Name of the Principal Investigator (PI): dr. sc. Sibila Petlevski, full. prof.
Name of the PI’s host institution: Academy of Dramatic Art, University of Zagreb.
Address of the PI’s host institution: ADU, Trg maršala Tita 5, 10000 Zagreb; Web site: http://www.adu.unizg.hr
Project proposal full title: How Practice-led Research in Artistic Performance Can Contribute to Croatian Science.
Project proposal duration: 48 months (15/05/2015 — 14/05/2019)
Project number: IP-2014–09-6963
ABOUT OUR PROJECT
We analyze performative artistic practices, philosophical and, broadly speaking, theoretical implications of the corresponding “research in practice” which incorporates elements of artistic practice in the methodology of research output (Frayling 1993). We explore process philosophy and its relation to science (M. Birkhard’s “interactivist model”, 2009); R. Campbell’s “process-based model for an interactive ontology”, 2009), as well as the concept of autopoietic feedback (Maturana, & Varela 1974; Luhmann 1990) in performance; particularly in artistic performance, where we explore autopoietic and alopoietic behaviors. We explore the relationship between philosophy and performance, opening up possibility to define our field of research in three equally legitimate ways: as philosophy-of-performance, philosophy-as-performance and performance-as-philosophy. We explore the dynamics of methodology transfer between arts and sciences and the “interactive continuum” (Newman & Benz 1998; Ridenour & Newman 2008). The main purpose of our recent research is in giving new scope to exploring the dynamics of exchange connected to the notion of “performance” applied in artistic ”creation”, as well as in the study and representation of lives. An important hypothesis, connected to this purpose is to prove that the dynamics of methodology transfer between arts and sciences, the methodological “interactive continuum” and its “feedback loops” facilitate maximizing the strength of both methodologies. In order to contribute to clarification of stated theoretical and methodological problems, collaborators coming from different fields od research will try to develop, verify, validate and use in simulations, the formal models for quantification of dynamics of exchanges within performances: system dynamics model and agent based model.
Our interests lie in the artistic performance research, and in the development and application of systems science to modeling specific dynamics inherent in production and reception of art.
Our intention is to show the methodological benefits, and artistic and scientific applicability of the research method without quantitative-qualitative dichotomy.
One of the most innovative parts of our research directly connected to the state-of–the-art research in the proposed interdisciplinary filed is in combining methodological benefits of practice-led research in performing arts with up-to-date research in cognitive philosophy in the treatment of the interdisciplinary positioned research topic of enactivity in performing arts, in general, and in acting in particular. Perceptual, sensiomotor knowledge is vitally important for an enactive view of acting. Acting is here considered as an extra-daily skilled mode of embodied practice requiring the performer to negotiate “interior” and “exterior” via perception-in-action in response to an environment.
Our research choices are connected to the historical context of experiments in art and technology initiated at the end of the 60s (with special emphasis on the work of Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman, Billy Klüver, Fred Waldhauer). It is important for us to acknowledge the historical importance of «Intermedia» concept employed by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins in its educational application of «Intermedia», as well as to take into account the results of «Systems art» that emerged in the first wave of the conceptual art movement. We think it is necessary to revaluate Roy Ascott’s concept of «cybernetic vision» and «generative art» from the 70s that brought artists and scientists together promoting the investigation of scientific-technological systems and their relationship to art and to life in general. Some of the most innovative aspects of our project are connected to the concept of “performative science”. As far as we know, our project would be the first one to present research results in two ways: “objectively” (with methodological rigor within quantitative and qualitative frameworks) and “subjectively” (using our scientifically obtained models in artistic performance).
The innovativeness of our project consists principally in constructing interdisciplinary approach capable of dealing with cultural phenomena based on the broad definition of cultural performance. Existing research projects on similar issues mainly formed a loosely structured agglomerate of results from various disciplines. In order to contribute to clarification of stated theoretical and methodological problems, during the project our team will develop, verify, validate and use in simulations, the formal models for quantification of dynamics of exchanges within performances. In that sense, we believe our project to be authentic and original in its ambition to circumscribe essentially new approach that could be both, theoretically coherent and empirically verifiable, and in the same time highly instructional for policy-makers in their operative activities.
Our project stands as a research cornerstone within Academy’s scientific and educational strategy. Academy of Dramatic Art at the University of Zagreb – the oldest, most prestigious and scientifically most equipped artistic educational institution in Croatia – acknowledges our project as crucial for the development of research-in-practice which subsequently generates the quality of artistic production.