learning outcomes

I thought it might be useful to drop in the module learning outcomes here – just fyi, but also to help give you a sense (now that we are almost done) of the various foci of this module:

  • Developed an awareness of recent debate within the field of practice as research
  • Acquired the skills with which to question the nature of research in relation to performance and creative practice
  • Demonstrated ability in the articulation and documentation of process towards the creation of choreography and performance
  • Developed their ability to embody ideas and research questions in performance and/or choreographic practice


eno – as if it’s someone else’s

Perhaps this might be a useful task even at this late stage. It has something to do with adopting a skeptical/critical attitude to your own work. It’s a bit like asking “So what?” of your own practice.

Make a critical study of my own work to date – as if it’s someone else’s.

– Brian Eno, 1996. A Year with Swollen Appendices. London: Faber and Faber, p.152

iteration and selection

Even at this late stage don’t lose the sense of going back through materials, through this blog, of iterating, discarding, adding, testing, wondering.

In the process of selection the researcher/practitioner decides which are the best or most useful realisations derived from the task, and discards or temporarily puts to one side the others. Here each iterative step is an example of the operation of a selective pressure, somewhat like those that over aeons determine biological evolution and the success of genes and organisms. Biological processes hinge on the survival of the fittest, but fitness depends on the environment, so not all impressive species survive. Artistic selection processes are likely to be even more arbitrary, and there may be many fine specimens amongst the practitioner’s rejects. This occurs because practitioners are making these decisions in relation to the specific artworks they are shaping (what would be suitable for one may not be appropriate for another), or because they might miss a good idea at an early stage of the process where its relevance or potential is not apparent. In addition, although we might be tempted to think of these choices as individually motivated, they are made in response to broader social and artistic forces.

– From the Introduction to Smith and Dean (p.22)

where is it weakest

If I were to ask you where you think the weaknesses are in your project, would you be able to respond with clarity, honesty and forthrightness?

What is not clear? Where are you papering over the cracks?

How might you openly and directly address or talk about these weaknesses? How might this kind of (critical) reflection serve the complexity and strength of your project?

investigating the world

If I am right, art isn’t a phenomenon to be explained. Not by neuroscience, and not by philosophy. Art is itself a research practice, a way of investigating the world and ourselves. Art displays us to ourselves, and in a way makes us anew, by disrupting our habitual activities of doing and making.

– Alva Noë, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/05/what-art-unveils/

appropriated space

I don’t remember when or how I happened across this but I thought the writing might be useful to you (as an example) with respect to how you might make words work towards your practice(s).

I do not know you, you do not know me. There is a space between us. Within this space there occurs a series of collisions, misfires, commonalities, and inescapable bounds wherein we are tied by a relation of non-identification and otherness. We form our own narratives based on our inability to understand completely.

Here’s the complete PDF: Appropriate Text

And this is where it’s from: http://www.usergenerated-text.tumblr.com/

performance on a paper floor

This might be of interest (available through the library):

Asentić, Saša & Ana Vujanović (2008). My Private Bio-Politics A Performance on a Paper Floor. Performance Research 13(1): 70-78

Here’s a sample:

You enter the hall. Working lights. A male performer in trousers and t-shirt is already on the stage. The stage is about 11m x 8m. On the left page you can see a square of mostly paper material on the floor. Among them you can recognize some books, a video camera, a lot of documents, one chair, an unrecognizable black box-like object and along the diagonal of the square several ceramic pots. On the right there is another square; it is a ‘ring’, like a boxing ring, marked by very thin white thread, Some 10cm from the ground. In the right back corner of the ring, there is a goblin on a gantry; it depicts the figure of a female dancer. The performer is preoccupied with the needlework.

some spaces to search

Seth Godin wrote this on a blog post called Did you do the reading?:

The reading isn’t merely a book, of course. The reading is what we call it when you do the difficult work of learning to think with the best, to stay caught up, to understand.

The reading exposes you to the state of the art. The reading helps you follow a thought-through line of reasoning and agree, or even better, challenge it. The reading takes effort.