When I started my doctorate in 2011, the aim of my research was to articulate the bodily knowledge created by the so-called Manipulations. The Manipulations is a hands-on training practice that was developed by Body Weather, and that draws on diverse Eastern and Western practices such as yoga, shiatsu, acupuncture, and manual therapy.
In the course of my research, my main focus shifted from the Manipulations to the primary practical method of my investigation, the so-called research score. The research score is a translation (W. Benjamin) of the beginning sequence of the Manipulations from a duo into a solo practice: alone, the receiver not only recreates - through memory and imagination - the sensation of being touched, but also attends to the process of thinking and articulates thoughts that arise in relation to a word or a concept chosen beforehand. The verbal articulation of thoughts happens instantly and within the practice of the research score, instead of as a separate(d) reflection afterwards. The voice acts as a writing tool, as it were: the words uttered are recorded on the spot, subsequently transcribed, and then edited into a piece of writing.
In my understanding, the research score proposes an onto-epistemological shift from a representationalist model of knowing to a posthumanist performative model (K. Barad). This proposition has recently been put to the test through collaborative performative research with Outi Condit, Riikka T. Innanen, Tashi Iwaoka, Paula Kramer and Josh Rutter. In October 2016, the results of this research were presented to the public and to the external examiners Jaana Parviainen and Peter Snow at an exposition in Helsinki.
Currently, I am working on my thesis ('Touching Thinking. On the impact of Body Weather performance training and its epistemic potential as a medium of artistic research') in the form of a web-based publication. This final piece, the ‘commentary’ (as it is called in the degree requirements of the Performing Arts Research Centre), traces the evolution of the research score from a method of embodied reflection towards a collective practice of unfinished relational thinking.
Hug, Joa, “No solutions: The research score as a medium of artistic research”. In: Koubova, Alice (ed.), Artistic Research: Is there some Method? (forthcoming)
Hug, Joa, “To call that ‘writing’?” In: Nivel. Poetics of Form
Hug, Joa, “Writing with practice: Body Weather performance training becomes a medium of artistic research”, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training 7 (2) 2016, 168-189.
Hug, Joa, “Modes of Knowing in Body Weather Performance Training”. In: Enderlein, Undine (ed.), Zwischenleiblichkeit und bewegtes Verstehen: Intercorporeity, Movement and Tacit Knowledge (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2016), pp. 367–380.
Hug, Joa, “Body Weather Manipulations No. 1 & 2”, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Blog