• autoethnography and art-based research: the methods of material transformations


    Organizer: Jagiellonian University in Krakow (dr Mateusz Chaberski)

    The workshop participants were asked to read the following texts before the workshop:

    Żyniewicz, Karolina. Transmattering in the Making: Autoethnographic Analysis of Relations among Human, Post-Human, and Non-Human Liminal Beings. PhD thesis. 2022.

    Żyniewicz, Karolina.'Contamination as collaboration: Being-with in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic', Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, 20:1&2, 2022: 141–52. https://doi.org/10.1386/tear_00087_1.

    Signs of the Times: Collecting Biological Traces and Memories (project description)

    Culhane, Dara. 'Imagining: An Introduction.' In A Different Kind of Ethnography: Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies, edited by Danielle Elliott, Dara Culhane. The University of Toronto Press, 1-23, 2017.

    Kozubowski-Heuston, Magdalena. 'Performing.' In A Different Kind of Ethnography. Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies, edited by Denielle Elliott, and Dara Culhane. Toronto:  The University of Toronto Press, 113-133, 2017.

    Rambo Ronai, Carol. 'The Reflexive Self Through Narrative: A Night in the Life of an Exotic Dancer/Researcher.' In Investigating Subjectivity: Research on Lived Experience edited by Carolyn Ellis and Michael Flaherty. Sage Publications, Inc, 102-124, 1992.

    Day 1:
    The group was divided into smaller teams in the first part of the workshop. Each team was asked to select one project from my website and to analyze it from the methodology perspective. Participants had to imagine what to do to implement the particular project. They noted the imagined steps. In the end, the analysis was confronted with the factual trajectories of project production.
    The second step was participating in my project, Signs of the Times, which served as an example of the artistic process. The essential thing was to share with participants the inside of the project and explain their role in the long process of project implementation.
    The day's most important task was searching for ideas for their art-based research. To make the work easier, I gave them a bunch of passwords:
    Each team presented its ideas to others and discussed the concepts.
    Based on the project sketches, the participants started their fieldwork. They were allowed to leave the workshop space and collect material in the city on their way home or at home. They were equipped with test tubes, swabs, Petri dishes to take biological samples, a sound recorder, and pocket microscopes. It was a task requiring discipline and self-organizing.

    Day 2:
    The second day was dedicated to working with fieldwork materials. All teams presented the raw material first. Then, they worked on selecting elements that would be processed further according to the concepts created the day before. The next step was preparing a project presentation at the current initial stage and planning the next steps that could be taken outside the workshop framework.
  • capturing leakage: body flows and material investigations


    Together with Charlotte Roschka
    Organizer: 'InKüLe' - Innovationen für die künstlerische Lehre, Berlin University of the Arts
    Contact person: Maria Kyrou

    The workshop was a continuation of the process which we passed in the frame of Stretching Senses School (SSS), organized by Matters of Activity, Humboldt University. The main topic and character of the SSS were working with physical and virtual matter. ‘Leaking Bodies’ is a project which resulted from research that aims to connect visitors with the exhibits. The starting point was an exhibition titled Stretching Materialities, which presented material research conducted by artists, designers, and scholars. The exhibition did not consist of ready objects or pieces of art. It invited us to continue the presented investigation on the physical and virtual levels. SSS teams used the show as a reference point to develop their research and to present it in a new exhibition, which serves as a starting point for further research. The material story does not end and allows the incorporation of the following creators and explorers.
    We wanted to guide the participants through their process to create a similar project, continuing the exhibition out of the space. This included (research-based) storytelling, recording with EMF mics, cameras, and mini microscopes, collecting and viewing virtual objects in a digital archive (and eventually) building, and entering a virtual world regarding the created story. The workshop participants learned how to plan and implement artistic research, including fieldwork experiences, narration formulating, creating documentation, and designing presentations (not necessarily in the form of an exhibition). Everything produced during the workshop was a takeaway product that could be developed individually or commonly. The primary visual outcome was a photo and video documentation published on the InKüLe website. Each day of the workshop was a different chapter of the creative trajectory based on different experiences.
    Day 1 was an introductory one. We presented what they created in the frame of SSS collaboration. Then, the workshop group was invited to work conceptually and to find the possible topics of their exploration. The participants were given starting threads, such as the leaking of bodies, flowing of matter, material structures, the materiality of the viral, the reality of digital, the materiality of sound, hidden agencies, permeability and stability, the vulnerability of matter to build a mindmap based on them. It was an exercise of extending. After the mind map creation, the workshop participants were divided into smaller teams to work on stories that they would develop during the following days of the workshop. The teams had to select three elements from the big mind map as a skeleton of their stories. It was an exercise of narrowing down. In the feedback collected after the first day, the participants said they enjoyed the freedom of creating the endless mindmap. They liked the exchange of ideas and the dynamic of working together. They also confessed that it was very interesting to discover their common interest and transform seemingly disconnected words and threads into stories.
    Day 2 of the workshop had exploratory character. The teams were invited to do fieldwork accordingly to the stories they had written the day before. Expanding and narrowing down was also crucial in this part of the workshop chapter. The fieldwork was done in the workshop room, then extended to the building, and finally to the area around the building. The participants were encouraged to collect any kinds of samples they wished: biological samples, sound samples, videos, and photos. The endeavor was limited only by the workshop schedule. The next step was uploading the digital samples to the computers and selecting what would proceed further. In the feedback given after the second day of the workshop, the participants said that they had a lot of fun exploring the environment around them. Experiencing matters together was a chance to build even tighter connections within each team. For many participants, it was their first time using pocket microscopes or listening to the electromagnetic field. They discovered chances offered by technology, but they also realized its limitations.
    Days 3 and 4 were thought of as creational/translatory. The teams kept working on their material stories, editing them accordingly to the fieldwork discoveries. The essential task was selecting those materials that would be useful in translating the material experiences into VR. The teams were introduced to photogrammetry to translate the physical object they collected into digital. They were also working on editing sound and video recordings. Charlotte created a shared VR environment to put all the created stories and their visual representations together. The participants faced difficulties related to a lack of skills in working with specific computer programs. They were struggling with the technological limitations influencing their concepts. They experienced the necessity of watching tutorials to find specific solutions. This struggle was an essential element of the workshop, teaching the participants that they needed to conduct constant research and find people to collaborate with. Nothing is given immediately. It is frustrating, and the frustration appeared in the final workshop feedback. The ambitions coming from the first two days faced painful limitations on days 3 and 4. The length of the workshop did not allow to overcome all the appearing difficulties, but it gave me a chance to face them and to understand them as creative fuel.

    Julia Ziener
    Xueqing Yu
    Jiawen Wang
    Lina Mazenett
    Cielo Vargas Gomez
    Martin Binder
    Lucia Alfaro Valencia
    Fang Tsai
  • enter the flow of incontinent matter


    together with Charlotte Roschka, Hugo Larqué

    The Stretching Senses School festival combines a series of top-level lectures by thinkers of immersive technologies and ecological emergencies and deep-down workshops to overclock the VR artworks into performance and sense-stretching elements. As the Leaking Bodies team, we decided to share the artistic research methods we established while collaborating with the workshop participants. We guided them through the creative process that we divided into three stages: introductive, exploratory, and narrative. In the first part of the workshop, we presented to the participants what our co-work looked like and what is the outcome. Then, the group was divided into smaller teams. We equipped each team with simple devices for exploring the material environment, such as pocket microscopes, EMFS microphones, and sound recorders. The team was encouraged to explore the exhibition at TAT, the building itself, and the garden around the building. They could exchange the devices to get as much diverse material as possible. The last part of the workshop was dedicated to storytelling. All the material objects investigated in the exploratory part became characters of visual and written stories. Everything created has been added to the existing exhibition and the Stretching Senses School archive.
  • constructing life


    Workshop in collaboration with Jakub Piątkowski, PhD, in the frame of the research project: MEDIATED ENVIRONMENTS
  • exercises with the post nature

    Jazdów, Warsaw 2017, in frame of Festiwal Myśli Abstrakcyjnej (Festival of Abstract Think)

    The workshop was done in cooperation with a geneticist, Jakub Piątkowski, PhD. The main goal was to show participants the way of conducting bio art projects. We made a classical academic experiment: a biosynthetic pathway of eye dye, working with mutants of fly Drosophila melanogaster. The challenge was to find a different context for such activity and depict it in an artistic way.
  • the matter of transgression


    The prisoners were asked to finish the following sentences:

    The worst thing which I can imagine is…
    The best thing that I can imagine is…
    I have fear for...
    Thinking about something beautiful, I see...
    Thinking about something ugly, I see…
    I would never touch...
    I would never taste…
    Nice is for me...
    The pain is...
    I can't imagine life without...
    Nature is for me...
    Culture is for me...
  • symbiosis


    The visitors/participants were asked to fill out a survey with the following questions:

    What do you see?
    What do you think seeing it?
    Can you imagine the feelings of creatures closed in the cage?
    Is it a piece of art?
    Do you want to come in?
    What did you feel being inside?
  • the second life


    Living in the museum, I was permanently at the audience's disposal. There were many random workshops with visitors and volunteers.

  • delectatio morosa


    The performative exhibition had an educational aspect. There were meetings and discussions with students, workshops with kids, and conversations with individual visitors.