Through Phenomena Themselves: Exploring new possibilities of mutual transformation between artistic and phenomenological research practices

The practices of the cell are avaliable in Research Catalogue.

A schedule of the activities at the pavilion is here

This research cell proposes an inquiry into research practices developed in two fields—artistic research and phenomenology—that operate with and through phenomena as their object of research or as the primary medium of exposure to and/or of their object of research. Accordingly this cell is to be understood as a network of practice-based research processes on phenomenabased and/or phenomena-oriented research practices. The main focus of this research cell is to explore new possibilities of mutual enhancement, refinement and hybridization between specific artistic and phenomenological research practices. Although the research goals might be divergent, both evolving fields of practice share a common base: an interest in the generative nature of our existence, alongside the mobilization of embodied subjectivity in first-personperspective processes of inquiry whose primary objects are emergent, co-constituted, intuitive, evident presences—that is, phenomena.

Shared reflection based on processes of artistic and phenomenological research and the artifacts they produce as well as texts and dialogues in different formats and constellations, will aim to bridge the gaps and mutual misapprehensions that hinder tapping the full potential for the further development of both fields of research. Specifically, interpretations and uses of phenomenological theories by artist researchers can diverge, sometimes fundamentally, from the understanding of these theories in the phenomenological context, focusing on a restricted concept of phenomenology as a set of theories, whilst ignoring that phenomenology is, first of all, a method of research. In parallel, the distance of phenomenologists to artistic practices can result in their reluctance to acknowledge such practices as research.

The aim of this research cell is not to defend phenomenology but to investigate unexplored possibilities by exposing phenomenological concepts and practices and practices of artistic research to one another. In this open-ended investigation, critical views elaborated in the framework of process philosophy, poststructuralism, feminism, new materialism and speculative realism will also be addressed.

Cell’s participants: Emmanuel Alloa, Alex Arteaga, Emma Cocker, Alexander Damianisch, Cordula Daus, Nikolaus Gansterer, Saara Hannula, Juha Himanka, Ralo Mayer, Charlotta Ruth, Esa Kirkkopelto, Tuomas Laitinen, Jaakko Ruuska, Tülay Schakir and Katarina Šoškić.

This research cell is conceived and coordinated by Alex Arteaga in cooperation with Emma Cocker, Leena Rouhiainen and Alexander Damianisch and produced as a collaboration of the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the University of the Arts Helsinki.


Through Phenomena Themselves

Activities during May 6–15


[tracing] acqua alta

Saara Hannula

May 6–11


Acqua alta is the Venetian term for the postnatural tidal events occurring in the Venetian Lagoon. Their extent, intensity, and timing are dependent on a range of astronomical, geophysical, meteorological, and anthropogenic factors: due to global warming and the resulting rise in sea levels, they have recently become more common, extreme and unpredictable.


As a part of her work at the research pavilion, Saara Hannula will engage with acqua alta as a contingent yet techno-scientifically delimited phenomenon that calls the permanence of the historic sites, the stability of the infrastructures, and the framework of the biennial into question. During the opening week, she will trace the events through the marks they have left on the urban landscape and develop speculative takes on the possible futures of the biennial. The research process will be shared through a processual exposition situated at the pavilion and on Research Catalogue.


Cordula Daus and Charlotta Ruth
May 6–12: 10.30–11.30 am

You bring a phenomenon of your choice. We apply questionology: a playful interview series in progress that investigates the nature of the question and questioning. 


Radio Manamana
Cordula Daus, Ralo Mayer, Charlotta Ruth, Katarina Šoškić + guests
May 6–12 

Radio Manamana is an imaginary radio studio operated by the four artist-researchers Cordula Daus, Ralo Mayer, Charlotta Ruth and Katarina Šoškić at the Research Pavilion #3 in Venice. Functioning as an echo chamber and loop-hole for chance encounters and after effects. Radio Manamana transmits phenomena themselves. Guaranteed! Come by, tune in, believe it or not!


Analogue Augmented Reality
Charlotta Ruth
May 6–12 

Analogue Augmented Reality - Charlotta Ruth’s ongoing research at Sala del Camino and neighborhood. Site or context specific clues that play with glitches between memory, attention and perception. 


Etudes on Audience

Tuomas Laitinen

May 6–13


Etudes are compositions that have two functions: that of practice and that of art. Phenomenological etudes would then function both as practices of phenomenology and as artistic compositions. In the Research Pavilion Tuomas Laitinen will engage in creating a series of etudes that focus on the phenomenon of audience. As a starting point, the etudes take the form of letters that are addressed to visitors who wish to practice them.


(Follow the lost umbrella)
Katarina Šoškić
May 6–13

Katarina Šoškić  will study sight-seeing. She will take walks and record her impressions, curious about the process of searching and discovering. She will play with the notes she has collected - photographs, video stills, written and spoken words, in order to construct narratives for her guided tour.

Contingent Agencies
Alex Arteaga and Nikolaus Gansterer
May 6–15, public presentations: May 10, 5-6 pm and May 13, 5-6 pm

Each situation is endowed with a specific atmosphere: a significant but non-objectified, unstable and enveloping presence. Contingent Agencies is an artistic research project to inquire into the agencies that enable the emergence of this kind of presences. This project aims at developing practices of notation and reflection that allow to understand these agencies and their relationships. The artifacts generated by this practices will be on display in the Research Pavilion until August 28.

Contingent Agencies is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Starting with a camel
Ralo Mayer
May 8–13

Ralo Mayer is interested in how serendipity happens in artistic and other forms of research, between accidental events and a specific way of perceiving and interpreting the world. In Venice he will employ a microphone, a lost camel, and some luck to talk with others and himself and learn more about stories of serendipity. 


Exercises in New Meaning
Cordula Daus
May 8–12 

Cordula Daus works with and on intensity. At the Research Pavilion she will be present as a voice, intonator and questionologist. Departing from selected text passages and single word-phenomena, she will probe and further develop what she calls 're-sensing‘ – a poetological technique for the simultaneous recalling and ridding of meaning within language.


Reading on Reading
Emma Cocker, Cordula Daus and Lena Séraphin
May 8, 2.30–3.30 pm, 5–6 pm
May 9, 2–3 pm, 3.30–4.30 pm, 5–6 pm
May 10, 2–3 pm, 3.30–4.30 pm, 5–6 pm

Different ways of reading can generate different registers of sense making and affect; there is scope for testing experimental tactics. Reading can be activated mid-sentence or half way down a page, allowing for detours and distractions. Certain language must be rolled in the mouth before it can be digested, new meanings revealed in the pauses and durations breathed between the words. Over three days, Emma Cocker, Cordula Daus and Lena Séraphin test different practices of reading on reading at various locations within the Sala del Camino.


Tracking Leaks
Jaakko Ruuska
May 10, 11 am – 1 pm
May 11, 10 am –12 noon

In order to understand the phenomenon of excess, it’s source should be traced in the “distribution of the sensible”. Following Rancière the political order partitions the sensible into “what is visible and what not, what can be heard and what cannot”, “dividing the world and people. The division obscures the order, that is perceivable only partially from any given position. Therefore the self that is positioned, must be bracketed. In order to do so, one has to overstep the restrictive conception of the self, by becoming a “humanoid”.