The Web of Artistic Practice: A Background for Experimentation

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Beneath the artist's apparent expertise and creation --revealed in artistic realisations such as composition or performance-- a complex domain of experience, knowledge, and actions is hidden and difficult to pin down. This domain consists of different tacit dimensions, which can only be made visible, understandable, by theorising, or by the introspection and interpretation of the artist. Moreover, within the process of creation, the artist is seldom consciously aware of these dimensions, the focus at that moment being creation itself-- some artistic idea or aim. The tools of the artist, knowledge, expertise, experi- ences, and actions present in his or her creative endeavour, remain in the background of this act. It is often only after the act of creation, that some reflection or recollection, as a kind of re-enactment of the background, is possible.
That background is the subject of this article. Beyond "inspiration," all artistic improvisation and experimentation is enhanced by what I call an "artistic web of practice," which is both culturally shared and idiosyncratic --thus, specific for each artist. This web of expertise functions as a kind of dynamic artistic background, an internalised and integrated whole on which the artist relies for his or her creativity. It is constituted by five dimensions that refer to the complex interactions and exchanges between the musician and his or her environment: embodied know-how, personal knowledge, the environmental, the cultural-semiotic, and the receptive dimension. Together they form a "web" of artistic practice, woven repeatedly by the artist over multiple periods of education, exploration, and performance, offering a solid but agile support and augmenting artistic expertise. The personal artistic search of the musician in acquiring his or her "web of artistic practice" is a creative path: there is no sin- gle curriculum, training, or personality, nor one history of how to become an artist. Musicians have to creatively recognise and recombine the dispositions they possess, those they desire to acquire, and those that happen to arrive by contingency and through experience.
Originele taal-2English
TitelArtistic Experimentation in Music
SubtitelAn Anthology
RedacteurenDarla Crispin, Bob Gilmore
Plaats van productieLeuven
UitgeverijLeuven University Press
Pagina's69-82
Aantal pagina's14
ISBN van geprinte versie978-94-6270-013-0
StatusPublished - 1 okt 2014

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Darla Crispin and Bob Gilmore

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