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Due to its matrix of practices, formats, people, contexts, and knowledge, Six Formats uses a combination of forms and formats to make accessible and visible the research conducted for three-and-a-half years.
Six Formats presents itself through 3 intertwined elements that combine and support each other.
This exposition, on Research Catalogue, aims to give a condensed overview of the research project and invites the visitors to navigate between the main elements (re-)presented:
- a timeline of the order in which the formats were conceptually approached,
- presentations of the processes of the six formats (green boxes),
- the methodology of Six Formats (circles, processes, values).
In addition, an Object of Communication and a series of articles work towards different strategies of inviting visitors (the wider circle of people) to the articulations, questionings, and reflections developed within the art-based research project. These two elements involve/connect knowledge from inside and outside of the project, as well as contributions from the artists/researchers who participated in one or several of the formats, or in the overall project.
Six Formats does not aim to control the circulation of knowledge. Six Formats works with activation and facilitation of circulation in the sense of appropriation, re-appropriation, recycling of the knowledge previously co-articulated—as for Cogne, knowledge is anyway specific to the particularities of the context where it is (dis-)placed or performed.
Cogne believes that the only format in which the research project and its content can be really manipulated (digested, before being recycled)
is a few-days workshop—a situation involving a limited amount of participants (between 3 and 7) and the different tools, materials, and knowledge materialised in the Object of Communication.
If you are interested in a Six Formats workshop,
please contact Ingrid Cogne.
Six Formats at the Arts-based Research Day #2
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, 23.05.2017
Title: Six Formats - Communication in Progress / in Process |
With: Ingrid Cogne, Julia Hölzl, Tobias Pilz
Six Formats approaches the 2nd Arts-based Research Day as an opportunity to explore a situation of meeting with a particular audience, as well as a context where “presentation” could be considered as an additional format to the project.
Cogne, Hölzl, and Pilz propose a “situation” in which practical knowledge can unfold and circulate.
It is 1) a flexible format of communication, 2) an invitation to a process of (re-)articulating knowledge through “doing”, 3) a manifestation that does not aim to “cover” and (re-)present Six Formats in its entirety, and 4) a moment of suspension that does not stop the movement created by the project.
Due to the particular intention of the setting proposed, please note that:
The situation does not have a moderator.
Everybody present in the room is part of the situation.
Questions are welcome any time (afterwards, it is too late!).
The three circles correspond to the levels of involvement of people in Six Formats. There are three levels of interaction: the main team of the research project, the extended teams involving co-researchers for each format, plus a wider public/audience including peers and visitors. The circles illustrate the multi-layered aspects of communication that Six Formats deals with:
from internal to the project,
to internal to the institution(s),
moving outwards a larger team or other people involved.
The circles are subject to formal and informal levels of (re-)structuring in which forms of verticality and horizontality come into play. The wider circle revolves around each of the partner institutions that engage their particular audiences in/to the proposals coming out of the processes of the extended circles.
The lists of the co-researchers for each format can be found on the timeline.
“Values” are a series of position(ing)s that accompany the vision of the research. Six Formats is subject to formal and informal (re-)structuring, in which forms of verticality and horizontality come into play. A process of perpetual attention, reflection, and adjustment is required in order to notice the (un/wanted) structures appearing and to articulate them to a degree where they become negotiable.
The values relate to the economies of participating but also to working attitudes and modes of address. They invite thinking “how” to enable or foreclose “being”, “meeting”, and “co-working” in the different formats, constellations of people, and processes in/for Six Formats. They are:
“thinking and doing bigger than oneself”
“engagement and responsibility”
“reciprocal activation and facilitation”
“reading, listening, positioning, re-positioning”
“perpetual (re-)negotiation and transformation”
Six Formats hosted by the Theatre Studies Research Centre, Faculty of Humanities of the University of Lisbon (Portugal), 02.10.2017
Title: Meeting an audience – Practical (dramaturgical?) knowledge at play
With: Paula Caspão, Ingrid Cogne, Julia Hölzl, Tobias Pilz
More than considering a format as a “tool” for the communication of a particular content in the field of artistic research, it seems crucial to look at a format’s particularities—the kinds of associations and circulations it may generate, allow, or disavow —within the very moment of meeting with an audience (which differs depending on the institutional partners, from peers to visitors).
What is the practical knowledge that comes into play?
How to approach the dramaturgical aspect of that knowledge?
After Format Lecture-Performance in Montreal (January 2017), Six Formats set out to what is called a “post process” in the frame of the project—a working period to revisit and reactivate its main issues, fragilities, and further possibilities. For five days (October 2017), Caspão, Cogne, Hölzl, and Pilz gathered in Lisbon to:
- question the relations between “format as tool”, “format as meeting”, and “format as event”,
- outline an article in between doing and writing,
- challenge/exhaust situations of communication.
The invitation sent to the co-researchers of Format Exhibition proposed two elements that remained central throughout the processes:
1/ using the notion of "time" as a filter—while “time” was not the theme of this format, everything was discussed or proposed with a temporal perspective in mind,
2/ taking into consideration the context of Kunsthalle Exnergasse (KEX) that was approached as a partner out of an interest in its specific history as a non-commercial, project and theme-oriented Kunsthalle in Vienna.
Format Exhibition was the only format initially planned to have two processes.
During the first phase of the pre-process (April-September 2015), Ingrid Cogne, Elske Rosenfeld, and Klaus Schafler (artist and member of KEX's team) concretized the organizational aspects, composed the Exhibition Working Group (EWG), and decided to pay particular attention to the philosophy of KEX. Its status in the structure of WUK, the history of the building, the history of the exhibition space, as well as its past and upcoming exhibitions were central information to the research.
The "exhibition" in process (/the questioning of this format) became a facilitator, the exhibition space became a body, and issues of acoustics and sound turned out to be a recurring theme. In some of the participants’ experience and for KEX's team, the noise coming from the club below and the echo in the room made it difficult to follow talks held in the space. Working with the acoustics allowed the EWG to concretize various interests and brought about a beneficial intervention for KEX.
Facilitating is an opening. Facilitating is creating and giving space.
Facilitating is not fixing. Facilitating is not taking care of.
Facilitating is an attitude. Facilitating is a tool to be defined again and again.
Six Formats works toward a positive context of/for working.
The "facilitating" dedicated to each format (to implement the research project in each partner institution and to set up the initial situation of working for each pre-process—and often also process) does not want to become leading.
Cogne uses “facilitating” and “situation as facilitator” as dramaturgical tools.
They imply strategies and tactics being/thinking bigger than “production”. They build on practical knowledges
(in movement) that call for choreographic and dramaturgical abilities and experiences. “Facilitating” and “situation as facilitator” build and build on three types of spaces:
physical, social, and conceptual.
The methodology of Six Formats proposes particular practices that enable circles of "meeting":
- from thinking institutional and contextual set-ups of meeting,
- to creating spatial and temporal framings and forms of sociability,
- to supporting spaces wherein strands of research can expand, carry, "friction" each other.
Each relation created (between Six Formats and an institution, between the co-researchers, and between all its various components) is in/of perpetual re-negotiation and transformation.
Facilitating calls for practices and attitudes. Filtering, reading, listening, and positioning are constantly confronted to RE- in this art-based research project.
How to transform a space without transforming its appearance? To develop this vision, the group collaborated with sound expert Peter Böhm.
During the second phase of pre-process (October-December 2015), the six co-researchers held a series of online meetings in order to position themselves toward the opportunity (/challenge) of approaching an exhibition from its form/at (vs. content) and going beyond exhibiting a process (NO to DIY aesthetics, NO to the public presentation of a working situation), while keeping in mind the filter of “time”.
Process I (January 2016)
The EWG's practice and working schedule was built on suggestions and intuitions of the six participants concerning exercises, tasks, activities, and excursions. The EWG went through phases of dispersion and concentration, gathering information to be further processed or discarded. At the same time, they approached the following questions:
What happens when "exhibition" is chosen as a format of communication of an arts-based research to present an articulation (be it a process, a practice, or a product)?
Does one think of the spatial components of "exhibition" as the/a medium? Can one exhibit instead the space itself? Should the EWG’s thinking manifest itself through the selection of works (/the works themselves)? What are the spatial needs of “an” exhibition?
In-between process (February-May 2016)
Measurements were done to determine where and in what way the acoustics of the room could be improved with a limited budget. Two out of Böhm’s suggested interventions were selected to be implemented in the space at the end of June 2016.
The notion “format” qualifies spaces (settings/containers), moments (events/encounters), tools (codes/means) that are commonly created/used to publicize (validate/disseminate) art-based related knowledge.
Publication, Exhibition, Symposium, Lecture-Performance, Screening, and Workshop are notions that activate representations, perceptions, understandings, behaviors, and expectations. These formats come from/are developed/can be found in various fields of activities, also other than Art. Depending on the backgrounds of the people encountering them and on the contexts in which they are encountered, these notions “perform” as a format and/or as a tool. Six Formats treats and questions each of them as context, method, object, and, above all, knowledge.
Format is knowledge.
Cogne at the Conference> Modelling Public Space(s) in Culture, Lokomotiva - Centre for New Initiative in Arts and Culture, Skopje (Macedonia), 13.10.2017
Title: Artistic formats and institutions: (re)articulation, (re)presentation, and (dis)placement
By: Ingrid Cogne
Depending on the role one has (artist, choreographer, curator, researcher, dramaturge); Depending on whether or not it is a co- (Which form of co-? How many are involved?...); Depending on the intention(s) of the proposal one has (its layer(s) of complexity, its relationships to others: audience, peers, passers-by, etc.)… > A specific relationship/contract/way of working needs to be created.
In other words, the focus is not on artistic formats that need to be instituted by institutions, but on communication and ways of co-operating between the ones who link artistic formats and institutions.
Six Formats challenges the order of appearance different formats
usually have in the context of a research project.
Six Formats thinks “the other way around”.
Six Formats builds on six selected formats commonly used in relation to the presentation, communication, and circulation of knowledge in art-based research: publication, lecture-performance, exhibition, symposium, screening, and workshop.
Six Formats treats formats as knowledge.
Six Formats facilitates series of co-processes, ongoing self-reflections and re-articulations aiming for reciprocal attentiveness to the respective needs of the project, its partners, and co-researchers.
Six Formats, running from February 2015 to June 2018, was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF, PEEK, AR291-G21) and hosted by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
In parallel, Cogne and Pilz conceptualized an A5 booklet —KEX produces and distributes such booklet for all shows—as a tool to support the vision proposed during process 1. The booklet became the space to question what was, after all, still called an "exhibition" or a "show", playing with perception and imagination. Describing what exactly had been done would destroy the efforts of subtlety. Flirting with the borders of the perceivable, the booklet invited visitors to search for an expected effect.
Process II (June 2016)
In addition to the two hidden acoustic interventions, the EWG decided upon a series of manifestations based on placebo, duration, and visibility. The EWG also initiated the writing of a text dedicated to Schallwirkungen auf Mensch und Tier.
Post-process (July-December 2016)
Cogne developed the material gathered during the processes and set up additional meetings with Böhm, Fedorenko, Pilz, and Schafler in order to conceptualize an articulated—both visually and content-wise—proposal for the annual catalogue Kunsthalle Exnergasse 2016 (ISBN 978-3-902946-14-0). The text reveals the EWG's processes, the acoustic interventions, a detailed description of the series of manifestations, and the ways in which they were implemented. It also suggests the ways in which presentations or talks at KEX could be optimized.
An additional exposition is dedicated to Format Exhibition - Schallwirkungen auf Mensch und Tier.
Six Formats at the The Swedish Research Council's annual symposium on artistic research 2017, Stockholm University of the Arts, 28-29.11.2017
Title: “Format is knowledge”
By: Ingrid Cogne
HOW to facilitate the dialogue between Six Formats and the Swedish Research council’s annual symposium on artistic research 2017, knowing that:
- The art-based research project Six Formats analyses specific formats commonly used to communicate art-based related knowledge in the present day – insisting on the relation format-content,
- Symposium is one of the formats that Six Formats is working on,
- The theme of the symposium is “Meeting around the research practice - Presentation formats in artistic research”.
Based on Cogne’s statements that “Format is knowledge” and “Six Formats methodology is not a recipe”, what is proposed here is 1) a process of (re-)articulating knowledge through “doing” and “meeting”, 2) a manifestation that does not aim to “cover” and (re-)present Six Formats in its entirety, and 3) a moment of suspension that does not stop the movement created by the project.
As re/search is, for Cogne, analyzing the doing while being in the doing, the symposium is approached as an opportunity to re-explore (through the doing) this format, as well as the ways in which (<HOW>) practical knowledge can unfold, meet, and circulate.
Based on her previous work, Cogne proposes a “diptych” of two situations: “one-on-one conversation” and “table talk”. The intentions are 1) to challenge the format and context of the symposium, 2) to facilitate both in-depth discussions and informality, and 3) to resist the performative aspect of standardized presentations.
Day one: one-on-one conversation
Five 15 min. conversations, 1 person at a time (upon registration), no audience
Day two: table talk
One 40 min. meeting, 4 participants (upon registration), no audience
Format WORKSHOP II: March 2018
Facilitator: Ingrid Cogne
Partner Institution: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Austria)
Co-researchers: Cogne, Igor Dobricic, Tobias Pilz, Charlotta Ruth
Post-process (May-June 2018): Cogne, Dominik Grünbühel, Ruth, Physical Behavior Kunstverein (Austria)
Format SCREENING II: March 2018
Facilitator: Ingrid Cogne
Host institution: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Austria)
Co-researchers: Cogne, Rafal Morusiewicz, Rebecca Arthur
Format PUBLICATION: October 2015
Title: Publication in/and transformation
Initiators/Facilitators: Ingrid Cogne and Elske Rosenfeld
Partner Institution and Filter
Scriptings (Berlin, Germany) / Achim Lengerer
Co-researchers of the working week:
Cogne, Aron Kullander-Östling, Lengerer,
Patricia Reed, Rosenfeld, Tomás Ruiz-Rivas
The invitation sent by Rosenfeld to the co-researchers called for using Format Symposium as a platform to rethink the main keywords/filters of Six Formats: "situation", "presence", and "performativity" (issued from Cogne’s PhD thesis). Rosenfeld proposed alternative keywords such as "periphery", "intuition", "urgency" and "distance".
Pre-process (February-April 2016)
The Symposium Working Group (SyWG) interrogated together, via online exchanges, how "symposium" can be reconsidered and reworked together as a format of disseminating and sharing forms of knowledge, especially artistic knowledge. Time was dedicated to the presentation and discussion of the co-researchers’ practices in relation to “a politics of form” in order to challenge the conventions of "symposium" as a format.
In its original sense, "symposium" is about entertainment and knowledge exchange. It is a situation where physical enjoyment, playfulness, excess, and knowledge production/use are mutually contradictory.
Format WORKSHOP I: February 2018
Facilitator: Ingrid Cogne
Partner Institution and Filters: Academy of fine Arts Vienna (Austria) / Cogne and Tobias Pilz
Co-researchers: Cogne, Igor Dobricic, Pilz, Charlotta Ruth
Format SCREENING I: October 2017
Facilitator: Ingrid Cogne
Concept development: Cogne, Rafal Morusiewicz, and Rebecca Arthur
Partner Institution and Filters: Monokino (Oostende, Belgium) / Arthur and Anouk De Clercq
Host institution: Workspacebrussels (Belgium)
Co-researchers: Cogne, Morusiewicz, Arthur
Processes I and II: January 2016 and June 2016
Facilitator: Ingrid Cogne
Concept development: Cogne, Elske Rosenfeld, and Klaus Schafler
Partner Institution and Filter:
Kunsthalle Exnergasse (Vienna, Austria) / Schafler
Co-researchers of the two working weeks:
Cogne, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Corina Oprea,
Tobias Pilz, Rosenfeld, Schafler
Exhibition Schallwirkungen auf Mensch und Tier:
on display at the Kunsthalle July 6-21, 2016
Commissioned: Peter Böhm
Format LECTURE-PERFORMANCE: January 2017
Facilitator: Ingrid Cogne
Concept development: Cogne, k.g. Guttman, and Paula Caspão
Partner Institution and Filter: Artexte (Montreal, Canada) / Guttman
Co-researchers of the working week: Caspão, Cogne, Guttman, Tobias Pilz, Noémie Solomon, and the contribution of Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein
Post-process 1 (October 2017): Meeting an audience – Practical (dramaturgical?) knowledge at play, with Caspão, Cogne, Julia Hölzl, and Pilz, R.E.A.L. and Theatre Studies Research Centre, Faculty of Humanities of the University of Lisbon (Portugal)
Post-process 2 (January 2018): Caspão and Cogne, Polo Cultural Gaivotas (Portugal)
Process (April 2016)
The SyWG met for seven days at Transit Cluj (Romania), run by Attila Tordai-S, who was both a participant and a facilitator for Format Symposium. In addition to Transit, the main local partners were Acasa and infokiosk, with whom the SyWG met. “In-formal exchanges, in-formal spaces, in-formalities” (Gerardo Montes de Oca) became central to the process.
The SyWG thought this "format" as a situation in which to address and play with aspects of creating/sharing/disseminating and exchanging/appropriating/practicing knowledge. How to make a "symposium" that remains tethered both to Academia and from the field of artistic practices, that brings into play ways of engaging knowledge taken from both?
When discovering the energy of the city and the dynamics of the SyWG, the participants cautiously considered their respective positions, the position of Six Formats in the context of Transit Cluj, and the ways in which knowledge should/could be approached. The notion of "hospitality" became central—within the working group, in relation to the context, in relation to Six Formats, and regarding knowledge—and multi-layered: who hosts whom, who is a guest when, who hosts what, what is hosted by whom?
Different contexts, situations, and methods of working with, within, and outside the SyWG were approached both physically and conceptually. Perceptions and representations of "symposium" as a format for meeting/working led the SyWG toward approaching "symposium" as a filter more than as an event.
The post-process (September 2016) took place in Bergen (Norway), where Bäckman was part of Partisan Café, a meeting space within the Bergen Assembly. Rosenfeld and Bäckman created a poster based on a series of questions they articulated to address the concerns they had in Cluj. As the invitation to Format Symposium announced a principle of discussing knowledge circulation within and outside the SyWG, both the content and communication of the poster brought about conflicts among the co-researchers.
Six Formats at Intersections 2018, Royal Central, School of Speech & Drama, University of London,
Title: a 20 min paper (between article and lecture-performance):diagramming censorship(s) across research-in-writing
By: Paula Caspão & Ingrid Cogne (a paper in dialogue)
Caspão and Cogne have been trying to articulate an article that would be able to integrate the contingency of its future “present(ific)ations”. An article that by revisiting the mains concerns of the research process, spotting its fragilities and further possibilities, asserts its own writing as (also) a mode of (un-)scripting its upcoming encounters and circulations with and across its future audiences. To be sure, they assumed the redundancy of the formulation “articulating an article” to emphasize the particular ways in which an article assembles-resembles-dissembles its subject matters, constantly giving way to further conjunctions, disjunctions, t-junctions, displacements, and (re)articulations.
The requirement to (re)mettre en jeu—literally: to put written-research at play again and again, creating a play-ground zone where no given piece of research per se can claim more legitimacy than any other—amounts to the gesture of preventing any writing and communicating research strategies to acquire levels of authority that would tend to erase the complicated coalitions in which one thinks, communicates, and/or performs whatever is called “knowledge”.
As they re/searched the specific apparatus of (re)mise en jeu for their article, it became clear that several forms of censorship were at play. They were allowing and disavowing certain terms and “inspiration fellows” over others, in ways that had to be revised. They found it useful to cast that implicit censorship in terms of (im)permeability: by spotting what can (or not) pass across more or less obvious markers of authority/validation; different ways of trespassing or denying passage; by what/whom, by which means, with what goals/effects for what/whom. As they were reactivating scores of “DOs” and “DO NOTs” from the previous period of the Six Formats project that concerned the format of Lecture-Performance, a series of “NO-GOs”—but also of “TO-GOs”—clearly emerged. Their proposal was to present(ificate) a diagram of those tensions-movements.
Keywords: research-in-writing; (re)articulation; (re)circulation; censorship; (im)permeability
Format SYMPOSIUM: April 2016
Keywords for new (counter-)institutional practices. A Philosophy of Practice/Symposium
Concept development: Elske Rosenfeld
Partner Institution and Filter: Transit Cluj (Romania) / Attila Tordai-S.
Co-researchers of the working week: Freja Bäckman, Ingrid Cogne, Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, Gerardo Montes de Oca, Rosenfeld, Tordai-S.
Post-process (September 2016): Rosenfeld and Bäckman, Bergen Assembly (Norway)
Six Formats follows a protocol of processes. The basic structure of these processes is as follows: pre-process, process, and post-process. Being flexible, Six Formats continuously re-adapted this structure to the needs of each format.
The different processes in each format proposed, identified, used, and developed different forms of meeting and communication. For each of the identified "pre-", "process", "post-" (and "in between" when needed) the guest researchers were involved in varying degrees. Part of the methodology of the research conducted, these different temporalities relied on the modes of engagements and responsibilities that the invited researchers would be willing to dedicate to Six Formats.
In the methodology of Six Formats, the pre-process is a timespace wherein Six Formats, the partner institutions, and the co-researchers tune. The tuning also concerns the ways in which a format is (conceptually and methodologically) approached. In practical terms, the pre-process is the foundation of the working structure and the principle of working. Also, the location of each format is a co-participant, filtered by one co-researcher with the pre-knowledge of the particular institution. The pre-process period leads to a physical meeting.
The process consists of a working
-week during which the approach to each format is expected to come into practice—in combination with the (re-)articulations of the visions of the co-researchers and in dialogue with the conceptual and practical needs of the format-context-content relations.The process is a timespace of movements.
After Format Exhibition (2016), Cogne decided to apply its protocol based on a double process to the last two formats. The initial time-frame of each process (5-8 working days)tended to limit the articulating-doing relation. A protocol composed of a double process reinforces the intention of creating positive contexts of working for co-researching. A double process provides time for an in-between process during which the co-researchers think through the methodology and materialise tools and objects that are needed to pursue the research. An in-between process supports reflection, accentuates attention to perpetual adjustment, and opens a space wherein the pre-conceptions of the format-context-content relation become negotiable.
In Six Formats, a post-process is initially planned. “Initially” means that a post-process does not have to take place. It can also take different shapes and have different intentions of result: from consisting of a series of online meetings during which the processing of a format requires the production of an object, to placing the post-process in a (different) context in which a moment of presentation, communication, circulation positive to Six Formats can be performed. The difference between a process 2 of a double process and a post-process is situated where the questioning developed in one of the formats moves to larger questioning: to an articulation that touches upon the entire art-based research project (e.g. Format Lecture-Performance developed into a re/search on the moment of meeting with an audience/the wider circle of people, touching upon the notion of event and dramaturgy of presentation).
Six Formats at the gallery Situations, New York City, 04.05.2018
Title: Object of Communication—Visiting
By: Ingrid Cogne
How can an object re-articulate knowledge?
An invitation to practice knowledge by “visiting”
the Object of Communication and manipulating its components:
- one box
(that can frame and support temporary points of reference)
- six elements
(that can (re-)present one to six formats used to communicate knowledge)
- three layers
(that can be (dis-)placed and illustrate various elements of the methodology of Six Formats).
This series of three notions addresses a layer of knowledge that has been observed in Six Formats. Knowledge is in movement. Knowledge is at the center but not frozen. The various activities, processes, formats, structural changes, and geometries that happened during a time-space of 3,5 years required practical knowledge that touches upon the fields of Expanded Choreography, choreographic dramaturgy, and improvisation: flexibility, perpetual movement, and compulsory re-reading and re-filtering of the multiple elements, components, and relations both in the doing and in the articulation.
This text is the third text in a series of three. It builds on figures and images of the relations observed in the research. It articulates the practices, tactics, and strategies between Six Formats, knowledge, and movement. Rather than dealing with the moment during which knowledge is (re-)activated, (re-)articulated, and (re-)filtered, this text deals with the circulation of knowledge. From presentation, to communication, to circulation, and in-between, Six Formats invites to (re)consider positions of knowledge and potential approaches/ways in which one deals with knowledge on different scales (micro, meso, and macro).
Knowledge in/and transformation.
Tension, Elasticity, Suspension is a writing about a journey between presentation, communication, and circulation; a journey about what “to circulate” means. When does a text shift to another end? When does a text arrive to the same end as another text? How far does elasticity (have to) go? How much tension, elasticity is needed for circulation? How active is one (or how active does one need to be, or how aware of being active does one need to be)? ... thinking of an unconscious carrying/passing on/circulation of knowledge.
- knowledge, communication, research
- points of departure, points of transition, overlappings, destinations
- vehicle, transport, shift, arrive
- attitude, tactic, strategy, value
Attention - Tension
Distraction - Suspension Circulation - Elasticity
Elasticity - Knowledge
Tension - Attention Suspension - Destination
Format Lecture-Performance was not part of the initial list of the project's formats. It did not have a context, it did not have a "working group", and it did not a formulated invitation, as was the case of the other formats at that time. It provided Cogne a space to question the ways in which this particular format could be implemented, as "lecture-performance" represents a multitude of practices and traditions in the fields of Visual Arts, Theater, and Choreography. Eventually, Cogne invited k.g. Guttman—an active freelance artist, choreographer, researcher in the Canadian art scene—to be the "filter" who would propose the partner institution to Format Lecture-Performance. Montreal became the location.
Six Formats' filters—situation, presence, and performativity—are at the heart of the questioning of the relations between bodily-spoken-group languages in the performing contents (/knowledge). How to consider “to perform a lecture”, “a performative lecture”, and a “lecture performance”? How to think "lecture-performance" in relation to "writing for a lecture"? What is the understanding of the notion/word ”lecture” in both cases?
The Lecture-Performance Working Group (LPWG) went through several configurations of its co-researchers: a structure that one could qualify of at "variable geometry".
Samtidsverket presents Six Formats at Stenkrossen, Lund, 15.06.2018
Title: Object of Communication—Facilitation
By: Ingrid Cogne
Hur och var uppstår möten och utbyten av kunskap?
Ingrid Cogne använder begreppen “underlätta/främja” och “främjarens situation” som dramaturgiska redskap i det konstnärliga forskningsprojektet Six Formats.
How and where do meetings and exchanges of knowledges take place?
Cogne uses the notions of “facilitating” and “situation as facilitator” as dramaturgical tools in the art-based research Six Formats.
Moments of addresses one of the transversal questionings that repeatedly appeared along the art-based research Six Formats. The time dedicated by the formats’ research groups to conceptualize the situation of “meeting” between Six Formats and a wider circle of people tended to be reduced to the minimum. “How” to present and communicate became the central point of the post-process of Format Lecture-Performance and developed into Moments of.
Moments of was a working space to think:
- the very moment of meeting with an audience and visitors,
What is the practical knowledge that comes into play?
How to approach the choreographic, dramaturgical, and performative aspects of that knowledge?
- the relations between “format as tool”, “format as meeting”, and “format as event”,
- the exhaustion of situations of communication.
How can modes of writing-research embrace the “interval” where the tensions between researching, writing, presenting, and discussing in specific situations stand out, instead of systematically flattening it?
Moment(s) of is a diagram of tensions-movements. It searches for spaces of (re-, dis-, inter-, mis-)articulations. It disposes and composes with a set of 38 cards—in order to write different (co-)movements in parallel: cards, people (manipulators/listeners/readers), and thoughts. Moment(s) of shares 2 modes of practicing research called: Present(ific)action.
Pre-process 1 (Spring 2016) started with an online exchange involving Guttman, Paula Caspão, and Cogne, who co-articulated a specific vision of Format Lecture-Performance for which Artexte was approached as the partner institution.
For pre-process 2 (November 2016), Cogne traveled to Montreal in order to implement Format Lecture-Performance in the context of its partner institution. Cogne encountered Artexte’s collection and had working sessions with Guttman, Noémie Solomon (LPWG), Hélène Brousseau, and Jessica Hébert (librarians at Artexte). Exploring the collection of Artexte, they noticed that "lecture-performance" did not have a dedicated box (/category). Working on the creation of such a box was considered by the LPWG as an apropriate “dispositif” to have a dialogue with and contribute to the collection.
The invitation to the process, sent by Cogne to the entire LPWG, included the vision of creating a box for "lecture-performance", an edited version of the material gathered during the pre-processes, a detailed and oriented literature/bibliography, and a selection of thoughts and statements:
- "To remain researchers in-practice instead of becoming historians";
- "A collection as participant, as a filter";
- "A collection as fluid, in movement, animated";
- "It is not because it is not catalogued that it does not have an existence";
- "Spontaneous search, looking, touching. Browsing is needed."
The methodology of Six Formats is structured by circles of people. The number of co-researchers—for the main research team or for each particular format—varies between 3 to 8. This variable geometry engages notions such as “meeting”, “hospitality”, “invitation”, “engagement”, and “responsibility”. How to facilitate and engage (within) the im/material aspects that spaces of "meeting" and "working" provide when projects are built on groups of people? How to articulate the im/material aspects that support co-researchers to create and engage when co-processing?
Co-processes are subject to formal and informal levels of structuring, in which forms of verticality and horizontality come into play. One level of the project’s process of reflection and perpetual adjustment is paying attention to these structures and articulating them to a degree where they become negotiable.
Between November 2016 and December 2017, Ingrid Cogne and Julia Hölzl articulated a text that aims to cover potential representations and projections of CO-practices, within and outside Six Formats: a text being a CO-terminology- re/search. CO- is usually thought (of) as being merely a prefix and in terms of collaboration. Cogne and Hölzl aim to think (of) the CO- on its own, and not only in relation to.
Writing from an “I” perspective, Cogne and Hölzl consider that there is no “we” in language, nor in Six Formats. This decision asks the very question of (the authority) of writing: Language is (as) representation.
Six Formats thinks bigger than oneself. Six Formats invites several co-researchers
to each format. The “invitation” goes beyond participation. The “invitation” initiates working situations. It presents the art-based research project Six Formats. It calls for acknowledging the “how” as much as the “what”. It announces the protocol of processes. It addresses the value of shared, equal and reciprocal “engagement and responsibility” toward the situation, the processes, the overall research project, others (and another).
An invitation is specific to each format. It aims to facilitate a "positive context of working". It presents the context in which each format is implemented. It proposes points of departure to be explored by each format's working group. It shares the main visions, statements, and hypotheses of the entire research. It activates the questioning of the format-content-context relation—for that particular format in its specific context. It invites the co-researchers to a dialogue between one’s own interests and Six Formats—a win-win situation to be expanded. It initiates the circulation of pre-existing or re-articulated knowledge.
For Format Screening, Cogne invited Rebecca Jane Arthur and Rafal Morusiewicz to build a working group on the basis of knowledge of each other’s practices, notions of Six Formats, and its context. Cogne’s intention was to have the Screening Working Group (SWG) “being a CO- and not a CO-to-become”.
The implementation of Format Screening started with Arthur being the “filter” connecting the research on this format to experimental practices of moving images in Belgium. Based in Brussels, Arthur works as a moving image maker and producer, which provided a double lens to the contexts observed.
The pre-process started with Arthur and Cogne identifying the ways in which different contexts in Brussels, more or less institutionalised, approach screening as knowledge. They observed a number of screening practices: from moving image festivals to institutional archive, from live to online, from curated to random, from temporary to permanent (both time- and space-wise), from spontaneous to established.
Process (January 2017)
Considering "a format as a form of knowledge" and "a collection as a participant", the LPWG aimed to 1/ explore how knowledge can become performative or not;
2/ identify how zones of movements and the creation of relationships may be located;
3/ unfold and sum up the process of the week through a "lecture-performance"; and
4/ challenge the relationships between orality and materiality, articulation and transportation through different modes of communication. Yet the intention was not to fall into the binaries and matters of relation between an "inanimate/incomplete collection" and a “present/live body”.
The (missing) lecture-performance archive box was created and made public via an event that unfolded and summed up the LPWG's week. The content was publicly shared, which fulfilled Artexte's criteria for an element to become part of the collection. Artexte's archive box contains another box and two documents: “Lecture-performance guidelines” [French version click here] and “Submission of Lecture-performance items to the related folder” [French version click here].
Post-process 1 (October 2017) took place in Lisbon, and was dedicated to the use of Format Lecture-Performance as a “tool” for the communication within the very moment of meeting with an audience. What is the practical knowledge that comes into play? How to approach the dramaturgical aspect of that knowledge?
Caspão, Cogne, Hölzl, Pilz gathered to:
1/ question the relations between "format as tool", "format as meeting", and "format as event"; 2/ outline an article in between doing and writing; 3/ challenge/exhaust situations of communication.
For post-process 2 (January 2018) Caspão and Cogne pursued the above process in Lisbon prior to a conference presentation in London.
Six Formats at the Thirteenth International Conference on the Arts in Society, Special Focus: How Art Makes Things Happen—Situating Social Practice in Research, Practice, and Action, Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver, Canada), 27-29.06.2018
Title: Six Formats: Articulation, Activation, and Circulation
By: Ingrid Cogne
Cogne approached the Thirteenth International Conference on the Arts in Society as an opportunity to explore
1/ a “situation” of meeting with a particular audience, as well as
2/ a context where “presentificating” could be considered as a mode of communication wherein Six Formats’ knowledges can unfold and circulate.
Convinced that plural/ity is not only a sum of “I” (neither is “we”), one of the main values of Six Formats is to “think bigger than oneself”. How does this articulate between theory and practice, “vision” and “doing”?
CO-, for Cogne, calls the between and in-between “I”(‘s). Within Six Formats, CO- does not point towards (additional/added) identity, but conceptualizes its practice through facilitating circles of meetings and invitations to interactions: from CO-researching to CO-imagining.
Engaging authors such as J. L. Nancy, L. O. Jaaniste, P. Stamer, and A. Lepecki, some of the questions addressed are: Can the CO- exist as such, without being imagined (as such)? Can a CO- be as particular as it can be general? How does CO- relate to a singular plural? Is CO- an alternative to "we"?
A situation of perpetual re-/negotiation and transformation implies a constant openness and attention towards repositioning. Outside and beyond generalisation that limits its potentialities, CO- wants to be thought as potentiality instead as a fixed concept.
Six Formats approaches knowledge as a question.
Six Formats engages with knowing itself
and ways of knowing.
Six Formats treats knowledge neither as a pre-defined concept,
nor as an element to be defined/limited.
Knowledge is multiple and varied.
Verbal, embodied, affective, intuitive, cognitive, visual,
practical, and tacit knowledges are potential.
Arthur and Cogne inquired about the relations between the practices and decisions taken, their contexts and surrounding politics. Each screening element was subject to questioning, moving from the position of a point of reference to a parameter in their process of identifying "what" are the formats that screenings can have. Whether in a black box or a white cube, indoor or outdoor, the formats of screening transpired, to a varying degree, the vision of their initiator(s).
After six weeks, the SWG had to extend beyond the initiator and the filter. The pre-process, joined by Morusiewicz, entered its second phase. Over the time of online working sessions, "screening" became a maze of possible contents, activating a multitude of positionings among the three researchers. In order to identify from which positions each of them approached Format Screening, Cogne articulated a series of questions (calling for projections, preferences, needs, and visions), such as: Which knowledge are we talking about? What would be the “perfect” screening? What am I interested in developing within Format Screening?
How do I, as a viewer, prefer to be invited to a screening? How much "space" do I need for my thinking to be activated?
Six Formats is multi-layered and proposes situations that put in relation(s) various elements:
Six Formats - Partner institutions
Six Formats - Each format - Six formats
Circles of people - Series of processes
Six Formats’ research team + Format Working Groups + Visitors
Pre-, In-between, Post- processes
Method - Practice - Tool
Methodology - Values - Implementation
Art-based research - Six Formats - Research groups
CO-, Moments of, Tension Elasticity Suspension
What is my positioning regarding Q&As and communication materials?
Is having access to the vision of the curator/programmer important to me?
How do I envision the dramaturgy of a screening: with or without pauses, with or without lighting, with or without an introduction or a contextualization?
Other questions addressed elements of setting (architecture, circulation, sound, light) and machinery in relation to the contexts of cinema, exhibition space, and public space. To organize their respective and collective knowledges, Arthur, Cogne, and Morusiewicz took various positions: filmmaker, author, curator, dramaturge, choreographer, or visitor.
In parallel, Arthur conducted a field research on behalf of the SWG at Courtisane Festival: Notes on Cinema (April 2017), collecting information on what produces a screening: the film selection, the screening order, and the material of communication, including the catalogue, the website texts (synopsis, interview, review), and oral interpretations of the films (introduction, Q&A). Having contacted resource persons in her network, Arthur met with Anouk De Clercq in May 2017, who intended to open an independent cinema in the coastal city Oostende, Belgium, called Monokino.
Format Workshop—the last format approached by Six Formats—was implemented at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, which is the host institution for the entire art-based research project.
Pre-process (Autumn 2017) consisted of one-on-one meetings between Ingrid Cogne and researchers Igor Dobricic and Charlotta Ruth. Cogne proposed to the Workshop Working Group (WWG) to:
1/ Explore the roles, functions, and visions of “facilitation”. “Be(com)ing facilitator” was proposed by Cogne to create a situation where the “invited” ones reach the degree of engagement and responsibility that is at the heart (cf. Values) of Six Formats, to share/move the responsibility of the situation between the members of the WWG, and to create a “win-win situation” where the focus shifts to and in between the interests of the WWG's members,
2/ Navigate between thinking the workshop format and a format of workshop appropriate to the circulation of the knowledge of, for, and by Six Formats, and
3/ Develop the components of the Object of Communication and the ways in which it can be of interest and use for others.
Process I (January 2018) started with three days of workshops that answered the open task—proposed by Cogne—to facilitate a one-day workshop initiated by objects.
The first day was facilitated by Charlotta Ruth, who combined in a series of tasks her vision of Format Workshop, intertwining her knowledge of Six Formats with her practice called Treasure Hunting, by involving an object originally designed for her participatory performance. Ruth's assignments focused on the displacement of each person through memory and fiction in relation to architecture, turning factual information into poetic writing.
Igor Dobricic facilitated the second day. In the morning, he proposed situations with short instructions.
“Enter the room and approach the table as if its legs were 8 kilometer long”. Dobricic's intention was to play with “simple form to produce complex effect”. The afternoon was dedicated to expanding his long-term research project Table Talks. The WWG used the table in the room as a 4th wall, behind which a reader would tell a poem, and on which the same poem would be projected and read by the spectators.
The third day was facilitated by Cogne and Tobias Pilz, who invited the WWG to encounter the Object of Communication (in process since Spring 2017) through “visiting”, “presentificating”, and “expanding”—three modes that aim at activating, circulating, and re-articulating the knowledge of Six Formats.
During the last two days, the WWG drew from the palette of knowledge from the first two workshops that were filtered with the third one, dedicating time to the communication and circulation of the knowledge developed by Six Formats. The WWG identified common vocabulary based on “to play” and “game”.
"Game" was defined as "playing by given rules"
"to play" as "making up rules".
Other notions that were hovering in the exchange were the fine-tuning of instructions, the level of poetry and poetic approach, the difference of invite/insist/suggest, as well as the deepening/trying of notions previously generated by Six Formats, which the WWG worked on channeling through the three modes of interaction of the Object of Communication (OoC).
Thinking through, combining, and elaborating on the various activities and practices the WWG went through, one central question was: Are we going to propose a workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts? … to which circumstance and how?
Six Formats is a multi-layered research project aiming to (bring and keep) focus on the ways in which art-based related knowledge performs and is performed. At first, the abstract of Six Formats used “presentation”, which was replaced by “communication” in the second year, and finally by “circulation” at the end of 2016.
Presentation, communication, and circulation are three different intentions. This declination of notions reveals different relations to knowledge, authorship, and others.
For Cogne, presentation corresponds to the time and space of/for sharing a process of articulation; communication approaches knowledge as points of references; and circulation is meant for knowledge to (be) move(d) and be transformed.
By using circulation, Cogne reinforces the positioning that knowledge is context-specific and requires a perpetual re-articulation to be of/in use. The triangle, or triptych, content-context-format is multi-relational and has several points of entrance/activation.
In order to keep the flexibility and manipulation of the knowledge of/within Six Formats by its various protagonists (with different experiences and intentions of the research project), Cogne decided not to do a publication—in the sense of linear textual printed matter.
Already in 2015, Cogne had envisioned a 3D object to facilitate circulation(s) within the maze that Six Formats is, both for the visitor(s) but also to support the practice of “improvised matrix of articulation” (p. 107, Choreography of objects – choreography of ideas, Cogne, PhD thesis: Displacement(s) as Method(s), 2015), which Cogne regularly performs when invited to talk about Six Formats. This object opens to and for manipulation and transformation.
- one box (a container that frames and creates support for temporary points of reference),
- six forms (that can (re-)present one to six of the formats involved in the research),
- three layers (that can be (dis-)placed and illustrate various elements of the methodology of Six Formats, such as circles, processes, and transversal themes).
Additional textual components suggest routes of exploration (a manual) and give insights to the articulation developed within Six Formats (a series of three articles).
This meeting became a turning point of the pre-process, as the value “Doing and thinking bigger than oneself” of Six Formats resonated strongly with Monokino. Its status of "cinema-in-becoming" provided a context that had not occurred before in Six Formats. The SWG started to follow the journey of a vision searching for its manifestation. This unfolded the politics, mechanics, creativity, costs, and labor behind creating screenings. For Cogne, the relation between becoming an institution or having a practice of instituting became central.
Process I (October 16-21, 2017)
Arthur, Cogne, and Morusiewicz were granted a residency at Workspacesbrussels, which provided them a working base. The program, curated by Arthur, consisted of:
1/ A screening of Image D'Ostende by Henry Storck. The film introduced the context in which Monokino was to be placed: a location in all ways shaped by water. Storck was the inspiration for Monokino to be the second generation of Cine Club d’Ostende, which opened in 1927.
2/ A visit to Oostende: Chloë Delanghe and Quinten Wyns—locals, filmmakers, and team members of Monokino—guided the SWG through Oostende.
Expanding on the OoC rather than on Format Workshop, the WWG decided to further think the ways in which this object can become a facilitator in various situations of presentation: how and where to place information that the OoC could unfold for “visiting”, “presentificating”, and “expanding” to be experienced gradually. Not interested in imposing a particular path to a visitor, the WWG thought it crucial to focus on a kinetic encounter with the box, before ascribing meaning to its various components. In addition, the open-day (planned for process II) was conceptualized as a “situation” and not as a “workshop”—even if any meeting with the OoC could be perceived as a “workshop”.
During the in-between process, Cogne and Pilz developed the components of the Object of Communication: from the prototype to the final version. In parallel, together with Ruth, they focused on its part called “fold”. The WWG also composed an “invitation” to be sent out—via email and social media—for the forthcoming open-day at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Around and round
you turn me
And round and round
I know you got charm and appeal
You always play the field…*
Process II (March 2018) started with developing the manual (one element of the OoC that was still, at that time, in an early process): a guideline suggesting possible operations to disassemble and assemble the components in different ways. On the second day, the WWG focused on “how” to invite and include the wider circle (audience) on March 8.
During the open-day, the WWG set up the room into two stations—each having an Object of Communication on display/in action—separated by bookshelves. When entering the room, the visitor would face the box exposed on a table. Ruth was the facilitator of this station, succinctly introducing the situation and the choices provided to the visitor: 1/ encountering the OoC on one's own, 2/ exploring it in dialogue with one of the co-researchers, 3/ joining (directly or later on) the WRG in the second part of the room, where a playful approach to “presentificating” and “expanding” was going on. One of the exercises consisted in articulating short definitions for each format (which were later on edited and placed by Cogne in the final version of Manual). For example,
share time and create work
create a moment and share words
spend time, share work, and facilitate
The WWG dedicated the last day of process II to “presentificating”. Ruth and Pilz worked on Fold—involving game mechanics, decision-making, and multiple-choice strategies. Cogne and Dobricic focused on the dramaturgy of Manual—exploring styles and tones that Cogne would further develop in Spring 2018.
Ruth suggested creating video tutorials for the OoC. A post-process took place May-June 2018, gathering Cogne, Ruth, and Dominik Grünbühel. The setting and the editing were conceptualized by Ruth and Grünbühel in dialogue with Cogne. “Visiting” was performed by Alberto Franceschini (who visited Format Workshop on March 8), “Presentificating” by Cogne, and “Expanding” by Cogne and Ruth.
* Diana Ross, 1980
Layers of Filters
Situation - Presence - Performativity
Content - Context - Format
Presentation - Communication - Circulation
Activation - Articulation - Circulation
Activation - Activity - Circulation
Activation - Interaction - Activity
Attention - Distraction - Circulation
Invite - Propose - Insist
Tension - Elasticity - Suspension
Visiting - Presentificating - Expanding
The city’s architecture speaks to Belgium’s colonial past, with an array of buildings built by Leopold for the purpose of turning the city into a bustling tourist resort—a modernist dream with semi-vacant towering apartments that are unaffordable for locals. Afterwards, Delanghe and Wyns introduced the SWG to the contemporary art museum, the art and music centre, and private cultural initiatives.
3/ Meetings with Belgium-based professionals working as: moving image makers, educators, programmers, curators, distributors, commissioners.
4/ The seminar Circulation, organized by Beursschouwburg in collaboration with Kunstenpunt and KASK.
The SWG inserted to the program several working sessions dedicated to the dialogue between Six Formats and Monokino. Using the visual chaptering of Image D'Ostende—the port, anchor, wind, spume, dunes, North Sea—the SWG wrote a synopsis for the Monokino initiative.
The In-between process (November 2017 - March 2018) consisted of a few online sessions dedicated to planning Process 2 and to brainstorming on the written articulation of Format Screening. The SWG reflected upon the role that Monokino played in Process 1, as well as its future relation to Format Screening.
Because Monokino would eventually be launched in March 2018, it was decided that Process 2 would take place in Vienna, instead of Brussels, where the SWG would discuss the genre and thematic foci of the text.
In early March, the SWG responded to the call for papers to the second issue of the Film+Place+Architecture journal (forthcoming in November 2018). The SWG decided to adopt the narrative frame of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves (1931), brought by Arthur, and used the polylogue storytelling technique: a narrative strategy of including protagonists other than the SWG's three voices.
Process II (March 14-18, 2018)
During the writing process, the SWG built the text on the key moments in their research process and their articulations around the series of questions. The text is structured around six components of screening (movement, sound, surface, machinery, light, and distance) and conducted in six voices. Initially representing Arthur, Cogne, Morusiewicz, Monokino, Six Formats, and (the) visitor, they soon exceeded the initially demarcated boundaries. The polylogue of voices (speaking next to one another, not dialoging with each other) is preceded by a time-based narration that sets the surface for the multiple projections of Format Screening.
The invitation sent to the co-researchers of this format emphasized “the doing” rather than an outcome:
NO production of an object,
NO event or public manifestation.
Six Formats underlines a tendency of over-communication in the artistic and research-in-practice fields: there is a gap—both quantitatively and qualitatively—between its communication and its manifestation. Cogne and Rosenfeld gathered peers who use “publication” as a tool or a format in their specific artistic, activist, and professional practices and productions.
The pre-process of Format Publication was composed of two phases. The first phase (March-July 2015) involved an exchange between Cogne, Rosenfeld, and the host (/filter) Achim Lengerer, who had run the travelling showroom and instant publishing house Scriptings since 2009. A series of meetings took place online every few weeks, specifying the intentions of the coming six-day process and the level of visibility desired (/considered appropriate) for this format and for the overall visibility and modes of communication for Six Formats. The second phase (July-October 2015) consisted of online meetings with the remaining co-researchers dedicated to finalizing the structure of the working week.
The process (October 2015) gathered the six co-researchers at Scriptings. The Publication Working Group considered the use of publication in relation to projects that are process-oriented, durational, addressing different audiences, and dealing with diverse themes and materials. The research process combined inputs from the participants with general discussions and collective work on texts (physical and digital forms of writing, editing, and publishing). The double layers of 1/ a self-organized working process, based on equal responsibility and engagement, and 2/ the lack of a goal to work toward during this short process (such as a meeting with an audience) created a complex working environment, considered enriching by some participants and difficult by others.
Format Publication did not have a post-process.
Each format is a co-process of ongoing self-reflection and re-articulation,
aiming for reciprocal attentiveness to the respective needs of the project, its partners,
Six Formats was hosted at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
and financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF, PEEK, AR291-G21), which placed the research project in a very institutionalized framework. On the other hand, Six Formats (dis)placed itself in various locations chosen in relation to specific formats. The partner institutions—Artexte, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Monokino, Scriptings, and Transit Cluj—offered a range of contexts with particular histories, artistic activities, and politics of institutionalisation. More or less "on the street" and oriented toward visibility and communication, each of the partner institutions were participants —like the co-researchers invited—and contributed with knowledge regarding practices, contents, values, and more (depending on their specificities and interests).
Six Formats proposes and searches for a methodology of attention and reflection to bring together different knowledge or more palpable, quantifiable contents and outcomes in research.
The project responds to the increasingly academized field of art-based research with practices that are/can be ephemeral and process-oriented. Six Formats proposes values of (co-)working, challenges (re-)presentations of knowledge, and circulates visions and protocols to be explored as positionings, strategies, and tactics.
No to one more nice…*
The methodology of Six Formats invites/wants to be transformed, recycled, and challenged instead of (claiming to) being applied. It is not a recipe. Each proposition, articulation, positioning is in relation(s): it depends on the reading(s) of a context, on the identification of content and its multi-layers, multi-understandings, and multi-manifestations.
The figures illustrate the main relations of the art-based research project Six Formats, as well as the principal elements on which the protocol of Six Formats builds on (such as “circles of people”, and “pre-, process, post-”). The figures also introduce the positioning(s) of the main researcher(s) (“format is knowledge”) and the openings of the research (in purple).
On the research level, the project aims to take risk, to challenge its own articulation for each researcher (permanently or temporarily) involved—again and again. It involves flexibility regarding time, articulation, and implementation depending on the needs of the project. A perpetual reading of the created/existing situation is compulsory as knowledge is in perpetual movement. Creating situations that can challenge and expand the practices of the various working groups has proven to be an extremely valuable process.
The concrete relation between concept/theory and practice is to be RE-decided and RE-negotiated. Six Formats looks for fallouts that happen when they collide and battle for space and time.
The methodology of Six Formats appears across this exposition within the frame of grey forms and ellipses. They address notions that are central to Six Formats, and that, at the same time, can be referred to in different ways or placed in various fields.
What does one state as what? How does one present a term according to the use(s) one has of it (in the project, in each format, in general, etc.)?
* publication, exhibition, symposium, lecture-performance, screening, workshop
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.