Rudimentariness: a concept for artistic research
My own formative and professional trajectory has meandered through various institutions, including universities, museums, and art academies. I have therefore operated in the tenuous fault lines between different creative practices and forms of knowledge production. 'A Way of Making' is of interest to me precisely for how it calls for an analysis of the relation between different ways of creating and ways of knowing. In following the many facets of 'A Way of Making' over the past few years, I began to see parallels between the artists' investigation of the material of clay and questions that arise for me as a theoretician when working with an artistic practice or artwork. I became particularly interested in the attitude with which the makers approached their site of investigation. This attitude can be identified in many registers of their project, including the way in which performers and audiences are interpolated somatically by the ceramic pieces in various staged encounters.
For this exposition, I adopted the concept of 'rudimentariness', as defined by Mireille Rosello in the field of comparative literature, to help define this attitude and to see how it can also operate in a largely non-discursive register. The exposition begins with the makers’ hands-on research, exploring how rudimentariness in making calls forth empirical forms of knowing. In particular, the notion of sensate thinking, as defined by Alexander G. Baumgarten, and theories addressing the intimate relation between the sense of touch and movement and modes of thought are key.
The exposition then extends beyond Bergholtz and Pask's project to propose how the attitude of rudimentariness, underpinned by an understanding of sensate thinking and workings of touch, helps articulate what is at stake in the present for artistic research more generally and, specifically, within the growing importance placed on economies of learning in the (Dutch) education system.
In creating this exposition, I attempted to follow the lines, curves, and cracks of 'A Way of Making' to investigate the feedback loops between the discursive and the non-discursive. I propose the not-yet of knowledge as a productive site for the emergence of new perspectives and critical standpoints, as well as the transformative effects of such emergent perspectives on existing habits, modes of making, and, ultimately, what is already known.
Affiliation: BEAR (Base for Experiment, Art and Research), Arnhem NL
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