Picture above from the performance Inside/Outside

Tacit or Loud: where is the knowledge in art?
Symposium and festival for artistic research
Nov 16-Dec 3





A festival for experimental arts
Welcome to Tacit or Loud, a festival and symposium for experimental arts at the Inter Arts Center in Malmö. At the intersection between new currents in research on human cognition and new media, cross-disciplinary art is a maturing field. Tacit or Loud presents a series of installations and performances bringing choreography, theatre, music and fine arts together.

We embrace an ecological perspective on knowledge that stretches from the tacit and embodied knowing of the artist to propositional and scientific knowledge production. Indeed, the knowledge in art can sometimes be more loud than silent. The American philosopher Mark Johnson (2007) argues that all knowledge is embodied, and that “the arts are exemplary cases of embodied, immanent meaning” (Johnson, 2011, p. 234). Research on musical gesture during the past decade has contributed to a shift in our understanding also of musical cognition. Meanwhile, the development of theories of “situated cognition” and “enacted cognition” created new interpretative horizons where studies of musicians’ actions and cognitive processes may constitute material for the development of new artistic practices (Leman 2007).

The ambition with Tacit or Loud is to merge various kinds of knowledge production in the arts with analytical modes of thinking. Hence, it is centered around the concept of a laboratory aiming at a review of artistic work and research as process. The possible success or failure of this attempt is dependent on the input from and interaction between all participators.

In his introduction to the Knowledge Lab at Haus der Kulturen Der Welt, Sarat Maharaj made some essential observations on the nature of such an encounter between artists and scholars from different fields and from different ends of the world. Indeed, it is important to note that a certain openness in the Gadamerian sense is essential for a venture of this kind:

The Lab is about plunging in, getting under the skin of things to see how they tick from the inside. The atmosphere is of intimacy, immediacy and involvement — not clinical aloofness. We are not standing by watching the presentations as ‘spectacle‘. It´s a ‘thinking and doing‘ mode. We join in, participate, eventually begin to watch ourselves watching. A self-reflexive awareness surfaces building up towards attentive understanding. A sense of analytical observation and critical scrutiny is teased out from probing the processes of making. It gets elaborated in the thick of the performative experience — from within its sticky non-discursive spread—rather than in terms of some ‘off-the-shelf‘ theoretical programme (Maharaj 2005).

Without true listening, a project like tacit or Loud is bound to failure. Gadamer reminds us how listening is always conditioned by the necessity for us to contribute in the hermeneutical experience. In the lab, this contribution may be an artistic exposition or in the form of analytical thinking. The major challenge is how a translation between these modes of thinking can be done.

In Bruno Latour’s further development of his Actor Network Theory, diplomacy is a core concept, and here the term has a more in-depth signification with regard to the translation between different modalities of knowledge. Along similar lines, Tacit or Loud is built on the assumption that an expanded concept of diplomacy between art forms and cultures along those lines towards other disciplines opens up for the possibility to create new knowledge through diplomacy, or specific forms of translation between actors in a network that crosses disciplines, or ‘modes of existence’ (Latour 2013). A truly international perspective also implies a post-colonial understanding of artistic knowledge. The program builds on the assumption that artistic development must question ancient hierarchies of ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

The lab sessions during the symposium address five interrelated perspectives on knowledge in the arts. Each day will be framed by a presentation by an invited artist or scholar, and we are proud and happy to welcome the film maker and professor Trinh Minh-ha as a keynote speaker on the Saturday when the theme of the day is ”Whose knowledge? A critical perspective on knowledge production in the arts”. We also wish to express special thanks to Malmö Konsthall for the collaboration on the organisation of the program this day. On Sunday, Nov 30, the choreographer and professor Leena Rouhiainen opens the sessions devoted to ”epistemology, embodiment and knowledge in the arts”. We continue on Monday, Dec 1 with a keynote presentation by one of the leading scholars on ”musical gesture and embodied cognition”, Marc Leman, professor at IPEM in Gent. Bertha Bermudez is an artistic researcher in contemporary dance and makes a keynote address on Tuesday, Dec 2 under the heading ”Gesture, action and reaction”. On Dec 3 the focus is on contemporary developments in theatre and how the notions of ”action, situation, performativity and intention” can inform other art forms and modes of thinking. Professor Sally-Jane Norman will discuss ”situated knowledges and celebrations of difference” as an introduction to this final day of Tacit or Loud.

The festival is also an invitation from two artistic research projects hosted by Lund University and funded by the Swedish research council to share developing artistic work and concepts. We wish to thank all artists and scholars who are contributing to the event. It is our hope that Tacit or Loud can become a venue for an emerging conversation between otherwise distinct forms of knowledge, an act of diplomacy which may speak rather loudly into contemporary society, perhaps not in words but in the merging of artistic forms of expression in the performing and visual arts.

Tacit or Loud is organized by two artistic research projects - located at the Malmö Academy of Music and at the Theatre Academy, both part of Lund University, Sweden - in collaboration with the Inter Arts Center. The event is co-organized with Teatr Weimar and Ensemble Ars Nova. Tacit or Loud is supported by Vetenskapsrådet (the Swedish Research Council), Kulturbryggan and Past Machine/wlabs.


Tacit or Loud

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Festival program

– Inside/outside
– Post human computation
Arrival Cities: Hanoi
– The Fourth Dimension
– Vodou [...] 
– Il Se Tourna
Possible Worlds
– Face
– Inde
– Choreo Graphia
– Facet II
– Portraits

– Voices-of-No(i)sense
– [choreo] logy ⏐ carto [graphy]
– Reiterations of Dissent
– Body on street
– För den som i hemlighet lyssnar
– Gynoides project
– Violence and Pedagogy
– Knowing "I"?
– That’s all we shall no for truth
- Through Composition as Explanation
– Synsmaskinen

Symposium Nov 28-Dec 3
– Nov 28
– Nov 29
– Nov 30
– Dec 1
– Dec 2
– Dec 3

– Keynote speakers
– Presenters