Fellow Workshop organised by Karen van den Berg and Johanna Dehio
The last years have seen a remarkable increase in the academic interest for alternative forms of knowledge production. Concepts such as artistic research, implicit knowledge and aesthetic understanding have found widespread acclaim. The research on various forms of alternative knowledge and on emotional intelligence has expanded exponentially. Likewise the debate about a „speculative turn“ also suggests a new tendency towards theory-of-action and theory-of-practice models within the Social Sciences and the Humanities. However, this intense debate about materiality and performativity, bodies and emotions within the Humanities remained almost entirely theoretical and hardly empirically oriented. Consequently, attempts to employ other forms of knowledge production beyond the canonical forms of propositional knowledge within teaching and academic discourse are rare. The outlined workshop wants to try exactly that. It wants to put these poietic forms derived from aesthetic reasoning to test. To that end, the workshop will address the various techniques that seek to create knowledge not by an intellectual approach but by the concrete interaction with the material world. Within a series of small workshop settings, participants will be testing these approaches first hand and document their experiences briefly. The workshop will include experts from various fields, who are experienced with artistic and implicit knowledge – aiming not so much at gaining confidence handling materials but at experiencing an improvised activity as a collective. Together with Berlin-based designer Johanna Dehio, a setting will be designed that allows for the creation of ideas directly from the practice with concrete materials. This setting will entail a set of practical tasks that can be fulfilled by an artistic and technical amateur within a single day. In the course of this, the group will test strategies that aim to decontextualize everyday objects so that they can be used in a way that is disassociated with their regularly ingrained properties. By this, we hope reach a condition, where the participnats lose control in a calculated way, yet reaching concrete material results. We also try to put to the test, whether these small poietic situations might create imaginative moments and forms of knowledge in its own right. Is it possible to trace qualities of creative practical action, which are not conceptually conceivable? Does a joint mode of creation constitute something like non-intentional intention? And if so, how can this experience be communicated? What modes of understanding can be experienced by the immersion into practical action?