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The production of contemporaneity in and through artistic practice

Through an open call for a postdoc research project, the subproject investigates contemporaneity through artistic and/or curatorial production, based on the assumption that practice can make epistemic claims (cf. Rogoff, Schwab). It investigates the representation and experience of contemporaneity in and through artistic or curatorial practice-based research. The intention is not to simply explore the subject matter of contemporaneity through artistic production but more so to explore how artistic production can exhibit the condition of contemporaneity.

Although clearly there is a long history of research in art, “artistic research” as such has a relatively short and contested history and signals a shift in the practice of art and its discursive turn typical of contemporary art. Our conviction is that focus needs to be placed not on simply establishing the epistemic qualities of art or on the analysis of time-based art practices as such, but on the way in which temporal qualities can be made known in the context of academic research – as non-propositional and artistic modes of argumentation that unfold in time, through practice. This resonates with the condition of contemporaneity inasmuch as knowledge is an emergent phenomena that has dynamic properties. The subproject provides opportunity for a researcher to investigate nuanced understandings of how practice can expose itself as research.

The appointed artist researcher is Verina Gfader (Sept 2016 - Dec 2017). Her post-studio practice includes a project for the 11th Shanghai Biennale (Nov 2016–Mar 2017), The Guests, which develops a mobile performance towards the production of a collective novel – a future folk tale (details forthcoming). Her proposed activities at Aarhus University include setting up a reading group, initiating a New Year intensive: a seminar based on algorithms, organising a second Animate Assembly (in collaboration with Esther Leslie, Edgar Schmitz, Anke Hennig and Aylish Wood), and a workshop on scriptwriting.