Barbara Lüneburg

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Barbara Lüneburg


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Current research: TransCoding-From 'Highbrow Art' to Participatory Culture

"TransCoding– From 'Highbrow Art' to Participatory Culture" is an arts-based research project conceived of by the artist and researcher Dr. Barbara Lüneburg (project leader), funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF (PEEK AR 259-G21) and located at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, Austria. The project is run by an international team of artists, programmers and three researchers from 1.2.2014 – 30.1.2017.

Our research topic is the question of how we can involve an audience that is hitherto not available for the new arts in our project, exemplary create a link between the world of young people coming from the popular culture and that of internationally working multimedia artists and thus make "highbrow art" more accessible.

With TransCoding we wish to encourage participation in art and generate a new audience by

  • initialising an online/offline community that picks up on a given frame in an artistic, social and interactive way using every day media of participatory culture such as facebook, blog, youtube, twitter etc.
  • creating a multimedia-solo-show for one violinist, live-electronics and video aiming for performances at festivals and concert podia. Influenced by or in exchange with the community we would like to explore a given topic by crossing between popular culture and so-called high art. (Performances are planned at festival “Forum neuer Musik”, Deutschlandfunk, Köln/Germany, Hilltown New Music Festival Ireland and ZKM Karlsruhe/Germany (Center for Art and Media technology) in 2015/16.)
  • and as a final step by generating an audiovisual installation that will reflect on and evaluate the artistic and scientific results as well as the contributions of the community putting it together to an interactive artwork that can exist and travel independently from any performing artist (first exhibition planned at University of Applied Science St.Pölten).

By offering participatory culture via web 2.0 as part of our arts project we invite to speak out, share a discourse and take influence on the approaching art project. Through these online platforms we hope for input across boundaries that will show its influence in the second and third step of the project. Our starting point will be the blog www.what-ifblog.net.

In this project, practice based arts research is not just about the artistic process reaching into new contexts. We apply findings and theories from media sociology to an artistic process and investigate their applicability and meaning in the arts. The (commonly hierarchic) relationship artist and audience/community will be defined to one of permeability and mutual influence.

We hope to raise interest in participation in art as a way to express one’s identity and achieve personal empowerment and to further a sense of their belonging to a peer group by participating in an arts project.

Please, click here for more information about our key research question.

TransCoding is funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF as project PEEK AR 259-G21.

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PhD-thesis:
A holistic view of the creative potential of performance practice in contemporary music

Click here for the full thesis.

Topics for Talks:

  • Charisma and Stage Presence
  • What defines a meaningful collaboration (with examples from practice)
  • The use of violin/viola or electric violin in an electro-acoustic context
  • Creativity in Performance
  • Collaboration

Abstract of my PhD-Thesis:
The creative potential and work of the performer in new music extends from the moment of conceptualising a concert to the moment of presenting it on stage and comprises many areas between and around those two points.

In my thesis I explore the nature of this activity, from the act of playing itself to the commissioning and creating of new pieces, curatorial and collaborative tasks, and the actual concert presentation. I deliberately include interrelations between performer and music promoters, composers and the audience. This leads me to further areas of investigation, namely the question of the performer’s leadership, the charismatic bond with the audience and the creation of what I call "concert aura". I do not strive to offer all-purpose formulae for the “perfect concert” or for the ideal collaboration. I investigate performance practice not as an absolute art but rather as something embedded in and shaped by social relations and society. Accordingly I understand my thesis as an empirically-based study of the questions performers could ask, as well as processes in which they might want to engage, to find meaningful solutions for each new situation.

Not all of the questions I raise will be new to each performer, but in their collaborative and concert practice many performers rely on a random, unsystematic, empirical understanding that has been gained by chance. In contrast, I attempt to draw a theoretical basis for my investigation from the fields of psychology, philosophy, media science and sociology, together with the evaluation of my own and other artists’ performance practice. In this way I hope to develop an academic foundation and a comprehensive, systematic approach that can be applied to different collaboration and concert situations.

Part 1 of my thesis is concerned with theories and concepts relating to creativity, collaboration and presentation (concert aura and charisma) and aims to establish a firm theoretical basis for application in practice.

Part 2 presents, discusses and analyses a selection of case studies from my own practice, considered in relation to the theories discussed in the first part. I conclude by offering guidelines to collaboration and giving a model example of how one might plan a future performance, aiming to create a Gesamtkunstwerk through the totality of the preparation and presentation, its social and psychological connotations.

My thesis includes two DVDs with Quicktime Movies and two CDs with recordings of the compositions, commissioned as part of this research and discussed throughout the thesis. The Appendix contains three sample-CDs with an accompanying commentary which give an introduction to contemporary playing techniques for the acoustic and electronic violin and acoustic viola. This CD is intended as a guide for composers to get acquainted with the instruments and was given to each composer involved in this research.

The PhD was awarded to me from Brunel University in May 2013.
1st supervisor: Dr.Bob Gilmore
2nd supervisor: Dr.John Croft