Accepted Paper:

'I move my hand and then I see it': Ways of knowing with young artists in Japan  

Author:

Iza Kavedzija (University of Cambridge)

Paper short abstract:

Based on an ethnographic study of young contemporary artists in Japan this paper will explore the tropes and images invoked by the artists themselves to describe their work. By highlighting the movement of their body in the process of making they shed light on emergent qualities of imagination.

Paper long abstract:

When describing their creative efforts and practices, my Japanese artist friends often invoked an image of movement. Similarly, when describing their own lives they frequently used a comparison with a path, albeit a much less clearly delineated one then the trajectory ahead a practitioner of traditional Japanese arts. Based on an ethnographic study of young contemporary artists involved in improvised music and dance, painting and multimedia installations this paper will explore the tropes and images invoked by the artists themselves to describe their work. Their description of the creative process, with no single pre-given mental image, emphasizes the processual knowledge involved in the act of creation. By highlighting the movement of their body in the process of making they highlight the emergent qualities not only of their work, but also the evolving understanding of questions they did not heretofore consciously know they want to pose. Imagination here, it seems, is not a precondition for making an artwork, it is an emergent property itself.

Panel P027
Materialising the Imagination: How People Make Ideas Manifest