Language-based Artistic Research Gathering

A Collateral Reading – Engaging / Connecting / Relating

10am-1pm, Wednesday 7th April 2021 ONLINE (ZOOM)


The first official gathering of the Society of Artistic Research Special Interest Group of Language-based Artistic Research, took place prior to the Society of Artistic Research Conference 2021, for celebrating with the recent launch of Practice Sharing, an online presentation of expanded approaches to language-based practice within the field of artistic research. The first Practice Sharing comprises over 70 individuals and collaborations from a broad and transforming perspective to include diverse fields such as visual arts, performance, film, theatre, music, choreography as well as literature. 


For the event in April 2021, we invited a number of colleagues within the field of language-based artistic research to present their own individual ‘readings’ of the Practice Sharing material, drawing out different resonances and connections emerging through diving into this rich collection of practices. These diverse readings provide a context for opening up a wider informal discussion, for reflecting on broader issues and questions concerning language-based artistic research and the future direction of the Special Interest Group. Readers include Rosie Heinrich, Brandon LaBelle, Monika Rinck, Imogen Stidworthy, Nathan Walker.






Part I – 10.00 – 12.00



Welcoming and introducing

Deniz Peters (SAR)

Emma Cocker, Alexander Damianisch, Cordula Daus and Lena Séraphin (SAR SIG)



“Collateral Readings”

Rosie Heinrich, Brandon LaBelle, Monika Rinck, Imogen Stidworthy, Nathan Walker


11:15 – 12.00

Sharing / Discussion in breakout groups followed by reflections


Part II - 12.00 – 13.00

Discussion continuing informally for reflecting on future plans and ideas

Rosie Heinrich (UK born, Amsterdam based) is an art-researcher, fellow of THIRD, DAS Graduate School, Amsterdam, and recent collaborator with writer Daisy Hildyard. Heinrich’s multidisciplinary projects explore constructs of self-storytelling and spoken and wordless language. Her artist book ‘we always need heroes’ (2018), published by Fw:Books, was selected for several awards; works have recently been presented at Asolo Art Film Festival (IT), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL), Rencontres d’Arles (FR), Cycle Music and Art Festival (Gerðarsafn—Kópavogur Art Museum, IS), and SYB Triennial (Beetsterzwaag, NL).


Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with sound culture, voice, and questions of agency. He develops and presents artistic projects within a range of international contexts, often working collaboratively and in public. His books include Acoustic Justice (2021) and The Other Citizen (2020). He is editor of Errant Bodies Press, Berlin, and Professor at the Department of Contemporary Art, University of Bergen.


Monika Rinck lives in Berlin and Vienna. Since 1989 she published more than 20 books in a number of publishing houses. Her most recent poetrybook ALLE TÜREN came out in 2019. Monika Rinck is member of the P.E.N.-Club, the Academy of Arts Berlin and Vice President of the German Academy for Language and Literature. In 2015, Monika Rinck was awarded the Kleist-Award, 2017 the Jandl-Award and 2021 the Berlin Literature Award. She translates, most notably with Orsolya Kalász, from the Hungarian, she cooperates with musicians and composers, and she teaches at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.


Imogen Stidworthy is an artist interested in language and the voice. An ongoing preoccupation in her work is with the borders of language, different forms of sense-making and forms of relationship that emerge in spaces between languages. Taking the shape of films and multi-part installations, assemblages of sound, video and sculptural elements her work grapples with the impossibility of glimpsing language from the outside. Her recent artistic and doctoral research engages with spaces between verbal and non-verbal being involving people who have no practice of language at all, in the context of non-verbal autism. She teaches at Liverpool School of Art and Design. 


Nathan Walker’s practice explores the vocal-body as an emergent space of enquiry into language, sound and writing. In their live work, the vocal-body is both the material and the initial site of performance. They also explore the page as a site and location for expanded explorations of language through mark-making and as scores for embodied vocal performances. They teach time-based practices in Fine Art and Photography at York St John University.


Notes from zoom 'chat' discussion responding to the question: "How is language-based artistic research (for you)"?:

* Power of language imaginary and soundness

* Reading as a translator

* Words of speech versus writing

* Translating musical instructions + their influence on the performance

* Powdery meaning – expanding thinking and languaging

* Language as a spatial entity, three dimensional and multiple

* Languages of listening, of spaces between ...

* Between-spaces as disruption

* Non-representationality of language

* Reading the non-linguistic - and performing it (potentially)

* Translating everyday found words as material into artefacts depicting these same words

* Collective writing (particularly the challenges).

* Making sensé - sensing - sense making

* Writing as an embodied practice, fictional perspectives as modes of research, sound

* Is language a “medium” to be “used” or is it an emergent phenomenon dynamically shaped as actors interact with one another?

* Sounding, naming, wording!

* Not understanding at all – at least not in the sense of grasping

* Listen differently?

* Writing as research & critical medical humanities

* Question our own thinking

* Words of speech versus writing

* Interspecies language

How you talk about something that is usually silenced, where there is limited territories to dip into a language.

* How to incorporate different languages

* Words vs. voice, translation vs. untranslatable

* Echoing writing as research, hybridises (language collaborating with language), virtual and in-person collaborative practices, juxtapositional meaning-making, images-made-by-language, non-linearity, spatial presentation of language

* Language as beyond (only) words into gesture, font, space, weather, eye contact

* Language on the page, in the mouth, and for the eye

* While writing can be seen as a form of practice, the same is true in reverse: in the context of artistic research, practice is a form of writing. It is a non-propositional form of writing, to be sure, yet material practices and products in artistic research not only embody knowledge and understanding, but – as agents in a methodological sense – they are also the vehicles by which that knowledge and understanding is produced and conveyed. Here practice is making a case, a claim; this makes it a discursive writing practice that comprises (paradoxically perhaps?) non-discursive, that is, non-propositional, material.

* Investigating the influence of written words on new music

* Artist’s writings and feminist affinities (materialities of language, uses of fiction, poetry, emancipatory potentialities)

* Language(s), language as artistic (performative) style

* How you deal/feel with standard English as a main totalitarian-curatorial-official-artistic-research-language in Europe

* Translating sound as gesture in visual language domain

* Discourse around artistic actions - linguistic analysis of silence in art - non-verbal artistic artions

* Discursive strategies of state and society to confront radical art - artists discursive strategies for breaking the narrative - Russian actionism - post-soviet