Project on Creative Practices Beyond Borders: Arts Interaction, Sonic Diaspora, Performativity Exchange

Award Holder

Professor John Hutnyk

Higher Education Institute

Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London

The Beyond Text network Grant Project "Project on Creative Practices Beyond Borders: Arts Interaction, Sonic Diaspora, Performativity Exchange" is a series of six week-long workshops, comprised of speakers, seminars and other exchanges, over the next two years. These workshops will be held in London, Berlin and Copenhagen and focus on sound, film and theatre - transnationality, borders and activism. Those involved include Clandestino music festival Gotebourg, Re:Orient theatre Stockholm, Migrant Media London, scholars and activist-practitioners from Kolkata, India, and colleagues from InterArts Berlin FU and Copenhagen Doctoral School in Cultural Studies.

The first Laboratory of the Beyond Text project will be on Sonic Diaspora and will be held in London 3-8 November 2008. Workshops will include David Graeber on the sound of protest; Les Back on the Art of Listening; considerations of the border and philosophy, crisis, periphery and frontier, streets, porousness and location; and presentations by Clandestino, Music in Detention and others. Further workshops are scheduled for February 09 in Berlin, November 09 in Copenhagen.

Our project engages with creative practices across a number of borders, in geographical, conceptual, disciplinary and genre terms. We are interested in addressing questions of media change, social mobility and creative collaboration (eg. at international art festivals and biennales), paying particular attention to border-crossings and transcultural engagement (joint work, media linkings, transfers, recontextualisations). We pursue this insofar as border crossings in several senses have creative, economic and social implications for new visual, aural and dynamic cultural debates. Conceptually, we are interested in performitivity, transgression, affect, aesthetics, inclusion/exclusion, precarious lifestyles, labour, the economics and materials of creative practice, adventure, dissonance, inspiration. We will develop this through a network of research scholars and through laboratory work that draws on collaborative cross border affiliations among what we will call a multitude of creative vernacular cosmopolitanisms.

We want to put researchers with Border experience (Europe, Berlin, India, Bengal) into active movement around our theme, so this project takes up questions of creative and cultural practice that are aural, visual and performative in a primary and structuring way. Starting from a critique of linearity and the hegemony of text, this initiative occurs in the context of challenges and changes impacting the creativity of the Arts, as part of the movement-oriented conception of a creative cosmopolitanism that is insurgent world-wide today. We suggest that creative practices thought of as movement provoke a radical challenge to the traditional boundaries between, and conceptualisation of, previously more stable textual formations in academic frameworks, genres, forms, and media. What is great about this idea is that we see communication as a space that is a dynamic contact zone, a place of transformation, of transgression and innovation. In painting, photography, performance, radio, cinema, video and design, new dynamics and ideas offering seemingly dangerous cross-border innovations promise to forge a new scholarship of movement, creativity and excitement. The border crossing innovations established in this contact zone offer much that is worthy of examination and development.

For further information please visit our website.

Theatre Border BerlinOne of the dinners at our first Network meeting (the Sonic Border workshop). This was the one Emile liked best. Holding him is Hanna, then going round the table, Hanna’s friend, James, Mathias, Teivo, Nath, Johannes and Emile’s mum Tara.Border Documents: CopenhagenThe CPH:DOX tent in CopenhagenWonderful Copenhagen

Arts & Humanities Research Council: Each year the AHRC provides approximately £100 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,000 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Arts and humanities researchers constitute nearly a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. See Arts & Humanities Research Council website.