“We realized we did not want to give a standard conference where people come and read papers – not that there is anythin presenting research results,” said McGill Philosophy professor Eric Lewis, who co-organized the conference with two McGi McAdams (Music).
Time Forms placed strong emphasis on research creation, or the practice of combining creative and academic approaches t academics, including Roger Reynolds, a Pulitzer-winning composer and professor at the University of California San Diego Anthropology Georgina Born.
The idea of research creation was on full display during a walking tour led by Dutch dance troupe Vloeistof, where students followed dancers through the streets of Montreal while listening to a pre-recorded narrative soundtrack. “Weeds are a good indicator of tolerance in a neighborhood,” a woman’s voice said as the group set off from the corner of during the conference.
Dancer Sarah Manya chose this moment to climb the fence of a brownstone on Durocher Street. “I’m looking for a tender aspect in this street,” the voice continued, as Manya wandered down an alley bookended by piles o grimy basement window.
“By most traditional standards, a public dance performance in the street is not considered a ‘publication,’” added Schulich “But we wanted to make the process part of the final product instead of creating something and then writing a paper about it”.
There is solid theory behind the ideas of research creation, said Vloeistof choreographer and dancer Anja Reinhardt. A perf amusement and incredulity of neighbourhood residents and passers-by, challenges notions of time as an objective concept connections between walking, thinking and time. “The process of putting a dance or theatre experience in a public space puts the public in a very active role where they begi different way to frame reality.”
Research creation also entails thinking differently about the academic experience, including traditional seminar-style discu turns discussing an assigned text entitled The Acceleration Manifesto, about 20 people engaged in a lively dissection of the discussion partners every five minutes.
“This is a concept I’ve brought to my classrooms as well,” said Alanna Thain, professor of English and the third co-organize that by the time you switch partners a few times, the traces of previous conversations will enter into the present discussion. Lewis and McAdams both noted that research creation is a way of bringing the university into the community. A dance part ongoing series of lunch hour dance events, brought more than a hundred of people to the Multi Media Room in the basement of the Schulich New Music building.
“Universities are occasionally not very welcoming places for the public,” said Lewis. But with local DJ Mark Vicente at the installations by renowned artist John Heward, “this was a way of bringing people into our university and building bridges with the community.”