Artistic performance as expert habitus: situated acts of self-reflective embodied practices

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)

Abstract

Artistic performance, as in dance and music, demands the re-enactment/execution of previously imprinted and embodied expert practices. Such practices can be called an artist's expert habitus, combining embodied schemata and artistic expert know-how. The schemata structure perception, thought, action and communication that can be adapted and recoordinated in specific situations -- Bourdieu's habitus; the know-how is the result of consciously directed and rehearsed practices and skills. I propose to consider the artistic performance act as a situated instance of the performer's expert habitus. In the artistic act/moment of performance four dimensions will be distinguished.
1) The background dimension concerns the 'virtually' present capacities: the experience and expertise, the embodied and cognitive schemata, the explicit and tacit knowledge the artist has previously acquired (P. Bourdieu, M. Polanyi, J.R. Searle, G. Edelman).
2) The dynamic dimension is the time- or process-dimension of the performance act, the movement in time: action, expectation, continuity of the unfolding practice and time-boundedness (D. Huron).
3) The situated dimension means that artistic performance happens in an ecological space: every act is situated. Different environments lead to different expectations. The artist has to cope with the resistance and/or the affordances of the world -- space, objects, acoustics, audience... (Clancey, A. Clark, Gibson).
4) The self-reflective embodied dimension relates to the artist him/herself as an embodied being, coordinating the three other dimensions in relation to his own bodily awareness and perception. The four dimensions are dynamically integrated into the artistic performance.
Aspects such as thought in action, anticipation, adjustment, scaffolding and recoordination in activity patterns occur across several dimensions. These transversal aspects will be illustrated with examples from dance and music practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2008
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Conference

ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet
CountrySweden
CityStockholm
Period21/09/0925/09/09

Keywords

  • performance
  • artistic research
  • expert
  • habitus

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