Affinities + Urgencies in Language-based Artistic Research


Tuesday 7 December 10.00 - 18.00 CET 2021.


This event a day-long gathering has evolved in response to the questions:  


How can we collectively support the emergence of different species of proximity and community within the field of expanded language-based practices: we-ness and near-ness; participation; observation; conversation; caring/curation; listening; hosting; guesting; audiencing; supporting; bearing witness; hearing out; feeding back; offering help; spending time; sharing time; sharing resources, world-building? How can we together support different modes of relationality and connectivity [gravitational pulls and resonant affinities] within the field of expanded language-based practices, further ways for generating mutual support and resource?


Affinities + Urgencies in Language-based Artistic Research comprises a series of sessions led or facilitated by different individuals or groups for engaging with a specific thematic focus, a field of attraction and resonant affinity, or a matter of urgency relating to language-based artistic research.


Towards a more distributed, open organisation of the Special Interest Group within this expanded and expanding community of practice. This online event will provide a context for sharing live constellations of interest and focus within the field of language-based artistic research.   


Affinities + Urgencies in Language-based Artistic Research (Part II) will take place on Tuesday 15 February (online) - 10.00 - 18.00 CET (more to follow soon!)

Tuesday 7 December 

Schedule (subject to revision)


10.00 – 10.15                Welcome: Affinities and Urgencies (AM)


10.15 – 11.15                  Session 1: Choreographic Writing


11.15 – 11.30                  Break


11.30– 12.30                 Session 2: Conceptual and Generative Practices in Language based Artistic Research


12.30 – 12.40               Close of morning session    


12.40– 1.40                  Lunch/Break


1.40 – 1.50                   Welcome back: Affinities and Urgencies (PM)


1.50 – 2.30                   Session 3: In bits and pieces: hybrid writing, research, and (auto)fragmentation


2.30 – 2.45                  Break


2.45 – 3.15                   Session 4: The un|common ground: Language as a Hiding Place


3.15 – 4.15                    Session 5: Writing as Research as Writing


4.15 – 4.30                   Break 


4.30 – 4.45                  “Calls” – future Affinities + Urgencies


4.45 – 6.00                 Discussion / Reflection

Choreographic Writing


Kirsi Heimonen | Rebecca Hilton | Chrysa Parkinson | Leena Rouhiainen


This panel addresses how different notions of writing have informed recent progressive choreographic practices. It does so by presenting and discussing practical examples of choreographic writing, which provide a basis for contemplating how writing and text can be understood in choreography and what conceptions of movement and language they put forward.


Writing in different forms and modalities has gained impetus as an activity through which the actual practical processes that choreography entails are forwarded and shared as well as examined and discussed in a variety of artistic and academic contexts, often by artists themselves. (Blades and Meehan 2018, 5). The interest dance artists and choreographers have in writing offers evidence to the reflexive and experimental forms that currently determine much of contemporary dance and choreography. This tendency is the consequence of many influences: conceptual art, hybridisation of the art forms, artistic research, the information age and digital media to name a few. In their experimental undertakings, dance and choreography are active in reconfiguring the potentials human and more-than-human sensation, perception and agency entail. They thus explore the relational characteristics of embodiment and materiality and what bodies in fact can do. Indeed, choreography is now mainly conceived of as an open frame or set of principles that processually structure movement and events related to agency, bodies, objects, materials and places, also beyond the anthropocentric human horizon.


The panel’s objectives are to 1) to present some examples on how choreographers have recently pursued writing related choreographic processes, 2) to begin articulating and conceptualizing approaches to performative and experimental writing in choreography as well as 3) to substantiate understanding about the opportunities choreographic writing offers for artistic research.

Conceptual and Generative Practices 


Marjolijn van den Berg | Rachel Smith | Marinos Koutsomichalis | Rob Flint | Andrew Hauner | Simon Roloff


Contemporary artistic and avantgarde literary practice, especially where it belongs to the tradition of language based institutional critique, conceptual art and generative art is often based on procedures and methodic frameworks, sometimes to the extent that the process of development of an artwork will be indistinguishable from the work itself. These procedures are not reduced to, but can be developed in engagement with theoretical concepts from the Humanities, Natural Sciences or Life Sciences as well as be derived from scientific methods of research and academic modes of presentation of its findings. The resulting concepts, methods or algorithms won’t usually resemble strict scientific modes of the production of knowledge, but rather aim to be unique and irreducible practices of enlightening, critical or otherwise thought-provoking insight in confrontation with language as an artistic medium.


This session will map affinities between very diverse practices of conceptual and generative production of knowledge in language based artistic research. The participants are to present extracts of their work and discuss how the concepts and methods involved are feeding into what they regard as their research process. In doing so, we will cover contextualized practices from performance art, sound art, artist book production and computer-generated art.

In bits and pieces: hybrid writing, research, and (auto)fragmentation


Kris Pint | Nadia Sels | Goda Palekaitė | Maria Gil Ulldemolins


Our group, Passage, tries to establish complex, unexpected relationships between contemporary practices and cultural heritage(s). Often, our dealings with the past result in clusters of diverse bits and pieces, texts as well as other media. So, although we come from different backgrounds (anthropology, performance, mythology, literary studies, visual culture, and art theory); we meet in the writerly and the fragmentary. From here, we also share an interest in the fragmented constellation of subjectivity itself. The perception of the self as a heterogeneous, complex construction makes us ambivalent about autotheory both as a literary and artistic phenomenon. On the one hand, we very much support the “impulse”, in Lauren Fournier’s words, to mix the personal and the theoretical. On the other hand, precisely because of this multiplicity we are so aware of, we find the “auto” constrictive.


We would like to present our experiments and practices in progress, as individuals and as a group, as a way to kick-start a greater conversation about using fragments. How is writing a form of historical fragmentation? How do our personal archives echo not so much the diaristic self often associated with autotheory, but a secular version of rapiaria, little collections of quotes, phrases and extracts used in the Devotio moderna for a daily, meditative reflection? How can we use mythology as a way to retell parts of our own experience without falling into the trap of the confessional, the self-fashioning? How does technology help write in non-linear, hyperlinked clusters?

The un|common ground: Language as a hiding place


Anna T. | Marinos Koutsomichalis | Phoenix Savage | Regina Dürig


Our individual research areas overlap in decolonial, non-western, and off-center language-informed/language-driven and poetic practices. How do languages embed, implement, and help establish colonial regimes and how may these be challenged and resisted through language? How can we use language to creatively articulate decolonial concerns? Can language become some kind of sanctuary? A hiding place wherein borderland and non-dominant (micro-)cultures may dwell and thrive? How can non-western languages and off-center references set out new directions for artistic research and practices? What happens when such off-centered – strictly non-western, non-dominant, queer or feminist – local points of reference intersect and inform one another? What is the relationship between language (embodied, oral, and written) and community-forming, ununderstandability, untranslatability, and opacity? We have formed a group to reflect on these and other questions against the backdrop of our research practices and poetic/literary projects. In the context of the SIG meeting, we’d like to invite other members with similar approaches to join our discussion. As an entry point into the discussion, we will be presenting the results of our text/multimedia exchange circling around the above mentioned questions in common and uncommon languages.



Writing as research as writing 


Marjolijn van den Berg | Nirav Christophe | Daniela Moosmann | Ninke Overbeek



When artists undertake artistic research, they open up their work and share their creative strategies. The writing describing their research is often considered a way of reflecting, rationalizing, explaining, and even controlling intuitive and embodied artistic processes. When we talk about artistic research and writing, we should inquire into the phenomenology of writing. Can the writing process mirror the creative making process by giving voices to the stuttering, the silence, the body, or the not-knowing?


The production processes of writing and researching have become more and more intertwined; the research and the work exist in dialogue. Working from the perspective that dissemination of research is an intrinsic part of the research and not only a report of research outcomes, we consider the very act of writing as a method of doing research. In the research group ‘Beyond Freewriting’ within the Professorship Performative Processes of HKU Utrecht University of the Art, we explore and inquire how creative writing techniques are used as a method of artistic research and how knowledge on writing processes inform artistic research methodologies.


Our presentation will be a collective polyphonic dialogue because we consider both writing practice and artistic research as co-creative activities. We will share, discuss and write through four strategies of combining creative writing and artistic research: peer-writing, source-writing, polyphonic writing, and focalization in writing. Describing and showing this network of molding strategies, we hope to articulate the meaning and the beauty of writing in artistic research.