Performing Research: Being with \ learning with \ speaking with an object — a workshop by Ben Lignel
This workshop proposes to engage research at a pedestrian level, and to conduct a slow experiment in being, learning, and speaking with an object. One way to describe your activities is to say: you will be spending some time with an object that inhabits the public space, and documenting what it teaches you (we will spend some time together defining what an “object” might be for the purpose of this course). Drawing from Ingold, Grosz and Rubio, we will suppose that the object is ongoing, or unstable, and you will be asked to care for it (even though it does not belong to you). You will bring a few things alongside you: texts, ideas and tools to think about and implement an observation. The journal you will keep is one of the outcomes of the project (a printable file will be provided by the teacher, and filled by you during the semester). As the project progresses, you will dig deeper into the object’s relations to its ecosystem(s) and map the relations that interest you, thus defining your position as researcher. During a final, intense phase, you will take a step forward towards the object and do something to it: repair it, dismantle it, make it invisible, describe or historicize it. We will discuss the implications of thinking of these actions as forms of research, and conclude with some thoughts on maintenance: where does your research go from now on? Thinking of the different possibilities open to you (archive, transmit, connect, destroy) will conclude a sort of mutually impacting tango between you and the object.
The point of this workshop is to “assert your right to research,” (Appadurai, 2006) while refuting the idea that research pre-exist to your encounter with the “object”. Our hypothesis – that one becomes a researcher dynamically, responsively – will be framed by an ethics of care, and a particular attention to the tools we bring to, and traces we leave on, objects.
Outcome: alongside the journal that will accompany you through the semester, your intervention on the object will constitute a second outcome. This may take the form of an intervention or condition report, and audio-guide, a broadcasted object lesson etc.
This workshop is limited to 15 students (MA Art and Design).
Introduction (seeding) session: April 22nd, 10-12 and 1-3
Interim session: May 20th, 10-12 and 1-3
Final block: July 5, 6, 7 & 9, 10-12 and 1-3
Reading before semester starts
• Lehmann, Judith_ Pragmatics of Studio Critique (2017)
For more information about Ben Lignel and the workshop: https://vimeo.com/539184981