The proceedings documents the contents of several of the presentations held at the Artistic Research Performs and Transforms: Bridging Practices, Contexts, Traditions & Futures CARPA6 international conference at Kiasma Theatre in Helsinki on 28–30 August 2019. The Performing Arts Research Centre of the Theatre Academy (Uniarts Helsinki) arranges an international CARPA colloquium every second year, and their purpose is to contribute to development of artistic research practices in the field of the performing arts and to foster their social, pedagogical and ecological connections. CARPA6 completed a decade of successful biennial CARPA events and was given the opportunity to be held at the Kiasma Theatre. Similar to the cause of CARPA, its agenda is to present local and international contemporary performing arts in a variety of its forms. Kiasma Theatre offered CARPA6 an amiable, comfortable and professional performance setting. The option for CARPA to be held at Kiasma emerged through the collaboration the Finnish partners, that is the Theatre Academy, Kiasma Theatre and Zodiak Centre for New Dance, had with the international project Artistic Doctorates in Europe. Third Cycle Provision in Dance and Performance 2016–2019. The Erasmus+ -funded undertaking focused on furthering artistic doctorates with an emphasis on substantiating the connection between academic environments, cultural industries and the field of the performing arts. The project managed to strengthen the local ties between the three Finnish institutions and was responsible for the post-conference event FUTURE MANIFESTOS that overlapped with CARPA6 on the last day of the conference and continued the next at Zodiak Centre for New Dance.
According to the vision statement, CARPA6 inquired specifically into the potentials artistic research holds for bridging gaps and shifting territorial borders. It asked how artistic research in the performing arts creates interfaces between, interlinks and challenges the different themes, practices, media, conventions, disciplines and contexts that inform its generation and expression. It further questioned what kinds of creative interstices are thus generated and how do the processes of interfacing change specific performing arts such as dance, theatre, performance and live art? Finally, it explored what artistic research does to the performing arts, how it transforms them and what kinds of futures artistic research in the performing arts is generating.
These questions highlighted the fact that both the borders and the nature what constitutes performing arts exceeds simple definitions and are in a continuous process of transformation. Artistic research in turn was understood as a wider context that deals with research in and through the arts and explores the epistemic potentials artistic practices involve. Here artistic research strategies were understood to aim at overcoming representational approaches towards art, and artistic processes themselves to be open to opportunities for research and knowledge creation. Through doing this, artistic research was considered to generate original insights into art and artistic practice and produce artworks as well as epistemic proposals. By extending artistic practice into new areas, artistic research was conceived to question and transform both the performing arts and conventional conceptions of research. Artistic research was described as a transdisciplinary and even undisciplined venture that addresses that which is at once between disciplines, across different disciplines and beyond each individual discipline. With this background in mind the conference aimed at scrutinizing artistic research as a differentiating activity that both renews and confirms the performing arts by contributing to their aesthetic, critical, social, environmental and transformative potentials.
Indeed, the conference consisted of 28 thought-provoking and action-inspiring presentations in the format of performances, lecture-demonstrations, workshops, installations, outdoor explorations and paper presentations with such topics as how to repair, little nothings, performing the right to research, the artistic doctorate and sensuous knowledge, componential bodies and inter-mediality, non-labour, Q̸ ̊ ̉̈́ ͓l̸̥ ̆ ̮̍͒̎o̢̘̹͚̘͌͆͑ ̶̯̋̍̃̐͘͘͝ȗ̴̢̨̦̮̟̪̫͓̲̝̿̊̒̚͜d̸ ͊͑̚ ̨̟̝̅z͂̚Q̶͌ ̡̃̅͗̈͝ű́ ̴͍͉͇̗̦̏͋̀͝ ̢͈̜Å̶̛̲̩̈́͋̐R̪͎͑̾t̬̩̗̄z̷̵̑́ ͉͍, disappearance of escapist places, letter-writing, un-performing sound, transformativity of performance, parasites-monsters-exist, walking with soldiers, microperformativity, taxt and text as well as threading. This proceedings consists of 18 contributions based on these informed and versatile research outputs that reflect the lively exchange that took place at the conference. The overall number of conference delegates testified to the appeal of the conference and to the interest artist-researchers have in exchanging views and practice related to the future potentials of artistic research. All in all, CARPA6 had 121 attendees, out of which 38 were international and 83 local delegates. On behalf of the conference committee and organizers, I would like to thank all the participants and presenters. We hope you enjoy reading the following submissions.
Dr Leena Rouhiainen is Professor in Artistic Research and head of the Performing Arts Research Centre of the Theatre Academy (Uniarts Helsinki). Her previous artistic research has focused on dance performance, somatic practices and choreography. She has edited several volumes in dance research, e.g., Dance Spaces: Practices of Movement (2012) together with Susanne Ravn and Tanssiva tutkimus: Tanssintutkimuksen menetelmiä ja lähestymistapoja (2014) together with Hanna Järvinen. She is on the editorial board of Nordic Journal of Dance , Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices and was a member of the chair of the board of NOFOD 2008–2010 and a member of the board of the Society for Artistic Research 2015–2020.