[-empyre-] incompatible research practices - week 03 - feedback & control // language & curating

Magda Tyzlik-Carver magda at thecommonpractice.org
Tue Feb 21 05:52:31 EST 2012

Hello all and thank you Menotti for invitation and introduction. 

The Noise discussion, I see, is developing in interesting direction so I
guess my contribution to the list might veer away from it, thus perhaps
becoming a bit of noise in itself. However, encouraged by Marie's research,
I might proceed anyway.   

My contribution to the in/compatible seminar at transmediale was not in
presenting my own research, which is also practice-based, but in
co-moderating a panel discussion in which we were asked to return to the
question of artistic research and its presumed in/compatibility within an
academic and research context. So I would like to start from that and follow
this direction, hoping some of you might want to respond. 

I have to admit that my general response to this subject is that of
impatience with the fact that in practice-based PhDs we are constantly asked
not just to articulate our method, but the concern is to validate it as a
method at the same time. And of course the first in/compatibility is how
such a validation occurs, especially when situated versus the scientific
research and its methods. 

Cornelia Solfrank in an article published in The World of the News, a
research newspaper associated with the reSource in/compatible seminar,
formulated this problem in an interesting way and she declared her interest
in working towards 'conceptualisation of artistic research 'as a field
'different from scientific research'. I would say that this proposition is
closely related to the 'situatedness' of artistic research in academia as an
institution and suggests a process leading to working out the institutional
compatibility, but in a way that is particular to art as a discipline. 

Another framing of this could be through a question which asks: at which
point artistic practice and research method become one process, that is when
do I consider my practice as a research method? What conditions have to be
fulfilled that qualify things that I do as artistic practice or as research
method, or perhaps as both at the same time? 

Finally, we can look at this problem in a different way. That is, regardless
if the question of artistic practice and research method and their
in/compatibilities take place within an institutional or more personal and
subjective context, it is, nevertheless, an administrative issue which
involves bureaucratic processes and forms of communication/communicating
those processes.  This is where we go back to the validation issue and how
that affects our practice/research.  

When preparing for the moderation of transmediale discussion we (myself and
my two other colleagues from KURATOR/Art and Social Technologies Research
Group) wanted to somehow address that.  I am not sure if it worked in the
'presentation' during the event, but it definitely allowed us to address
some of the issue in the preparatory stage. Just before the panel discussion
we distributed pieces of paper on the seats in the room and each had one of
three quotations: 

1.       For us, art is not an end in itself . but it is an opportunity for
the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.

- Hugo Ball

2.       For us, art is not the end of theory . but it is an opportunity for
the reinvention of theory so that it may better reflect the remixological
potential of the times we live in.

- The Artist 2.0

3.       For me, art is not the end of method. but it is an opportunity for
articulating the subjective experience/materiality of the times I live in. 

- In/compatible researcher (one of many)

The first two quotations are taken from the overview of remixthebook project
by Mark Amerika in collaboration with various artists
(http://www.remixthebook.com/). The first one is by Hugo Ball and the second
one is a remix of that sentence by Artist 2.0. We followed this method and
decided to propose a version of the sentence, the third articulation of it,
that directly responds to the subject at hand (artistic research and its
in/compatibilities). Each of the paper strips with sentences had dotted
lines at the back. Our intention was to suggest this to be a space where one
can add their own remix or comment there. 

Through this method the idea was to suggest a connection with language that
goes beyond a form (of a discussion, presentation, text) and points to other
less visible structures.  It was also an experiment which perhaps opened up
the discussion beyond those immediately engaged in it and beyond the
duration of this event. 

In my practice as a curator the managerial, administrative and communicative
aspects are some of the defining elements of what is considered to be a
domain of so called 'curatorial' (along many others, of course), or at least
what I recognise in my practice and grapple with in my PhD . But I might
just leave that for another post. 

Best, Magda 

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