Dorita Hannah is Research Professor of Interdisciplinary Architecture, Art & Design at the University of Tasmania (Australia) and Adjunct Professor of Stage & Space with Aalto University (Finland). Her practice-led research focuses on live events, installations and exhibitions as well as specializing in theatre architecture. She co-chairs the Performance+Design Working Group for PSi (Performance Studies international), sits on several editorial boards and has created exhibitions and events for the Prague Quadrennial as design director, architectural commissioner and theory curator. Focusing on spatial performativity, Dr Hannah is completing Event-Space: Theatre Architecture & the Historical Avant-Garde, a book to be published by Routledge Press (2017).
Keynote presentation: CRITICAL IS AS CRITICAL DOES: Performative Bodies, Sites and Media
As both verb and noun, ‘design’ is a doing and a thing done: action and artefact. Design performativity and its catalytic nature is therefore central to this keynote lecture that articulates and develops notions of a Critical Spatial Practice: as applied to my own interdisciplinary artistic research, which operates across and between architecture, performance and the visual arts. This also involves interrogating J. L Austin’s theory on How to Do Things with Words in order to reveal that spaces and things have their own performative utterances; enacting rather than describing. The creative work I will present and discuss as ‘performance design’ is formulated to challenge and reveal our prescribed conceptions of how sites, bodies and media interact and inform each other. Understanding this allows events and their intervening dramaturgies to reveal the hegemonic within the status quo through a critical performance of research. I will focus on three thematic clusters: ‘dance-architectures’ that uncover buried histories and mythologies through the body performing in urban and wilderness sites; ‘table-talk’ that draws on food to open up social room; and ‘event-space’, which exposes the inherent politics of place and our complicity in its construction. The punctuating dash (–) refers to the spatiotemporal; mobilizing the ‘hyphenated zone’ as a productive, transversal domain within which to practice.
Tim Ingold is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, and a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Ingold has sought ways of bringing together the anthropologies of technology and art, leading to his current view of the centrality of skilled practice. Influenced by the work of James Gibson on perceptual systems, he has been exploring ways of integrating ecological approaches in anthropology and psychology. In his recent work he links the themes of environmental perception and skilled practice, seeking to forge a new approach to understanding the relation, in human social life and experience, between movement, knowledge and description. Ingold has gone on to write and teach on issues on the interface between anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture, leading to his book, Making, published in 2013. Ingold’s latest book, The Life of Lines, was published in 2015.
Keynote presentation: THE ART OF PAYING ATTENTION
Both scientists and artists attend to things. But they do so in different ways. In this talk I will spell out these differences by elaborating a series of contrasts: between method and methodology, experience and experiment, observation and objectivity, truth and fact. Whereas method, experience, observation and the search for truth entail a kind of attention that draws us into a sympathetic relation with matters of our concern, methodology, experiment, objectivity and the search for factual accuracy hold things at bay, rendering us immune to the contagion that might come from too close an involvement with them. Art cleaves to the former; science to the latter. But while mainstream science continues to think of art as a medium for the communication of its own findings, it is now art, rather than science, that is leading the way in promoting radical ecological awareness. This awareness rests on an acknowledgement of what we owe, for our very existence, to the world we seek to know and of which we are necessarily part. As such, it should come in before science rather than after it. The purpose of art, then, is not to communication science but to investigate its conditions of possibility.
Mona Livholts is Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Linköping University, Sweden; Adjunct Associate Professor, Centre for Social Change, University of South Australia; Founder of The Network for Reflexive Academic Writing Methodologies (RAW). Livholts work focuses on creative and transformative practices of interdisciplinary writing, narrative life writing- and artistic research processes. Research themes include: intersectionality media narratives on rape, gender, space, memory and communication, and ethnodrama/publicly staged life/writing dialogues with researchers. Inspired by scholarly auto/biography, literary fiction and visual culture Livholts works with narrative genres such as diaries and letters, memory work, poetry and photography to promote symbolic, visual and sensory dimensions in story-telling. Publications include: Emergent Writing Methodologies in Feminist Studies (Ed. Routledge 2012), Discourse and Narrative Methods (with Tamboukou Sage 2015), Social Work in a Glocalised World (with Bryant 2017). Livholts is currently completing the monograph: The Untimely Academic Novella. Situated Writing as Theory and Method.
Keynote presentation: NARRATIVE WRITING AS ART BASED PRACTICE
Writing is an act of translation and transformation, an embodied, material and spatial activity through which researchers’ design and shape knowledge. Thus, researchers are story-tellers with signatures beyond the page and the computer space. Currently, narrative genres of writing research are emerging as a wide and heterogeneous field of work that often interacts with visual culture such as photography, paintings, theatre and film. What are the potential possibilities of narrative life writing genres to contribute to shape creative and performative art based practice for scholars across the arts, design and science? In this keynote I explore epistemological questions about the author as creator and story-teller in art based practice and suggest that the expanding heterogeneous field of narrative life writing genres, where the written word often interacts with visual culture, is useful as a catalyst for such practices. Inspired by auto/biography- and life writing, feminist theory and literary fiction, I promote the idea of artistic self-portraiture where the writer at work perform their writing selves in specific situated locations, power relations and inter/disciplinary contexts. I will draw on my work on situated writing and the untimely academic novella, to explore the relationship between the body, material objects and textual shaping, the ethics and politics of poetics, self and another.