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Embodying Expression, Gender, Charisma –
Breaking Boundaries of Classical Instrumental Practices




Date: Thursday, 19 and Friday, 20 September 2024
Anton Bruckner Private University, Linz, Austria


In the artistic research project "Embodying Expression, Gender, Charisma - Breaking Boundaries of Classical Instrumental Practices" (in short: EmEGC), violinist, composer and scholar Barbara Lüneburg, sociologist Kai Ginkel and flutist-researcher Renata Kambarova investigate how the body of instrumentalists is an essential factor for musical expression, gender performance and charisma in Western classical instrumental practice. The team systematically explores how implicit knowledge that lies in the bodily performance of instrumentalists can be analysed, extracted and expressed. While doing so, they additionally address corporeal, socially constructed and medial forms of embodiment in the field of instrumental performance and its reception. Methodologically, this raises questions that we reflect on using specially developed methods of artistic research on the one hand (including art works) and sociological practices on the other. The artistic-scholarly core method for researching embodiment - Re-enacting Embodiment - utilises three forms of knowledge that are available to the artists in the project: explicit and implicit body knowledge, which in extreme cases becomes tacit knowledge that is often difficult to grasp but can be fathomed using this method. Based on our research so far, we recognise the body a) as an instrument of thought and b) as a source of knowledge.

The international and interdisciplinary "Research Network Implicit Knowledge" (FORIM–Forschungsnetzwerk Implizites Wissen) is interested in the exchange of information on the phenomenon of human expertise from the perspective of implicit knowledge. FORIM was founded in 2009 by Fritz Böhle (Institut für sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung e. V., Munich), Jörg Markowitsch (3s research laboratory), Georg Hans Neuweg (Institute for Business and Vocational Education, JKU Linz) and Tasos Zembylas (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna). Since then, the network has met annually and is aimed at researchers who are interested in the study of human expertise that can be described as intuitive-improvisational, situational, flexible, artistic, creative and, as a result, non-formalisable.


The symposium will be open to contributions from each network on both days, with the first day focussing more on EmEGC and artistic research and the second day more on FORIM. We are looking forward to lectures, lecture recitals and the performance of artworks dealing with the topic "Thinking with the Body - Overcoming Methodological Boundaries" and the questions mentioned below. The main questions of interest to both FORIM and EmEGC, and to which we welcome contributions, are the following:

    1. How do we use the body as a source of knowledge and/or as a way of thinking? How can we explore the connection between body and knowledge methodologically and artistically? How can we make body knowledge accessible and shareable?
    2. How can 'embodiment' be defined and represented conceptually, theoretically or artistically?
    3. In which way was does embodiment research benefit from an interdisciplinary approach shared by practitioners in artistic research with their internal perspective and scholars looking at embodiment from an external perspective? How does a combination or juxtaposition of each perspective challenge methodological approaches of both disciplines?


When artistic researchers use their own creative process and artistic practice as a source for knowledge production, they work from an internal perspective to investigate their research questions. On this basis, we are interested in questions concerning

A) Researching Practice
    1. How can artistic research use the body of performers and bodily knowledge as a means of thinking?
    2. How do performance artists/instrumental performers combine explicit, implicit, and tacit bodily knowledge to explore their practice?
B) Theory of Knowledge Production
    3. Is the clear distinction between explicit, implicit, and tacit knowledge still tenable, or is it possibly a product of academic categorisation that is less relevant in the everyday practices of practitioners? Do artists dissolve the boundaries between explicit, implicit, and tacit knowledge and if yes, what does that look like? What is the potential of artistic research to challenge both the definition and handling of these types of knowledge?
C) Dissemination and Sharing of Research Findings
    4. How can the internal body knowledge of artists and practitioners be expressed and shared through academic writing, through artistic research documentation or through artworks that have the potential to create forms of knowledge dissemination that not only rely on intellectual thought but also emphasise aesthetic and sensual experience?

If you would like to make an active contribution to the EmEGC part of the symposium, please send a short abstract (max. 500 words) and a short biography (max. 200 words) by 30 June to Kai Ginkel: kai.ginkel@bruckneruni.at. Lectures, lecture performances or art performances (live or as audio/video format) of up to 20 minutes in length plus subsequent discussion are possible formats. In the case of a live performance/lecture performance, we need the exact stage and technical requirements (tech rider) and the estimated time required for set-up and rehearsal. Additional audio or video material about the planned performance is welcome. You will receive notification of acceptance or rejection of your entry by July 14.


The second day (FORIM) will focus on the question of what exactly the term ‘body’ actually means as a source of knowledge and a means of thinking. A fundamental issue of the discourse on implicit knowledge lies in the fact that the classic examples - for example from phenomenology 'the blind man's cane', in Polanyi ‘riding a bicycle’, in Fritz Böhle 'sensory perception' - refer to physicality, motor skills or sensuality in the literal sense. In a second step, insights gained from these examples are used as metaphors and transferred into the realm of the discursive. With Polanyi for instance ‘the scientist uses theories in the same way as the blind person uses a cane’ or: ‘scientific discovery resembles the visual perception of shapes’. However, it is unclear how seriously the references to physicality should be taken here. This is currently very topical again. The example of deep learning Artificial Intelligence shows for instance that technical artefacts - without a biological basis - convincingly imitate human pattern recognition and thus, according to the promises made by various companies, generate implicit knowledge. This puts the scope of theories of implicit knowledge up for discussion.
So, what exactly does the concept of ‘body’ or ‘Leib’ mean in a theory of implicit knowledge? How far does the metaphor carry and, conversely, how far must a ‘mind’ more or less independent of the bodily basis be claimed?

If you would like to make an active contribution to the FORIM section of the symposium, please submit a short abstract (max. 500 words) by June 16 to Abida Malik: abida.malik@jku.at. Each presentation will have a total of 60 minutes available (30 minutes presentation time + 30 minutes discussion). You will receive a notification of acceptance or rejection of your contribution no later than July 7.


Artistic research, and with it the process of doing art and the artwork itself, are at the heart of this investigation. We therefore provide on this page information on the artworks and academic papers we have produced in the course of our research into the embodiment of expression, gender and charisma in the classical instrumental performance practice. By clicking the badges windows will open that displays the annotated artwork, talks or papers indicated in the title. Information on papers will follow shortly.



Lüneburg, Barbara. "Knowledge Production in Artistic Research–Opportunities and Challenges" in Music&Practice, Volume 10 (2023)

In this article, I write about knowledge production in artistic research and the opportunities and challenges the discipline offers, interweaving theoretical considerations with examples from practice. I consider what constitutes artistic research and how it differs from other academic disciplines or the process of art making itself. I am interested in the conditions necessary for the production of knowledge in artistic research and how, on the one hand, a multi-layered interpretation is fostered on research results expressed through art and artistic practice, but on the other hand, research results can also become ambiguous, making them vulnerable or sometimes questionable from the perspective of traditional academia or even within the discipline.

Lüneburg, Barbara. "Embodying Expression in Classical Instrumental Performance Practice" in Music and Motion. Interweaving of Artistic Practice and Theory, editor: Stephanie Schroedter, mdwPress (to be published in autumn 2024).

The body is the medium through which instrumentalists realize sound, musical ideas, and convey emotion. Their body, simultaneously, is the emotion, and the conveyer of sound and musical idea. Performers use—consciously or unconsciously—gestures and facial expression as well as the staging of the body as a means of expression, communication, and interaction with the audience. Through their corporeality they allow the audience insight into their individual but also staged and culturally shaped personalities. The audience perceives the performers’ intentions and feelings from their posture, movements, facial expressions, gestures, and actions, and reflects these in their own physical and emotional reactions. In doing so, their perceptions are influenced by their tacit body knowledge as well as by the cultural value systems they bring to the concert situation. In the artistic research project “Embodying Expression, Gender, Charisma – Breaking Boundaries of Classical Instrumental Practices,” funded by the Austrian Science Fund (AR 749-G), Barbara Lüneburg investigates bodily artistic expressions in instrumental playing as an essential part of performers’ musical and cultural expression and of the values they share with their audiences (www.embodying-expression.net). With her team, she asks how boundaries of classical instrumental performance practice can be stretched and how this will affect the relation to the audience. In this paper, Barbara Lüneburg describes the interdisciplinary methodological approach that covers methods from artistic research (including performing and arts creation), discourse analysis and gender studies, and introduces the reader to findings of a pilot project which she conducted in 2021/22.

Logo of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Embodying Expression, Gender Charisma is funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF as project PEEK AR 749-G and is located at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Austria. The project has a runtime of forty months starting in August 2022.