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Hooray! We are celebrating our 10-year anniversary in 2023! The celebrations will be themed around the future of arts.

Joa Hug: Propositions for Writing Unfinished Thinking

In my presentation I want to introduce the final written publication of my doctoral research, titled “Propositions for Unfinished Thinking: The Research Score as a Medium of Artistic Research”, which is published on the Research Catalogue. One of the key issues in my research is the division between physical practice and conceptual reflection, and one of its main outcomes is a practice that undermines this division: the so-called ‘research score’. In my thesis, I propose that the research score facilitates a kind of ‘unfinished thinking’ (Borgdorff 2011) in which thought is not the property of an individual, intentional, agential subject, but emerges from within an expanded network of inter-corporeal relations; this kind of unfinished thinking is brought to expression via a way of writing that defies the making of definite statements, and that attempts to maintain the relations between language and its ‘affective tonality’ (Manning 2013).
The challenge in writing the doctoral thesis was to keep alive the artistic qualities and the performative power of the research score, and, at the same time, to meet the criteria for an academic publication as they have been determined by the degree requirements. In my presentation I will revisit some of the propositions made in my thesis in order to test to what extent they STRETCH the boundaries of academic scholarly writing, instead of cutting and stilling the artistic practice.
These are two questions that I have:

  1. Do you think that the DIGITAL PUBLICATION FORMAT of my thesis benefits the material and aesthetic qualities of the artistic components of the research – or does it actually work against it?
  2. Do you think that the digital publication format helps to stretch the boundaries of academic writing in a way that engenders new space for breathing and for the release of artistic practice?


Joa Hug (DA Dance/University of the Arts Helsinki) is a Berlin-based artist researcher with an academic background in the humanities and artistic experience as dancer and performer. His artistic research is crafted around Body Weather performance training and explores the epistemic potential of touch as a relational technique to re-negotiate the separation between conceptual and more-than-conceptual modes of thinking and writing.