Abstract Research Project:

Trans*Writing. Immanence and Transformation. Towards a Political, Ethical and Aesthetical Theory of Writing as Arts-based Research.[V635]

A lot has been written about the relationship between artistic practice and writing in the context of research, both in and outside the framework of academic and art discourses. Writing there has been primarily addressed as giving an explicit verbal account of the implicit knowledge embodied in both artistic practices and products while art seems to remain outside of what can be expressed by words. By comparison, very little has been said about writing as creative practice in itself, capable of providing meaning by expanding the scope of the writing process in order to give a voice to the semiotic, the unconscious and bodily processes of signification (Kristeva). But why?! Caduff (2010) is focusing mainly on institutional reasons to explain this instance. In addition to this, the given project suggests an epistemological analysis, claiming that namely poststructuralist, queer-feminist encounters with writing (by e. g. Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, etc.) have not yet been extensively implemented into a theory of writing as arts-based research. Within this approach writing can initiate transformations not only in the contexts of art and (academic) research but moreover, these transformations immanently affect our being in the world. Viewed not as an act that aims at the propositional aspect of writing but rather as a performative practice, writing hence seems to be an exceptional choreo-graphic setting and calls for an immanent choreo-graphic plane of Trans*Writing as a trans-subjective lived alternative to the “death of the author” (Barthes).

In response to this the project aims to develop the arts-based research praxis of “Trans*Writing” and a “Trans*Theory” reflecting on it. This will be accomplished by drawing upon feminist concepts of writing as a performative practice (Cixous, Kristeva, Butler). Trans*writing thus is to bring about a form of radical openness for the excess of meaning that the academic writing tradition tries to capture. Trans*writing understood as an arts-based research practice does not signify monolithically. Conducted by the applicant the PEEK-project will on the practical level involve writing laboratories. This project will be carried out in co-operation with the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.