Amphibious Trilogies

Matters of artistic research

Movement matters enormously in every aspect of our lives and of the dynamics of the ecosphere and its complex systems and relations of inhabitants, human and nonhuman, psychological and systemic. Our view in drawing together and drawing forth and forward a mix of experience and knowledge, expression and reflection is to present engagement and insights and problematics on viewing movement in the world.

In many respects our artistic research work is poetic: it is realised through acts of making: in as by and through experience, design as shaping, and by way of individual and shared reflection. 

At heart is a reference to Deleuze’s notion of becoming as opposed to an ontology of being. For us this refers to investigating what an extended choreography or extending choreographies may mean via such a poetics of being. As Dimitrova (2017: 219) writes concerning theatre applies equally to choreography:

An expressionist poetics… sees worlds in drama as ongoing, utterly contingent, unmotivated impassive movements. Such worlds in the making become the playground of potentialities and extra-personal forces. Such potentialities and forces continually blend a world’s fabric by reshuffling the given and by causing its constituents to the ever newer.

In  his introduction to a set of chapters in the collection The Exposition of Artistic Research: Publishing art in academia, Michael Schwab (2014: 11) mentions that contributors all affirm

… that the notion of an ‘experimental system’, together with its conceptual framework, can effectively be employed to probe more deploy the experimental practices and epistemic dimensions that may be associated with artistic work.

In Amphibious Trilogies our experimental methods have centred on movement in the world to probe how an extended choreography may be understood. We have done this in the themes of Island, Pond and Passage and with each of these themes we have worked in related and different ways as movement has been deployed by virtue of the conceptual qualities of the them but also the physical and imaginary environments they have motivated and allowed.

In such a ‘reshuffling of the given’ Dimitrova mentions, we have needed to adapt and alter our perceptions and perceptions en route. These have been acts of movement themselves  and have not merely been responses to meeting the ‘ever newer’ in an expressionist poetics. They have also been to return and revisit the assumed and the experienced, in repose but also in new acts of shaping shared futures and understanding their legacies and influences in and over time.

For Borgdorff (2014:119), art as research may be understood epistemically as an ‘alliance of constitution and realisation of discovery and justification’. He sees this alliance as being what Latour (1999: 135) calls constructivist realism in his book Pandora’s Hope. Slager (2015: 38) refers to the practices and mode of artistic research as a ‘methodicy: a strong belief in methodology founded on operational strategies which cannot be formulated and legitimized beforehand’ (original italics).

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Borgdorff, H. (2013.). ‘Artistic practices and epistemic things’. In Schwab. M. (Ed.). Experimental Systems and Future Knowledge in Artistic Research. Leuven: Leuven University Press. 112- 120.

Dimitrova, Z. ‘Deleuze’s expressionism as an ontology for theatre’. (2017). In de Assis, P. & Guidci, P. (Eds.). The Dark Precursor. Deleuze and artistic research. Vol. 1. Leuven: Leuven University Press.

Schwab, M. (2014). ‘Introduction’. In Schwab, M. & Borgdorff, H. (Eds.). The Exposition of Artistic Research: Publishing art in academia. Leiden: Leiden University Press. 5-14.

Slager, H. (2015). The Pleasure of Research. Ostfildern: Hante Cantz.

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