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” In January ’15, Carine Meulders, one of the project partners of N.O.W., invited me to give a lecture on artistic research and its processes, during the first official meeting of the group. A year later, Agnès Henry, the director of Extrapole, which initiated and led N.O.W., asked me to join the working group in Antwerp (BE) in April ’16 in order to lead a workshop that would contribute to the clarification and elaboration of the group’s research process and aims.
Following that workshop, I was invited to accompany the project for the rest of its duration in order to curate and lead a series of workshops in the frame of LABS #1 and #2, as these were defined in the project’s description. In other words, what was asked from me was to design a research path for the group, through which it would explore its main concerns, questions and interests by co-creating a ground on which these could be further worked.
( … ) Despite the different methods used in each of the two laboratories, my core methodology has been a very similar one for both of them: to balance individual voices with the group voice and make sure that there is sufficient space given to both of them; to create a common ground and the shared conditions that would encourage all involved agents to circulate ideas and materials with which to work further; to work among many, instead of accumulating disparate inputs that would stay disconnected and unable to move the research process forward; to reveal possible tensions and differences present in the group and work with them as potentialities that assist the elaboration of the research process. It is such aims that informed the tasks and processes involved in both cases. And it is similar aims that also inform the writing process that follows, in an attempt for this text to act less as a ‘report’ and more as a ‘re-enactment’ of what took place in all the spaces we met in the course of two years in different countries in Europe.
With the hope that it will manage to share with its readers some of the energy involved in N.O.W., ranging from insightfulness and generosity to frustration, tension and despair, as is often the case in research processes; and most importantly, with the hope that it will provide a useful document for the rest of the artistic sector and its current concerns and questions on a European level, I welcome you to this text. As is the case for all research projects I appreciate, my biggest wish for both N.O.W. and this report is for them to be seen less as ‘closed’, ‘fix’, ‘finished’ objects and more as triggers and starting points for yet more research processes to come.”
June-July 2017, Danae Theodoridou