Afterlife-2.jpeg
Afterlife-1.jpeg
Afterlife-3.heic
An Afterlife for Life!

Using micro-phenomenological interviews to document experiences in an installation of  Olafur Eliasson

Website

 

Led by

Katrin Heimann

Studio Olafur Eliasson

Contact

Katrin Heimann <katrinheimann@cas.au.dk>

Funding

The project is funded by the Horizon 2020 grant ARTIS and the art-science collaboration EER (https://www.eer.info/about).

Status

Ongoing (2021–)

Summary

In the first half of 2021, the Fondation Beyerle in Basel, Switzerland, showed Olafur Eliasson´s work "Life". (https://life.fondationbeyeler.ch/en/) The installation involved removing the entire (glass)front of the building and flooding the entire first floor with water extending the pond that usually neighbors the walls into the museum. Furthermore the water was colored by a non-toxic chemical, resulting it to be neon green and fluorescent under black light lamps installed on the ceiling of the open building. The exhibition was open 24 hours and access was enabled at all times of the pandemic and partly free of charge. The project aimed as recording concrete experiences of the spectators with this radical intervention and portraying them on a website that would provide an afterlife for Life also after the exhibition closed in July 2021. For this purpose, 28 micro-phenomenological interviews were conducted, exploring key moments of visitors had with the exhibition. The interviews were transcribed and selected quotes are currently used by Studio Olafur Eliasson to design the website (https://experiencing-life.net/). It is the intention to further conduct interviews about the use of the website to explore micro-phenomenology as a dissemination tool in the art and museum context.

Iris Indigène

Enquête sur le processus de création en art contemporain

 

Led by

Raphaël Julliard (Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, Ehess, Paris, France)

Contact

Raphaël Julliard <r@raphisme.ch>

Status

Completed (2015–2021)

Summary

(EN) An inquiry about how visual artists do what they do. Even if they start from an idea which is explainable, the artwork is developed in a way that escape the idea. And yet artists know when the work is done, by recognizing of it affects them.

(FR) Bâtie sur l’expérience de l’auteur comme artiste plasticien et sur un cursus en histoire de l’art, cette thèse s’inscrit en anthropologie, discipline qui offre des outils pour décrire le processus de création d'une œuvre d'art depuis les premiers croisements d’idées jusqu'à ce que l'artiste la considère comme terminée.

La thèse s’appuie sur la proposition d’Alfred Gell (2009) selon laquelle les œuvres d’art fonctionnent comme des agents parmi les humains. Toutefois, cette proposition est précisée au moyen d’une lecture spécifique du processus de désorcèlement décrit par Jeanne Favret-Saada (1977, 2009) : un artiste est « pris » par l’œuvre d’un autre ; c’est en cherchant à atteindre la même force que cette œuvre, pour s’en « déprendre », qu’il développe sa propre pratique ; en contrant cette œuvre tierce par son œuvre propre, il est pris à nouveau, mais par lui-même. Ceci établit une relation cyclique d’auto-ensorcèlement / auto-désorcèlement entre l’artiste et ses œuvres.

Les rouages de cette relation sont explorés selon différentes lignes. Historique d’abord sur les artistes nord-américains Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) et Joseph Kosuth (*1945). Ethnographique ensuite avec une dizaine d’artistes français et nord-américains selon plusieurs modalités : 1) entretiens longs portant sur le vocabulaire qu’ils utilisent pour décrire leurs processus de création ; 2) expériences où l’ethnographe apprends à faire une œuvre avec eux ; 3) expériences sous forme de défi où l’ethnographe force les artistes à faire usage d’un matériel de départ pour faire œuvre ; 4) entretiens micro-phénoménologiques (Petitmengin et al. 2019) permettant à l’artiste de revivre et décrire réflexivement l’action passée du défi. L’ensemble laisse apparaître que les artistes s’appuient, sans le maîtriser complètement, sur ce qui les prend pour produire leurs œuvres. Cette production pourtant s’avère moins un but en soi qu’un moyen pour entrer en contact avec ce qui les prend.

Outputs

PhD Thesis
 

DAZZLE by Gibson and Martelli - Jenny Roche.jpg
Experience Together

A live visceral sense of dance performance across the internet

 

Led by

Dr Jenny Roche (University of Limerick, Ireland)

Dr Ruth Gibson (Coventry University, UK)

Contact

Jenny Roche <jenny.roche@ul.ie>

Funding

AHRC and IRC - UK-Ireland Digital Humanities Research Networking Grant

Status

Completed (May 2020–April 2021)

Summary

Dance is often reduced to its visual impact, particularly in mainstream performance contexts, when it takes place in proscenium arch theatres, for example. This impacts on how audiences engage with dance and how dance travels outside the live event through video. However, contemporary dance elicits multi-sensory modes of engagement beyond merely visual elements particularly when it moves away from narrative or representational structures. This can make it challenging to document or capture the various elements that contribute to a ‘live’ experience in dance and to circulate these beyond the live event. Building on a previous creative collaboration between the two principal investigators and others entitled Expanded Fields, this network brought together researchers from psychology, sociology and anthropology, media and entertainment, computing, choreographic practice, dance scholarship, dancers, musicians and designers to explore experiences of ‘liveness’ in dance and how to elicit these experiences through digital media. Using MPI as a key methodology to understand the qualities of experiencing live dance, the team focused on two case studies—a live dance piece reimagined for film, Dēmos by Liz Roche Company and a live VR performance, DAZZLE by Gibson/Martelli. MPI was used to uncover multiple perspectives on the experience of liveness and to inform discussion and workshop exchanges centering on the creative concerns of the two case studies. Another aim of this research was to explore sustainable possibilities for future touring of these pieces through digital and hybrid performances.

Outputs

Experience Together: Meet Space on Mozilla Hubs (project documentation).

Gibson, R., & Roche, J. (Accepted/In press). “And then again, I draw myself to the detail”: Capturing experiential states in contemporary dance making through Expanded Fields. Performance Research, 26(4), 71-77. https://doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2021.2005955

Vitality affects of a website

Led by

Katrin Heimann (Aarhus University, Denmark)

Interacting Minds Centre (Aarhus University, Denmark)
Studio Olafur Eliasson
CAVI Aarhus
Suneetha Saggurthi

Funding

Semper Ardens Grant from the Carlsberg Foundation

Status

Ongoing (2021–)

Contact
Katrin Heimann <katrinheimann@gmail.com>

 

Status

Ongoing

Summary

Experimenting, Experiencing, Reflecting (EER: https://www.eer.info/) is an art-science-collaboration between the Interacting Minds Center at Aarhus University and Studio Olafur Eliasson that has as its declared goal to shape valuable experiences that allow for scientific, aesthetic and societal progress at the same time.  One of its first projects consisted in a website #weusedto (https://www.weused.to/)  designed to allow the sharing and investigation of experiences during the Covid19pandemic. The continuing design and redesign process of this website has been accompanied by 20 micro-phenomenological interviews of user-experiences with the page, that inform about the site as well as the pandemic and whose results feedback in the design process. The results are currently written up in two papers: one using this as a case study to portray the use of micro-phenomenology as a design tool in human computer interactions and one about the creative processes involved in contributing to the website.

Communication

Vitality affects of a website - what we were not used to think about (Talk by Katrin Heimann.)

This talk gives some insights into preliminary results of a first round of investigation with a group of 12 trained micro-phenomenologists. 

The project is also portrayed with little video clips etc. on the EER page, see specifically https://www.eer.info/activities/we-used-to.

Olafur Eliasson, Fog assembly, Versailles, 2016

Photo Claire Petitmengin

Take the long take

The experiential processes of film makers and spectators triggered by unedited shots

 

Led by

Cooperation between:

Katrin Heimann (Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Christian Suhr (Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Henrik Hojer (VIA Aarhus)

Contact

Katrin Heimann <katrinheimann@cas.au.dk>

Christian Suhr <suhr@cas.au.dk>

Funding

Interacting Minds Centre and Trapholt Museum

Status

Ongoing (2018–)

Summary

A common hypothesis about long takes is that they create a special presence and access to social reality due to the unbroken continuity of space and time (Bazin 1967: 28; Kissel 2008; Grimshaw and Ravetz 2009; Rattee 2012). In addition, it has been argued that long takes allow participants a specific mode of free viewing in which the attention of spectators wanders freely and independent thoughts and meta-thoughts arise (see MacDougall 1992: 37). Consequently, long takes have been applied by with a political aim by ethnographic filmmakers to allow viewers “to see and judge for themselves” without interruptions or filmic manipulation. Also in European art house cinema, long takes play a role. In this study we are using experimental material from ethnographic film to for the first time investigate the actual effect of this device when it comes to experience. The results are currently written up in a paper for a visual-anthropology audience. We have also made a film about the process of the research project that will soon be published.

Catch me if you can

A micro-phenomenological investigation of aesthetic attraction in the museum context

 

Led by

Cooperation between:

Katrin Heimann (Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Karen Grøn (Trapholt Museum, Denmark)

Joerg Fingerhut (HU Berlin)

Contact

Katrin Heimann <katrinheimann@cas.au.dk>

Christian Suhr <suhr@cas.au.dk>

Funding

Interacting Minds Centre and Trapholt Museum

Status

Completed (2018)

Summary

Visiting an art exhibition is a cognitive challenge: It is impossible to attend adequately to all art works. Visitors therefore watch selectively, a fact that points to a decision process that is of high interests especially for museum disseminators and curators. How do we choose the pictures we attend closer to? In this pilot study we collected first data on the experience of museum visitors illuminating this question.

Start in the middle

Commencer au milieu

Led by

Pénélope Laurent-Noye

(independent dancer &

contemplative practitioner)

Contact

http://lesfrontalieres.art/

Status

Ongoing (2022–)

start in the middle - pénélope laurent-noye alias les frontalières.png
Summary

(EN) 'start in the middle' is one part of the process that I am currently developing under the title 'weaving a thousand minor gestures, improvisation in questions'. In this particular context, I start using the practice of micro-phenomenological interview to gather descriptions of the shared practice of what is named the "Small Dance", a practice developed by the dancer Steve Paxton since the late 1960's and now commonly used by improvisers among the contact-improvisation planet. The question I ask to this contemplative-somatic-relational (improvisational) practice, taking as a anchor what its creator says about it in the article 'The Politics of Mutuality' (2016/2018)*, is as follows: In the shared practice of the 'Small Dance', what is the middle of the relation made of ? Or put another way: Could dancers describe the ambiance that arises between them while standing upright and training in becoming aware of "the smallest units of sensation they could perceive" when they are moved by "reflexive movements" ? (quotes from the article mentioned)

(FR) 'commencer au milieu' est un pan du processus que je développe actuellement sous l'intitulé 'tisser mille gestes mineurs, l'improvisation en questions'. Dans ce contexte particulier, je commence à utiliser la pratique de l'entretien micro-phénoménologique pour recueillir des descriptions de la pratique partagée de ce que l'on appelle la "Small Dance", une pratique développée par le danseur Steve Paxton depuis la fin des années 1960 et maintenant couramment utilisée par les improvisatrices-improvisateurs de la planète du contact-improvisation. La question que je pose ici à cette pratique contemplative-somatique-relationnelle (improvisationnelle), en prenant comme point d'ancrage ce que son créateur en dit dans l'article 'The Politics of Mutuality' (2016/2018)* est la suivante : Dans la pratique partagée de la 'Petite Danse', de quoi est fait/se compose le milieu de la relation ? Ou dit autrement : Est-ce que les danseur.euse.s pourraient décrire l'ambiance qui se manifeste entre elleux lorsqu'ielles sont en train de tenir debout et de s'entraîner à devenir consciente des "plus petites unités de sensations qu'elles peuvent percevoir" pendant qu'elles sont mues par du / des "mouvement(s) réflexe(s)" ? (citations issues de l'article mentionné)

* https://contactquarterly.com/cq/vol-43-no-1

Outputs

Webpage

(The page will be updated throughout the process with elements of the work done with the dancers.)

 
Embodied Reflection

A phenomenological investigation of dancers’ bodily consciousness

Led by

Camille Buttingsrud (stud. dr. philos., independent)

Contact

Camille Buttingsrud <camillebuttingsrud@gmail.com>

Funding

Self-funded

Status

Ongoing (2018–2024)

Summary

This project is a doctoral dissertation, to be handed in at the University of Oslo. I conduct Micro-Phenomenological interviews with dancers, as well as other artists, in order to gather evidence of the existence of a reflective, “high-order level” state of bodily consciousness. My main informants are dancers at Aaben Dans, a dance theatre in Roskilde, Denmark.
 

The inspiration for describing these experiences of consciousness comes from my artistic background. Prior to studying philosophy I worked as a dancer, physical actor, and voice artist through a couple of decades. During my master’s at the University of Copenhagen I realized how the subtle states of bodily and affective absorption - that often lead to profound, non-conceptual understanding and knowledge – were largely overseen in the theories of consciousness.

Publications

Buttingsrud, C. Bodies in skilled performance: how dancers reflect through the living body. Synthese 199, 7535–7554 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-021-03127-2 (also availanle as a draft here).

How to increase the awareness of the pre-linguistic dimension of bodily presence in drawing? 

Discover your creative potential through the intuitive part of you

Led by

Christian Montarou (NMBU-Norwegian University of Life Sciences)

Collabolator: Theodor Barth (Oslo National Academy of the Arts)

Contact

Christian Montarou <cvatarou70@gmail.com>

 

Funding

Self-funded

Status

Ongoing (2015–)

Summary

My research has evolved the last 10 years from an interest in drawing pedagogy with focus on the development of drawings skills to a pedagogy of creativity and from 2015 to a pedagogy of perception. The last with focus on the body to value and develop its role in perception and in learning processes in line with CERPA (Centre for Study and Applied Research in Perceptual Pedagogy). My drawing pedagogy was formed mainly by John Dewey’s ideas on first-hand experience, “learning by doing”, further with Andrea Zakin’s pedagogy which focuses on action, reflection and evaluation, meta-cognition, and inner speech. The question I worked with then was how to create the necessary conditions in the teaching of drawing to establish the inner dialogue. My pedagogy of creativity includes more of the artist’s mental process while drawing, exploring the cognitive and psychological aspects of the act of drawing. References to psychoanalysis were used to explain the state of fragmentation inherent in the condition of human beings as subjects, while language theory was applied to reveal the motives underlying the need for self-expression through drawing.  My perceptual pedagogy during the last seven years has questioned the “creative mode” as such, the research topic tied to this was awareness of the bodily presence in drawing. How the unarticulated wordless dialog that occurs with the phenomenal body in the drawing process can be stimulated in the studio context. This was investigated through Merleau Ponty's thinking about body phenomenology, Derrida's view of the artist as a blind medium, psychologist Stern's thinking about vitality affects. Likewise, inspiration from researchers such as Claire Petitmengin with her micro phenomenological method, Eve Berger's educational thinking and various authors in body cognition theory that highlight the importance of pre-linguistically thinking.

Publications

Papers available on Academia.edu.

 

Montarou, C. (2018) Hvordan øke bevisstheten om den førspråklige dimensjonen av det kroppslige nærværet i tegning? | FormAkademisk (oslomet.no)

 

Montarou, C. (2019) The unarticulated dialogue in the creative process.

Marcus - Image.jpg
The body as a locus for the experience of museum and architectural spaces

 

Led by

Marcus Weisen (PhD candidate, Ecole doctorale transdisciplinaire Lettres/Sciences - Ecole Normale Supérieure)

Claire Petitmengin (Thesis advisor)

Contact

Marcus Weisen <marcus.weisen1@gmail.com>

Status

Ongoing (2015–)

Summary

This doctoral research investigates sensory, emotional, aesthetical and cognitive dimensions of bodily experience in the encounter between visitors and museum spaces. This experience is of a largely pre-reflective nature and gives rise to “sensory thought” according to thinking in art and architecture inspired by phenomenology. For this research, we will use the micro-phenomenological interview method that enables precise descriptions of the pre-reflective dimension of experience, to collect accounts of lived experience of museum spaces and to identify their underlying structure. The research will provide empirical verification of hypotheses formulated in phenomenological writings about architecture.

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Touching/being touched by art

A collaborative micro-phenomenological enquiry into the experience of Olafur Eliasson’s artworks  project of the Laboratory of Micro-phenomenology

 

Participants

Fergus Anderson (Alanus University, Germany)
Hanne Bess Boelsbjerg (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Kiku Day (Aarhus University, Denmark)
Karen Gron (Museum director at Trapholt Museum of Modern Art and Design, Denmark)
Emily Hammond (School of Psychology , University of Exeter, UK)
Justin Kelley (Rice University, US)

Anne C. Klein / Rigzin Drolma (Rice University & Dawn Mountain, US)
Eva Kreikenbaum (Basel University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland)

Jennifer Obbard (University of Aberdeen, UK)
Elsa Oliarj Ines (Film maker, Paris)

Kiki Palmer (Kristianstad University, Sweden)
Claire Petitmengin (Archives Husserl, ENS Paris, France)

Bruna Petreca (Royal College of Art, London, UK & Centro Universitário Belas Artes de São Paulo, Brazil)
Mary Rees (Saybrook University, US)

Donata Schoeller (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
Mette Steenberg (IMC - Aarhus University, Denmark)

Gregory Walkerden (Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Marcus Weisen (ENS Paris, France)

Contact

Claire Petitmengin <cp@clairepetitmengin.fr>

Funding

Interacting Minds Centre and Self-funded

Status

Completed (2016–2017)

Summary

The goal of the project was to conduct a pilot study on the experience of encountering a work of art. During a one-week workshop (26-30 September 2016), eighteen researchers trained in micro-phenomenological methods visited the exhibition of Olafur Eliasson in the chateau and park of Versailles (June-September 2016), and then made micro-phenomenological descriptions of particularly significant moments of this visit, which resulted in a synthesis document (see below).

Publication

Synthesis document: "Touching / Being touched by art".

Bruna Petreca.jpg
An understanding of embodied textile selection processes and a toolkit to support them

 

Led by

Bruna Petreca (PhD Candidate, Royal College of Art)

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Sharon Baurley (RCA) and Prof. Dr. Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze (UCLIC)

Funding

CNPq – Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Ministry for Science and Technology of Brazil (CNPq), within the Science without Borders programme

Status

Completed (in June 2016)

Summary

The textile selection is a crucial part of the design process, for which there is no systematic understanding and no support in place from the designer experience perspective. In the selection, designers need to synthesise technical information, their sensory and affective experience around textiles, and its related meanings. However, currently the textile industry just provides methods to describe, measure, or predict the properties of textiles perceptible to hand manipulation: methods that only partially support the designer. The thesis addresses this gap by contributing new understanding of when and how the textile selection happens in the design process, uncovering tacit processes and embodied aspects integral to it, and secondly, by developing a toolkit to support the designer experience when selecting. The Micro-phenomenology approach was brought in to explore the embodied aspects of textiles selection emerging as significant through my previous studies on tactile experience in more depth, using the ‘Micro-phenomenological Interview’ (Petitmengin, 2006) method to obtain a first-person verbal description of experiential processes. The latter revealed 3 types of touch behaviour and 3 tactile-based phases of the textile selection process, and their dynamics. The findings from the interviews were later used as input for designing ‘The sCrIPT Toolkit’, comprised of instructions that facilitate focus and elaboration of the textile experience in the textiles selection.

Publications

Petreca B. 2016. An understanding of embodied textile selection processes and a toolkit to support them. Thesis. Royal College of Art.

Petreca B., Bianchi-Berthouze N., Baurley S. 2015. How Do Designers Feel Textiles? In: Proceedings ACII’ 15. IEEE.

Bruna Petreca 2.jpg
Diptych of The Crowds : Cosmos - piece for squares & Axis - piece for corners
 
Led by

Bruna Petreca, Art Direction

Paula Petreca, Direction and choreography

Funding

ProAC – Programa de Ação Cultural da Secretaria da Cultura do Estado de São Paulo, Brasil
(funded through PROAC call 04/2015)

Status

Completed (in August 2016)

Summary

The Diptych of The Crowds (“Díptico das Multidões”) is formed by two choreographies (Cosmos & Axis) that investigated the city's lanscapes and the construction of urban bodies, the places of pause and the changes of journey, while asking how "we can be so many and be together, without uniformity."

In this project Bruna Petreca has used micro-phenomenologcal interviews technique as a means to tap into the dancers perceptions and discover means to express these materially collaborating to the dance expression. These interviews served as a basis to develop the concept of the art direction and supported greatly the costume design. Throughout the exchange process, the dancers also revealed that the process supported their own creative process.

Communications about choreographies

http://www.abcdmaior.com.br/materias/cultura/alem-de-batalhas-de-mcs-praca-da-matriz-tambem-e-palco-para-danca

http://idanca.net/projeto-co-estreia-novo-trabalho-em-pracas-do-abc-paulista/

http://www.dgabc.com.br/Noticia/2007493/social-do-diario-danca-na-praca-incentiva-arte-em-santo-andre

https://catracalivre.com.br/sp/spetaculo/barato/satyrianas-2016-danca-circo-e-performance- invadem-roosevelt/

Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-p6R-7tr-o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7QoxvCfKIk&t=1243s