Falk Hübner’s recent article “Hard Times. Lecture Performance as Gesturel Approach to Develop Artistic Work-in-Progress” is published by RUUKKU, a Finish online journal about artistic research; available here. The article, in form of an online exposition in the framework of the Research Catalogue, is one of the outcomes of Falk’s research at the HKU Research Centre Performative Processes.
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The article discusses the approach of using a lecture performance format as a way of obtaining feedback both for research as well as artistic processes. Artistic work is often an essential mode of articulation within artistic research, specifically when practice is understood as both source and target domain of the research.

In the exposition, the format of a lecture performance is investigated and discussed as an explicit articulation through which the process of both artistic work and research is shared, rather than functioning merely as a format for disseminating findings. The format of lecture performance that is investigated here frames the artistic work and theoretical-conceptual framework as two distinct, yet interrelated, processes shared with a conference audience. This includes the deliberate choice for a live performance of artistic work-in-progress, adding a gestural and at times very kinaesthetic aspect to otherwise textually-dominated forms of presentation.

The exposition as such has two focuses that are strongly related to each other, approaching the form of a feedback loop: on the one hand, the creation process of a new experimental performance work by Falk Hübner is investigated. “Hard Times” refers to the title of this artistic work: I will carry you over hard times.

The exposition demonstrates how these conference discussions strongly inform the work process of the specific artistic work in question and attempt to shed an alternative light on the well-known concept of “audience talks”, which typically serve to generate feedback and insights into audience perspectives for artists after tryouts or performances of unfinished work. The audiences of conferences are, in most cases, considerably different in nature than “standard” audiences, offering the possibility of insightful input on quite different facets of both artistic work and research process––provoked by the very form of a lecture performance as described above. The exposition suggests that this type of lecture performance, explicitly including the audience at a conference as important source of information, feedback and peer-review, forms a gestural method of artistic research in itself, whose full potential within artistic research is yet to be explored.

On Thursday, January 14th, Falk carried out the first session of his Live Video Lab, which is part of the larger Live Video Research Project (more info here). In this first of seven session, the the session focussed on the use of preparations for the double bass, and their sounding potential and possibilities.

In the upcoming sessions, these first experiments will serve as a basis for extensions into the visual domain. All experiments are carefully documented in both audio and video and will be published at a later moment. The sessions take place at the HKU Utrechts Conservatory and are open to visitors. In doing this, Falk aims to facilitate a new approach to artistic research at conservatories, and utilising the “conservatory as research laboratory” (see dates here).

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In the first half of 2016, Falk’s activities will take him on several travels to Spain, Finland, the Czech Republic and Australia.

After the premiere performance of I will carry you over hard times in January (see dates), Falk will serve as external member of a doctoral defense at the University of Valencio.

The next seminar of the Innovative Conservatoire (ICON) will take place in march, in Kallio-Kuninkala near Helsinki, where teachers from all over Europe will work with choreographer and educator Liz Lerman, who developed the famous Critical Response feedback method.

In april, the core team of the HKU Research Centre Performative Processes (RECPEP) will present the outcomes of the collective investigation into performative and participatory research at the conference “Artistic Research: Is there some method?” at the Academy of Performing Arts, Prague.

Finally, in September Falk will travel to Melbourne where Sef Hermans will perform and premiere the new music theatre work “silencio” at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (BIFEM). For this work, Falk received a composition grant from the Dutch Fonds Podiumkunsten. In the decision of the grant, FPK specifically honored Falk’s music theatre work of the recent years as an exceptional contribution to the field.

As the first practical-artistic part of the new Live Video Research project, Falk Hübner is carrying out a number of experimental sessions between January and March 2016 (see dates), in order to develop an artistic work for double bass, live electronics and live video. He will do this in the building of the HKU Utrechts Conservatory, using the “conservatory as laboratory” – which will provide his peers, other teachers at the institute and the students with the possibility to come by, listen and watch, discuss and experience this artistic research first-hand.

After the begin of the new season, several projects have started: among others, Falk has begun with the first steps in his new artistic research project about Live Video in music theatre, a project under the Research Centre Performative Processes (RECPEP) of the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. After the initial setup of the project, Falk will start with a series of exploratory experiments in the location of the Utrechts Conservatory, also making it possible for interested students to attend the experimental sessions and get into discussions about the artistic work and the research approach. The dates of these experimental sessions will be announced here as well.

The second season of the the series Setting the Tone at the Utrecht Conservatory has started again! As last season, this year’s sessions will focus on creative processes of the invited guests, but the scope has gotten broader: Rather than focussing on one guest per session, more guests might be invited in order to discuss specific themes. The next edition will take place on November 26th at 17:00, and will focus on the theme of education. Invited guests are master-educator Cecile Rongen, ex-HKU-student Daan van den Hurk and Suzuki teacher Johannes Lievaart (tbc).

Furthermore, the work process of the recent performance I will carry you over hard times, is in its final state. In the next coming weeks the date of the premiere of the full version of this performance work, together with lectures about the creative process and related research, will be announced.

The end of the season 2014/15 is marked by both finishing and rounding up various project, as well as setting up new plans and collaborations.

Until the end of July, Falk will be finishing the work on the new performance I will carry you over hard times with Maarten Zaagman; the work will be performed in the final version throughout the upcoming season. An article about this collaboration is in process, to be published in the next issue of the Finnish online journal RUUKKU, focussing on “research gestures”. 

Looking into the future, several new encounters mark the beginnings of upcoming exciting journeys in the next two seasons: Falk is starting collaborations and designing first plans for three new artistic projects. With soprano Klaartje van Veldhoven and the internationally renowned Amstel Quartet he is devising an interactive music theatre performance with game elements. He will create a new music theatre piece with the vocal quartet Quatre Bouches, and the third project will happen with the Dutch, Australia-based trumpet player Sef Herman, a music theatre performance about darkness and absence, inspired by the “silencio” scene in David Lynch’s movie Mulholland Drive.

This year’s annual ISIS conference is taking place at the University of Utrecht, organised by the faculty of theatre and new media studies. The Research Centre Performative Processes (RECPEP) is taking part here with a variety of contributions, and Falk Hübner is involved in a number of them.
The music theatre work NewsReal is performed by Cora Schmeiser is performed on the evening of April 17th (see dates). Earlier on that day the Research Centre hosts a panel with presentations by Nirav Christophe, Joris Weijdom, Marloeke van der Vlugt and Falk Hübner. Together with percussion player Maarten Zaagman, Falk will give a lecture performance about his artistic research on reduction in performance, and about the recent performance-in-progress, I will carry you over hard times. Maarten Zaagman will perform excerpts of the work.
As a last contribution, the new publication by the Research Centre will be published and launched at the conference, Marloeke van der Vlugt’s book Performance as Interface / Interface as Performance. Falk wrote the foreword for this publication.