IT IS NOT A PRACTICE OF SEARCHING, IT IS A TECHNIQUE OF FINDING
By Martina Ruhsam
In one "metalogue" in the book "Ökologie des Geistes"[i]
written by Gregory Bateson, a daughter asks her father how it comes that things
become disordered and confused all the time. How do things get jumbled and
messy? And why do they do that all the time? She claims that people seem to
invest a lot of time in clearing and cleaning things, in keeping them in order.
But it seems as if they would never spend time for making a mess. Maybe this is
a good linchpin for thinking about research. If people usually take care to
keep things ordered, research processes require a certain devotion to messy and
chaotic situations, discussions, actions and surroundings. The trigger is what
Moreover, the daughter in Gregory Bateson's book wonders why everybody
seems to mean the same thing when she/he is talking about order but everyone
means something very different when she/he talks about disorder. Is it similar
in talking about research?
While cooking I ask myself: Where does research start and where does it
end? Isn't a good piece one in which the performers are researching the
performance event rather than being actors of a pre-planned scenario?
I google "research, dance" and briefly read the results that appear on
the first three pages. What I gain with this google research about research is
surprisingly little. I have the impression that there is not a single page that
offers any definition, acquiry, question or help for an artistic research. On
the website for research in dance education in the UK "the popular and moral
panic" is adduced as a relevant field for research. I go to the kitchen to
prepare coffee. ®
"Cognitive mapping takes over where orientation stops" ®
(Brian Massumi, Parables for the virtual: movement, affect, sensation,
"We make no money and we will never make money. That is what makes dance
and performance the most experimental art form at the moment." (Jonathan
"Everything is possible is not the same as anything goes." (Mårten
"We will never stop asking some questions." (Asterix)
[i] Gregory Bateson, Ökologie des Geistes.
Anthropologische, psychologische, biologische und epistemologische Perspektiven,
übers. von Hans Günter Holl, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Taschenbuch, 1981.
(August 20, 2008)