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MAKING CONNECTIVE PRACTICESâ€‰: GET OUT, GET DOWN & MAKE WITH OTHERS
VE 1 MO
VE 5 MO
POTATOFEST ASSEMBLY LINE
SETTING UP DISCO AS A RESEARCH OFFICE
GET IT TOGETHER PA
OVE 6 OM C IS
A VIRTUAL DANCEFLOOR
COMMUNITY DINNERS WITH SUGGESTED DINNER READING FROM RICHARD SENNETT PA
WHAT MAKES US GROOVE UN SPACE WORKSHOP AND FEEDBACK MANIFESTO
PA G E 27 8 +2
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LAST NIGHT THE WI-FI SAVED MY LIFE: DIGITAL DISCO AND SOCIAL EMPATHY WORKSHOP
MOVING AND SHAKING THROUGH PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH UNEARTHING THE RHIZOME IN EDUCATION, ESSAY BY ELISE WORTEL
DISCO M OV E
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE DELEUZE AND GUATTARI GARDEN OF CREATIVITY AND SPECIAL INTERVIEWS
PLANTING A GARDEN OF CREATIVITY: GET DOWN & GET DIRTY
planting and harvesting of a garden, and a disco), Hathaway�s research generated a connective research ecosystem.
For two years (2018-2020), artistic researcher Cynthia Hathaway, with members of a glittering knowledge circle, Heleen de Hoon, Elsje van Leeuwen, Carry van Bokhoven, Caroline Ribbers, Danae Theodoridou, and Martyn Smits1, developed the foundational work and theme for a future lectorate (head research unit) at the Fontys School voor de Kunsten (FHK). This magazine is a collection of Hathaway�s exploratory activities to create, experience, and harvest connective practices. During this process, a community-driven and robust research theme �Artistic Connective Practices� was developed.
This magazine is multiple in content and tenses used. Inspired by the essay of Elise Wortel on page 28, it is set up as a rhizomatic exploration. Information evolves as pages are turned. It is part report, manifesto, institutional recommendation, and a �do-it-together� starting manual for a new lectorate. In its own way, this magazine further emphasizes artistic practices and research as vital search engines for the enabling of resilient societies and ways of being with the world. Enjoy the dance...
As described by the Dean, Karen Neervoort, ��the diverse disciplines in our house required a more active and artistically driven approach towards research. Choosing for a journey of seduction rather than convincing, we chose Hathaway to lead the exploration phase towards a new lectorate.�� Finding commonalities, whilst supporting a diversity of perspectives and ways of working, Hathaway formed a research ensemble of students, teachers, and researchers in and out of the arts akin to stringing together a necklace from a number of pearls.
1. The knowledge circle, or ʻkenniskringʼ in Dutch, was essential in supporting and developing, debating and evolving the research trajectory of Hathaway. It was an interdisciplinary group comprising of Heleen de Hoon (Head of Studies, Master Performing Public Space), Elsje van Leeuwen (Research Skills teacher, Art Education and Research Supervisor, Master of Art Education), Carry van Bokhoven, (Research Supervisor, Master Art Education, Bachelor of Dance) Caroline Ribbers (Educational Design Researcher of Dance) and Danae Theodoridou (Teacher Performance Public Space and Dance) and Martyn Smits (Head of Studies, Academy of Music and Performing Arts).
Connective practices are creative, inclusive and relational work forms. Besides providing a future theme for a new lectorate, it is the basis for the way Hathaway �set up shop� and practiced at the FHK. Creating a participatory action research program of workshops, events and spaces (including community dinners, the 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
General Context at FHK
MAKING CONNECTIVE PRACTICES: GET OUT, GET DOWN AND MAKE WITH OTHERS Disco changed the musical landscape of the 1970�s and continues to influence music making to this day. Setting up a research space at the FHK with golden curtains, a disco ball, and books on the genre, signals a musical period rooted in racial and sexual politics. The space signifies the need to question biased search engines and activities which promote white, heterosexual and patriarchal narratives. Disco in this space is an intervention, and demands re-thinking institutional knowledge structures and inquiry apparatuses, from and with inclusive and diverse perspectives.
��Disco�s roots are situated in the 1970�s creating space for black American creativity to flourish in a self-organized environment. African American producers and musicians were the leading architects of the disco sound, and staked out a new sonic territory drawing upon R+B and jazz.
Creating a joyful and seductive way to make research complementary to the disciplines at hand, disco was both an aesthetic and research matter. An empty foyer is transformed with a stage, golden curtain and disco ball signifying a place to be, and radiate knowledge.
DISCO PROVIDES A PARTIAL MAP OF BLACK AMERICA�S SHIFTING RELATIONSHIP TO MASCULINITY, UPWARD MOBILITY AND POLITICS IN POST CIVIL RIGHTS ERA The men and women who made disco were promiscuous in their musical appropriations, refusing national boundaries and the snobbish purism that disdains the popular. The television hit show Soul Train was a space of black creativity, sensuality and trend setting. Televised to thousands, week after week, they ran the show in a socially divided society. In whatever way disco is recognised or criticized, it is important to note its political and activist background. Some view disco as feminist and anti-masculinist, and a space where women, particularly black women, ruled the mirror ball world. The disco sound was sonically open-ended and therefore, anti-phallic. To R.Dyer, a critic and gay liberationist, disco�s rhythmic complexity and play – it�s delaying jumping, countering of rhythm encouraged �whole body eroticism� as opposed to the �thrusting and grinding� he identified with rock music.��2 2. Alice Echols, Hot Stuff Disco and the Remaking of American Culture ( N e w York: VW Norton and Company, 2010), 35.
Taking over the TV waves: Soul Train, circa 1970. 4
AN ART ACADEMY IS A WAY OF LIVING
With a sense of urgency, Claudia Linders calls upon the research community to show itself on the walls and spaces of the FHK, ��to break down barriers of concrete and office cabins��, and ��to make a mess with respect.�� Being behind closed doors, and within departments, the sharing of expertise across disciplines is a difficult task.
Claudia Linders, Head of Architecture and Urbanism at FHK 2018-20
TO TEACH AND LEARN COLLABORATIVELY AND CREATE CROSS-FERTILIZATION, IDEAS NEED TO FLOW FREELY DOWN HALLWAYS, IN AND OUT OF EXITS AND ENTRANCES, SERENDIPITOUSLY BUMPING INTO OTHER IDEAS IN AND OUT OF THE ARTS, AND YES, SOMETIMES MAKE MESSY ENCOUNTERS We do not all have to agree, but we do have to talk, listen and flex for thoughtful and resilient relations. A thriving community of artistic research shows what we do when we think as artists. So how do we connect (with) diverse ways of thinking and making in an institutional setting? What are the conditions, actions and spaces needed to create meaningful connections? And furthermore, what and with whom are we connecting to? Is the connection and the action of connecting reciprocated? Does it generate mutually responsible experiences? What are the processes used in artistic practice which can be made more explicit as connective? And shouldn�t they be shared within and outside artistic partnerships?
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A paper roll slowly accumulates and captures research ideas, theories, and discussions towards a concept of connectivity. The roll shows research as tangible, with presence and density. A giant spider plant grows an abundance of babies to be shared, and becomes a connective organism of thought and intent.
SETTING UP DISCO AS A RESEARCH OFFICE ��I refused the offer of an office with a door, and a computer to capture and hold thoughts. I set up shop on the ground floor next to an entrance hall. My self-given task to explore and develop artistic connective practices is to come from a �practice what you preach� mentality, and a series of participatory action research3 initiatives.�� Cynthia Hathaway, 2020 A space of research starts from scratch, and grows physically and in content with every encounter and interaction. A community of research gradually develops from asking for help, inviting advice, and sharing the space with students and teachers.
THE SPACE GREW ITS RESEARCH. BUILT WITH MANY HANDS AND MINDS, THE POTENTIAL OF A RESEARCHER�S SPACE OF THE �I� BECAME AN ACTIVE SPACE OF THE �WE� Starting from scratch, an empty foyer becomes a participatory, transparent space of ideas generated from an artistic community, and to be spread in and outside of the building. A learning environment for a researcher and community, a series of participatory artistic actions collect and demonstrate connective knowledge at hand. Artistic research is to be seen, experienced, discussed and absorbed like a living entity, which grows, evolves and moves with every encounter (discussions/ debates/workshops/ events). 3. See page 27 for a description of participatory action research.
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Windows are used to write definitions of artistic research, draw rhizomatic models of creativity, and write advertisements for students seeking collaborative partners. Surrounding surfaces become the canvas to express artistic thought and pose questions to anyone passing by.
A self-organized artistic research library is made from a collective of students, researchers and teachers. A stage supports self-organized performances, lectures and debates by students.
A long table is covered with a paper tablecloth of ideas filled during two years of research, and upon which messy dinners, discussions and debates are held and documented. And of course, a disco ball hangs above which signifies an important musical genre. As it refracts light into hundreds of bits, it signifies a location which denies the singular.
Potatoes occupy the space. They refer to the concept of rhizomes and creativity by Deleuze and Guattari. They hang as molecular mobiles, and inspire musical scoring. They veraciously sprout roots which reach out to those passing by, asking to be planted outside.
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UN-DO IT YOURSELF! A WAY OF UN-DOING
WHAT YOU NEED
• set up your office in a shared space with no walls
• bright coloured tape for ﬂoor and stage
• ask for help
• disco curtain and ball
• make a space to seduce and inspire connection and collaboration from a variety of people
• disco gels to cover ﬂuorescent lamps • stream disco videos on a daily basis
• be brave and set up shop where you are not expected or supposed to
• chalk markers in every colour for window
• take time to spark curiosity. Not everyone will get it immediately
• organic matter such as groovy spider plants and potatoes (models of creativity)
• create an open door policy for discussions on any form, or track of research being practiced at the institute and elsewhere - include scientists, hobbyists and nuns
• 50 meter roll of paper for research table and concrete walls • good espresso coffee machine
ATTITUDE Disco spaces are needed to support gathering outside of curriculums, to meet people outside one�s department or discipline. The commons have shrunk within the school, and �public� spaces commercialized. In between spaces such as stairwells and foyers are the leftover spaces for awkward meetings. A dedicated space should be at the heart of making a collaborative learning community. To make the commons can be very simple: create community potluck dinners. They do not have to be programmed. However, a short reading can complement. It can start with just 5 people showing up, but it most certainly will grow as the word (and smells) spreads. The breaking of bread is one of our most basic rituals to connect, to say hello, ask who are you, and what do you do? These connections are often the start to further collaborations.
Frame and hang a fi gure of inspiration, for example Robert Conner, a 1970�s Canadian disco ball maker who travelled across Canada in his van supplying clubs across the nation. Inside were his tools of the trade including a ball making machine, and a love for spreading disco.
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It is not always obvious what department or discipline is represented at the table. It doesn�t matter. A dinner is a transdisciplinary space. You come as you are, not because you are a dancer, a musician or a singer. A mini-ecosystem of relations rises like warm dough based on these serendipitous meetings over food. 10
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O C S DI 2 E V MO COMM UNITY DINNE RS varging ed n i r b r tices, cove o prac a table n e v a i t r nec ove s a s f eed n e d o v n c r a se re s to ether p e r ro l l ers a i d e a i n t u r n, Dinn eople tog d a n p A ts a ils t p ious e s e a rc h. f though ions, wh ss of con t r o e a n es s i with pac e nvers nal s star t co d joyful m o i t a t n , and ins a or u p o n es t he s t a e h i n d . eet f e m v , b i f h t o ro lef arc c om t ions s a me dent s be a n d e h t versa u t r es s ul t ur ent s. u n d e a t ional c t m n o n e s tud le fr nter if fer Pe o p s t t i m e . I d f r o m d g l e w i t h o d . r in o o t he fi s w i t h f o c h e r s m shared f a r e e e o T v r o . e h ts y dien rarch ichard i n g r e is no hie s from R cus e g a s s e a wing p T her ted dis the follo kick-star bed Reading ring the dinner, it the em yďż˝ c li p u x d e tt e bilit mor S enne sponse -a making e t r u f o o b s a e in to pac e sions hic h c om and ces or ďż˝s w ti c d a n r a p ded lines, hitec t r ts disc ip example, an arc er and in the a r per form en, fo r, e e s tw u e b d r an r ts insti play designe el, an a v t, e n -l a it ta b e inha nam e, and o audienc society. hamber tute and lens of c ďż˝s tt e n n Se lement, through e entang it n v e in e s s e n c e cti ot easy, Wh ective pra lves. They are n ning, n n o c , ic mus emse h liste work in th enriched throug and are e r a riences ness. but expe sponsive e r d n a dialogue
S i mpl y
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Though we may have to hold ourselves back will to observe well, the resulting conversation coop more become a richer exchange for it, erative in character, more dialogic. Sec tions read by Cynthia H athaway
READING AT DINNER
The Rituals, P leasures and Politics of Co operation
BY RICHARD SE NNE T T (Penguin Boo ks, London, 2 013)
*please note , the footnote s are as they Brac keted el are found in ipses are plac Sennet t�s text ed in text by . Ha thaway.
that our believing f o ts is s n alue, and n vice co ymbolic v s t a re A c om mo g s e in this rience ha to indulg g in o g own expe m pears in pages I� g skills ap in n te s for a few li r , the kind model fo ional sort ss fe ro vice. One p a T his is a arsals of ing ar ts. rm fo r adult rehe e p I worked y for the u n g m a n, o y t a nec es sar s A . as a cellis now well ian, both ic n s o u mod el I k ti m a d a n nally as re the fou professio earsals a h e usic, lis R m r. g to in c u hears re n e and c ond h nd in w g music; por tant, a for makin became vitally im c s a oo p ills n b ec o m e ia ic s tening sk u m well, the listening ature. th erative cre need of o r e e h s e usical ar tsls, th Rehe ingarsa Young m r form . e k p c o e h th s In they e a ften prov hort when ers can o often brought up s pre s a h thing re o a n ; ts c o si h u ts m t, ho ber as like tha ying cham thers. (I w o begin pla to d n e m to att pared the ). aged ten
T houg h the ly, in reh y may know the ir own p earsal th ar t ey ing ar t o f listenin have to learn the per fec tg, turnin ego -bus g outwa trd . It�s some times th ough t th to the o a pposite extreme t the result mov ing in, s , es th ubmergin e musicia g his or whole. B n blend h u t s h ee r er ego in homoge making a larger neit y is n music to o recipe gether – recipe. for or rathe r, a ver y dull
14 Dialogics serve, �People who do not ob18 cannot converse.� r m an English barriste This wisdom-nugget fro ihn tec is Th �dialogics�. evokes the essence of n and responsiveness tio en cal word names att rbarrister�s bon mot pa to other people. The re sha �s er n to the listen ticularly calls attentio t , when we speak abou lly ua in a discussion. Us ke ma to w we focus on ho communication skills, nk to present what we thi , ion a clear presentat or feel. se uired to do so, but the Skills are indeed req re ll we ing acter. Listen are declarative in char ly se clo of se of skills, tho quires a dif ferent kind y reting what others sa erp int attending to and sge ir the of king sense before responding, ma ll as declarations. we as tures and silences
ry Madan, Notebooks KC , quoted in Geoffe 18. Bal four Browne, p. 127 5), 198 ss, Pre sity (Ox ford:Ox ford Uni ver
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15 ead through ter appears inst Music al charac as sertion; in deferenc e and lit tle dreams of need to hear particularly, we chamber music, voices which king in different ing colindividuals spea in bowings or str as t, ic nfl co es sometim es is like er these differenc th ge to ng vi ea our. W h conversation. conduc ting a ric a printare working with e w ic us m al sic rule the In clas e might seem to or sc e th d an e, e printed scor blobs of ink on th e os Th n. tio sa tell us conver gh, however, to ou en t no e ar e cellist ed scor tually sound. As ac ill w ic us m e how th hearsing writ ten about re s ha r te in W rt tween Robe the difference be t, te ar qu n ve ho a Beet particu mposed by the co is t ac d an a page usicians instruments the m e th of r te ac ar lar ch ter of the differing charac e th by g, in ay s.19 are pl by textual puzzle se ur co of d an s player s in their
ar tet the Beethoven Qu s.), The er, �Performing bert Martin (ed Ro d 19. Robert W int an er int W rt ge les: be An Ro s in Lo , d ry� an ntu ley First Ce mpanion (Be rke Co et art Qu n Be ethove 95) lifornia Press, 19 Universi ty of Ca
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n in mu ical instructio us m g in en d d late this The most ma ively; to trans ss re p ex , vo the com sic is espressi have to intuit e w d un so to send out instruction in players may l ua id iv d in ; ch other poser�s intent espressivo whi y la p to w turn from cues for ho t - a sort of re re rp te in t o players cann the crib. conversastructions, the in g in zl uz p fathom Apart from arsal seeks to he re in s ur cc or she tion which o heard when he r se o p m co e ctet, for the sound th the Shuber t O In e. g a p e fragments set ink to th r breaks into se o p m co e rs share. instance, th all eight playe lly a iti in ch hi urs, each melodies w a break occ n he w : tle b e �I�m getIt�s quite su something lik ey nv co to king a big player has � without ma re he in a tr e at�s what I ting off th departure. Th r he r o s hi only justify deal about ed, but I can nt a w t er b hu , my sound imagine S other players e th ith w g in it by work from theirs. en diverging uniting with th sound, my ween score and et b p a g e th f ontreux, Because o great Pierre M e th , er ch a te on�t read!� conducting ents, �Hear, d ud st nd a m m used to co rsals. ppen in rehea This has to ha
In mak ing music , the re�s a basi between p c dis ti nc tio rac tising a n nd rehears is a solitary in g; the one experience , the other Common to collec tive. both is the standard p attending rocedure o initially to f a whole sc c using on ore, then fo part ic ular passages. The two fo rms of work on music d because re ivide, first, hearsing d rags music shared con al habits in sciousness. to When pract the music ia icing alone n g o e s ov e , r his or he again and r own part aga ingrained ro in so that the passage s b ec o m e uti for the musi nes; this is especially necessary cian prepa ring his or a public pe her part fo rformanc e r – only a fe ers, li ke th w perform e v ioli nis t Fri tz K reis Montreux, ler, or Pierr can commit e a score to ter a couple memory afof run -thro ughs. T he dange r for the re st of us lies of how ing in losing sig rained pass ht ages soun In rehearsin d to others g, one play . er can jolt this awaren another into ess.
16 Children discussing the rules of the game have to arrive at a consen sus in order to play together. Musicians do not, or not quite. Whe n I once rehearsed the Shuber t Oc tet with the clarinettist Alan Rusb ridger, he remarked to me at one point: �Profe ssor� – he is a journalist by trade so this form of address is not entire ly a compliment – �your top note sounds harsh .� In prac ticing alone, I�d forgotten how it migh t sound to him and he made me hear it. Bu t I didn�t soften the soun d; I pondered wheth er it should sound harsh , decided it should, an d made it even more so .
ac t But in f . . r a in minars e a sem ome lik hilosophy se c e b n ep t he would arsals r un lik fo e h e ls work s. r il k s l f ew a ehears et e problem good r r h it w s g c onc n ionated Musicia y, inves t iga t in re highly opin l sway il ll a rens ic a ny musicians se opinions w r mo la e a u h t m ic t , t u r e pa Tru ), b is m a a e p ly a in h ir ic is m (I cer ta nly if t hey s d. T his emp t ar tis o un ou ot hers c ollec t ive so ant point ab ion is n f o o p e ra t o c m e n t o t h e m os t re s l: a s need to s hear perhap ration in a re . Per formers cifics. pe nd up n t s pe tic coo e grou ing, significa h t m o built fr work on tell d find an (. . .)
17 (. . .) The conv ersation durin g professiona sical rehears l mu als is distinct ive socially in is so often a that it conversation with stranger professional s. The musician is a migrant. If th sician is a st e mu ar performe r, he or she constantly on will be the road work ing with unkn orchestras or own pick- up group s. (. . .) The lenge of com chalmunicating w ith strangers ens the quest sharp for specifics, si nce you have a few hours to only gether. One solution to this proble m lies in a se portable ritu t of als. Each mus ic ian will have veloped a se de t of expressiv e habit s whi or she wants ch he to apply right away to key sages; w hen pasI was on the ro Schubert Oct ad pla y ing th et, I had flag e ged in my p score key pla rinted ces I knew I w anted to subje retards in tem ct to po, passages where I want get off the m ed to elodic train. The ritual in re hearsal lies in sharing these if others have flags; similarly mark ed them, we deal immedia can tely with just how much to slow
we will ged them, g a fl t o n e down. ers hav not to slow r o down; if oth r e th e h b ou t w negotiate a oung had as a y d I� e c n e ri human e ex p e elemental n (. . .) Yet th a n o t il early al is bu ontac t wit h c f profession o ts in o ddress . T he p ons which a ti a founda tion ic n u m m c tures e in co become stru dif h childhood li ic h w s e c t prac ti tions abou ambiguit y; e; conversa m self ti e in iv x d e fl se t to re c and focu je b su s e rac tic ferenc es;20 p criticism. rac t, need to inte to .) . (. l a rs a need in rehe nefit. They e Musicians b l a tu u m e for to exchang . to make art te coopera ne, 20 08),
Our exchange produc ed in me, a more co nscious valuing of the note he disliked. As in a good discussion: its ric hness is textured as dis agreements that do no t, however, keep peop le from continuing to tal k.
A llan La an (London: The Craftsm t, et nn Se d 20. Richar pp.157-76.
A rehearsal will not progress if one playe r comes in with an expla nation of the �Meanin g of the Shuber t Oc tet�, or if all the players dis cuss its cultural significa nce; the rehearsal itself DISCO MOVE 2
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WHAT MAKES US GROOVE
nomous spaces, run by an open, non-hierarchical, un-disciplinary community. This included economical and organizational frameworks for a �learning through living� space run by artists. Topics of concern were derived from a collective of artists, scientists, and citizens from Tilburg including butchers, waitresses and the disenfranchised, and became concerns around which the collective worked.
WORKING IN PUBLIC SPACE, AND WITH A CHANGING COLLECTIVE AS A DIRECT FEEDBACK SYSTEM, PRACTICELED RESEARCH WAS ROOTED IN THE MULTI-RELATIONAL Students explored the boundaries of their practices, by going out into the city, finding numerous and diverse unused spaces to inhabit, such as empty shops, churches, industrial vacant lots, parking lots and even public art sculptures. Conceiving the city as a studio provided the opportunity to develop more inclusive and diverse feedback. A manifesto was developed to grow the commons, and a dedicated group called �Feedback� for developing situated artistic skills for more resilient productions. Students continue to run �Feedback�, and in so doing, offer examples of new educational models in which the applied arts institute �un spaces� itself. Un Space Workshop Brief The creation of Un Space intends to act as thought and fuel towards the realization of radically cross-disciplinary spaces. Autonomously run, and non-hierarchical, they are powered by a community of students and alumni of the FHK. The workshop is a chance to ready each other for a new dawn of co-survivalpractices for open and pluralistic realities. The workshop may sound quite vague at first, and this is on purpose.
EVERYONE HAS A TERRA INCOGNITA AND I WISH EVERYONE A UTOPIA Choral Conductor and Research Coach, Louis Buskens, 2019 A conversation with conductor Louis Buskens in the disco space is an enlightening experience, especially in terms of understanding the difference between learning to be a soloist, and developing one�s artistry in relation to others. You can learn to become a master through practicing and repeating. A stage of manuals, a student is given instructions on how to play, learn about theory, and how to read a page of music. If one can do this, well done, and in Buskens� eyes, ��you have practiced enough��. But, ��if you know how to play a piece, you didn�t search enough.�� Ultimately, to push one�s artistry further involves a ��detour, going along concentric ways, being open to other arts, to read, look and listen. Develop yourself within a circle of knowledge.�� In this undisciplinary space, Buskens describes stepping into the unknown: leaving the page, and that which is ��clearly understandable and teachable�� and to fall into the space of ��feeling, surmise, inspiration. Ahnung.�� (Buskens, 2019) To invoke this sensibility of un-disciplining and un-knowing, Hathaway invited Jerszy Seymour to lead the Un Space workshop. Supported by a number of guests known for radical self-organized �public works�, a group of 25 FHK students developed the open collective called �Feedback�, ��an independent series of events as monologues, dialogues, triologues and polygogues in order to break down barriers and go beyond the multidisciplinary, for the creation of unusual knowledge and the new.�� Students were guided on ways of setting up auto-
A communal affair: Darrick van Dieren of FHK�s Technical Stage Support supplies the disco with its radiant ball. 18
WE START FROM SCRATCH, AND FROM WHAT YOU, AS AN INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTISTIC FORCE, THINK A FUTURE SPACE OF CO-PRODUCTION IS, AND THE VALUES IT OUGHT TO BE BUILT UPON What we do here can be a microcosmic force for working in society at large. We first start here, fine tune our skills, and break out through the doors like a sweat! Why Un Space? It relates to an idea of artist Allan Kaprow who states that anything that is called art no longer has the transformative power we ask from art, and therefore is no longer art. Or we could reference the UN (United Nations) Bill of Human Rights, perhaps the greatest unrealized piece of applied art.
There is a desire and need (from both students and teachers) for long-term collaborative projects but very little contact with ideas outside one�s domain. From students, there is a desire for the space to be risky and radical, leaving curriculums, and teacher (as master) - student (copier) relations. Students want to have their learning connect to �matters that matter� to them and to society… to jump outside of curriculums more often, and get out into the world as a working space. Teachers want to develop students ready for the world, but curriculums do not always reflect this.
This workshop gives you methods and actualized references to feed a process of conceiving, planning and realizing an Un Space. Many of you are attending throughout the workshop, and some partially. The workshops are designed to �hand off� to the next group a body of work for further action. So everybody has responsibility and impact. Jerszy Seymour, 2019
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OP LEAD H S
ESTS U G
Melle Smets studied OK5/Art and Public Space at ArtEZ Academy in Arnhem. After his study Smets became the co-founer of art collective G.A.N.G. As cultural project developers they operated through interventions in public space, exhibitions, workshops and the travel agency P-reizen (P-travel). P-reizen organised expeditions to the parallel world of highways, airports and ports.
Artist, Researcher and Activist
Emanuele Braga is co-founder of the largest self-assembly collective in Milan, Italy, an art centre which is managed by self assembly. It is modelled on social local currency with a monthly basic income, with its own currency or common coin for services and goods. In addition to his work at Macao, he co-founded the dance and theatre company Balletto Civile (2003), the contemporary art project Rhaze (2011), as well as Landscape Choreography (2012), an art platform questioning the role of the body under capitalism. His research focuses on models of cultural production, processes of social transformation, political economy, labor rights and the institution of the commons. www.macaomilano.org
REINIER KRANENDONK Artist
Reinier Kranendonk started a new project space, PostNorma. PostNorma began without water, electricity or gas. Next to the organisation of the space for events and workshops, there had to be solutions made for gathering water and making electricity for the people who worked and lived there. Called �Todopia�, the design phase of these necessities took one year. The making of �semi-mobile abilities� is still in place with installations made for semi-private spaces and (Temporary) Autonomous Zones (T.A.Z, Hakim Bey 1991), and where the do-it-yourself mentality is apparent in objects and their use.
Smets presents an alternative view on the living environment and turns ideas into actions, with the aim of instigating change and involving people in designing their own environment. To accomplish this he often collaborates with artists, designers, scientists, companies, and authorities. He has created platforms for artisans in Ghana, Africa to make the first self-produced African Car, and is presently working to create a collectively run court in a prison in Lagos, Nigeria. With the group City in the Making, he has developed a working and living concept for empty housing in Rotterdam called Pension Almonde.
Designer and Director of Jerszy Seymour Design Workshop, and Dirty Art Department, Sandberg Instituut
Artistic Action Researcher
Jerszy Seymour is known internationally for his playful design work, which ranges from zig-zag shaped hair-dryers to kit houses assembled by spraying liquid polyurethane into an inflatable mould.
Founding Partner, Assemble Architects
Klaas Burger works in between visual arts, journalism, urgent social issues, policy development and community building. A main question he asks is ��how can we turn our inequality into a resilient force in the middle of society?��
London-based and multi-disciplinary collective Assemble is the first architecture and design studio to receive the prestigious Turner Prize for art. Assemble won this award for the Granby Four Streets project in Liverpool. The project is a collaboration with the residents of a run-down council housing estate to clean up the neighbourhood, paint empty houses and establish a local market.
��The key challenge is learning from each other through collaboration. Starting to learn makes us more equal: although we try to control, in the end we have to admit we don�t know the future, each other, or ourselves. In all other things we are unequal: different faces, different life stories, different expertise, different expectations. How do we use this difference in a proper way and make it into a source of knowledge?��
As these types of objects suggest, his practice also increasingly branches into art. Jerszy Seymour is owner of his own studio based in Berlin, and has designs in the Vitra Museum collection. Though Seymour poetically muses that one should be more of �a dancer� than an anarchist, his work is ripe with the anarchist�s disregard for hegemonic boundaries between disciplines.
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TOM KEMP Artist
Artist and member of the University of the Damned, and graduate of the Dirty Art Department, Sandberg Institute, Tom Kemp creates role-playing games including a series of organically developing scenarios for collective analysis. The University of the Damned is a rare case of a self-organized school in London, which has recently been granted educational funding. https://schoolofthedamned.tumblr.com/
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MATTERS THAT MATTER FEEDBACK MANIFESTO
STUDENT REFLECTIONS FROM UN SPACE
BY STUDENTS FOR STUDENTS 1. We need an evolving discussion loop 2. We require a collective which is open, independent, and multi-disciplinary
all u to do ec ts yo p x re e a t n tutio s tha An insti r y thing to ou a y d t n a wh f ma kinds o lated to e r y il r t. es sa an ar tis not nec want as ac tually
3. Mental and physical barriers need to be broken down for creating unusual knowledge
HOW? 1. 10 sessions and meetings in a year
I feel a nee d for creati others, and ng with not in front of a teache I want a dif r. ferent kind of audienc This goes b e . eyond the expec tatio ns of an instit ute.
2. Work and organize as an open, inclusive and participatory collective
We ca n as k f or the our ow knowle n net w d g e f ro o r ks a nd m life. Ev f ro m o er yone ur dail has k n y owledg e.
o nt c an g par tme e e d v a a all h g in Workin ur nature; we should o t a s s th t again ro a c h e p p a t n ulated. dif fere be stim
3. Each session is curated, created, decided, and run by a core group with support of the collective 4. Proposals for subjects for each session are defined by the collective and the core group is selected 5. A proportional voting in the group is used to make decisions
pac e be a s t hink n a c ce n t o re n S pa The U the institutio ithin the e of ng w outsid ou are doi . y t tion w ha i ns t i t u
A musician doesnďż˝t nec have to say essarily more abou t music tha n someone e lse.
6. The core group changes each session 7. Monthly meetings determine subject of core group 8. General meetings happen when everyone has to skip a lesson
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The lim itation s of an c re a t e institu c reativ te c an it y. To also o muc c re a t e h f re e dom s c hao s.
We thro evolve exp ugh oth er t is e e ou r of o t side ur o w n.
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RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A
A SPACE OF
intuition and rationale un-heard voices un-disciplinarity un-knowing un-spaced inspiration the dreamy embodiment the personal rigourous questioning the real the divergent the situated for mutual experiences in with and about the joyful multi-knowledge skill development inside-out and outside-in the relational the artistic the (more than) human I+we+you+us+its without answers but with whys making makers doers thinkers
freedom complexity safety trust semi-structure thinking through doing nourishment diversity challenge action agency being in relation bending meeting flexing changeable open-door fluidity unpredictability
BOTH HERE AND THERE AND EVERYWHERE SEARCHING IN DEVELOPMENT NO TOP OR BOTTOM BUT WITH A ROOF
REIMAGINING THE NOW BEFORE FUTURE OF ENTANGLEMENTS
connective-connecting feedback loops co-productions emotions DISCO MOVE 3
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THE UN SPACE AFTERPARTY The Feedback Manifesto produced from the Un Space workshop continues to facilitate an un-disciplinary student group to �set up shop� in public space. Called �Feedback�, the group steps down from their stages, goes out and away from the institute, to connect to publics outside of their disciplines. Setting themselves up at bars and festivals they play the Feedback game, where societal issues are debated and discussed in the context of the everyday, and with fellow citizens. Feedback is generated on topics written by all participants on cards. Topics are diverse and open, and gatherings have been known to go into the late hours of the evening.
IS AN A I D E LM SOCIA PART L A I T N ESSE ATION C I N U MM OF CO
YO EXPL A U CAN�T IN EM OTIO YOU NS, JUST H A TO FE VE E L TH EM
�IN OUR INTERACTIONS WITH FEEDBACK WE FOUND THAT PEOPLE WILL GLADLY SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES, STORIES AND OPINIONS. I FEEL LIKE THERE IS A REAL NEED FOR INITIATIVES THAT ALLOW PEOPLE TO SHARE EMOTIONS. THIS IS IN CONTRAST TO MORE SCIENTIFIC APPROACHES IN WHICH PEOPLE�S VOICES AND THOUGHTS ARE HEARD IN DRY QUESTIONNAIRES OR POLLS� Vincent de Raad, member of the Feedback group
OOD G A E TO HAV ON WITH ECTI CONN PS THE L E H E N SOMEO NICATION U COMM
NT A STATEME TAIN CAN CON MULTIPLE TS STATEMEN
COMM UN IC A TION IS NOT POSSIB LE W IT H O UT TALK ING
MOVING AND SHAKING THROUGH PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH Players include teachers, students, employees and hobbyists. A forum of exchange is developed on the value of connecting. Questions are generated such as: ��What does connecting mean to me, to you, to us? Are we connecting enough, and for what purpose? With whom and where do these connections take place?��
The following description was formulated in the context of System D Academy, Sandberg Institute, with Cynthia Hathaway and Melle Smets as its Co-Directors from 2014-2016. Additions in red have been added by Hathaway during her research at the FHK. There is a long tradition in academia of action research in which research is conducted during the course of an action that effects change. Through eating, planting, listening to knowledges outside of the art field, and going out into the city, learning breaks free art disciplines from their silos. It also formulates a way to collect data for a community-led and reflective theme for a new FHK lectorate.
Participatory action research creates the possibility to join forces between different disciplines such as circus, theatre, music, dance, design, communication, fine arts, architecture, and urbanism. Expertises come in contact and are shared, such as the somatic, ensemble, pedagogical, spatial, performative, and practice-led research. Whilst primarily targeting co-researchers, the process is also open to the public, or unheard voices, such as those of nuns.5
Through intervening in real life, and situating practices of art students and teachers, researchers tangibly map the resilience of an environment by �learning through doing�. Researchers include students, teachers, employees, giant vegetable growers, shepherds4 and potatoes. Getting hands and minds �dirty�, by sharing a variety of ways of being with the world, art education and practice becomes more inclusive, democratic and pluralistic, and readies future artists working in and forming society.
Postponing a fixed end result and working in context, generates constant feedback from the surroundings. I arrived at FHK open minded, with no planned outcome, and with a personal methodology. I started with the questions, such as, ��Where am I? Hello, how do you do? Where shall we go together to get there? Is there a �togetherness� here to begin with?��
Important characteristics include the researcher�s personal involvement with the local population on terms that are as equal as possible. I am an artistic researcher in a context of artists, thinking through many actions, mediums and media. Asking for help, I depend on reactions from the community, and create a system of co-production.
Thereby, the end goal can be reached in many ways. To take form it demands collaboration, creativity and openness from all parties and ends up as content for a future lectorate to expand upon connective practices here, there and everywhere!
Interventions such as, a research space in a foyer, planting a potato garden, creating community dinners, inviting giant vegetable growers to lecture, and creating a public harvest festival, are designed for participation so various major players in and out of the arts domain cooperate as co-researchers.
4. Giant vegetable growers and shepherds are included here as living resources of applied knowledge, but mostly unrecognised by academic knowledge circles. 5. Nuns are mentioned here, and in the context of the FHK, because they indicate the need to acknowledge the presence of histories which inform present day spaces and ways of thinking (see photo p.30). Listening is a careful act which spans not only the now, but past voices. 27
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and financial systems which, according to transition professor Jan Rotmans need to be better attuned to people�s personal development, otherwise we will all end up in the machinery like Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times (1936).4 A nomadic system like the rhizome incorporates �serendipity� (the art of stumbling onto something important by coincidence) and �kairos� (literally �time� but refers to our linear structure of time of hours and minutes). Kairotic time, as philosopher Joke Hermsen explains in her essay, refers to the creation of an event wherein one catches the right moment in which one can act and make profound change.5
How to educate in a liquid society? What is the meaning and function of a knowledge base when knowledge travels fast through shifting landscapes of paradoxes? What is the measure of fixed learning goals when the �ecosophic subject� has to deal with questions about ongoing transformations?
With the notions of serendipity and kairos in mind, the aim of rhizomatic learning is to allow every participant (both student and teacher) to negotiate their learning process; scaffolding meets flipping the classroom. This may sound familiar with social constructivist and connectivist pedagogies in mind, but as (rhizomatic) learning specialist Dave Cormier explains: ��There is an assumption in both theories that the learning process should happen organically but that knowledge, or what is to be learned, is still something independently verifiable with a definitive beginning and end goal determined by curriculum. (. . .) The rhizome metaphor, which represents a critical leap in coping with the loss of a canon against which to compare, judge, and value knowledge, may be particularly apt as a model for disciplines on the bleeding edge where the canon is fluid and knowledge is a moving target.��6 Deleuze and Guattari would protest the rhizome to be a metaphor. It�s a concept, which aims to offer an understanding how to produce non-linear and non-hierarchical connections in real life. Take for example Rancière�s idea of intellectual emancipation.7 This is an example of a basic principle of rhizomatic learning: undoing the hierarchical relationship between teacher and student and turning the idea of fixed knowledge (canon) into an encounter of equal exchange. Here the �ecosophic subject� can start building a nomadic body of knowledge by way of ��ask(ing) questions about what one doesn�t know.��8
We have to deal with complex questions that invite us to rethink our systems. For instance, how do we make space for deep learning in a �horizontal� society where information is gathered and shared while swiftly skimming along digital social surfaces? Alessandro Baricco describes in his essay on �the mutation of culture� this horizontal situation as �barbarian�.2 Does this mean that a �horizontal� form of education would also be �barbaric� or can we interpret the current situation from another perspective? Together with the concept of the rhizome Deleuze and Guattari also introduced the principle of a �becoming-nomad� of ideas. While a vertical mode of thought produces linear (and hierarchical) structures, a horizontal mode of thought aims to create connections: interdisciplinary encounters, together with a mixing of styles to make space for a �counter-consciousness�, which enables us to consciously include historical and present-day stories and experiences that have so far been unseen or untold.3 Hence, the �nomadic event� starts in-between. Inbetween what? you may wonder. That is up to us, from within the encounters we create. FHK is in a leading position: art and artists are nomadic by nature. So what do we nomads think is important to read and discuss in these fluid and horizontal times, and why?
Elise Wortel, 2020 Visual and Performing Arts Lecturer, FHK
Notes 1. Félix Guattari, ��The ecosophic object,�� in Chaosmosis, an ethico-aesthetic paradigm (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995), 119120. 2. Allesandro Baricco, ��Onderwijs,�� in De barbaren (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2013), 177-181. 3. Rosi Braidotti, Op doorreis. Nomadisch denken in de 21ste eeuw (Amsterdam: Boom, 2004), 57-60. 4. Jan Rotmans, Omwenteling, van mensen, organisaties en samenleving (Amsterdam & Antwerp: Arbeiderspers, 2017), 16. 5. Joke Hermsen, Kairos. Een nieuwe bevlogenheid. (Amsterdam: Arbeiderspers, 2017), 17-25.
Rapid changes are part of our societal makeup. Zygmunt Bauman�s saying that we live in an �age of uncertainty� became even more real during the current COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, showing how fast, unexpected and radical our daily, cultural and social-economic reality can change. Nomadic skills are needed to rethink our social, educational, political
6. Dave Cormier, ��Rhizomatic Education: Community as Curriculum,�� in Innovate: Journal of Online Education, Vol. 4, Iss. 5, Article 2 (June/July 2008), https://nsuworks.nova.edu/innovate/vol4/iss5/2. 7. Jacques Rancière, De geëmancipeerde toeschouwer (Amsterdam: Octavo, 2015), 15-16. 8. Jacques Rancière, The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991), 30. 28
DISCO MOVE 4 PLANTING A GARDEN OF CREATIVITY
GET DOWN & GET DIRTY
THOUGHTS FROM BRAD WURSTEN WORLD CHAMPION GIANT VEGETABLE GROWER
DELEUZE & GUATTARI
Gardening teaches you to do research, pay attention to detail, improvise as changes in weather happen, and maintain some control of a rowdy bunch of plants. Your plot of soil is your canvas and you get to work out where you want to plant what. You mix colours, shapes and textures to create a result you think you will get. The added difficulty with gardening is that the plants don�t stay where they are put or grow differently than expected. It is a constant challenge to keep the garden looking as you want it in your mind. You become like a choreographer of a group of artists that do their own thing and at their own speed.
As described by Rob Pope, Deleuze and Guattari offer a concept of creativity as a rhizomatic system which functions upon serendipity. Tubers, such as potatoes, are used to represent this concept as non-hierarchical, as roots sprout from anywhere on their surface, denying a distinct top for shoots or bottom for roots. As they grow, vast underground networks and nodes come into being, forming a multitude of hubs. Deleuze and Guattari see all this as a �powerful image of genuinely creative thinking� and an ongoing process.6 6. Rob Pope, Creativity. Theory, History, Practice. (London: Routledge, 2005), 16.
A VEGETAL CONNECTOR SYSTEM Breaking down physical and mental borders, a garden connects inside with outside, and visa versa. Outdoor spaces in building designs are often afterthoughts as outdoor classrooms. The making of a garden is a way to bring students and teachers out of buildings, in a seasonal �getting hands dirty� action of collaborative making and care.
psychoanalyst, Félix Guattari. In describing creativity, the potato (or any other tuber) plays a starring role. Planting buckets of potatoes brings a theory and metaphor into the situated life of the context; the abstract is made leafy, alive and vital.
Connecting one�s body and movement outside the conventional studio, makes a fluid threshold between private/public domains. Gardening becomes an artistic performance; a performer becomes a garden. Green actions in this location are situated in tradition, creating a line back in time to a sisterhood of Nuns who for generations harvested from a self-sufficient vegetable and herb garden in this present day courtyard of grass and concrete. Connecting past to present time, the future is a necklace of accumulated pearls (or potatoes).
Personally, I think it is important for all students to get their hands in the dirt. And also to experience how it is to conduct a symphony of plants, which need to be given space to grow, and in relation to each other.
Asking for help, a number of externals come with sage advice, opening up new educational channels as living archives. The domain of applied research is extended, as giant vegetable grower Brad Wursten is invited to help us prepare the soil and containers, and how to plant and harvest. As an applied researcher, Brad is constantly testing, experimenting, preserving heritage and developing new varieties. Through trial and error his garden evolves. He shares his information and seeds with an international community, and annual competitions for the biggest vegetable are a sort of peer review. With him, he brings the crop: 8 varieties of heritage potatoes we no longer see on our grocery shelves.
POTATOES ARE ONE OF THE MOST GROWN CROPS IN THE WESTERN WORLD. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF VARIETIES AND THE FEW THAT ARE SOLD IN GROCERY STORES ALL LOOK IDENTICAL. THEY ALL HAVE A CERTAIN SHAPE, SIZE AND COLOUR. SMALL ONES AND LARGE ONES DON�T MAKE IT TO THE SHELVES. NEITHER DO COLOURED ONES
Reseeding diversity, the garden is a growing gathering spot for students, staff and public to harvest (edible) ideas. Connecting and interweaving unconventional knowledge in curriculums, Brad Wursten lectures to Choreography students on the �Choreography of Japanese Gardens�, and Artcode students on �XXL Methods of Growing the Fantastical�. Roots and rooting: De Zusters Visitandinnen peeling potatoes, circa 1970. Fifty years later, potatoes are grown and harvested again on the same spot, binding present communities with the past.
The garden is baptized the Deleuze and Guattari Garden of Creativity, after French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze, and French 30
Yet these thousands of varieties were all carefully bred by a plant breeder at some time in history for a certain location, certain environment or certain purpose. In my own way, I try to put these little pieces of horticultural history back in the view, either by having them grown in Tilburg or shown in a national competition.
ALAN BOOM DIRECTOR OF STUDIES, FHK ACADEMY OF ART, COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN ABOUT SHARING BRAD WURSTEN�S KNOWLEDGE WITH HIS STUDENTS What is the value of connecting art students with other forms of knowledge? Basically it is about developing the empathy of the student as well as that of the collaborating party. By speaking each other�s language better, it becomes clearer how we can help each other, especially within and from each other�s discipline. You temporarily sit in the other person�s chair and afterwards learn to process these new experiences and insights. What do a gardener and art students have in common? They both want to learn, develop, create, do research and make mistakes. 31
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INTERVIEW by Sanne de Brouwer, Fontys Journalism Department
THE POTATO IS A MODEL FOR CREATIVE THINKING DISCO MOVE 4
CYNTHIA HATHAWAY Cynthia Hathaway, Interdisciplinary Research Explorer at the FHK, came up with the idea for the Potatofest Assembly Line performed on September 10th, 2019. But this event was only a small part of a much larger whole.
Focused on how to promote and observe connective practices at the FHK, Cynthia created a number of events. From setting up her office as a disco research space in the main foyer of the FHK to make her research seductive and transparent, she has also created cross-disciplinary workshops and dinners in her space to create a community in an institutional setting. Food has always been a great connecting system. Last year Cynthia planted with dance students the first community garden in the courtyard of the FHK, and harvested it in a celebratory performative event called the Potatofest Assembly Line.
�� One of Cynthia�s aims is to bring a variety of knowledge makers and methods together, including those which are not typical to the arts, but have inspiring correlations in ways of thinking and doing. In a time when interdisciplinarity is being called upon in education, Cynthia is breaking open standard groupings by bringing hobby expertise into every institute she has worked. The potatoes for the Harvestfest were grown and donated by champion giant vegetable grower, Brad Wursten.
��For years I have been involved with hobbyists, from car collectors to miniature train builders and giant vegetable growers. I platform their skills which are normally left on the periphery of knowledge production systems. I create collaborations to share their expertise with for example, scientists and artists. What all these hobby experts have in common, and from which we can learn, is a great feeling for experimentation and breaking boundaries. They reply on their networks but also source information from anywhere, and rely on self-organization.��
��What I like so much is the way hobbyists create an accessible system. A giant vegetable grower does not necessarily need to put thousands of Euros into a fancy greenhouse. With very little money, they grow their champions. Growers like Brad Wursten make green houses out of found objects. They create home-made natural growth remedies from the simplest of things, such as coating leaves with milk, using baby powder on exposed stems, and supporting long gourds gently with panty hose. They share seeds and tips with other growers, creating a giant expertise network globally. They know they cannot, nor do they want to do it alone. In general, growers do not do it for large prize money. Prizes on the whole are small. They do it out of sheer love, obsession and wanting to try and learn new things. I think they even start to think like a giant vegetable, a symbiotic exchange between man and veg. Now that is really obsession. They learn through doing, and see how it goes.��
��Thatvs why I support their research and make connections to artistic ways of thinking and doing. Both the hobbyists and the artistic researchers look for the �what ifs� instead of a solution driven A to B process. As great (re)searchers, both follow a serendipitous journey, twisting this way and that, going along many pathways, adjusting on the spot with the flexing skills needed to embrace unpredictability. They are eager to cross and/or challenge boundaries. And hobbyists and artists work in contexts at the mercy of external influences, whether it be changing weather or a street audience, which demands improvisation. They often have to adapt and change ways mid-stream. It takes skill to move and grow so resiliently, something we could all learn to do.�� 33
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THE GARDEN IS AN OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
THE GARDEN IS A GATHERING SPACE TO HARVEST IDEAS
In this context, there are many constraints to contend with which keep ideas from cross-pollinating. Rules inhibit the coming together of public users with art students. Although the courtyard is owned by the city, it is used mostly by students and a few who walk their dogs. Big public events are held in the summer months or holiday weekends when the school is closed. THE SPACE IS CONFUSED. IS IT A SPACE OF THE FHK? IS IT A SPACE FOR PUBLIC USE? SHOULDN�T BOTH BE CONNECTING HERE? Many indicators express this confusion from gates which close the space off at night, and a lack of inviting seating options. Highlighting the confusion further, is the installation of external speakers which play an endless loop of Gregorian chants and other music into the outdoor space. Although difficult to trace who installed them, it is for keeping �undesireables� out. Using art in this way in any space, yet alone one flanked by an art academy seems contradictory, and demands debate, discussion and positioning with all stakeholders. The space to seed, tend and nourish this is the Garden of Creativity.
A GARDEN HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CREATE COLLECTIVE AGENCY
Flexing communal muscles: Adrie Stoopen of Housing Services and Executive Secretary, Ingeborg Vugs bring soil for the garden. DISCO MOVE 4
The garden is a connector, and was made to kick start connectivity, with a variety of constituents. Students of many departments of the FHK were a part of every stage of its development, from preparing the buckets, planting summer and autumn crops, and harvesting. Teachers opened workshops to supply tools. A water infrastructure from the metal shop to the garden was prepared, and mobile prep stations were built for the harvest festival. Brad Wursten came from the north of The Netherlands to supply the seed potatos and his planting expertise. Security watered the plants when the school was closed during the summer. Employees with cars transported soil from a local nursery, and with benches supplied, students, teachers and pubic used the garden as a place to teach and hang out. To keep eyes on the garden over the summer, help came from asking the very groups targeted by the recorded music. Thus, the potatoes were protected and continued to flourish. The garden grew a diverse community of care, and a potato harvesting festival was the celebration of this care.
Autumn prep: a crop of leeks is planted by students and teachers of ARTCODE with Brad Wursten. 37
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GET IT TOGETHER
POTATOFEST ASSEMBLY LINE:
MAKING CONNECTIVITY TANGIBLE AND EDIBLE
the impetus to grow again. But it will take a combined effort from start to finish, with shared responsibility from all. This is where the going gets tough, and is the challenge. How do you maintain connectivity from start to finish and beyond? Just as in agriculture, crops can get disease, not enough water, or are eaten by infestations. So what happens here, when there is bad weather, a Covid crisis, or a change of students and staff? HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN, NOURISH AND CREATE CONTINUANCE? THIS TAKES FORESIGHT AND CONSTANT ATTENTION IN AND THROUGH CONNECTIVE PRACTICES. Maybe a permacultural perspective is needed, where balanced, multiple and holistic relations are key to connective ways of working with, as much as for, creative abundance.
The Potatofest Assembly Line is a celebration of harvesting real potatoes. But as metaphor of creative thinking, the harvest is about celebrating creativity: planting, nourishing, digging it out, and gorging on its abundance as a thankful community. The Potatofest Assembly Line is the action of �doing it together.� An assembly line is a productive way to get hundreds of potatoes out of the ground quickly for hungry bellies, and through a connected chain of actions. A balancing act between stations, each stage is reliant upon the other. The assembly line allows anyone to take part, find a place, and be part of a woven space of digging-washing-cutting-frying-eating. An individual is only as strong as his-her links to others, and works in a transformational process of the �I� becoming an �i� becoming the �WE�. Without the links being fluid the assembly line doesn�t work.
S TE P 3
S TE P 2
S TE P 4
Although not made overly explicit during the harvest, the idea of fluid connectivity underpinned it. Musician Xavier Geerman created the harvesting rhythms inspired by rhizomatic thinking connecting his ancestral past to the present. Dancer and choreographer Hanna-lina Hutzfeldt accentuated body movements of harvesting into a dance-like trance. THE WORKING PROCESS OF A MUSICAL ENSEMBLE, OFF SETS THE NOTION OF A FORDIAN ASSEMBLY LINE WHERE INDIVIDUALS ARE MERE COGS IN A WHEEL OF MASS PRODUCTION. Hathaway created an experiential way to test the productive nature of connectivity, and the input of linked individuals for mutual growth. Ideally, everyone benefits from the exchange if a keen awareness of the other is in place. It doesn�t matter if you are a musician, architect, secretary, security guard, student, teacher or a dean; creativity has the potential to flatten the mountain. With such an abundant crop, and the desire to come together more often, the Garden of Creativity has
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DISCO MOVE 5
INTERVIEW by Cynthia Hathaway
XAVIER GEERMAN (MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER)
�Rhizomatic Analysis of a Specific Live Performance� Drawing by Cynthia Hathaway and Xavier Geerman, 2019
Xavier, you created a wonderful musical composition for the Potatofest Assembly Line. Inspired by Aruba�s cultural heritage, you wove traditional harvesting rhythms into your score. What does connecting to your heritage mean for you, your colleagues and potentially your listening audiences? For me this heritage is something I cherish a lot. Our country in general is a bit on the patriotic side because of our struggle for freedom and autonomy since the colonial days up to 1986, and the past is still sometimes in the air like a ghost. This part of history was not something that we learned at school. We mainly learned the history of the world and the Netherlands. The details about what happened in our country were never in the curriculum, and so for me, doing research and learning about all of this in my 20s was very moving. It gives me motivation to act on it, so I started finding ways to teach the people in my country, and the rest of the world, about our country�s heritage through music.
In our country it has been a bit forgotten, but we used to have a harvesting ceremony, where we would bring the whole family and neighbors to help with the harvest. There would be music performed in order to help with the mood of hard labor while keeping a steady rhythm for the workers to work by. Rhizomatically, I was linking my heritage to the potato harvesting festival and the art school. And within the composition itself, I was performing and changing the music to link and relate in a rhizomatic way. There was no music that became more important than the other as they became interconnected ideas with roots. We made together a �rhizomatic potato drawing� to analyse how many musical genres fused and fed your score for the Potatofest (see drawing on next page). Was this an inspiring way to visualize your compositions? It is always a challenge to try to explain music to someone who knows very little music terminology. The rhizome potato drawing has been very useful in communicating ideas. We were able to map out and analyze the connection between the different musical genres that I was jumping to and from during the performance. We were also able to make visible the process of moving from one genre to the next through blending. This is when two different roots (for example the green and orange) would overlap. And they all stem and grow around the same core which is the tempo.
DISCO MOVE 5
DISCO MOVE 5
INTERVIEW by Cynthia Hathaway
HANNA-LINA HUTZFELDT (DANCER AND CHOREOGRAPHER) What was your experience of the Potatofest Assembly Line as a transdiciplinary space of working through doing? How did it complement your way of practice? For me, transdisciplinarity creates common ground between individuals and/or disciplines. It creates a state of being experienced through the implementation of a joint activity. Then there is the idea of cultivation and harvesting; so to plant a seed can be, for example, an idea or concept which matures and forms, and is processed. This reflects the possible process of a group. From planting, germination, ripening, harvesting, processing and nutrition. Added to this is the influence from outside. There were always new people who took part in the process. To be transdisciplinary means not only to enjoy being within the group through a common activity, but also to be open to external influences that become internal currents at the moment of encounter. A transformation of the potatoes (the idea/concept), happens not only through the joint experience of the situation, but also through the participation of others. I don�t think transformation is possible if opportunities are ruled out. Also interesting is the fact that the cycle of seeds, harvests and meals did not end when the potatoes were processed. A new cycle begins with the body�s internal circulation. In my opinion, these vegetal and human cycles are creative, and through creative work are placed in relation. When the group process has finished (planting-eating) then the inner process (intake-excretion) happens. Surely the excretion could be used to fertilize the planting and thus, the circle closes. In order to close a perfect cycle, it would have been interesting to include all participants in the planting.
How does a potato assembly line signify a system of relations; to rely on what comes to you, respond with your input, and then having to hand over to the next in line? Where does it show signs of not working? It is a process in which each participant can see the sense of taking responsibility in order to achieve the common good or common goal. The cycle of the harvest up to making food was visible to everyone and clearly enforceable. Everyone had the opportunity to join in the development and was able to take his/her position in it. Many have been able to ignore their ego and get dirty to help with the development of food. Others later entered the process after which the potatoes had already been cleaned and left the dirty work to others. Some only took the end product, the fries, and did not participate in the whole process. It says something about one�s willingness to be part of the greater goal for the greater purpose. Through a practical and transparent process, it was clear who and how far one was willing to sacrifice for the common goal.
3: External expertise brought into the FHK. For example, Brad Wursten, a giant vegetable grower hobbyist, gave us the potatoes we grew, harvested and ate. He also advised on how to grow them. I think that a valuable work can arise if a person dares to give their own ideas away. Then the idea can get even more quality by working with someone else. If I want to do something, but I am not an expert in this field, it is very helpful to look for a partner who is an expert. This allows my idea to be made concrete about something and, at best, enrich my partner and me.
As an assembly line, how do you interpret it as a space of connections? For example, the potatoes brought a number of people together and expertise. Can you comment on the value of the following? 1: Bringing together a variety of disciplines, and groups such as students of the FHK, its teachers and employees. Various disciplines of the FHK, employees and teachers were united by this activity, yet a hierarchy was visible. Students were the participants and teachers were allowed to stand by and watch, having conversations about what they were observing. Maybe they had thoughts like, �the students can learn something from this situation�. I did not see any teacher helping during the process, so did they understand what this process was about? It also felt like the staff is willing to help because it is their job.
4. Diversity and inclusivity. For example, Brad Wursten gave us a number of varieties of potatoes which are not grown anymore. Some cannot be dated, they are so old. Brad has given us a selection of potatoes grown in many parts of Europe, but all originate in South America. What does this say about diversity, and in relation to the school and learning? Are we inclusive enough? I imagine the potatoes are students of Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. The goal is the same: to train artists and art teachers (those eating the potato). The path is also the same (all must be harvested, washed and cut). Only the cultivation is different. Different potatoes need different temperatures and irrigation to mature.
2: Revealing the history of a place to the now. For exam- ple, the choice to grow potatoes is deliberate, and refers to a nun�s vegetable garden that used to be here in the courtyard. This was information that was unknown to most. This has contributed to the comprehensibility and deepening of the activity. Information is stored in the atomic structures of a place. I deeply believe that stones and earth contain information that we humans can access when we open ourselves to it. And if this is not possible, then still the knowledge about the nuns has nevertheless provoked a nostalgia that made it possible to connect with the place in a whole new way.
Of course, individual potatoes differ from each other. In my opinion, the current process at FHK begins with cutting, washing and then eating. But the processes of cultivation and harvesting are not taken into account in training. There is no need to look for diversity only externally when it is here, internally. I think that if all students were treated as special ancient potatoes, who are themselves so old and unique that they cannot be dated, then that would increase Fonty�s diversity. DISCOVERING AND SUPPORTING DIVERSITY INTERNALLY WOULD BE EXCITING. PERHAPS EACH STUDENT IS A COMPLETELY UNKNOWN ANCIENT POTATO VARIETY.
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DISCO MOVE 5
CONNECTIVE PRACTICES & ARTISTIC RESEARCH
ROLL IT OUT It is difficult to find in one spot, or have access to the artistic research conducted at the FHK. It currently stays within departments, or disappears with graduating researchers. WITHOUT AN ARTISTIC RESEARCH ARCHIVE, A MISSED OPPORTUNITY ARISES FOR AN INSTITUTE TO PROFILE AND DISSEMINATE ITS KNOWLEDGE. In addition, creating a dedicated physical space for researchers to gather, work, share ideas, and show research is essential for a community to flourish. ��The large paper roll in my space is a research promotional tool. Research is made tangible and accessible. My thoughts and references stain the paper, and are accessed with a visible tagging system. The roll grows as I accumulate ideas and interact with other researchers. Thinking becomes materialized, and present in space through a process of putting mind onto paper. The research rejects boundaries as it moves along tables and onto walls, and through the institute. The space becomes the research as writing leaves paper and passes onto windows and doors. The disco becomes a connective space to grow, harvest and digest artistic research.�� Cynthia Hathaway, 2019
DISCO MOVE 6 A VIRTUAL DANCE FLOOR LAST NIGHT THE WI-FI SAVED MY LIFE DIGITAL-DISCO AND SOCIAL EMPATHY
THE DISCO BECOMES A CONNECTIVE SPACE TO GROW, HARVEST AND DIGEST ARTISTIC RESEARCH
WORKSHOP BRIEF Due to the spread of coronavirus leading to the closing of schools, our workshop takes a new dimension: communication grows to a digital level. Rather than seeing this as a constraint, how can performing students react to social distancing? Through this workshop, the goal is to re-think connectivity through technology and social mediums. How can we interact together and use the computer screen as a performance tool? During a one-hour screen-sharing we will act and react to create a virtual dancefloor. Each participant is invited to perform his/her move in relation to the others, to dance together. Accumulation of moving thoughts: the roll of research with its physical tagging system. 44
At its best, the virtual world offers a hyper-extended and de -materialized Un Space, crossing geographies, time, race, gender, sexual orientation and physical borders. In order to expand artistic range and transformative possibilities, it is an important exploration space for connective practices. As the Coronavirus set in its heels, there was, and still is, no option but to move the research dance floor online. The Artistic Research Fair (developed by the Master programs of the FHK) provided the invitation to keep Hathaway�s research space going when the school closed its physical doors. Together with workshop leaders, Renate Boere and Pia Jacques de Dixmunde, the making of a virtual connective disco tests collaboration and response-ability of individuals placed in digital boxes. Inspired by many other initiatives of artists to perform online together, the stage had already been set. With a heightened urge to connect, the chance to move and groove with others is needed during a pandemic. But with such a new reality, which goes against our grain, the space is an anxious one.
Through their choice of movement, each dancer controls the extent to which interiors open up to exterior spaces, and how much of a surrounding context is exposed. As we dance, and as we practice, trust develops and we set ourselves free. Chairs are pushed out of the way, doors open to outside courtyards and street sounds. The boxes start to collapse, and continue to disintegrate, as we start to move together. Picking up and passing along moves, the acknowledgement of the other creates a space in sync. After a good sweat session, we collapse back into our chairs, and face our screen. We start to answer en masse, questions about the experience on paper. The ultimate moment would seem to be when the same word is exposed, creating a screen full of either yes, no, maybe, or not sure, all at once. Fortunately, you may say, this does not happen too many times, supporting that a great dance can be made from different opinions.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ARTISTIC THINKERS AND DOERS TO WORK IN THIS SPACE, TO FEEL CONNECTION WITH EACH OTHER, WITH AN AUDIENCE, BUT WITHOUT ANY PHYSICAL TOUCHING OR PRESENCE?
A SYNCOPATED DANCE OF DIFFERENCE On a screen, placed in tiny boxes, where one�s neighbours are constantly changing, tests �the hustle� of dialogics to the extreme. The only thing was to let go, embrace unpredictability, and allow a spontaneous flow of movement to develop. AS WE PRACTICED TOGETHER, WE DANCED �INTO THE ETHER� OF TRIAL AND ERROR TOGETHER.
�CONNECTIVITY IS ENTIRELY PART OF THE ARTISTIC PRACTICE. MY ARTISTIC RESEARCH AT THE FHK IS ABOUT BEING AWARE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING IN RELATION, AND HOW THIS CREATES THE BASIS FOR COMMUNAL DEVELOPMENT�
Quite possibly, a digital disco supports the making of a connective space more than a physical one. Breaking through limitations such as distance (participants were from Peru, Austria, Singapore, Spain, the Philippines and The Netherlands), and discipline (the Fair was open to any artistic researcher), a disco space becomes a multi-cultural-national-non-gendered and ageless experience. When you are fl attened onto a screen, your reaching out through it is intensified. Dance movements force portraits beyond their frames, and full body shots create depth of frame.
Cynthia Hathaway, 2020
DISCO MOVE 6
DISCO MOVE 6
CONNECTIVITY IN THE ARTS Making connections is a motor driving artistic practices. Artistic connective practices are not about self-sufficiency but the embodied self-in-relation. 'How to relate' problematizes artistic connective practice, and favors the development of relational ethics. As Derek Attridge describes, 'the creation of the other' (prompting Levinas and Derrida) is a matter of responsibility as well as aesthetic responsiveness. Thinking creatively about creation means thinking of these as two sides of the same coin.7
WHAT DO CONNECTIVE PRACTICES MEAN FOR EDUCATION? �CONNECTIVE PRACTICES ARE AFFECTUAL EDUCATIONAL STRATEGIES THAT AIM TO CREATE A DEEP, EMOTIONAL BOND BETWEEN LEARNERS AND THE SUBJECT OF THEIR LEARNING. THEIR AIM GOES BEYOND THAT OF CREATING AWARENESS, KNOWLEDGE OR EVEN UNDERSTANDING BY SEEKING TO TARGET AND DIRECT THE LEARNER�S ETHICAL AND EMPATHETIC SENSITIVITIES. TYPICALLY THEY EMPLOY ACTIVE, PARTICIPATORY, MEANS TO CONSTRUCT A SENSE OF, YES - PERSONAL RESPONSE-ABILITY, THE CREATIVE IMPULSE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR SYMBOLIC, THROUGH PERSONAL ENGAGEMENT AND ACTION� Martin John Haigh
�WE TRANSFORM BY WAY OF RICH CONNECTIVE TRANSACTIONS WE PARTICIPATE IN (. . .) THE EDUCATION OUTCOME �DEPENDS ON THE QUALITY OF OUR PARTICIPATION� 9
7. Derek Altridge, ��The Singularity of Literature,�� In Creativity: Theory, History, Practice, Rob Pope, (New York: Routledge, 2005), 19. 8. Martin John Haigh, ��Connective Practices in Sustainability Education,�� In Journal of Technical and Educational Sciences, Vol 7, no.4, (2017), 25.
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9. Citation by John Novak in: John Martin Haigh, ��Connective Practices in Sustainability Education,�� (2017), 27.
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In my own prose I capitalize the word “Black” when that term is used to designate ethnicity. In direct quotes of other sources, such as on p.4 Alice Echols, The Stuff of Disco (2010), I have retained the case usage of the original source. Per the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition), Section 8.39, “Common designations of ethnic groups by color are usually lower-cased unless a particular publisher or author prefers otherwise”. I do prefer otherwise.
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Inspirational online artists for creating a disco workshop: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down “Phenom” https://youtu.be/DGwQZrDNLO8
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Endless inspiration supporting Hathaway’s research came from the students and teachers, artistic productions and research at the FHK. Please visit: https://fontys.nl/Over-Fontys/FontysHogeschool-voor-de-Kunsten.htm
Pp. 45-48, portrait images (taken from online digital workshop) are used with prior permission from participants, and for use in this magazine only.
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We made every effort to ensure that the information in this magazine is accurate. However, if you come across a document or page in this magazine that you think contains incorrect or outdated information, please let us know.
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Copyright: no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author and publisher.
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Thanks to: Renate Boere, Carry Bokhoven, Alan Boom, Pia Jacques de Dixmunde, Xavier Geerman, Heleen de Hoon, Hanna-lina Hutzfeldt, Sophie Krier, Elsje van Leeuwen, Claudia Linders, Karen Neervoort, Vincent de Raad, Caroline Ribbers, Jerszy Seymour, Melle Smets, Martyn Smits, Jan Staes, Adrie Stoopen, Danae Theodoridou, Ingeborg Vugs, Brad Wursten and the many other dance partners, including potatoes.
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This magazine was made possible with financial support from Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (FHK), Tilburg, The Netherlands.
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Texts: Cynthia Hathaway, Elise Wortel Photos: Cynthia Hathaway except p.1: @mathewlejune on Unsplash.com, 2019, and p. 30 Katholieke Documentatie Centrum Nijmegen / Orientatiecentrum voor kerkelijke Roeping. Proof Reading: Renate Boere, Sophie Krier Design: Studio Renate Boere Printing: ORO Grafisch Project Management Paper: Magno Volume (115 + 200 g/m2) Publisher: Hybrid Crocodile
This magazine, ‘Creating Artistic Connective Practices through Artistic Research’, traces 2 years (2018-2020) of the artistic research process of Cynthia Hathaway to unveil connective practices in the context of an art education institute. Her practice-based research informed the framework for the lectorship-to-be ‘Artistic Connective Practices’ (forthcoming 2020) at Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Tilburg.
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The magazine is the sparkling documentation of designer and artistic researcher Cynthia Hathaway's 2-year investigation and communal develop...
Published on Nov 24, 2020
The magazine is the sparkling documentation of designer and artistic researcher Cynthia Hathaway's 2-year investigation and communal develop...