"The thing about research is it never reaches a conclusion...One question leads to another question leads to another question leads to another question. You’re never going to suddenly say, “Ah! Everything is now revealed to me.” So researchers, as we all know, are anxious souls. It’s a very anxiety ridden business. But researchers are also hopeful. And they are hopeful because with every closure there’s a new beginning. Every answer suggests a new question. There’s always somewhere further you can go. And that means you never actually come to the end. Every closure is a new beginning.” - Tim Ingolds (2018)
Like Donna Haraway's figuration of cat’s cradle1, this research builds on work done by many hands. Passed to one another as a community of artist-researchers, my contribution is but one step in a game of string figures, a game that one cannot win but that can, through collective action, become more nuanced and complex. This research project has been performed in dialogue, literally or figuratively, with the work of Jessica Aszodi, Wojtek Blecharz, Carolyn Chen, Paul Craenen, Marina Cyrino, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Erik Dæhlin, Henrik Hellstenius, Aiyun Huang, Neo Hülcker, Johan Jutterström, Einar Nielsen, Trond Reinholdtsen, Francois Sarhan, Steven Schick, Håkon Stene, Peter Swendsen, Jennifer Walshe, Bonnie Whiting, Bethany Younge, Yiran Zhao, and and dozens of other composers and performers whose creative work has reimagined the performer body and shaped new practices. The hope is that where this reflection ends, another’s hands will find new patterns from which to begin.
I would like to thank my collaborators for their contributions to this project and exposition and for their role in shaping my artistic practice, my supervisors Henrik Hellstenius and Einar Nielsen for saying what I needed to hear, and Inga Margrete Aas, Jessica Aszodi, Darla Crispin, Camille Eeg-Tverrbak, Anders Førisdal, Bjørn-Erik Haugen, Gunhild Mathea Olaussen, Elizabeth Peacocke, Birgitte Pollen, Tanja Orning, Lars Skoglund, Ellen Ugelvik, and Ståle Ytterli, for their generosity and guidance.
Finally, this research was made possible thanks to the support of the Norwegian Academy of Music, Norwegian Artistic Research Programme, Arts Council Norway, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Music Norway, and the City of Berlin.