con | versation – de | fragmentation
Johannes Kretz and Wei-Ya Lin
Our lecture performance for the SAR conference 2020 in Bergen presents some of the preliminary results of our artistic research project creative (mis)understandings supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF, PEEK). This ongoing project (2018-2021) aims to develop transcultural approaches of inspiration (which we regard as mutually appreciated intentional and reciprocal artistic influence based on solidarity) by combining approaches from contemporary music composition and improvisation with ethnomusicological and sociological research. We encourage creative (mis)understandings emerging from the interaction between research and artistic practice, and between European art music, folk and non-western styles, in particular from the singing practices of the Tao, an indigenous group living on Lanyu island, Taiwan.
The path to knowledge production, which has been propagated through colonial structures in the so-called "modernity" (B.Latour), often relies on rigid categorization and anthropocentric ideas of efficiency. This means cutting a holistic image of the world into small fragments and portions of knowledge, and has been leading into ignorance of long-term relationships between humans and non-humans in a shared environment. Therefore we started with de|fragmentation of epistemologies.
During our research we established con|versations (in the original latin meaning: „making turns together“), between the generations of the Tao people, between outsiders and insiders, between experts living in diverse knowledge systems. In these process (mis)understandings often occur, but we see them as potential and fruitful ground for emergence of unexpected perspectives and creations.
Our contribution will focus on the following question:
Can our con|versation and the aim for de|fragmentation act as a catalyst for new initiatives in transferring knowledge and transforming its manifestations – between both, the different Tao generations, and insiders and outsiders?