AstroNotes (on #CHARP)

AstroNotes (on #CHARP) by Simo Kellokumpu

In autumn 2016 I started to take a closer look at the choreographic practice that has been developing in my current doctoral artistic research project. I call this practice Choreography as a reading practice. In the autumn 2016, I proposed to the curatorial team of the Research Pavilion that the project-in-progress would be performed in the Research Pavilion in 2017. I was happy that my suggestion was invited to the Camino Events. 

Choreography as a reading practice indicates to that history of choreography in which choreographic practice is understood as a writing practice. I approach choreography as a reading practice in the planetary, interplanetary and galactic scale based on the artistic and experiential shift that has happened in my choreographic practice when it comes to thinking about the situational relations between movement, choreographic thinking, materiality, and embodiment. Choreography as a reading practice examines and focuses on decoding the movements that are moving my human body. How to take place in and with the planetary, interplanetary and galactic movements, which extend beyond telescopic vision? How to embody hyper-reading of the movements that set conditions for the choreographic (hypertext) to emerge? What happens to the movement when it is mediated to choreography?


In spring 2017 I invited three artist-researcher colleagues to work with me in order to discuss and multiply the viewpoints of this astropractice. The questions that I had in the beginning: How is it possible to perform, and make a performance or choreographic work with this practice? Is it possible to share it on stage as a group, or is it an intimate personal artistic practice? What kind of artistic potentials could this practice have? So far in my research project I have made and exposed artworks mainly by myself (except one shorter try-out as part of the process of the first artistic part), so working in a group towards staged performance, and examined artistic part, was a new situation in the research process.

In the artistic process of #CHARP, the working group approaches movement as a broadly understood phenomenon that constitutes and realizes the intimate and immediate situatedness of the body. The project specifies how do I understand the relations between movement and embodiment through and with choreographic thinking and practice. The project articulates how choreography operates when I examine how the body takes place without the idea of mastering the movement; how do I couple in another way to the surrounding movement-mesh, and from which position towards movement my body operates in this approach? How choreographic thinking and broadly understood movement operate together when choreography no longer indicates to the act of composing of a linear coherent unity, but is understood as processing of simultaneous incoherent multiplicity? How to articulate the movement from choreographing towards choreoreading?


In Venice the group experimented with the context and atmosphere of the Venice Biennale by taking time in Giardini, Arsenale, and in Prada Foundation. How does the Biennale move me in the material and conceptual planes, and how does the Biennale as the frameworks affect me in the sense of the ongoing intimate research project? We discussed how we experienced the artworks and their contextualization, and from which position as a viewer we experienced them, and how did Venice itself affect and choreograph us. In order to contextualize ourselves into the Venetian sphere, I think we would have needed more like two to three weeks to work on those embodiments on-, with- and through-site.

In Venice we performed 75 minutes and after a short break, we had a discussion in which the external examinors of my research project were present. Our performance in Venice was the second time we had audience, so in this way it was also an experiment, and it brought me lots of new questions to be clarified, such as: What is the difference between perception and reading? What is the relation between sense and meaning in this specific choreographic orientation? What are the differences of the exposed reading practice to other somatic or choreographic practices? Is reading witnessing, observing or answering, or something else? Is choreography as a reading practice productive or generative?


From now on, it is time for me to start to bring the existing material of the research together, plan and realize the commentary, and continue the artistic journey with choreography as a reading practice. Thank you the Research Pavilion team to host #CHARP!

Images (Vincent Roumagnac): 1. #CHARP processing at Etlab / Performing Arts Laboratory, Helsinki – April 2017 (performing Outi Condit) 2. Reading Thomas Demand’s Klause 2 (2006) at Prada Foundation (Group Show The boat is leaking. The captain Lied) 3. #CHARP  (performing: Outi Condit, Simo Kellokumpu, Paula Kramer) – Research Pavilion, Camino Events, 30.6.2017


Time: 30.6.2017  / Space: Theatre Space

Working group: Outi Condit, doctoral candidate – Performing Arts Research Center, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki / Paula Kramer, post-doctoral researcher – Centre for Artistic Research, University of the Arts Helsinki / Vincent Roumagnac, doctoral candidate – Performing Arts Research Center, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki

I am thankful for all the support of my artistic research project. #CHARP has been supported and developed with: Critical Path, Sydney / “Writing Movement” –group Institute for Theatre Studies at Freie Universität, Berlin / Ehkä –production, Turku / SAR Conference 2017 in Helsinki / Wihuri Foundation, Finland / Helander Foundation, Finland / University of the Arts Helsinki / Performing Arts Research Center, TUTKE, Helsinki / Research Pavilion, Venice

Special thanks to: Victoria Pérez-Royo, Alex Arteaga, Michael Kliën, Jan Kaila, Raija Vuorio, Annika Fredriksson, Claire Hicks, Daniela Hahn, Juha Huuskonen, Mikael Aaltonen, Anne Makkonen, Kirsi Heimonen, Leena Rouhiainen, Esa Kirkkopelto, the researcher colleagues in TUTKE, and the participants of the workshops of the project.

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