Creative Critical
Expressions and Practices

Creative Critical Expressions and Practice is a platform for the exploration of transdisciplinary and transversal practices that operate performatively across creative and critical registers. Primarily involving researchers and teachers at Linnaeus University, CCEP constituted a framework for semi-regular lunch seminars and workshops exploring specific cases or texts or engaging with more practical processes in and across different media. Additionally, CCEP operated as the facilitator of collaborative projects between participants, including a series of workshops, exhibitions and performances exploring the creative critical dimensions of the notion of “ficitoning” and project “Det dolda” engaging with the nexus between glass making and masks in a number of workshops, performances and exhibitions. Two weekend CCEP retreats, We Are All At Sea, were also organized at a small ship in the harbour in Malmö, Sweden, with participants from Linnaeus University, Goldsmiths College and Falmouth University.

CCEP Lunch Seminars

In a series of fortnightly lunch seminars, activities of different kinds were arranged including screenings of films, discussions of art or design projects or related texts, workshops exploring collaborative creative critical processes, and papers and presentations by participants in the group. The intention behind the lunches was to open up an on-going dialogue around CCEP and the research carried out in this field at Linnaeus University and elsewhere. Potentially, they would a form a platform for collaborations between us and for exchanges of information regarding exhibitions, conferences, publication opportunities, etc. The lunches conducted over a period of several months. The cases and materials engaged with included the exhibition and accompanying catalogue Reset Modernity (ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany), Lucian Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s Leviathan, Maria Fusco’s Master Rock, Laura Watts’ Orkney Standard Time, Christin Bök’s Xenotext, and transmedial, collaborative writing and visualization processes.

Coordinated by Ola Ståhl, Department of Design, Linnaeus University.

CCEP We Are All At Sea

Having gathered on a small ship in Malmö for three-day retreats in 2017 and 2018, We Are All At Sea brought together researchers from, amongst others, Linnaeus University, Goldsmiths College and Falmouth University in an engagement with the conditions, parameters and potentials of creative critical expressions, practices and approaches within and across the different disciplines, artistic and otherwise, represented.

But what is this creature emerging from the murky depths of the Öresund Strait? Nobody quite knows. We are all, literally and metaphorically, lost at sea.

Through project presentations and conversations, and semi-spontaneous exercises and workshops, different dimensions of what a collaborative creative critical practice could look like were explored and assessed, and the value of a potential network or platform linking those of us engaged in this relatively marginalized field of practice was discussed.

Coordinated by Ola Ståhl, Department of Design, Linnaeus University.

Det dolda

Ola Ståhl, Petra Lilja & Anthony Wagner

Focusing on masks considered complex artefacts, Det dolda sets out to engage critically and creatively with the discursive and socio-material histories of masks as well as with the collaborative making of masks, and the performativity masks open up to. It is our contention that such engagement with a specific artefact will allow us to broach a series of broader questions regarding the complexity and multi-dimensionality of sustainability.

In its current instantiation, Det dolda works specifically with the material glass, attempting to make masks of glass. Using auto-ethnographic reflection and collaborative writing to document and reflect on this process, Det dolda seeks to explore the interconnectedness of material- and making-based knowledge and the development of creative and critical perspectives and concepts relevant to our understanding and practice of sustainability.

More concretely, and in the long term, Det dolda sets out to:

  • Construct an archive / museum / taxonomy of masks and commentary on masks, fictions about masks, myths about masks, both virtual and physical.
  • Explore the production of actual masks and wearables, artefacts, in different materials, exploring also the relationship between the discursive notions of masks, their functionalities, socio-material aspects and the collaborative learning that comes from the process of making masks in different materials.
  • Explore the performative and ritual aspects of how masks have been and more importantly perhaps, can be used to create spaces and actions of e.g. intimacy, other forms of relationality between humans and humans, humans and other co-species, and indeed humans and other forms of materiality (i.e. objects).

Since it’s inception at a rural retreat in Mundekulla, Småland, Sweden, the Det dolda collaboration has resulted in artistic research workshop in Malmö and at the glass production facilities at Kosta Boda, performances at Nordcode, University of Lund and the Swedish Research Council’s Annual Conference on Artistic Research at Luleå Technical University (Piteå), and an exhibition at Italienska palatset in Växjö, Sweden.

Fictioning

Ola Ståhl, Petra Lilja & Sara Hyltén Cavallius
Ola Ståhl & Simon O’Sullivan

Fictioning is a collaborative process and method, and an exercise in attentiveness considered a potential opening towards the development of new ethico-aesthetic sensibilities and mythopoetic, fictional universes. Working across different senses and media, participants create a series of fictions based on the encounters with specific sites, spaces and places and the human and non-human beings, discourse formations and socio-materialities that populate them.

Exploring notions of collaborative fictioning, these encounters are turned into interwoven sketches and fragments of narrative in different media. The results are compiled into an expanded and expanding mythopoetic Atlas in the form of a collection of icons, graphic prints, collages, texts and artefacts.

Fictioning workshops, exhibitions and performances have been held at Petra Lilja Gallery and STPLN in Malmö, Sweden (Ola Ståhl, Petra Lilja & Sara Hyltén-Cavallius); Wanderlost in Kristianstad, Sweden (Ola Ståhl & Petra Lilja), with BA and MA students in Design + Change, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden (Ola Ståhl & Sara Hyltén-Cavallius) and MA students on the Tourism and Sustainability programme, Linnaeus University, Kalmar Sweden (Ola Ståhl & Petra Lilja), and with the Institute of Things Yet to Come at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (Ola Ståhl & Simon O’Sullivan).