The sixth CARPA (Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts) took place at the Kiasma Theatre and in collaboration with the ADIE (Artistic Doctorates in Europe) research project, with a very broad and multi-faceted theme “Artistic research performs and transforms: Bridging practices, contexts, traditions & futures”, which we responded to by proposing  a lecture performance called “The transformative potential of performance”.  Each of us prepared one section, playing with our own themes and tools, and then we ended by performing together as a quartet. Here is the introductory text, based on the abstract, that I read at the beginning, (above photo by Hanna Järvinen, other photos by Mia Jalerva):

Today the research project How to do things with performance? will examine the transformative potential of performance in a practical and experimental manner, from a critical, social, environmental, and aesthetic perspective, in this lecture performance, which consists of talks, a participatory dance event or office disco, and a quartette or sound performance. The questions explored are the following:

  • Tero Nauha: How do practices, institutions, and potentialities correlate futures? By building bridges between traditions and futures, what do we reclaim for our use?
  • Pilvi Porkola: How do public space and private space overlap and intersect in the context of an institution, like an office? How to perform “the office”?”
  • Annette Arlander: Could expanding the idea of who or what performs assist in decolonizing our relationship to the environment, to everything else around us?
  • Hanna Järvinen: Is what makes performance performance an aesthetic quality and if so, what differentiates it from the not-aesthetic?

Let’s begin.

And then we began, with Tero, who presented a theoretical paper called “The End”, without visuals this time:

Then Pilvi  told about her work with institutions and invited everybody for an office disco, which turned out to be the transformative and participatory highlight of the show:

Then my video essay with voice-over text “Revisiting the Juniper” was screened, while I posed next to it:

Then Hanna read and showed some code, and talked about the performativity of code and the aesthetics involved:

As a grande finale we performed a sound score with papers, the core idea and starting point for the whole lecture performance:

Much of the positive feedback we received (that came to my ears) had to do with the ‘gaps’ between our individual parts, which all stood in a rather stark contrast to each other. Here we suddenly had the productive gaps that we did not really get at during our session at the SAR conference in Zürich. In some sense the gaps between our diverse approaches, which we did not try to bridge or explain in any way, probably invited the audience members to consider what the connection was or could be. For me those ‘gaps’ provided space, literally a place for the multiplicity of approaches to performance, a feeling that  in those gaps there is a space for almost anything or everything, and thus also  space for me and you and all kinds of things…  Well, looking at the images I nevertheless realize I should have chosen a black skirt.

In the year 2018…

… HTDTWP published a few texts together – not articles but reports – which are worth listing here. The serious, peer reviewed stuff each one of us published individually, but these reports describe probably much better what we have been up to:

Annette Arlander, Hanna Järvinen, Tero Nauha and Pilvi Porkola “Miten tehdä asioita esityksellä – tutkimushanke Sao Paulossa” [How to do Things with Performance – the research project in Sao Paulo] in Anna Thuring, Anu Koskinen and Tuija Kokkonen (eds.) Esitys ja Toiseus, Näyttämö ja Tutkimus 7, Teats Teatterintutkimuksen seura 2018, pp 204-214. See here

Annette Arlander, Hanna Järvinen, Tero Nauha and Pilvi Porkola “Regurgitated Perspectives – Performance”. In Geoff Cox, Hannah Drayson, Azadeh Fatehrad, Allister Gall, Laura Hopes, Anya Lewin, Andrew Prior, (eds.) Proceedings of the 9th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research, University of Plymouth, April 11th-13th, 2018, pp. 299-311. See here

Annette Arlander, Hanna Järvinen, Tero Nauha and Pilvi Porkola “How to do things with performance in relation to what is given?”. In Ruukku Journal issue 8 (voices) 2018. See here

And we made some joint conference panels and performances:

“How to do things with performance in alliance with things, concepts, bodies or plants?”, performance with HTDTWP (How to Do Things With Performance) at the conference Alliances and Commonalities,  Stockholm University of the Arts, see here, 25-27.10. 2018.

“Migrating concepts in performance”, panel at IFTR (International Federation for Theatre Research) conference Theatre and Migration in Belgrad  (see program) 19-23.7 2018.

“Networking Finland, Malta, Korea” – a performative panel across time and space with How to do things with performance? at PSi (Performance Studies International) #24 in Daegu, Chorea 3-6.7. 2018.

“What is Performativity in Finnish?”  panel at Cultural Mobility of Performance and Performativity Studies, Kraków 28-30.5. 2018.

“Regurgitated perspectives – an excerpt”  at The Spring Research Day at Kiasma, 25.4. 2018.

“Regurgitated Perspectives” performance at the 9th SAR conference – International Conference on Artistic Research Artistic Research will Eat Itself at University of Plymouth 11-13.4. 2018.

And then we had our own research days, of course:

Research Day II: Materiality of and in performance 2.3.2018

Research Day III: Performance Pedagogy 16.11.2018

So let’s see what will happen in 2019!


HTDTWP – retreated to Tampere / vetäytyi Tampereelle

Last year we went to Riga for a weekend at the end of the year, whereas this year we wanted to economize and to consider the climate, and headed modestly to Tampere (two hours by train from Helsinki). A full day in a meeting room was productive this time as well, despite the fact that one of us had a flue and participated via Skype. The program consisted of work on the theme issue of Ruukku Journal, How to do things with performance?, the articles of which are at the moment in peer review – some of them already return ed – and which we hope to publish in Spring, as well as a book presenting performance philosophy in Finnish. We also discussed the next research day, which will take place on 20th March, with the theme performance and feminism and with Iris van Der Tujn as the preliminary key-note speaker. And of course other plans for next year were discussed, too. Moreover, we tried a new working method, a recorded conversation, which seemed promising – you will hear more about that soon!

Viime vuonna lähdimme vuoden päätteeksi viikonlopuksi Riigaan, mutta tänä vuonna halusimme olla taloudellisia ja ilmastolle ystävällisempiä, joten suuntasimme vaatimattomasti Tampereelle. Kokonainen päivä kokoustilassa oli tehokas myös tällä kertaa, siitäkin huolimatta että yksi tutkijoista osallistui flunssaisena Skypen välityksellä. Ohjelmassa oli tekeillä olevan Ruukku-julkaisun teemanumero, Miten tehdä asioita esityksellä, jonka artikkelit ovat tällä hetkellä vertaisarvioitavina – osa on jo palautettukin – ja jonka toivomme saavamme julkaistua keväällä, sekä performanssifilosofiaa suomeksi esittelevä kirja. Kevään tutkimuspäivästäkin puhuttiin, sen ajankohdaksi on sovittu 20 maaliskuuta, teemaksi performance and feminism ja pääpuhujaksi on jo alustavasti lupautunut Iris van der Tujn. Ja tietysti ensi vuoden suunnitelmat olivat muutenkin olivat keskustelussa mukana. Lisäksi kokeiltiin uutta työtapaa, äänitettyä keskustelua, joka vaikutti lupaavalta – siitä kuullaan pian lisää!

(photo by / valokuva: Tero Nauha)


Migrating Concepts in Performance

One month ago, 9-13 July 2018, HTDTWP participated in the IFTR World Congress in Belgrade, Serbia. The IFTR website is already focusing on the next 2019 conference in Shanghai; the conference program and book of abstracts can nevertheless be found – with a little digging – in the archive, here The theme of the conference was “Theatre, Nation and Identity: Between Migration and Stasis”. The panel we proposed, a further development of the one we prepared for Krakow, was titled “Migrating Concepts in Performance”, a title so difficult to translate into Finnish (esityksessä vaeltavat käsitteet?) that I decided to write this short post in English only.  We were scheduled for the very first day: Pilvi Porkola began with “Questions of Translating in Library Essays”, Hanna Järvinen continued with “Restaging, remaking, reconstructing, reimagining“, Annette Arlander followed with “Authorship, agency and performing in ‘Year of the Dog-Sitting in a Tree’“ and  Tero Nauha concluded with “Performance as thinking or performance philosophy?” We had quite an audience, at least compared to some other occasions, which was inspiring. And it was nice to have the presentation in the beginning of the conference, in order to be able to join the working group sessions (Performance as Research for Pilvi Porkola and me, Choreography and Corporeality for Hanna Järvinen) or follow the general conference program. All in all, the organizers were very serious about making this congress a memorable event, and I guess they succeeded in many ways. – Our abstracts and some images are available on the RC, here