Artistic Research


Artistic research produces another kind of knowledge than scholarly research does. The former is concerned with a type of knowledge impossible to express in texts only, a knowledge that is ingrained in artistic practice, in the tools, case studies and works a reflective research practice engenders. It is a knowledge less propositional in nature than the outcome of scholarly research. The results of artistic research also have to be communicated through aesthetic experience and not only through cognitive reasoning. As Julian Klein puts it, artistic research strives for a felt knowledge.

Case studies

The EGM case studies document that motion-tracked dance can function successfully as a touch-less interface for digital sound synthesis and processing. It can be observed that the dancer's body may extend consitently into the sound production by means of virtual composed instruments. Furthermore it could be shown that by departing from a simple action/response scheme, where any movement induces an immediate sonic response (refered to as instrumental condition), new performative metaphors can be developed showing a more complex temporal behaviour, approaching what is refered to as structural condition. By introducing a variable (speed dependent) delay between movement and sound, a situation is created which is very hard to understand and act upon rationally, but that can be grasped and mastered through the dancer's bodily intelligence. A new possibility for intermedial (dance/music) artistic expression has been discovered, stabilized and documented, which will continue to enrich the artistic practice of the research team as well as of other artist researchers.

Co-creative work

Co-creation has been found to be an ideal context to investigate artistic research questions in EGM. The need to communicate about the problems at hand stimulates collective conceptualisation, modelling and experimentation – the three components of the EGM artistic research methodology.

The dance solo piece Bodyscapes is an intermedial composition by dancer/choreographer Valentina Moar and composers Gerhard Eckel and David Pirrò. Bodyscapes, a work-in-progress, was designed as an extended case study, which has been performed in public and presented at the BEEM symposium. In Rebody, the motion of a dancer Valentina Moar captured in Bodyscapes is transformed into a dynamic drawing by visual artist Michael Schwab, that, in turn, feeds a musical composition by Gerhard Eckel. The video and installation piece shows sets of experimental variations that explore the dance movements, the drawing algorithms and the musical structures in an attempt to create aesthetic resonances and convergences. The work investigates how structured creative processes can transpose, rather than represent, the dancer’s movements. Rebody has been presented at the ORCiM research festival 2010.


Much of the knowledge created in EGM resides in the software developed as a part of the project. This concerns both the concepts implemented in the open source EGM Toolkit and the scenarios developed with the toolkit and explored in the Aesthetic Lab. The EGM toolkit establishes an artistically motivated way of thinking about motion data processing and provides the necessary functionality to apply the developed concepts within the SuperCollider sound synthesis and algorithmic composition environment. The EGM Toolkit is made publicly available as a SuperCollider Quark.

Embodiment in Generative Music

By means of artistic experimentation, the project led to a refined understanding of the potential function of embodiment in generative music composition and performance. A new hypothesis has been formed, stating that playing a generative music model should allow for the performer’s body to extend into the music generation process in a way analogous to extending into the sound generation process, such as in playing a musical instrument.