Pamela Bartar’s (Center for Didactics of Art and Interdisciplinary Education) contribution Citizen Science – a new field for the arts? links Citizen Science with art-based research. Providing an overview of current approaches, Bartar illustrates how contemporary art can significantly contribute to the democratisation of science and the societal proximity of research, particularly focusing on socially engaged practices and collaborative knowledge production.
Barbara Graf (Center Research Focus, PhD candidate PhD in Art) takes Jacques Lacan’s notions of the ‘upholstery button’ and the ‘suture’ as starting points to explore textile metaphors as methodological tools for her artistic practice, informed by her own bodily sensory experiences and experience of paresthesia as a person affected by MS. Graf’s contribution Stitches and Sutures searches for images of the invisible and explores how deeply subjective experiences can be made accessible and adequately expressed.
Tanja Kimmel (Institute of Conservation and PhD candidate Doctoral Programme in Philosophy) addresses the question of how art collections and conservation can become sustainable in her contribution Making museum repositories greener. Sustainability poses a challenge for the art sector. While museums serve as role models for society and can thus contribute significantly to the discourse, they also have very high energy consumption and CO2 emissions due to their complex climatic technology. Kimmel mentions current initiatives and sustainability concepts of museums in Austria and abroad and discusses a case study featured in her dissertation that conducts a CO2 assessment of the central storage of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien in order to create the first profound data basis on climate-damaging emissions, which will then facilitate further action.
Barb Macek (PhD candidate and fellow (DOC) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Fine Arts & Media Arts) takes as her starting point self-reflections and her own experiences with the autoimmune disease SLE and approaches the phenomenon of autoimmunity in relation to fundamental human ambiguity, following Helmuth Plessner. Macek’s contribution, Exercises in Existential Eccentricity, explores the bio-philosophical dimension of the disease rather than its bio-medical dimension, showing how autoimmunity raises existential-phenomenological questions regarding bodily ownership, the self, and the notion of the body as “one’s own”. From an assumed embodied diversity, she designs an artistic technique, EEE - Exercises in Existential Eccentricity, drawing on the technique of auto-interviewing, autoethnography and poetics to facilitate a dialogue between different inner voices.
Valerie Messini (Peter Weibel Research Institute for Digital Cultures) chooses the phenomenon of emptiness in art as a point of departure for her contribution Nothingness in the digital Space and presents her artistic projects operating with different technologies to approach the phenomenon of emptiness in connection with corporeality in digital space. 1-NO1-100.000 uses dance movement to explore emptiness in virtual space, and Deep Empty - Wide Open uses deep learning to question the extent to which horizon lines function as mental voids.
Verena Miedl-Faißt (Center Research Focus, PhD candidate PhD in Art) invites us with Await what the stars will bring to walk through her artistic research trajectory. Her contribution poetically narrates on longings, and on beautiful and painful experiences in connection with her artistic practice and collaborative work with her nephew L. Based on Donna Haraway’s concept of kinship, Miedl-Faißt searches for possibilities of relating to each other and seeks ways to make inner processes accessible. The contribution provides insights into her work with children and colleagues and how she creates “materialized relations, co-creations objecting time, space, and loneliness.”
Lucie Strecker (Angewandte Performance Laboratory and Department of Art and Communication Practices) reveals the artistic working process preceding a production with the contribution Rewritable Creatures, reflecting on mimesis and hybridity in choreography through an exchange of letters with the late performer Daniel Aschwanden (Angewandte Performance Laboratory and Department of Art and Communication Practices) and the author Vera Sebert. As the three letter-writers search, speculate and ask each other questions, the text becomes a written performance, revealing an immediate, polyphonic approach to the subject that allows readers to become part of the performance. In this way, processes of hybridisation become manifest in writing. The performance, however, cannot be completed; Aschwanden’s sudden death interrupts the text, turning the contribution, in a sense, into a memorial to an artist, friend, and colleague and the readers into witnesses.
We extend our gratitude to all researchers who provided insights into their work processes, to everyone involved in producing this volume – from graphic design to proofreading – and especially to the extensive and interdisciplinary scientific advisory board. In response to our call for reviewers, numerous experts from a wide variety of fields responded with insightful, critical, and concise comments that greatly enriched the entire process. This commitment and extraordinary dedication are no small feat for an entirely new publication that certainly challenges the conventional peer-review system through its interdisciplinary approaches. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude. Thank you for engaging in this experiment.
We hope you enjoy reading this first issue of reposition and that you will gain new impulses, dive deeply into your colleague’s projects and encounter unexpected topics. We extend our invitation to reposition yourself with us: after all, research at the University of Applied Arts Vienna is unfailingly personal, unpredictable, and as innovative as it is courageous.
Enjoy the walk and please get back to us. It is never too late to reconsider!