The Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts CARPA8 took place at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki between August 24–26, 2023. This time the conference focused on the dramaturgies of artistic research and was organized in collaboration between two programmes or units of the Theatre Academy: namely, the Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke) and the Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research Programme (CDPR). With title of Solvitur Ambulando “solved by moving” the conference aimed at bringing together the processual activities of dramaturgy and artistic research and keep them both in motion. CARPA8 inquired into what happens to artistic research when it takes a dramaturgical twist. How can and how do we forward generative, wandering crossovers between artistic research and dramaturgy? With its dynamic form and content, CARPA8 aimed at combining embodied artistic practice and demonstration with timely conceptualisation and theorisation. Altogether the conference brought together 90 artists and practitioners as well as researchers and theorists from the performing arts field and from 22 countries to explore, experiment and discuss how expanded notions of artistic research and dramaturgy cross-fertilise each other and beyond.

Dramaturgy and artistic research are fields that evolve through critical processual activities and question how ideas, words, materials, humans, plants, animals, actions, interactions, activities, data, and performances materialise. They both disrupt the taken for granted, linger in liminalities, embrace not knowing and ambivalence. They both oscillate at the edge of experiments where repeated actions and techniques continually expand upon the known and unknown. They both extend what dramaturgy and artistic research are and do. Simultaneously they create new settings, situations, and places in which they occur, both within and beyond the performing arts and academia, and address key issues of broader social, cultural, economic, technological and environmental contexts.

Solvitur ambulando, solved by moving, asserted St Augustin to argue that practical demonstration can prove a theoretical problem. There are many levels on which our complementary fields, dramaturgy and artistic research, can relate to this dictum. One of them is the engagement of action and movement as a way of furthering various knowledges. Motion activates shape, place and space and informs our thinking. It invigorates our perception, awareness, action and ways of knowing.

CARPA8 addressed the above-described thematic through three strands: Transitions and Transgressions, Thresholds and Frictions, Algorthmization and Automated Movement. Each strand was facilitated by a keynote speaker. Synne Bernhdt, Marcela Fuentes and Hanns Holger Rutz, pathfinders in dramaturgy, interdisciplinary performance and related research, with interests in digital environments and social activism, stimulated discussion throughout the conference. Additionally, each conference day was arranged differently. The first day, Colloquium, involved conference presentations. The second day, Laboratory, engaged the conference participants in addressing questions in practical working groups, and the final day, Commons, brought together the findings from the pervious days.

With offerings by the keynotes and other presenters, the overall programme of CARPA8 was filled with thought and action provoking dramaturgical twists and related topics such as kaleidoscopic, intermedial, communal, corporeal, comparative, constellative as well as micro dramaturgies and coalitional, performance, interdisciplinary and endomation research, performance différée, curatorial and financial narratives, scores as social spaces, moving in ensembles, framed by a robot, taking a nap, listening to listening, digital interventions, happy moving images, moving with ghosts, performing interconnections, skinnspace, somatic REACH, rehearsing with non-humans, body/word performance writing, spooky action, dripping web, a fluffy octopus, fireflies, and devising. See program here

What is exciting is that the collaborative aspect of the conference supported continued association between conference attendees. An international group of attendees set up an email list, with which they will continue to work on shared interests. Dramaturgy and artistic research both are processual, inquisitive and creative processes that always are at the threshold of introducing novel practice and insight to their diverse audiences. The conference made artistic research better known to the international cohort of dramaturges attending the conference and brought new insight for artist-researchers on how to set up especially collaborative research environments.

We are delighted to be able to offer you this conference proceedings with 19 articles and expositions evidencing and further discussing the contents of the conference. We hope this informatively reflects the fruitful interrogation that occurred at the conference and engagingly continues to highlight how action and movement can further various knowledges in dramaturgy and artistic research.

On behalf of the conference committee,

Leena Rouhiainen

Conference committee: Jess Applebaum, Otso Huopaniemi (chair), Leena Rouhiainen (chair) and Katalin Trencsényi.