Welcome to SYMBIONT


a collaboration

Performing Arts Relay Canada/ Pure Research/ Articulating Artistic Research

November 12 – 17, 2018
School of Creative and Performing Arts/ University of Calgary

“Organisms do not passively receive information from their environments … They participate in the generation of meaning through their bodies and action … they enact the world.” (Di Paolo, Rohde, and De Jaegher 2010)

Artistic Research (AR) is an umbrella term that references a wide range of distinct approaches to research that embrace creative processes as integral modes and methods of inquiry. Embracing Practice as Research, Performance as Research, Practice-led Research, Research Creation, and many other distinct but closely affiliated practices, AR prioritizes creative activity as a means of expanding the epistemological horizons of research within and beyond the academy.

Symbiosis is defined as “the intimate living together of … dissimilar organisms [referred to as ‘symbionts’] in a mutually beneficial relationship” (Merrian-Webster). SYMBIONT brings the programming of a diverse assortment of AR organizations into an uncommonly pronounced level of interaction and exchange. Combining laboratory sessions, workshops, panels, online exchange, individual and group presentations, performances, and public engagement, SYMBIONT integrates an international roster of artistic practitioners, scholars, and artist-scholars in an intense and intimate week-long cohabitation.

The focus of SYMBIONT is context: that is, how the environments in which AR is conducted inspire, facilitate, determine, restrict and otherwise define what can be asked, explored, discovered and imagined. Participating artistic researchers will be asked to articulate what they do and how they do it as a reflection of the contexts in which they practice.

‘Context’ in this instance is understood as a multifaceted situation: personal and communal backgrounds, training, education, institutional and other affiliations, material conditions and culture are just the most obvious of determinants. Further, through the systematic integration and exchange within and between SYMBIONT’s collaborating organizations, participants will experience the transposition of their familiar practices, knowledges, methods and objectives, and will explore the emergent potential to be found in all ‘border crossings.’

SYMBIONT is funded in part through the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the University of Calgary’s Office of the Vice President (Research)Faculty of Arts and SCPA Division of Drama.

Featured Performance: Did you mean rocket?

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