Thursday, 25 April 2013

Schizoanalysis: musical creativity within written research

 Commercial Music Research Group
 Seminar Series: Dr Jo Collinson Scott
 UWS Space, CCA Glasgow
 Tuesday 7th May, 5.30pm

What place is there for musical creativity within written research output? Introducing 'schizoanalysis': an exploration of musical creativity at work in academic text.

For many researchers in the creative arts, recent work in the developing field of practice-led research has begun to close the gap they previously felt between their "creative work" as music practitioners (which resulted in performances, or songs or recordings) and their "academic work" as researchers (which involved taking objective and critical standpoints on creative practice and then communicating the results of this via the writing of formal text). It has come to be accepted (although still not fully theorised) that creative practice can be considered to be research itself, under certain parameters and contextualised in particular ways. 

At the same time, in other academic fields, such as literary criticism, where the 'subject' of research is primarily written text, a blurring of the boundaries between 'practice' and 'criticism' has become inevitable. There is no longer a clear cut distinction between the type of text that researchers 'study' and the type of text that they write. Researchers are increasingly recognising that they bring a certain amount of creativity to their academic writing. At its simplest level, when they are creating text for journals or for textbooks, they 'polish' their articles, they think about 'style' and 'structure' and other textual factors that have an aesthetic component. At its most complex level, some researchers employ novelistic or literary techniques within their academic writing. After a certain point, the question that results is - how is my criticism fundamentally different from the text that I am criticising? Could my academic writing be a creative output itself?

Now, the field of music has been isolated somewhat from this discussion by the fact that 'music' and 'text' are ostensibly different mediums, therefore the lines dividing them should be fairly obvious. However, I have identified an area of avant-garde music where this line is no longer obvious, where a similar blurring can occur. And in examining this area, I have come to question whether writing 'music' with academic 'text' might not be possible. And therefore, whether there is academic precedent for unleashing our creativity (as musical practitioners) into our academic writing. This seminar presentation will describe my recent work in this area: the development of a technique which I have called 'schizoanalysis'. This will be given as one example of how such 'musical criticism' might work, and will also outline some of the theoretical justifications behind its employment.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Moominland Tales: the life of Tove Jansson

CCA Cinema, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
5.30pm, Wednesday 24th April 2013

Moomintroll and the Moomin family are characters loved by children and parents worldwide who have grown up listening to Finnish writer Tove Jansson's delightful stories about a group of philosophical trolls who face a range of adventures in Moominland.
This documentary, made for BBC Four in 2012 by UWS doctoral researcher Eleanor Yule, reveals the strong autobiographical slant in the Moomins series, tracing the author's own extraordinary story from living the bohemian life of an artist in war-torn Helsinki to becoming a recluse on a remote island in the Gulf of Finland.
Enjoying unprecedented access to Jansson's personal archive, the film reveals an unconventional, brave and compelling woman whose creative genius extended beyond Moominland to satire, fine art and masterful adult fiction - not least her highly-regarded The Summer Book. With home movie footage shot by her long-term female lover and companion, it offers a unique glimpse of an uncompromising fun-loving woman who developed love as the central theme of her work.

A screening of the film will be followed by a discussion between director Eleanor Yule and Graham Jeffery, Reader in Music and Performance at UWS.

Eleanor Yule is an award-winning director with a wide range of experience across film drama and broadcast documentary. Documentary highlights include a profile on Scots psychiatrist R.D.Laing, a critically acclaimed 'Omnibus' on French painter Pierre Bonnard, and a BAFTA nominated 'Bookmark' on celebrated novelist Muriel Spark.  She also collaborated with ex - Python, Michael Palin, to produce one off documentaries about painters. Drama output includes Ghost Stories for Christmas starring veteran actor Christopher Lee, Lost, which she wrote and directed, and was nominated for a BAFTA new talent award, and her first feature Blinded, which won the Jury Award at the Celtic International Film Festival and a Silver Screen Award in L.A.

Free but ticketed: to book please call the CCA Box Office on 0141 352 4900 or online at

Tushar Joag: art, intervention and urban politics

Creative Futures Institute, University of the West of Scotland presents

a talk by Tushar Joag, 5.30pm, Friday 19th April, CCA Cinema, Glasgow

(Tushar Joag: Bombay Dowry: UNICELL intervention)

Tushar Joag was born in Mumbai in 1966. He completed his Bachelors in Fine Art in 1988 (Sir JJ. School of Art, Mumbai ) and Masters in 1990 (M.S. University, Baroda).  After spending two years (1998 to 2000) at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, he returned to Mumbai and co-founded the artists initiative Open Circle in 2000. He has participated in a number of national and international exhibitions. He is the core faculty at the Shiv Nadar University School of Art and Design, New Delhi. 

A few years ago I went through a predicament as to what business art had to exist at all: what use was it to society? I thought art was not enough, not even if its subject matter was explicitly political - one had to aesthetise politics, not just politicise aesthetics.

After organizing numerous events in the public domain through Open Circle, an Artists' initiative (of which I am a founder member), like study circles, public actions, protests and other interventionist strategies of art making and some amateur activism; I realized that art cannot on it's own bring about societal changes - not without a political revolution - but an atmosphere conducive to such a political revolution can only be created by the questions that are raised in the ideological/cultural sphere. Art is responsible for maintaining cultural continuity as well as providing ruptures that bring a fresh outlook through its questioning of the present.

My practice thus attempts to probe local and contemporary politics such as marginalisation and displacement due to over urbanisation and the inequitable development models implemented by the state... a microcosm of the global order?

The pursuit of the urbanization based development paradigm is displacing not only the rural but also the urban poor in a major way. The rift between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is perpetually increasing in the city. In Bombay where land is scarce and at a premium, it is being forcefully acquired or unlawfully given away to the builders for private profit. The poor are being evicted from their dwellings: at times even from land that they have actually ‘created’ by manually reclaiming the marshes.

The city is being developed as an attractive location for Foreign Direct Invesment. Transnational corporations are being welcomed with open arms to come and set up operations while legitimate citizens are being denied the fundamental right to livelihood and housing. Millions are spent on so-called infrastructure development (like the skywalks, which are scarcely used) while many other infrastructural needs of certain sections of the citizens (like drinking water, sanitation, etc) remain unaddressed. One section of the society desire to live in a ‘global city’ while for the other, even bare survival is not guaranteed. There are aspirations and there are aspirations, but whose aspirations become the aspirations of the city?

My works mostly deal with this inequitable development and dislocations it causes. The project UNICELL Public Works Cell ( was started in 2004 to make interventions in the urban space by designing and producing objects that are functional and aesthetic. The idea was to bring into focus the various concerns of the immediate situation in a satirical way.

This event produced in association with the Cultural Hijack exhibition curated by Ben Parry and Peter McCaughey at the Architectural Association in London (26th April - 25th May 2013). 

Free but ticketed: to book please call the CCA Box Office on 0141 352 4900 or online at