This project develops two previous doctoral investigations (Belgrano 2011 and Price 2015). Both dealt with the concept of 'the UNKNOWN' as a developmental force in performance methods as art results/art works. Both challenged academic research traditions. Both re-evaluated artistic practice and questioned the institutional norms of its performance and presentation.
In an interesting case of parallel-processing both projects (unaware of each other’s existence) were boldly curated and met with similarly hard institutional resistances. Both were driven by a maximum openness towards all possible forms of transformation. Both separately explored cross-disciplinary interventions, inter-actions and intra-actions spoken of by Barad (2012) and did so in ways which were openly 'heretical' within academia: not least because of their obviously mystical tendencies. Universities may encourage the referencing of mystics such as Theresa of Avila or A.O, Spare or Robert Lenkiewicz as 'historical examples', but few institutions have the courage to promote practical experimentation with their methods.
By chance or by fate, the separate Belgrano/ Price search projects collided, inter-acted and merged via the Performance Philosophy Network. A riotously productive art-making process ensued. Collaborations rather than confrontations multiplied - despite (or perhaps because of) profound philosophical and theological differences informing the two PhD projects. In terms of 'ideology' the collaborators might be cast as enemies. Dr Belgrano is a committed Christian cleric with interests in early Renaissance music and mysticism, whereas Dr Price self-describes as a 'base materialist and libidinal alchemist'. These axiomatic differences aside, there is a strange and fertile over-lap: a yet-to-be mapped liminal zone between their approaches. From Belgrano's side this productivity takes its bearings from Renaissance musicology, the Christian mystical tradition, and a profound faith in the relation of 'Logos' to 'Incarnation'. Price worked as an assistant to Robert Lenkiewicz for several years, and he approaches the un-mapped territory via the creative practices of Hermeticism, Paganism and Alchemy, each considered as political-materialist arts and points of resistance to 'the judgment of God' (Nietzsche, Bataille, Deleuze). This makes for unusual dialogues between the researchers, to say the very least.
Like the sea hitting a cliff-face, the online conversation created intricate and powerful new patterns in a manner which is obviously related to Belgrano's work on 'Ornamentation as Methodology' (Belgrano 2018, 2019), via the open-ness to fundamental disagreements about values, and due to our conflicting axioms, the conversation shaped new perspectives. It points towards truly UNKNOWN connections. The traces (results) of poetry, sound, images and survival-narratives have led the researchers to this current application. The proposed research is informed by deep trust of the 'Unknown Other' (Lingis, 'Trust', 2004). Belgrano and Price contact each other only at a distance, via computer, allowing unconditional editing of each other's materials. Price writes incessantly but seldom speaks on telephones or any other social media, unless it is to music. It may be that he uses a specific mode of silence as a means of 'haunting' the collaborations. The Belgrano/ Price musical projects develop an aesthetic intimacy (if we define 'aesthetic' as 'embodied knowledge') which is more often embedded in somatic (live) performance.