The notion “filter” is a methodological “tool” of Six Formats that serves/channels the research within and between the formats. A filter is both pre-, parallel, and post-: from supporting the refinement of the vision and ambition of each format to bouncing with the particular and overall articulations of Six Formats as the research goes along.
In Six Formats, filters are facilitators.
- People as filters:
“Filter” in that case is a role/position proposed to one co-researcher invited. For each format, the methodology of Six Formats implies the involvement of a researcher having extended (conceptual and practical) knowledge of the venue. This co-researcher facilitates the access to and the circulation of information about/from/related to the context.
“Filter” is also an attitude, more than a role/position, that one chooses to have in order to engage one’s skills, experiences, and backgrounds in the art-based research project by “thinking and doing bigger than oneself” and, at the same time, pursue/articulate/develop personal questions of research in dialogue with peers.
- Filter as a tool:
Filters are elements to be developed. When a working group has to decide what to work on (and also how), filter(s) can be tools—points of departure or references.
For example, the notion of “time” was the filter within Format Exhibition. In that case, “time” was not content but the perspective from which the work was performed. Six Formats developed various practices involving filter/filtering. For example, Cogne and Hölzl manipulated a series of texts/articles as filtering lenses while co-writing CO-. Also, the “collection” of Artexte was meant to be a filtering tool to be used by the Lecture-Performance Working Group to dedicate the research to the relations between bodily-spoken-group languages and performing knowledge, rather than to the gathering of content.
Built on Cogne’s PhD research, Six Formats proposes the following three filters:
- Situation as a filter:
Situation refers to the question of how a configuration of individuals and their energies, in a particular spatial and temporal setting, becomes part of the parameters that shape a process of working in such a way that a moment of meeting can appear. On a methodological level, these parameters are elements that can be worked and reworked in order to facilitate the collective process and phases of production. For example, a situation will be affected by the number of people involved and their intentions regarding their being there. To look at “situation” means to consider the contract that is involved implicitly or explicitly, concerning "how to behave".
Can the dynamics of the situation be manipulated by the "mise" in space, the arrangement, and the gathering of individuals with different backgrounds, types of knowledge, and work?
The "in-between" and the "how" of each situation are particular types of content that are considered as important as the specific focus and content each of the formats brings to the table.
On yet another level, situation always relates to a specific context. In the Six Formats constellation of people/content/themes, spatial and temporal arrangements respond to the institutional or public setting(s) within which they take shape. How to work things out between these two aspects—the situation created and the context the situation relates to—is part of this set of considerations.
- Performativity as a filter:
Performativity addresses pro-activeness and willingness to respond to things as they are. Performativity relates to how elements come together into process. How does “doing” in the now, in a particular situation, relate to, and how is it directed towards a larger perspective?
Performativity as a filter calls for responsiveness to the consequences that actions have had for the situation. Performativity implies a process of “instant composition”. How to avoid a pre-planned outcome overruling what happens in the concreteness of acting together in the now, and how to go instead with what is there?
Performativity also refers to a particular group dynamics that allows processes to shift and unfold around the engagement between different subjectivities. It insists on, works with, and disturbs some of the codes that tend to structure group dynamics.
- Presence as a filter:
Presence as a filter is an on-going reminder drawing one back into the situation. Presence means a shift from a projection of what is supposed to happen to being in the doing.
To be present requires one to acknowledge one’s being in the situation and, at the same time, reading and understanding how one does this. One needs to consider oneself, as well as the others in a situation—be it collaborators or audiences.
Presence has different functions and involves several levels of presence. Presence places the focus on the “now”: "now we are working together". It implies an investment of everyone present and an awareness of the potentialities of working group configurations. Togetherness goes beyond the verbal level; it includes a bodily level, a level of comfort around each other, and a play between different energies.
How to be capable of reading a process going on, of grasping the potentiality of what is happening, and of incorporating it consciously? How to invite a degree of presence to different circles of people?
Presence as a filter calls for remaining attentive to each moment and negotiating between instant immersion and the overall research questions and visions of Six Formats.