AMPHIBIOUS TRILOGIES

AMPHIBIOUS TRILOGIES

Project leader: Professor Amanda Steggell, in collaboration with Andrew Morrison, Director of the Centre for Design Research, Oslo School of Architecture and Design and Hans-Jørgen Wallin Weihe, Professor of Social Work, Lillehammer University College.

Start: August 2016

AMPHIBIOUS TRILOGIES is a conceived as a journey-based series of choreographic experiments. The main aim is to artistically explore and monitor littoral spaces (between land and water) via an extending choreography of related literal, limbic and liminal conditions, environments and articulations. Three subjects are set in motion; choreography, design and sociology. They are probed within three thematics/works; ‘island’, ‘pond’ and ‘passage’. Physical and remotely-sensed sea journeys, island hopping and pond wallowing are examples of research activities. These activities will ’embody’ and lead to a series of creative works.

Read more here ….

Choreographic poetry

Choreographic poetry: Creating literary scores for dance
Janne-Camilla Lyster

Norwegian Artistic Fellowship Programme
Start: 2013
Ongoing

Introduction
I am a dancer, choreographer and author. I received my BA in Contemporary dance at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, the Academy of Dance in 2006. Through my artistic research project, I aim to develop literary scores for dance, and search for approaches and examine the outcome of procedures connected to writing, composing and adapting such scores.

Historical and contemporary context
My artistic research project has roots of familiarity in the so-called New York School of music, dance and visual arts 1950-ies and 60-ies. The New York School began experimenting with methods for expansion of notation systems and dissemination of information between composer and performer, and between choreographer and performer through what came to be called open form scores. These scores are characterized by their use of experimental notation, such as text, symbols, numbers and so on. Text based scores can be subdivided into two main categories: allusive scores and instructional scores. My main interest lies within the allusive type of scores, focusing on what can emerge that is not yet imagined or controlled – in creating a gap or a framing a potential for the performer/reader to engage with. In my artistic research project I will investigate how a type of allusive scores I would like to introduce as “literary scores for dance” can be crafted in a very specific way, and without strict instructions or descriptions.
Read more here ….

Janne-Camilla Lyster’s website

all rights reserved©Fiksdal 2016

Choreography as affective and collective event

Choreography as affective and collective event
Ingri Midgaard Fiksdal

Norwegian Artistic Fellowship Programme
Start: 2013
Ongoing

Project summary
The focus of this research project is to explore choreography as a collective and affective event through the development of specific choreographic structures and strategies. My artistic aim is to create events that produce potential for new experiences, thoughts and ideas to occur. This aim is founded in a belief in art as a motor for change, through taking the role as “utterly useless” in a society where most other things have a given and known purpose. When confronted with something that doesn’t perform as expected or resists classification we have to look for new approaches, and in these moments of liminality there is potential for the unpredictable and unforeseen to occur.

My research will draw on four contested concepts in art and philosophy; the affective, the event, the collective and the role of the audience. I refer to these as the project’s thematic legacies. I aspire to contribute to the development of the field of choreography by building on, adding to and finding new connections between these concepts through my work.

My research questions are:

• How can particular choreographic structures and strategies make the events produced in this research collective and affective?
• In what ways can these events create potential for new experiences, thoughts and ideas to occur amongst audience and performers?

These questions will be explored through the development of a project-specific choreographic methodology, which combines theory and practise. The methodology includes the production of three large-scale choreographic events informed by research into the project’s thematic legacies and continuous critical reflection.

Ingri Fiksdal’s website

Alone Together

Students on the master course in choreography are launching ALONE TOGETHER – a web based presentation of choreographic research in the littoral zone in the centre of Oslo!

Through a four-week workshop ‘Siting choreography in the landscape’, the students have been working with these questions:

What insights of choreography in everyday life may be garnered through gaze and conversation when moving through littoral landscapes? What kinds of choreographic situations can be made when responding to this question on an everyday basis? How may these choreographic situations emerge, be practiced and conveyed to audiences?

Through their research the students have been working with the premise that their audiences and performers are anyone passing through or happening to occupy public sites. To underline this performer/spectator-relationship, the students have decided to use internet as platform for presenting the work.

Participants: Master students studying choreography at Oslo National Academy of the Arts: Karen Eide Bøen, Roza Moshtaghi, Shi Pratt, Simen Korsmo Robertsen, Kristian Støvind and Bente Alice Westgård.
Course leader: Amanda Steggell
Guest teachers: Per Platou and Hans-Jørgen Wallin Weihe.

Many thanks to Kystlaget Viken and The Maritime Cultural Heritage Centre who have helped out and hosted our course.

CLICK HERE to see Siting choreography in the landscape: ALONE TOGETHER

Exhibiting Choreography

Speaking&building-bildeExhibiting Choreography – exploring transmission across disciplines and discourses
Eva Cecilie Richardsen

Norwegian Artistic Fellowship Programme
Start: 2011
Completion: 2016

Project summary
The project has evolved from questions on how to translate modes of production and display from one artistic domain into another in order to break with the divisive split between dance and visual art. Through its interdisciplinary approach, by mirroring the execution of time, form and conditions of an exhibition – the project invites us to look at the possibility of new beginnings, not as the right solution, but as a part of the process. The object is to renegotiate the potentiality of the performance as event and art object. Looking at choreography through the lens of visual art has been a strategy with an aim to propose a different way of approaching – another way of knowing – that is not about the work itself, but about the ramification of things.

Landing Sites Specific

Landing Sites Specific – a residency in contemporary choreography at Art-Villa Garikula, The Georgia
24th April – 5th May 2014

Art-Villa Garikula

In collaboration with Art-Villa Garikula the workshop Landing Sites Specific is led by Amanda Steggell, professor in choreography at the Department of Dance, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, with Master students in choreography Anne Kathrine Fallmyr, Solveig Styve Holte and Heidi Jessen, and students from the Art Academy, Tbilisi.

Research should no longer be done off to one side, in a school, a library or laboratory. Where one lives needs to become a laboratory for researching, for mapping directly, the living body itself, oneself as a world-forming inhabitant.
– Arakawa + Gins

How can we approach the situation of being artists-in-residence working with issues of site specificity in the field of contemporary choreography today? This is the question we seek to answer at Art-Villa Garikula, and one we have sought to answer in a suburb of Tokyo earlier this year. As you may imagine these sites are worlds apart from each other and our own home town, Oslo, Norway.

The ‘site’ we co-habited in Tokyo is namely the Reversible Destiny Lofts, MITAKA. The lofts are both an artwork and an apartment building; a creation of the artist /architect duo Arakawa + Gins and an iteration of their esoteric theory of Architectural Body from which the term Landing Sites comes from. They are dedicated to the memory of Helen Keller, the American activist and author who learnt how to communicate after losing her sight and hearing as a child – hence seemingly reversing her destiny by confronting and articulating her embodied experiences of her situation or ‘surround’. The lofts are designed to challenge one’s physical abilities and perceptions in every day life; to stimulate the body and its immune system, challenge notions of communal living and to encourage the body to ‘decide not to die’!  (See http://choreography.khio.no/?p=48 for more).

Now we have landed at Art villa Garikula, deep in the Georgian countryside in the little village of Akhalkalaki, in the Kaspi region far way from the city and its suburbs. It is a stark contrast to our Tokyo experience with its meticulously designed architecture, and our own home town, Oslo. We encounter a community; a building and a garden that is in a constant state of reconstruction in accordance with its surround; a village, an agricultural landscape of vast reaching hillsides and a fast flowing river. We encounter a socially-orientated art project that has decided to live. Perhaps we can call it an organic or ecological process that poses a utopian alternative to the political situation with which it co-exists.

What can a body find out about such a place in the short period of our residency?
What is worth doing, from the perspective of contemporary choreography within this time frame?
Can we contribute to this unique community (even if just modestly) by our presence?
How are we changed by the experience?

Via quick and dirty exercises in choreography we address these questions with a sense of curiosity. On the one hand via an attention/awareness to the situation. On the other, an incentive to engage with the community that sustains and is supported by the Garikula project.

Landing Sites

– a further-field pursuit of new tools for choreography

Amanda Steggell 2013

RDL

Research should no longer be done off to one side, in a school, a library or laboratory. Where one lives needs to become a laboratory for researching, for mapping directly, the living body itself, oneself as a world-forming inhabitant. (Arakawa and Gins)


1. SUMMARY

I will travel with Solveig Styve Holte, Kathrine Fallmyr, Heidi Jessen (MA choreography) and Tormod Carlsen (MA theatre directing)  for a week’s residency/ field trip at the Reversible Destiny Lofts in Mitaka, a suburb of Tokyo. The lofts are  built by the artists and architects Arakawa and Gins. The residency is the first of a two-part workshop for exploring the body’s capacity to co-create event-spaces with any given environment.

The lofts, dedicated to the memory of Hellen Keller, are a physical iteration of Arakawa and Gin’s book Architectural Body (2002). They enable its complex discourses and schemas to be probed directly through the embodied experience. The purpose of the visit is to study the shared experience of cohabiting a built environment uniquely constructed to grapple with the nature of embodiment, cognition and personal action and reorient the body and its capacity to apprehend and shape the world. A perceptual approach to ‘attention’, ‘decision’ and ‘action’ is a key element of this study. Central questions are;

  • how can the complex relationships between a body and its co-construction of the environment be analyzed and measured?
  • how can decisions and actions in choreographic procedures be accounted for?
  • what kinds of tools for choreography can be developed from addressing the above questions?

The project is bound up in my research in choreography as a procedure that departs from-, yet extends beyond the subjective body (of a dancer) and the production of dance, while expanding its contact area into other fields. It also constitutes a case study in research-based teaching involving students actively and directly. In both cases the intention is to propagate new sets of perceptual, cognitive and kinaesthetic tools for individual choreographic projects and interdisciplinary collaborations, dance-wise, stage-wise and otherwise. 
From an international perspective the project resonates with a growing discourse about ‘expanded choreography’ fronted by, amongst others, the Swedish choreographer Mårten Spångberg. It also bears a relevance in relation to the Re:place research project initiated by KHiB in cooperation with KHiO and the Grieg Academy.

Activities will include tasks and discussions drawn from the collective experience of inhabiting two loft apartments. Several excursions and meetings will introduce the researchers to the cultural life of Tokyo. Participants are expected to keep multi-sensory and multimodal diaries, with words, drawings and video of their experiences for web-based presentation. The insights gained from the experience will be carried over into the second, six week workshop, this time in a black box setting at KHiO directly proceeding the residency. 
The outcomes will be presented in an open forum at KHiO at the end of the second workshop. A presentation is also planned to take place at ANX, Oslo in the context of Re:place, led in KHiO by Ass. Prof. Synne Bull, Academy of Fine Art.

2. BACKGROUND

Since the mid 1990’s, when I also co-founded the live art group Motherboard (1996-2008) with Per Platou,  I have explored how networked technologies have transformed the way people work, socialize, create and share information, and organize the flow of people, ideas, and things around the globe. I have investigated how a body copes with flows of information passing between the digital, natural and lived world, grappling with how these flows shape perceptions of time, space and place. As a consequence my artistic practice once concerned with the staging of dance, has escaped into many artistic fields and scraped up against scientific ones.

The works I have created have taken on many forms, from live art happenings to site-specific and relocatable installations, and as performative interventions in public space. They are experimental and participatory, often occurring in spaces beyond those normally reserved for the arts – or to put it another way – where life happens.

From an international perspective this work, often positioned between performance, electronic and media art, now finds a landing site in a current discourse about ‘expanded choreography’. Developing new strategies and tools to bring a refreshed political/critical edge and awareness to choreography as a producer of knowledge is central to this debate.

About Arakawa and Gins
Shusaku Arakawa (b. Nagoya, Japan 1936 – 2010) and Madeline Gins (b.1941 Long Island, New York) have collaborated on a wide range of artistic, architectural, poetic and theoretical projects that are profound in their insight and influences. Arakawa had a background in science and medicine, and Gins in creative writing, literature, philosophy and painting. After meeting in New York in 1963 they soon achieved global recognition for their initial conceptual artwork The Mechanism of Meaning (1963-71). Their work is inspired by Helen Keller, the American author and political activist who lost her sight and hearing as a child. By learning how to communicate she seemed to prove that reversing one’s destiny is possible. Together they developed an esoteric philosophy of life and art, and a theory called ‘reversible destiny’. Their mission – to combat totalitarianism and outlaw aging – is voiced via numerous concurrent treatises, paintings, books and built projects.

The Architectural Body and the Reversible Destiny Lofts
Architectural Body (2002) demonstrates the inter-connectedness of architectural design, the poetic process, and philosophical inquiry. It focuses on a perceptual approach to ‘attention’, ‘decision’ and ‘action’ to set out the stakes for sustainability and improved living. Coordinating every ‘scale of action’ – from the mere ‘noticing of things’ to the ‘co-construction of the body and environment’ – form the stakes.

This work represents an important dimension within contemporary research practices. It addresses convergence and complexity across the arts and sciences on the ‘scales of action’ relevant to human experience. The refusal to reduce the terms of one discourse or experience to that of another, while always working ‘on-site where living happens’ causes the architectural body as a practice to resonate with all kinds of practitioners. Once grasped, topics such as ‘organism that persons’, ‘landing sites’ and ‘coordinology’ can be used by anybody. Rather than being recipes for making things, they are procedures to enable new connections and relationships.

The Reversible Destiny Lofts in Mitaka both embody the discourses of Architectural Body and are a physical schema and a shell-space for its practice. The peculiar three dimensionality of the lofts exposes how relationships between things and events occurring inside of it are ‘measurable’ and ‘accountable’. Designed for communal living, they are never-the-less a challenge to live in. And this is exactly the point!

The lofts stimulate the senses, and force inhabitants to use physical strength and imagination. They are made up of many coloured rooms of diverse materials, and in the form of cylinders, cubes and spheres. The rooms are distributed around a central area with a sunken kitchen and a floor that resembles miniature sand dunes. Floors and ceilings slant awkwardly. Strangely placed windows, tiny balconies, level changes and other surrealist tricks convey an off-balanced feeling of being in several places at once; of a breakdown of interior and exterior, mind, body and environment. The absence of doors challenges residents to find ways of being private. There is no furniture except for kitchen and bathroom facilities. Yet there are oddly placed power switches, and hooks and rods for suspending and reorganizing ropes, nets, swings and things – and more.

When I read Architectural Body it is with an uncanny feeling of deja vu. What is expressed is akin to the difficult-to-pin-down-and-put-words-on choreographic processes in my own work. New perspectives for articulating my choreography, and sets of tools for choreographic projects may emerge from the experience of being a loft resident-choreographer-researcher. Sharing this experience with students will form a common ground for approaching a six week workshop in choreography at KHiO directly following the visit. Here we will start in reverse; with a black box theatre as a shell-space under construction, moving tentatively towards its transformation into an event-space according to each participant’s choreographic project.

Tokyo connection
During 2012-13 I spent several months as resident artist in Tokyo where, amongst others, I was introduced to artist and complex systems scientist Prof. Takashi Ikegami, principle researcher at the Ikegami Laboratory, Tokyo University. Takashi’s passion is in discovering how life emerges, and all life, he say’s, starts with motion. Mine is in the choreography of life. It was Takashi who introduced me to the work of Arakawa and Gins, who in turn have inspired his work in both science and art.

The laboratory is highly interdisciplinary. Recent research activities investigate how non-biological artificial life can emerge in the real world. Experiments with chemicals, the internet web and artworks are just come components of the research. I visited the lab several times, where I met Takashi’s colleagues and students. I was consequently invited to spend a month at the lab in June/July 2013 to explore the potentials of developing choreographic tools on the intersections of cutting edge science and artistic practices, with an eye towards ‘attention’, ‘time’ and ‘memory’ in different natural and artificial systems. This project, and my previous visits to Japan, set a background and resources for the project Landing Sites.

3. POTENTIAL OUTCOMES

The potential outcomes of the project are;

  • as enhanced/extended pedagogical prompts and analysis for choreography students
  • presentations of the experience and reflections on its potential and limits for colleagues and students within the Academy of Dance, across KHiO, to targeted institutions as well as a general public
  • a web-based presentation/documentation to reach a wider public
  • a report that can form the basis for a future article

 4. REFERENCES

Reversible Destiny, Arakawa and Gins http://www.reversibledestiny.org/
Reversible Destiny Lofts (in memory of Hellen Keller) MITAKA http://www.rdloftsmitaka.com

Architectural Body, Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins,The University of Alabama Press, 2002 E-ISBN-13: 9780817381905
(Download link http://muse.jhu.edu/books/9780817381905 )

The Mechanism of Meaning. Work in Progress (1963-1971, 1978), Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins, Harry N. Abrams, 1979
ISBN: 0810906678

Expanded Choreography. Situations, Movements, Objects, a three day conference at MACBA, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Mercat de les Flors, March 2012 http://www.macba.cat/en/expanded-choreography-situations

Takashi Ikegami Laboratory, Tokyo University http://sacral.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/

Re:place artistic research project http://replace-project.blogspot.no/

 

KORFU

KORFU (choreographic research group) is an initiative to bring together choreographers involved in research and development projects on a regular basis to discuss and support each other’s projects.

The first meeting took place on 25.09.2013 where  Anne Grete Eriksen presented her research project Moving Memory ; an exploration of the body’s capacity to remember physical dance movements. The investigation draws on the reconstruction of a dance work. Via interviews with those who took part she asks; what is it that triggers a body’s memory?

KORFU01_MM
Photo courtesy of Anne Grete Eriksen

The second meeting will take place on 10.12.2013 when Ingri Fiksdal will present her Fellowship project, outlining and discussing its main issues with the group.