Rhythms of Presence. Sambolec, T. G. V. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, September, 2017.
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My artistic research project Rhythms of Presence focuses on rhythm as an important element in everyday life, especially in understanding bodily presence. I explore the rhythm of everyday steps through a number of projects – including the three written about extensively in these pages: Heredrum, Reading stanley brouwn, and Rhythms of Presence – leading to a deeper knowledge of walking as a complex interweaving of contacts and interactions between bodies and spaces. Here, this focus exclusively on rhythm in everyday activities provides a framework within which to reposition understandings of presence that manifest next to subjectivity, territoriality, meaning, and social life. I reflect on three of my works, particularly the installation Rhythms of Presence, beginning with an introduction to the key elements that define its general process: rhythm of everyday steps as infra-ordinary phenomena, expanded listening, and production of experiential artworks as methodology. I then outline my engagement with theory and conceptual territories active in my work and that have deepened my own reflections on my installations and research, namely that of Giorgio Agamben, Karen Barad, Michel de Certeau, and Henri Lefebvre. I briefly situate my project within the context of past artistic practices engaged with walking. Contrary to predominant understandings of walking as territorial and narrative practice, I focus on the events of steps as negotiations between the body, the ground, and the surroundings. Following this I assume a position of “situated writing” in that this text aims to articulate insights and philosophical concepts that emerge from and are in dialogue with my artistic practice. Three texts on the projects listed above form the core of my reflection and were written over the course of this artistic research project. In the first, the public intervention Heredrum, my focus on the events of steps rather than walking became clear. The second, Reading stanley brouwn, developed the relation to archival material as a set of instructions for future activity, and the act of “directed” walking as embodied “reading”. The third is the central text, looking into how Rhythms of Presence engages in a manifestation of presence through a remote transduction of the rhythms of everyday steps, and how this procedure reconfigures bodily presence and spatiality as temporal and rhythmical phenomena. I conclude with a short statement on reconfiguring relations between the self, the other, subjectivity, and presence that rhythm – as activated within this research – might bring to the fore. The appendix includes brief descriptions of other artworks made as part of my research, followed by two texts by writers Salomé Voegelin and Vladimir Vidmar commission on the occasion of the solo exhibition at ŠKUC Gallery in Ljubljana, in November 2016, where all the works of this artistic research project except Heredrum, were exhibited.

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