Nirav, Christophe; Daniela, Moosmann; Marjolijn, van den Berg: Writing as Research as Writing

When artists undertake artistic research, they open up their work and share their creative strategies. The writing describing their research is often considered a way of reflecting, rationalizing, explaining, and even controlling intuitive and embodied artistic processes. When we talk about artistic research and writing we should inquire into the phenomenology of writing. Can the writing process mirror the creative making process, by giving voices to the stuttering, the silence, the body or the not-knowing?

The production processes of writing and researching have become more and more intertwined; the research and the work exist in dialogue with each other. Working from the perspective that dissemination of research can be an intrinsic part of the research and not only a report of research outcomes, we consider the very act of writing as a method of doing research. In the research group ‘Beyond Freewriting’ within the Professorship Performative Processes of HKU Utrecht University of the Art, we explore and inquire how creative writing techniques are used as a method of artistic research and how knowledge on writing processes inform artistic research methodologies.

Because we consider both writing practice and artistic research as co-creative activities our presentation will be a collective polyphonic dialogue. We will stage four crucial activities (writing, researching, teaching and dramaturging) as four performative voices or post-dramatic characters. In this performative polyphony we will suggest, share and discuss four strategies of combining creative writing and artistic research: peer-writing, source-writing, polyphonic writing, and focalization in writing. Describing and showing this network of molding strategies we hope to articulate the meaning and the beauty of elastic writing in artistic research.


Nirav Christophe writes for theatre and radio and his radio plays have been broadcast in twelve countries. He is an internationally-renowned creative writing lecturer and pedagogue, and has published books as ‘Writing in the Raw; the myths of writing’ (2008), and more recently ‘Ten Thousand Idiots; Poetics, writing process and pedagogy of Writing for Performance based on Bakhtin’s polyphony’ (2019). Research focus: polyphony in transdisciplinary co-creative processes.

Daniela Moosmann: BA New Dance Developments, BA Writing for Performance, MA Theatre Studies), HKU-lecturer Writing processes and dramaturgy at BA- and MA-courses. Research focus: contemporary playwriting processes and the use of writing strategies as research methodology in Higher Art Education. Researcher in the research collective ‘Beyond free writing’ of the HKU Professorship Performative Processes.

Ninke vOverbeek: (BA Writing for Performance, BA Theatre Studies, MA Comparative Cultural Analysis), fiction-author and author for performance, lecturer writing for performance/ theatre, research focus: ficto-critical writing and connections to embodied knowledges. Researcher in the research collective ‘Beyond free writing’ of the HKU Professorship Performative Processes.

Marjolijn van den Berg: (BA Writing for Performance, MA Education in Arts), lecturer Writing as Making within Higher Art Education, research focus: art-writing, generative writing and experiential writing education. Researcher in the research collective ‘Beyond free writing’ of the HKU Professorship Performative Processes.