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Reflections with Clay - Participatory action and listening. 2020

“Reflections with Clay” - experiment #3
I have done several experiments with this practice at the Norwegian Theater Academy (NTA) internally and one public
sharing during Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival 2020 at Black BoX teater (BBt), as part of
“Resonance. Dissonance. sites for mutual listening”, an 2-day experiment proposed by the MA students from the
NTA / Østfold University College in Scenography and Performance.

The task within this practice is to explore how the presence of clay would affect our ability to listen and understand
the content in text based sound, recorded philosophical and political theory, concepts and ideas. I was wondering about
how we would experience the clay and our relationship to it, relating to the content in different texts. I was curious about
what the potential within this situation could be, doing it together with others, and if it could be a possible way to explore
theory and make sense of it through a sensory and kinetic experience.

The sound material used as part of the shared practice at BBt was an excerpt from the sound taken from a video recorded
lecture ‘Systems and Things’ - given by Jane Bennett at the ‘Nonhuman Turn Conference’, at the University in Wisconsin
Milwaukee in May 4th, 2012. That lecture is based on ideas from her book Vibrant Matter – a political ecology of things, that was
published in January 2010. Link to the lecture: here!

The duration of the experiment #3 was 51 minutes

About “Resonance. Dissonance. sites for mutual listening”
The MA students invited everyone to participate in an experiment to unfold one of the oldest practices we know:
The art of hospitality.
By sharing matters and practices at the core of their research processes, the students explored the following questions:
How can we learn to listen to each other?
What do we really mean by participation, embodiment and sharing space in art practices today?
How do we share knowledge — who has access and who has not?

The event included performance actions, special guests, talks, collective experiments, light refreshments, and open discussions.
The students inviting everyone to a welcoming space open to the complexity of diverse dialogues and languages. The common
interest was in finding ways of proposing positive counteractions that invite polyphonic listening forms, challenging given power
structures in the academia, arts and beyond.

This work was part of my MA research project at the Norwegian Theater Academy, Østfold University Collage, MA in Performance 2018-2020
Photo: André Wulf

                                                                                                                                                                Photos: Sunniva Solberg                     


                         ALL RIGHTS SERVED Inger-Reidun Olsen // 2022