological” (Bhagwati)

Music written anywhere in the world which draws on models of music making established in Europe over the last 700 years. Since the Ars Nova, the impulse to never look back, the call to break new ground, to expand the zone of aesthetic combat became one of the central hero narratives that the European music has been telling itself in millions of variations.

    This is its main traditionality – it is a tradition that thinks itself to be socially and aesthetically marginal while being deeply wedded to the innovation and expansion-oriented (r)evolutionary orientation of European commerce and its military underpinnings. The concept of an “avant-garde” is Europe’s neurotic disavowal of its colonialist and expansionist traditionality.


“śabdagatitāra” (Bhagwati)

  The crossing (tāra) of ways of making (gati) sounds (śabda). Interweavings of sound-making methods.


“rhizomatic traditions” (Bhagwati)

   None of the musicians is musically one-dimensional: they are all musically poly-traditional at least as listeners, if not as practitioners. And almost every one of the participants has developed and contributed his/her musical multilingualism in these projects. Through this aesthetic openness to the individual musical complexity of each musician, it became clear in a practical musical way that and how traditions are rhizomatically interwoven.


Transculturality and Sound Art (Blume)


   The topic of transculturality was the starting point to define the  selection of projects for the workshop. More than transculturality, it’s maybe the idea to be listening to the others, open to the other cultures. The listening act and the microphones are a way to be open to what is different, the things we don’t know, trying to be as open as possible.


Examples of creating exemplary situations of practical activities


Bhagwati: Instructions for trans-traditional group improvisation                          


Blume: Listening Exercises (see section Documentation for details)

1) walking to a park (without talking), awareness of sounds, then making a list of perceived sounds, categorization of sounds in the list.

2) immobile (standing or sitting) in a chosen place in the park (5min), erasing the boundaries between music and sound, then describing each sonic material, to the group, one by one without mentioning the name of the thing/being producing the sound (nor describing it) but focusing on the sound itself, with their own words and references (high, bass, medium frequencies / loud or quiet / where in the space, immobile or moving / repetitive, constant,


Erdödi: From barter trades to collaborative village plays: Collaboration as conceptual, cross-cultural practice 


When designing the workshop it was important for Erdödi that – after an initial impulse in which she introduced her thoughts on collaboration as a conceptual, cross-cultural practice – through different situations/exercises the participants themselves get a chance to experience and negotiate the following questions: 

1) How do we attend to different forms and articulations of knowledge based on a practice of listening? - Exercise #1 was based on Sarah Vanhee’s BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE project and their tool, the LITTLE BOOK ON LEARNING.

2) How do conceptualize “complicated cooperations” (Richard Sennett), how do we work with “painful differences” and bring together our artistic intentions/interests/practices with the (often unexpected/unpredictable) particularities of the places and people we collaborate with? Exercise #2 consisted of simulating real-life situations, in which an artistic team working collaboratively had to negotiate different local conditions and impulses with their desired/ intended artistic approaches. Participants worked in groups of 4-5 people, also practicing collaboration within their respective teams. Results were then shared in a final round with all participants. 


Trans-culturality was a crucial element in this workshop, when discussing how collaboration needs to be conceptualized “across difference”: not only in terms of social difference (race, gender, class), but also across cultural difference. Erdödi insists on these differences as not only essential to “complicated cooperations”, but also perceives them as extremely enriching with regard to artistic experimentation. In her understanding of “trans-culturality”, she includes not only established cultural practices, such as folk singing and vernacular tradition, or pop music and culture, but also other practices not necessarily regarded as “cultural”, such as urban beekeeping, farming or amateur autocross racing. She advocates that considering these as cultural practices enriches the creation process conceptually as well as formally. It enables artistic experimentation, while acknowledging and giving value to the collaborators’ everyday activities, passions and hobbies, as well as understanding, what relevance these hold for them (e.g. that with taking up autocross driving, her collaborators made new friendships and became part of a close-knit, supportive community). This broader understanding of “cultural practices” forms part of an profoundly anti-elitist approach to contemporary art and collaborative practices, which considers the banal, the everyday and the ordinary as essential to our way of thinking about aesthetics. Erdödi does not however advocate reproducing the given phenomena and the practices uncritically, but rather she suggests understanding them as “material” for the collaborative creation, in which these practices are transformed and re-contextualized (but not alienated, nor appropriated) within the artistic project.