Choreographic Contingencies for On- and Offline

PhD in Artistic research

Charlotta Ruth

Supervisor: Univ.-Prof. Dr.phil. Margarete Jahrmann

“Contingent is something that is neither necessary nor impossible; what can be as it is (was, will be), but is also possible in other ways. The term thus denotes what is given (what is to be experienced, expected, thought, fantasized) with regard to possible otherness; it designates objects in the horizon of possible modifications.”* Niklas Luhmann

*Luhmann, Niklas; Social Systems 1984 (1993) p. 152. The quote as well as Niklas Luhmann’s Zettelkasten system has inspired me in finding the format for this reflexive documentation. I like trying theories out, specially those that I cannot entirely comprehend.

When I was around 10, a balloon with a painted face was hanging on a string from my window. Bypassers were invited to write their name. Around that time my pen-friend Sofia and I also had a similar game going on. We attached a short pencil to the corner of the letters that we sent back and forth across Sweden. The times when a post employee had written their name were very exciting.

I didn’t analyse back then, what was so thrilling, but now observing it through my research on liveness I believe the exciting thing was to know that somebody had consciously touched that letter …and that they had even interrupted their habitual passing of time. AND that Sofia and I had been in contact with the invisible system of passing post.

Nowadays, my artistic practice is rooted in treasure hunting, translating and reshuffling. In almost every creative process I look for the beginning rather than invent it. I look at what is already there and how I can support the inner logic, midwifing the material to find its form and borders.

These words that I speak right now, I found in the end phase of my practice-based PhD. Based on the investigations into what liveness is and what it can be, I have choreographed a local network of relations. Maybe you find me somewhere along the way at a different degree of presence.