“Not Quite King, Not Quite Fish“ Artistic Research Symposium

In and out of the brackish waters of artmaking as research

Artistic Research Symposium, 8-11 November, 2023
Organised by doctoral students of the Vilnius Academy of Arts and the Lithuanian Theatre and Music Academy. Hosted by the SODAS2123 Cultural Center, Vilnius, Vitebsko str. 23

The symposium Not Quite King, Not Quite Fish is a three-day international event for practitioners of fine arts, cinema, dance, architecture and design. The event employs the disciplinary diversity of practice-based artistic research. In this broad field, the real and fictive expectations of artmaking and research occasionally collide and fold into each other. Not quite king, not quite fish, doctoral candidates based in Vilnius have turned to the animal queendom for answers. During the symposium, they will dive into brackish waters like the kingfisher (alcedo atthis)*. With contributors from all over the world, the three-day program explores durational and performative forms of presentation and collective experimentation as research.

The program, curated by doctoral students, includes four thematic streams. The Architecture, Art, Bureaucracy cluster treats bureaucracy as a space of intervention. Flying Potatoes refuse commodification. Microscopic Gestures explore the critical potential of cinema when performed with the ongoing vitality of the process itself. Empathy and Ecology examines ideas of co-worlding and tacitly shares artworks that collaboratively emerge with(in) ecological systems. The event, whose main language is international English, is designed to facilitate the conversation between practitioners, practices, approaches and beliefs about disciplinarity, research and the promise of communicating artworks as epistemic things.

We are pleased to be welcoming: Audronė Žukauskaitė, Paulina Pukytė, Ben Spatz, Yen Chun Lin, Joseph Gold Hendel, Nina Liebenberg, Dániel Máté, Ulvi Haagensen, Maren Witte, Hannah Foley, Madeleine Trigg, Fadwa Bouziane, Alessio Alonne and Sei Iturriaga Sauco, Kateřina Olivová, Janina Hoth, Darren O’Brien, Jürgen Buchinger, Caitlin Magda Shepherd, Katharina Swoboda, Eglė Grėbliauskaitė, Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond and Leo Hosp, Coby-Rae Crosbie, Elise Adamsrød, George Finley Ramsey, Maija Demitere, Jasper Llewellyn and Daniel S. Evans, Polina Golovátina-Mora, Lydia Debeer, Arnas Anskaitis, Pedro Florencio, Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė to share their research!

The event is free and open for the public, registration is requested: https://forms.gle/PSt8VtX3Y7uToT657

*The scientific name of kingfisher carries two mythical stories in one. Halcyon was a mythical bird said by ancient writers to breed in a nest floating at sea at the winter solstice, charming the wind and waves into calm. Atthis is a beautiful young woman of Lesbos, favourite of the lyrical poet Sappho.



Programme speakers and performers:
Maija Demitere. Painting with kitchen waste
Workshop. Painting with kitchen waste.

The focus of the workshop is to start a discussion about the invisible and unknown waste and pollution humans are generating with their shopping choices.

Janina Hoth. Kombucha Narratives: Fermentation as a form of interdisciplinary and interspecies research
Kombucha Narratives: Fermentation as a form of interdisciplinary and interspecies research. We will brew kombucha together—a fermented tea drink full of lactobacillus bacteria

Ado·Kin Collective (Sei Iturriaga Sauco. Way of Lore: a sound worlding videoludic experience.
Performance. Sound Gaming: A representation of Donna Haraway concept of worlding in a sound gaming experience inspired by Australian indigenous practice of “Songlines”

Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė. ‘Lichen Grammar’
For this symposium Aistė invites us into the world of lichen, a tactile sharing of her research. By merging designed, imaginary and real species she will present digitally grown symbiotic parts from various ecologies.

Arnas Anskaitis. On the Grey Energy of Institutional Structures and Artistic Pedagogies. A Case of Vilnius Academy of Arts
The research topic of the presentation revolves around the concept of so-called ‘grey energy,’ originating from the field of architecture, which encompasses the storage of potential physical energy in materials and constructions. How can we research, conserve, or activate this ‘grey energy,’ embodied in built structures designed or repurposed for contemporary art education? How does it impact the dynamics of intersubjective communication and the transmission of knowledge?

Coby-Rae Crosbie. Who finds us here, circling, bewildered, like atoms
Lecture Performance. This lecture performance presents gleaned knowledge as a walk through acquire concepts and information, addressing it as a malleable and mobile material.

Dániel Máté. People long for Warmth
A performance lecture which is telling the story of themodernization of the home through two crucial factors of modern living, heating, and food production.

Darren O’Brien. ‘A Year with the Meadows’
Premiere of a film produced in partnership with a canine companion exploring walking-art as a more than human, multi-species synesthetic practice and sharing of the experience of this collaboration and reconnecting with the ‘wild’ through the artistic practice of walking with companion species

dr. Audronė Žukauskaitė. Organism-Oriented Ontology
Presentation. Discussing different aspects of contemporary philosophy, I develop an organism-oriented ontology that is focused on the multiple processes of individuation that constitute the body. Rather than concentrating on individuals and identities, I am interested in processes, multiplicities and potential for change, that is, in those features that define living beings. I argue that the capacity of living beings for self-organisation, creativity and contingency can act as an antidote to biopolitical power and control in the times of the Anthropocene.

Dr. Maren Witte. ‘Between Vui and Weh. Vietgerman in Berlin’
Presentation of an ongoing artistic research project on Viet-German Berliners with the aim of creating a “Kiez” (Berlin dialect for neighbourhood) stage production. Through this interdisciplinary research project Marren and her collaborative partners Meret Kiderlen and My Ngoc Le continue to question how the two white members of the research team avoid the problem of othering and cultural appropriation?

dr. Nina Liebenberg. Sir Isaac Newton vs Arabidopsis Thaliana: A homage to Danguolė Švegždienė
This performative lecture pays homage to the local astro-botanist, Dr Danguolė Švegždienė, part of the Lithuanian team of scientists who, in 1982, were the first to grow a plant (an Arabidopsis Thaliana) in outer space from seed to seed. Through video, text, image, sound and audience participation, Švegždienė’s research will be linked to various ideas around gardening, flying, photosynthesis, space travel, art-making, empathy, Amelia Earhart, Linnaean taxonomy, colonialism, more-than-human encounters, respiratory systems, Yves Klein, Sir Isaac Newton, Žilvinas Kempinas, Derek Jarman, and more.

Eglė Grėbliauskaitė. Autonometrics of Corridor Centrifuges
The lecture explores questions concerning institutional practice and supervision of artistic autonomy in the context of public space and cultural policy dilemmas, valuation, criticism, and conflict genesis in contemporary society and testing democracy through art in practice based research.

Elise Adamsrød. Oddkin
My contribution will be a dance workshop within an installation made of textiles, animation- and movie-projections and sound, where we can move or act in free improvisation as a conversation with the things in the room.

Fadwa Bouziane. ‘Hair-itage’
Durational performance that attempts to reclaim the resilience of Black bodies. The viewer is invited into the space where my Black body is in constant movement. Fadwa’s fingers are conscious and meticulously gesturing to the ancestral practice of Hair braiding.

George Finlay Ramsay. Empedocles Syndrome
A performance lecture excavated from research for the proposed feature film The Empedocles Clause, which charts two voyages up Mt Etna separated by 2500 years, and draws on exciting new archaeological discoveries.

Hannah Foley. ‘Wet Breath Exchange: on performing with fog’
An invitation to engage in Wet Breath Exchange: on performing with fog on the banks of the Vilnia River. This exchange aims to generate an atmosphere of collaboration between all bodies present – listening with and learning-with – with the artist-lecturer both leading  and being led by the audience, knowledge received as well as shared.

Jasper Llewellyn and Daniel S. Evans. MEANDERS, somewhere between fleeting and infinite
This durational performance will occur from dusk until dawn in and around the River Vilna as it appears near the SODAS 2123 complex.

Joseph Gold Hendel. xxXtedXxx 
An “anti-TED Talk” performance experiment as research into (male) authority and the location of knowledge in the era of digital communication and consumer technocapitalism.

Jürgen Buchinger. Epizoons: A case for generative art as catalyst of multispecies relationships
Sound installation and talk. Epizoons are fictional life-forms that contain a nucleus of a single-board computer and a membrane made of ceramic.

Kateřina Olivová. Unicorn, Sex & Power. There is No Last Song at My Disco.
The performance  is a research space that explores a radical, activist, and emancipatory concept of corporeality. This concept is based on Katerina’s lifelong interest in the body in different contexts.

Katharina Swoboda. E-Animals
Exploring the dynamics of human-animal relationships in the digital age, the ‘E-Animals’ performative lecture  offers a unique and engaging experience. Combining elements of a movie screening and a lecture, this hybrid format creates a lively setting that captivates the audience.

Madaleine Trigg. Contact Improvisations with Companion Species and the Camera
This presentation focuses on a series of contact improvisations with dough, yeasts and wheat, to practice how human bodies move with our companion species and the camera. 

Paulina Pukytė. Monument‘al power struggle: politicians v citizens v artists v bureaucrats
A look at how commemoration as public art becomes the war of appropriation between various political groups, the general public and city municipality. And what do artists do?

Pedro Florencio. Modular cinema: notes on film as experimental aesthetics
The aim of my presentation will be to argue that cinema is an ideal art-based research tool to understand the rhytmic nature of visual arts. I will allude to the performative capacity of cinema, in particular that of documentary nature, as a ‘modulating’ apparatus.

Polina Golovátina-Mora. Careful movements
The workshop searches to merge video and  walk as  multi-species performative embodiment of care – collaborative, reflective and on-going. We will attempt to decentralize the filming practice from the human-centred towards more-than-human and address the potential ethical dilemmas that may appear or be resolved in such decentralisation.

Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond and Leo Hosp. ‘Radically Involved. Reflecting on Togetherness from the Perspectives of Dizziness and Queerness‘
Dialogical lecture-performance will expose the process and challenges of research-creation as co-becoming, retracing modes of thinking, performing, and practising together.

Ulvi Haagensen. The unravelling line taken on a walk
Together with my imaginary friend, Thea Koristaja, who is a cleaner,  I will present a performative lecture that takes a walk along and through art, non-art, research and the everyday. We will be equipped with a wiggly line and a desire to blur boundaries.

Yen Chun Lin. Performative reading. ‘Ripples of falling whispers’
Crossing visible and invisible landscapes, empathy fields are accessible through the mind, conscious attention and imagination. By listening collectively to ripples of falling whispers, many Sleepy Ears traversed through these impermanent fields. They listened telepathically, intuitively, shyly, and fell together into shared dreamlands.