To know is not simply to explore, but rather is to be able to make your way back over your own footsteps, following the path you have marked out.

(Latour 1999, 74)


The proposal for the research towards the first artistic part of my doctorate was to articulate, in writing, the impact of the Manipulations on the body of the practitioner, as well as the knowledge created in and through the practice. At the beginning of my doctoral research, I was looking back at many years of training with the Manipulations, and I knew the practice fairly well. What I did not know was how to verbally articulate the knowledge that was embedded in, and created by, the Manipulations.

 

How to approach such a written articulation? How to articulate the non-linguistic content of experience? How to translate the tacit knowledge that is created in the process of alteration into verbal language? And how to approach writing about the Manipulations, not by imposing a pre-fabricated theoretical framework onto the practice, but from within the practice, and in a way that implicates the practice itself in the process of writing?

 

The Glossary


One starting point was the idea to create a glossary. Typically, the purpose of a glossary is to explain the technical terms and concepts that are used in a certain profession or discipline. In the early stage of my doctorate, I was very much occupied with the question of how to communicate the background and the aims of my research to the research community. The purpose of creating a glossary was to facilitate a better understanding of my artistic background, and to make my research more accessible by introducing the lingo used in the Body Weather training. In addition, I hoped that thinking through the Manipulations and creating a glossary would be helpful to take stock of the practical and linguistic departure points of my research at the outset of my doctoral studies.

 

As discussed in Chapter Three, words are always implied in the processes of teaching and negotiating dance. These words are neither neutral, nor are they merely descriptive; they are, rather, performative, in the sense that they do things in the world – they make things happen. The rhetoric of teachers and practitioners directs the process of learning; it directs how a body moves, how a body articulates, and how it is articulated, how it attends to itself and to other bodies, how it imagines, how it thinks, etc.

 

The tacit physical articulation of bodies goes hand-in-hand with the articulation of the words that direct the experience of our bodies. Verbal instructions orient and direct what we attend to, and the way how we attend. Activated and oriented by words, attention is key in creating the contents and the modes of our experience. Attention is a generative force in the articulation and constitution of bodies by creating links between words and experience.x

 

The words listed in the Glossary are typically used in directing the process of transmitting the Manipulations. By sourcing the language from within the realm of practice, instead of looking in other fields or disciplines, I compiled a list of words that are important in the rhetoric of practice and the process of embodiment. The Glossary can be seen as a back-translation of practice into the same language that earlier had been employed in the activation of the practice and the generation of experience.

 

Unearthing the language that is used in the direction of the training maybe does not sound like a highly original and innovative approach to the task of linguistically articulating and translating the practice. Nevertheless, despite the lack of innovation and originality, the main advantage of drawing on the language found in Body Weather is that the continuity of the movement from physical articulation to verbal articulation is not broken. By approaching the question of translation from within the familiar environment of Body Weather’s own vocabulary, the continuity of the movement of translation across different modes of expression was maintained. The reversibility of the operation—i.e. translating language into practice, and vice versa—enabled continuity and kept “the chain of transformation”x intact. Whereas the application of a theoretical framework imposed from the outside onto the Manipulations would have entailed the risk of subordinating the practice to theory, using Body Weather’s own terminology in the creation of the Glossary kept the balance between the two.

 

Words activating the practice

Retrieving relations

Words as a means to re-access past experience and past relations

 

Touching the concept with my mind

Putting all the effort into the listening

With minimal tension

 

Searching for the right tonus

Allowing thoughts to come into expressionx

 

The Research Score as a Method of Embodied Reflection

 

In the process of creating the Glossary, the research score was one of the main practical methodsx used to reflect on the Manipulations, and to verbally articulate the practice. Each time I conducted the research score, I chose one word from the Glossary to reflect on, and wrote down the ideas that came to my mind in real time. I called the documents that were produced by this procedure ‘The Scribblings’. In addition, I conducted a series of speed writing exercises for each word in a more conventional setting, i.e. sitting at a desk and typing words into my computer. I edited the material gathered from all of these writing procedures and created a final version as an entry into the Glossary.

 

What’s the difference between practice and method?

 

Am I practising a method?

 

Am I turning a practice into a method?

 

Does it have to do with the intention underlying the practice

Whether something is a ‘practice’ or a ‘method’?x

 

Similar to the Glossary, the research score was conducive to maintaining the continuity of the movement of translation in the passage of thought from the physical to the conceptual, and vice versa. By embedding verbal reflection within the Manipulations, the research score does not reiterate the separation between physical practice and linguistic articulation – something that is typically the case when reflection is approached by way of pausing, standing back, and looking at the practice from a temporal distance.

 

In the research score, the action of physical reflection and the action of conceptual reflection belong to the same action complex. Instead of following the logics of separation by working from one end of the continuum to the other, the research score situates the act of translation in the midst of relations, from where it works in two opposite directions at the same time. Instead of creating a unit of ‘non-verbal practice’ that is separate from a unit of ‘linguistic reflection’, the research score generates a shared ecology. It fuses physical and verbal modes of expression without confusing them: both modes of expression continue to exist in their own right – distinct from each other while still being connected, and differentiated from each other without being divided.

 

The techniques of articulation that are embodied and activated by the research score foster an ecology in which the translation of physical into verbal discourse is sensitive, aligned and alert to the particular needs and properties of corporeal writing. The research score creates an intra-disciplinary micro-space in which the hegemony of language is tempered: language is not imposed on the corporeal, but dialogues and co-articulates with it. The linguistic articulation of verbal thinking does not come at the expense of a strict division from non-verbal corporeal thinking. The research score thus supports the continuity of the movement of thought and its passage from one mode of expression to another.

 

The Evolution of the Research Score into a Medium of Artistic Research


In October 2012, I presented the results of my research for the first artistic part in a lecture-demonstration at the Theatre Academy Helsinki. Next to the creation of the Glossary, one of the main outcomes of my investigation was that the research score became established as a method of embodied reflectionx in, through and about the Manipulations. In the time after the first artistic part, I continued to work with the research score and to explore its epistemic potential, while the Glossary took a backseat.

 

In the following years, my continued experimentation with the research score triggered a number of shifts that changed the orientation and the focus points of my research, both conceptually as well as practically. The first shift was a gradual shift of emphasis from the Manipulations to the research score itself as the main epistemic subject and object of my research. At this stage of my doctoral research, the repeated presentation of my research on different occasions and in changing contexts asked me to reconsider my investigation from the different thematic angles offered by these various events. Whenever it was possible, I included a performance of the research score in one of my research presentations at the Performing Arts Research Centre’s seminars, conferences, festivals or symposia. It would not have made much sense to only show a video of the Manipulations and to talk about it. I was striving for a balance, and interaction, between performative and discursive modes of articulating my research. Performing the research score became a way of performatively enacting the practical grounds of my research in the space of representation.

 

So I’m reflecting on method

With a method of reflectionx

 

A second shift took place as I started to use the research score differently: no longer primarily as a method for reflecting on the Manipulations, but also as a means of reflecting on concepts that I encountered in my theoretical research, and as a way of generating material for my research presentations. In May 2015, in the process of creating a lecture-demonstration for a conference on dance research, I conducted a series of research scores reflecting on and with the word ‘method’, and I included the transcripts in my presentation. In the autumn of that same year, preparing for a contribution to another conference on the methodology of practice-as-research, I conducted yet another set of research scores reflecting on and with a variety of notions: ‘struction’,x ‘embodied knowing’,x ‘embodied reflection’,x ‘reflection’,x ‘diffraction’x and ‘unfinished thinking’.x Again, I included the transcripts in the exposition part of my presentation as a way of documenting the outcomes of my process of working with the research score.

 

What came to the fore over the course of these shifts was that I could use the research score as a technique to establish relations with a range of diverse concepts; it became a versatile tool for reflecting on possibly any notion that I encountered in the realm of my theoretical studies. Consequently, I began to lie down frequently in my study at home to practise the research score, in addition to the more habitual way of ‘dryly’ thinking through ideas and typing them into my computer while sitting at the desk. In the course of 2015, I practised the research score to reflect on and with, among others, the notions of ‘place’, ‘time’, ‘participation’, ‘third space’, ‘potential’, ‘method’, ‘cut’, ‘tacit knowledge’, ‘thinking’, ‘training’, ‘not-knowing’, ‘touch’, ‘struction’, ‘embodied reflection’, ‘diffraction’, ‘unfinished thinking’, ‘specificity’, ‘emptiness’, ‘relation’, ‘exhaustion’ and ‘articulation’. These are the examples that I worked with, but the possibilities are obviously endless.

 

With this expansion of the practice, the research score evolved from a method of reflecting on the Manipulations into a consistent practice of embodied reflection its own right. As a translation of the Manipulations, the research score gradually moved away from the original and took on a life of its own. In the poetic language of Walter Benjamin, the research score was now set on a “straight path to infinity […] thereupon pursuing its own course according to the laws of fidelity in the freedom of linguistic flux”.x

 

A method of folding sensing into reflection

Reflection into sensing

 

With minimal effort

With a maximum of receptivity and listening

 

Not one over the other, but one with the other

 

Not a method of finding solutions

But a method of taking a problem to its core, its edge, its extreme

 

Observing what happens

Reflecting as it happens

Reflecting on and in actionx

 

Academic Writing on Practice


Another important moment in the evolution of the research score, and in its emancipation from the Manipulations, was the writing of two articles during 2015. In the early years of my doctorate, the prospect of writing about Body Weather made me feel uneasy. I continuously questioned whether I was at all authorized and entitled to make any statements about the practice, and I felt a tension in myself being at once the practitioner and the artist-researcher. The practitioner in me was committed to the original practice, and concerned with preserving its unique strengths and qualities. On the other hand, the artist-researcher in me not only had great esteem for the heritage, but was also eager to critically question it, and curious to explore what else could possibly be done with the Manipulations other than employing them in the orthodox way as a practice for performance training. What was the potential of the Manipulations as a knowledge practice? How could I further explore and develop this potential in the context of artistic research?

 

Knowing that my research was in tension with some of the teachings of Body Weather, I was rather hesitant to share it with Body Weather practitioners in the early years of my doctoral studies. In contrast to this, it felt emotionally less charged to introduce my work to my peers from the field of artistic research, and to discuss it with them. The writing of the two essays, which were published in 2016, got things moving. “Modes of Knowing in Body Weather Performance Training”x articulates the tacit modes of knowing and the bodily knowledge that is created in and through the Manipulations. “Reflecting with Practice: Body Weather Performance Training Becomes a Medium of Artistic Research”x goes a step further: it not only articulates the knowledge that is created in and through the process of alteration, but it also offers a detailed analysis of the research score as an embodied approach to think through the Manipulations and to create the Glossary. The article concludes by suggesting that the research score enables a shift in the mode of reflection from reflecting and writing on practice to reflecting and writing with practice, and that by making this shift happen, the research score transforms the Manipulations into a medium of artistic research.x Before elaborating on this shift in more detail, I take a closer look at the notion of ‘medium’.

 

From Artistic Medium to Medium of Research


Esa Kirkkopeltox argues that artist-researchers transform their artistic medium into a medium of research.x The artistic medium, he writes, “enables a certain change, a transition from one state of things to another, and displays it, performs it”.x In the process of becoming transformed into a medium of artistic research, the artistic medium “not only changes its function, but it also brings forth its medial nature in a new and problematic way”.x Following Kirkkopelto, a ‘medium’ is different from a ‘method’:

 

A medium is not only a path, a ‘method’, a transition from one place to another, but also the material and technical ground on which that path is traced, a place for placing and a happening. A medium not only enables a change, but it makes it happen in a certain way, according to the conditions set by the mediating material or technique. The medium inscribes itself into the change by the singular way the change takes place.x

 

Thus, according to Kirkkopelto, unlike an artistic medium, a medium of research has a double function, which consists in the capacity to accomplish two things: first, similarly to an artistic medium, it enables a change and transition; second, and in addition to this, a medium of research not only performs the change, but it enacts this change in such a way that the underlying materiality and techniques become perceptible to us. What is usually implicit in, or hidden by, the artistic medium—i.e. its mediating function in effecting a change, as well as the techniques and strategies that enable the ‘transition from one state to another’—is made accessible and intelligible to us by the medium of research, Kirkkopelto argues. Once the artistic medium has been transformed into a medium of research, it becomes discursively negotiable. We are placed in the position of critically assessing and discussing it; we are able to reflect on and with it; we are able to (re-)define our relations to it, and to learn something from or with it. If we wish, we may even change the medium, or be changed by it, if we allow it to do so.x

 

Following Kirkkopelto’s model, I want to suggest that the research score transforms the Manipulations from an artistic medium into a medium of research. As I have proposed, the change performed by the Manipulations is what I refer to in terms of ‘alteration’, i.e. a shift or transition from a mode of (self-)perception that re-activates the social and psychological conventions of inter-subjective relationships between two human bodies, towards a mode of perception that foregrounds the physicality of inter-corporeal relations between two more-than-human bodies. Not only does the research score perform this change in a similar way as the artistic medium of the Manipulations; beyond this, as a medium of research, it also brings forth its medial nature by articulating, both verbally and nonverbally, the materiality, language, techniques and philosophical underpinnings that underlie the process of alteration. Moreover, the research score is not only the driving force behind the transformation of the Manipulations into a medium of research, but it also emerges from this transformation as a practice that exists in its own right.

 

The writing of the two articles, likewise, played a key role in the evolution of the research score and in the transformation of the Manipulations into a medium of research. The differentiation of the research score from the Manipulations into a practice in its own right was not only an effect of repeated reflection and writing from within the practice of the research score; it was also driven by a more conventional mode of reflecting conceptually about the practice. In the course of writing the two articles, this conceptual mode of reflection took place both in close proximity to the Manipulations, as well as by stepping aside and taking distance from the practice. This co-presence of performative modes of reflecting in and through practice with representational modes of reflecting on and about practice has been crucial in the transformation of the artistic medium of the Manipulations into a medium of research.x

 

From ‘Reflecting on’ to ‘Reflecting with

 

 

The research score started out as a method for reflecting on the Manipulations and creating the Glossary. At this early phase in the evolution of the research score, words served as a means to focalize my reflections on a particular aspect of the practice, and to clearly orient the expression of thoughts towards that word. In this mode of reflecting on and about a word, there is a more or less stable, fixed relationship between a knowing subject of reflection and a known word, or concept, as an object of reflection, which is at the centre of attention and which becomes represented through language. This mode of intentional and representational linguistic reflection on the practice of the Manipulations is embedded in a nonverbal performative mode of reflecting in and through practice.

 

In the further evolution of the research score into a medium of artistic research, there is a small but potentially significant change in the relationship between the reflecting subject and the reflected object. This is not merely the change of function that Kirkkopelto speaks about, as the artistic medium is transformed into a medium of research, and it goes beyond a change of just the context or the purpose of the practice. The change takes places on the micro-levels of the practice, more specifically on the level of the specific techniques that constitute the practice. It is an effect of the impact of the practice on the practitioner, and is related to the process of alteration in and through the Manipulations that I discuss in Chapter Two.

 

To briefly recapitulate, one of the aims of the research score is to explore how to re-create the process of alteration in the Manipulations, and to articulate the knowledge that is engendered in this process. Despite the fact that an identical reproduction of the effect of the Manipulations through the research score is impossible, many of the same techniques employed in the original practice are also activated by the research score: the techniques of minimizing and negotiating muscle tension; the technique of reflecting-in-and-on-action; the technique of Imaginary Breathing Through; and the technique of omni-central attention. In addition to this, the network of relations engendered by the techniques of the research score is no less complex than the one created by the Manipulations. On the contrary, given the superior number of tasks and techniques that are activated and continuously negotiated, the research score potentially creates an even more complex altered ecology of experience than the one we encounter in the Manipulations.

 

The suspension of volitional movement, the availability to be moved by someone or something other than oneself, the becoming of a medium and the incorporation of infinite influences both within and beyond the perceived boundaries of the body, the displacement of agency and the becoming of Weather, the questioning of ownership and the becoming of an ecology of the ‘We’, the distribution of attention towards the body’s peripheries, the non-hierarchical articulation of corporeal relations, the body’s heightened capacity to affect and be affected – all these are the properties and the effects of the techniques of alteration that are activated in the Manipulations. To the extent that these techniques become (re-)activated in the research score, and to the extent that the research score succeeds in re-creating and re-articulating the process of alteration, the altered ecology of experience affects the constitution of the particular subject/object relationship that underlies the mode of reflecting on practice, and potentially transforms it into a relational mode of reflecting with practice.

 

Precarious Equilibrium


The re-creation of alteration with the research score should not be taken for granted. As discussed in Chapter Four, re-creation is a complex and laborious task that is necessarily bound to fail, and the undoing of language’s bracketing in the research score further complicates the situation. The inclusion of language can be perceived as creating an obstacle to the process of alteration; it reintroduces an element of (inter-)subjectivity into the practice, which previously had been deliberately excluded in the Manipulations in order to foster the shift from the inter-subjective to the inter-corporeal.

 

The inclusion of language thus holds the concrete risk of impeding or even reversing the process of alteration, and of re-territorializing the inter-corporeal relations back onto the plane of inter-subjective relationships. Another possibility is that practitioners end up being locked into a process of going back and forth between either the physical or the conceptual plane, without ever being able to establish relatively stable and reliable relations between the two. The inclusion of language thus entails the concrete risk of botching the process of alteration; you may be practicing the research score, but nothing is really changing.

 

Nevertheless, based on my own experience, continued practice increases the chances of acquiring the skills to negotiate—more or less successfully—the potential conflict between physical and conceptual modes of reflection. The practice does its work. Gradually, one becomes more articulate in establishing and maintaining relations between the two modes without having to switch back and forth, or without subordinating one to the other. Once the equilibrium between the two is established without getting fixed, the process of alteration can do its work. The relations between a knowing subject of reflection and a known object can begin to transform. The mode of reflecting on practice clears the way for a mode of reflecting with practice.

 

Peripheral Reflection


In the mode of reflecting with, the word is no longer the fixed and focalized object of attention that it was in the mode of reflecting on. The word, or concept, becomes decentred and displaced. Moving from the centre to the periphery of attention, the word constantly travelsx across the body, dialoguing and co-articulating with it, rather than about it. In this mode of peripheral reflection, the concept has no privileged position as the main reference of signification. It is just another relatum in the field of experience. Reflecting with is not a volitional or intentional mode of reflection that turns practice into an object of thought, but one in which the activation of physical relations, combined with a de-activation of muscular effort, enables thought to circulate and pass through intensities of physical experience.

 

The creation of an altered ecology of experience with the research score transforms a conceptual mode of reflection on practice, in which practice figures as the object of thought, into a mode of reflection with practice (‘practice’ understood as an ecology of practices that are constituted by techniques). I do not assume that the constitution of a different network of relations creates a direct causal relationship between the physical and the conceptual. For example, the minimizing of muscular effort does not imply that reflecting with happens with minimal effort. Nothing would be further away from the reality of reflecting with than the idea that minimal muscular effort alone is sufficient to make the shift happen. On the contrary, reflecting with requires a high intensity on the level of activating the techniques that are necessary to initiate the process of alteration, and on the level of negotiating multiple—often conflicting—tasks. On the micro-level of the practice of the research score, reflecting with is constituted by a set of relational techniques of thinking that not only de-activate certain habits of moving and thinking by cutting relations, but that simultaneously also instantiate new ones. Cutting and creating relations is not a no-brainer. It is a laborious task, and failure is at all times immanent.

 

The Agency of the Apparatus


The research score not only creates an altered ecology of experience, but is also created by its own apparatus. Other things likewise have their say in the evolution of the research score and in the shift to reflecting with. According to Giorgio Agamben, an apparatus is “literally anything that has in some way the capacity to capture, orient, determine, intercept, model, control, or secure the gestures, behaviors, opinions, or discourses of living beings”.x Lepecki adds that Agamben’s characterization of the apparatus as “‘anything’ matches quite well with the definition of choreography, which can be understood precisely as an apparatus for the control of gestures, mobility, dispositions, body types, bodily intentions, and inclinations for the sake of a spectacular display of a body’s presence”.x And Karen Barad notes that “[a]pparatuses are open-ended practices”.x Following these lines of thinking, the apparatus of the research score can be considered an open-ended practice that choreographs the body’s articulations and its ways of expression.

 

At the beginning of 2015, I introduced a change to the apparatus of the research score that was mainly motivated by practical considerations concerning the documentation of the thoughts and words that emerged in the course of reflecting on and with practice. Instead of writing my thoughts down on paper, I started to express them verbally and to make an audio recording. After the practice, I made a transcript of the recording.

 

What first appeared to be merely a minor technical adjustment turned out to pave the way for significant changes in and of the practice. It was only afterwards, following this technical adjustment, that I realized how much the physical act of writing with pen and paper had been disrupting the unity of the difference between sensorial and conceptual reflection. The physical act of translating thoughts by spelling them out on paper required far more attention and effort than the recording of speech. It became much easier to negotiate the needs and demands of reflecting in the medium of words with the needs and demands of reflecting in the medium of the senses when I used my voice and recording equipment as writing tools. The precarious equilibrium between the two modes of reflection suffered far less from the recording of speech than from the writing on paper.

 

Co-existence

Methods of thinking

To build in a delay

 

To not speak out the thought right away

But to let it sink a bit deeper

To stay a bit longer

 

Keeping it liquid

Liquefying thought

 

To give affect a bit more time to do its work

To test the concept’s affectability

To circulate the concept through the series of the

Manipulations

 

Redistributing the concept

Taking it into different places of attention

Getting in touch with the body

 

Think the concept through the body

 

Touching it

 

Mobilising it

 

Checking its weight

 

Its texture

 

Its density

 

Its quality

 

Taking the concept to the limits

To the periphery of the conscious

The sensible

 

Allowing it to pass through the limits to the non-conscious and unknown

Allowing it to pass through

To have its own journey

 

Not owning the concept

The concept is a collective property

It travels to do its workx

 

It seems to me that this change in the apparatus of the research score is closely related to the shift in the mode of reflecting on to reflecting with the practice. The technique of recording speech slightly reduces the complexity of the research score, because it lessens the mental and physical effort that is necessary to perform the writing. As a result of this, some part of the attention is liberated and can be redirected to other tasks and techniques, for example to the observation of sensations, to reflection-in-action, and to the negotiation of the equilibrium between the two modes of reflection. This tempers the tendency to fix the attention to the word, to foreground subject/object relationships between a reflecting knower and a reflected known, and to fall into an intentional mode of reflecting on practice. In this way, the change in the apparatus strengthened the technique of reflecting with, and contributed to the evolution of the research score into a medium of research.

 

From ‘Reflection’ To ‘Diffraction’x

 

What might be the epistemological consequences of shifting, or expanding, the mode of reflection in the research score from a mode of reflecting on towards a mode of reflecting with? The question is whether the advanced version of the research score still fits into an epistemological model that presupposes a separation between a reflecting subject and an object of reflection, between a knower and a known.

 

Karen Barad launched a powerful critique of a representationalist epistemological model that assumes an ontological gap between a knower (someone representing) and the known (that which is represented), which is then mediated by the representation of (propositional) knowledge.x She calls for an alternative, post-humanist and performative model, one that does not make a separation between a subject and an object of knowing, and in which the observing knower is not exterior to the observed phenomenon. In her account, objective knowledge is rather “a matter of exteriority within (material-discursive) phenomena”.x

 

Changing the diffraction grating

Changing the mode of reflection to diffraction

Imagining thoughts going through the body

Wavelike

 

Attention taking thoughts through and out of the body

The body becoming permeable for thoughts outside itself

Diffracting thoughts as they enter

Through the touch

 

Thoughts becoming part of the meridian system

The circulation of the blood

The breath

Getting in touch also with other agents

 

Affecting and being affected

Rendering the body affective

And by rendering one’s own body affective

Allowing other bodies to become affective, too

 

The form of the Manipulations as a means or medium for something else

Not an end in itself

 

Co-presence of matter and thought

Thinking matter and thought as a distributed process

 

An intra-action

Not an inter-action between a word and a thing

An object or a phenomenon

In inter-action we tend to see ourselves as isolated agents of thought

 

And yes we enact

We are accountable for what we enact and how

What we activate

And what we de-activate

 

Representation

Performativity

It is not either one or the other

The question is if there is a thirdx

 

A knowing subject, according to Barad, is not outside or exterior to the known object or phenomenon, but is itself an integral, yet separable, part of the phenomenon that it aims to understand – an exteriority within. Therefore, instead of referring to the process of knowing in terms of ‘reflection’, she proposes the notion of ‘diffraction’. Diffraction, Barad writes,

 

troubles dichotomies, including some of the most sedimented and stabilized/stabilizing binaries, such as organic/inorganic and animate/inanimate. Indeed, the quantum understanding of diffraction troubles the very notion of dicho-tomy—cutting into two—as a singular act of absolute differentiation, fracturing this from that, now from then.x

 

In the context of artistic research, what might be the implications of the onto-epistemological shift from a model of representation to a post-humanist performative model, from reflection to diffraction? What could be the place of the research score in accommodating or facilitating such a shift? Would it be conceivable for both models to coexist in one and the same practice, or are they mutually exclusive?

 

It seems to me that the research score has the potential to mediate the oscillation between both epistemological models, and to make felt—as well as intelligible—their differences: the difference between a system of representation in which a knower reflects on the known, and a post-humanist performative model in which the knower is an integral part of the ecology of practices she tries to understand, diffractively articulating the doing-thinking with practice. In a similar vein, Barad points out that “reflection and diffraction are not opposites, not mutually exclusive, but rather different optical intra-actions highlighting different patterns, optics, geometries that often overlap in practice”.x

 

Sensation reflecting the intensity of memory and imagination

‘Reflection’ as part of a system of representation

 

‘Articulation’ as part of a performative model that is more adequate to the needs of performance-as-research or practice-as-research

Where articulation happens with practice, through practice, or in practice

And not about practice

 

Where modes of doing and reflecting coincide

Having an encounter

Diffracting each other

 

Maybe artistic research needs to be able to oscillate between both models

The representational model and the performative model

Depending on the context of its enactment

 

Is it the studio?

Is it the classroom?

Is it a lecture hall?

A conference room?

A conversation on the street?

 

When is it appropriate to take a certain distance, stepping back, broadening the focus?

 

The research score can be a practice that houses both models

Reflection and diffraction

Different kinds of languages

Different kinds of thinking through

Different kinds of knowing and unknowingx

 

 

[1] Merleau-Ponty points out that attention does not just register what is present, but that it actively constitutes objects: “To pay attention is not merely further to elucidate pre-existing data, it is to bring about a new articulation of them […] Attention is […] the active constitution of a new object which makes explicit and articulate what was until then presented as no more than an indeterminate horizon” (Merleau-Ponty 1962, 30; quoted in Csordas 1993, 138; my emphasis). See Chapter Three for a discussion of Latour’s notion of ‘articulation’.

[2] Latour 1999, 70.

[3] Excerpt from research score with ‘method’ (edited), 23 January 2019.

[4] Henk Borgdorff defines ‘method’ as “a well considered, systematic way of reaching a particular objective” (Borgdorff 2011, 50).

[5] Excerpt from research score with ‘method’ (edited), 5 May 2015.

[6] Kinsella (2007) makes a distinction between two modes of reflection: an embodied mode of reflection in the action, which “arises through the bodily, lived experience of the practitioner and is revealed in action” (396), and an intentional mode of cognitive and rational reflection after the action. In my conception of embodied reflection in and through the research score, intentional reflection is embedded and embodied in the action.

[7] Excerpt from research score with ‘method’ (edited), 6 May 2015.

[8] See Nancy & Barrau 2015.

[9] See Johnson 2011.

[10] See Kinsella 2007.

[11] See Zahavi 2015.

[12] See Barad 2003.

[13] See Borgdorff 2010.

[14]Benjamin 1968, 80.

[15] Excerpt from research score with ‘method’ (edited), 7 May 2015.

[16] Hug 2016b.

[17] Hug 2016a.

[18] See Hug 2016a, 188.

[19]Kirkkopelto, Esa. 2015. “Artistic Research and its Institutions.” In Artistic Research: Yearbook 2015, ed. Torbjörn Lind, 49–53. Stockholm: Swedish Research Council.

[20] See Kirkkopelto 2015, 49.

[21] Kirkkopelto 2015, 49, original emphases.

[22] Kirkkopelto 2015, 49, original emphasis.

[23] Kirkkopelto 2015, 49.

[24] See Kirkkopelto 2015. He further elaborates: “This kind of research medium is ‘techno-logical’ in a broad sense. It produces knowledge concerning the techniques of producing or acting, whether or not it consists of some new technical device, an instrument, or of a mere conceptual rearrangement concerning the ways we perceive, produce or act. In the latter case, this new technology may reach the level of our psychophysical constitution, our ‘body-minds’; it may reorganize our modes of moving, feeling, emitting voices, perceiving and encountering other beings like or unlike us, and communicating with them. […]A project accomplishes and displays a certain change in relation to a practice and its practitioner and, in this way, sets a scene for further changes in the practices, communities and contexts with which the research deals. […] The results of artistic research cannot necessarily be verified empirically by comparing them to facts. Like art making in general, artistic research produces something new, unseen, unheard of; it suggests new ways of perceiving, talking and acting, or existing. Unlike an artwork, the result of an artistic research project has to explain its existence, i.e. establish itself discursively, in relation to other already existing practices and the discourses supporting them” (49/50).

[25] In addition to this, the writing of these two papers had the effect of dissolving the tension between being at once the practitioner and the artist-researcher. After the articles were published, I felt deeply relieved, because I had finally articulated and externalized a large part of the ideas I had accumulated throughout the first years of my doctoral studies. I also felt liberated, because the task of writing turned into an act of taking on my share of the heritage of the Manipulations and of claiming ownership for my translation of it: the research score. Kirkkopelto notes in relation to this: “The outcome of [artistic research], no matter what its final mode of composition, consists of a medium of research, which can be publicly discussed and reasonably assessed. In addition, the project gives birth to a new kind of artistic agent, an artist-researcher, the primary expert of the medium that she herself has created” (Kirkkopelto 2015, 49; original emphasis).

[26] This could be seen as taking Mieke Bal’s (2002) notion of concepts that travel between disciplines a step further, towards the idea of concepts as travelling between relational bodies.

[27] Giorgo Agamben 2009, What Is an Apparatus? and Other Essays. Stanford: Stanford University, 14; original emphasis. Quoted in Lepecki 2012, 85.

[28] Lepecki 2012, 86; original emphasis.

[29] Barad 2003, 816. She further elaborates that “apparatuses are not static arrangements in the world that embody particular concepts to the exclusion of others; rather, apparatuses are specific material practices through which local semantic and ontological determinacy are intra-actively enacted. That is, apparatuses are the exclusionary practices of mattering through which intelligibility and materiality are constituted. Apparatuses are material (re)configurings/discursive practices that produce material phenomena in their discursively differentiated becoming” (Barad 2003, 820).

[30] Excerpt from research score with ‘method’ (edited), 12 May 2015.

[31] The following account is largely based on a section in “No Solutions: The Research Score as a Medium of Artistic Research” (Hug 2017a).

[32] See Barad 2003.

[33] Barad 2003, 825; original emphasis.

[34] Excerpt from research score with ‘diffraction’ (edited), 27 October 2015.

[35] Barad 2014, 168; original emphasis.

[36] Barad 2014, 185, footnote 2.

[37] Excerpt from research score with ‘reflection’ (edited), 13 July 2016.

 

 

Chapter Five

Imaginary Properties: Thinking through the Manipulations

(First Artistic Part)