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Prof part of international team exploring artistic research

by Irene Botes

Prof Chatradari Devroop, Research Professor, Faculty of Arts and Design, has been invited to be part of a select international research team exploring artistic research. Artistic research is a new paradigm being used in arts faculties globally whose focus is to examine the practice in the arts – essentially research in and through the arts, rather than on or for the arts.

This research intervention, entitled Doing Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Preparing for Improvisation, was hosted by the Gustav Mahler Private University for Music in Klagenfurt, Austria, from 13 to 15 June, and was an extension of the Jazz Re:search in 21st Century Academia and Beyond that took place in Graz from 9 to 12 June.

The Doing and Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Preparing for Improvisation was an artistic research project that aimed to generate answers and new questions regarding the everyday experience of improvising jazz musicians by focusing on the various modes of “doing” and “thinking” in jazz. By initiating various live encounters between an international group of experienced artist-researchers associated with the International Network of Artistic Research in Jazz, and the jazz faculty, the project facilitated the identification, reflection and documentation of established and innovative preparation techniques in jazz improvisation.

The project involved lectures, artistic performances, open rehearsals and discussions. The key contributors were Prof Michael Kahr (Gustav Mahler Private University, Austria), Prof Monika Herzig (Indiana University, Bloomington, USA), Prof Marcel Cobussen (University of Leiden, The Netherlands), Dr Vincent Meelberg (University of Leiden, The Netherlands), Dr Chris Stover (Griffith University, Australia), Prof Tracy McMullen (Bowdoin University, USA) and PhD candidate, Jasna Jovicevic (Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia). The research project concluded with a visit and discussion around artistic research at the new JAM LAB University in Vienna, where they launched their Centre for Artistic Research in Gasometer, Vienna.

Prof Devroop says although the project was primarily focused on music, there are significant take outs for artistic research in general. “The paradigm used in artistic research is unique and can easily be applied to any discipline within the arts. This research visit benefits the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in several ways: firstly, it forces us to re-evaluate how we do research in the arts; secondly, it provides us with an innovative approach to artistic research; thirdly, it opens up discussion (conferences and seminars) on artistic research and allows us to grow the artist-research network; and finally, could potentially position TUT as a leader in artistic research, nationally.

Prof Devroop commends Prof Nalini Moodley-Diar for having the vision of recognising the value of this new research paradigm and for being open to engaging with a mind-shift away from traditional research methodologies.

He hopes to realise the experiences from this research project on a shared platform in the Faculty of Arts and Design soon.

PHOTO CAPTION: Prof Chatradari Devroop, Research Professor, Faculty of Arts and Design, visited Austria recently to be part of a select research team exploring artistic research.





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