Focus Artistic Research

Navigating Dizziness Together

Project lead: Ruth Anderwald
Zentrum Fokus Forschung
Duration: 15.05.2020 - 14.11.2023
Austrian Science Fund (FWF): AR 598 Programm zur Entwicklung und Erschließung der Künste (PEEK)

An Arts-based Investigation of Dizziness in Social and Physical Environments

Taumel (dizziness in German) arises locally and is situational, combining various elements. It can clear, cause a great stir, move heaven and earth: it destabilises. Dizziness, according to Plato, is creating the constitution of all philosophical thought by destabilising the basis of knowledge to a state of uncertainty. When we fall into dizziness, we do so gradually, increasingly losing our ability to exercise control. Whether frightening or enjoyable, by falling into dizziness we enter a state of heightened vulnerability, unsure of our abilities, perceptions, and processing – uncertain of ourselves. For the project Navigating Dizziness Together. An Arts-based Investigation of Dizziness in Social and Physical Environments, visual artists and artist-researchers Ruth Anderwald and Leonhard Grond will study the phenomenon of Taumel (dizziness in German) regarding strategies for navigation in social and physical contexts.

As this artistic research constitutes an artist’s novel, the creative strategy consists of two processes: the on-going arts-based, philosophical and scientific research, and the development of the visual and written narrative, synchronising both threads in the format of an artist’s novel. This innovative format does not only involve a written narration of the research process and findings, but includes other fields of the arts, such as films, performances, and public encounters. In this way, the project aims to uncover criteria and strategies that facilitate navigating dizziness. The published book format defines its outcome and will present the project’s process and findings in a way that combines the perspectives of the disciplines and citizen scientists.

Together with co-operational partners Christian Hoffelner (artist, designer, lecturer, Department of Visual Communication, University of Art and Design, Linz), Anna Kim (writer, lecturer, Institute of the Art of Language and the Institute of Site-Specific Art), Marcus Steinweg (philosopher, professor for Art and Theory, State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe) and PhD candidate Laura Brechmann (performance artist, scenic researcher, University of Applied Arts, Vienna) the team will carry out detailed research on the possibilities and impossibilities of Navigating Dizziness Together. On specific questions and challenges, expert consultants from the fields of architectural theory, political science, cultural science, visual and environmental studies, medical research and therapy will provide support for a cross-disciplinary reading of the topic.
Photo credit: Anderwald + Grond