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The 1st Society of Artistic Research Academy took place in Barcelona (Facultat d’Humanitats / University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 14 — 17 March 2018), bringing together a specially invited group of international artists/scholars, involved with and dedicated to research in the arts, from different disciplines and with different backgrounds (and opinions) to discuss the current questions and issues related to artistic research with reference to the thematics of Epistemology; Artefacts; Methodologies; Modes of Language. Writer-artist Emma Cocker and artist Nikolaus Gansterer were both invited to ‘document’ the academy through the prism of their respective practices. In doing so, their ‘reports’ offer a partial and fragmentary response to the event — subjectively selective, irresolutely incomplete. Emma Cocker approached the task of documentation through a process that she calls ‘field notes’ — which involved trying to ‘catch what was in the air’ during the event itself as a series of thought-fragments and short phrases. During the three days of the Academy, Cocker’s attention focused on capturing these thought-fragments as they were uttered live by the event contributors, accumulating as a chronological list in her notebooks. The fragments have since been typed up and organized in reverse-sequence. Distilled into poetic condensations — still retaining the exact reverse-sequence logic — the intent is to evoke the atmosphere of the discussion rather than ‘factually’ record or describe what took place. Nikolaus Gansterer documented the event through the prism of his drawing practice, specifically through a form of diagrammatic drawing and annotation. His drawing process within the Academy echoed the mode of diagrammatic praxis developed through a process called ‘translectures’ that Gansterer has developed for over a decade as a mode of live translation of a discursive event. His drawings offer fragile structures for creating dynamic relations between text and image, associative proximities between different ideas and thoughts. Rather than fixing the discussion within a diagrammatic form, the drawn diagrams function as contingent containers for holding in relation the content emergent within an unfolding discussion. Presented together within the research catalogue, these two documenting approaches are brought into changing proximity — creating linkages as well as points of deviation.
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