Articulating Artistic Research 6.0: ‘Focus on Context’

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Annual ‘Articulating Artistic Research’ Seminar 6.0
‘Focus on Context’
November 15 & 16, 2018

to held this year as part of

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.

SYMBIONT’s collaborating organizations include:

Performing Arts Relay (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Calgary, Toronto), an international practice-as-research network that explores the collaborative relationships between highly accomplished artistic practitioners and non-artistic specialists.

Nightswimming (Canada), Canada’s foremost dramaturgical incubator, which for over 20 years has created opportunities for professional artists to explore focused performance issues through its Pure Research program.

Articulating Artistic Research Seminar (Canada +), now in its 6th year, which facilitates embodied AR exploration, articulation, and dissemination on an international scale.

The focus of this year’s Articulating Artistic Research Seminar 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.’

Confirmed Keynote Presenters:

Lynette Hunter, University of California Davis, is the author of Disunified Aesthetics: Situated Textuality, Performativity, Collaboration (2014) and Critiques of Knowing: Situated Textualities in Science, Computing and the Arts (1999). A celebrated scholar, artist and teacher, she has been a ground-breaking pioneer of practice-based research theory, pedagogy and programming in North America.

Mark Fleishman, University of Cape Town, is the author of Performing Migrancy and Mobility in Africa: Cape of Flows (2015) and “The Difference of Performance as Research” (2012). A prolific director and theatre maker, he co-cofounded the Performance as Research Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research and has written extensively on the extended knowledge capacities of embodied research.

Once in Calgary, participants will participate in a broad cross-section of potential capacities: laboratory and workshop participants, presenters and respondents, panel and roundtable participants, observers and ‘outside eyes.’ We will also plan for group collaboration on multiple designated publishing opportunities, and will conclude the week-long event with a trip to the remarkable Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park.

See the full Articulating Artistic Research schedule here.

See all AAR Participant bios here.

Conference Convenors
Bruce Barton
, University of Calgary
Natalia Esling, University of Toronto

Conference Organizer
Beth Kates, University of Calgary

Conference Team
Jennifer Brewin
Jacqueline Russell
Ann Mallory



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