Forum Artistic Research Forum Artistic Research

Forum Artistic Research: listen for beginnings

Symposium 27–29 June 2024, Gustav Mahler Private University for Music (GMPU), Klagenfurt, Austria

The first interdisciplinary Forum Artistic Research: Listen for Beginnings brings together artists-researchers from various backgrounds and practices. It is organised and hosted by the Gustav Mahler Private University for Music Klagenfurt and the project Simultaneous Arrivals.


Listening seems to be a common-place and inconspicuous act, but at closer inspection reveals a complexity of uses, contexts and modalities, offering a rich discourse around which functions of listening in artistic research can be considered. Listening to, with, for others or oneself or an environment. Listening links body, mind, and culture. There is active and passive listening, deep and shallow, reduced and expanded, unconditional and critical, human and machinic. Listening depends and acts back on one’s perspective and orientation, as much as it may cause an intervention in the world. Careful listening requires not just perceptual openness, but an openness for surprise and an engagement to distinguish the subtle tones from louder ones, foreground from background, giving voice to human and non-human entities, to the neglected. Far beyond its prominence in sound art and musicking, in the past half century listening has been instrumental across disciplines, occupying the minds of artists and scholars who wonder about its aesthetical, ethical and epistemic ramifications.

“Listen for beginnings”—thus reads the first of thirteen points for improvisation formulated by Pauline Oliveros in her 2012 anthology of text scores. Attention is given to how something is initiated or noted, where beginnings imply that things are in their infancy, still in flux, still forming. In research, beginnings are often moments of wonder when what is being researched is still obtaining its shape. Beginnings can be difficult to make out, or they are clearly foregrounded as in rites of passage. The listening in Oliveros’ instruction does not happen in isolation, it is a collective listening among a group that wants to engage in an activity of togetherness, thus the beginning that is sought is a beginning among, the start of a movement of multiple actors. In this sense, Listen for Beginnings ties in with the question of how forms of collaborative practices arise. Practices based on mutual awareness and giving space to one another, particularly when crossing disciplines and media. Understanding the conditions, methods and potentialities for collaborative space and place making seem crucial to allow the kind of beginnings to happen that make us wonder.

The programme was created based on an open call which invited presentation proposals on all topics of artistic research, with a focus on the theme and the following questions:


The main venue is the GMPU’s Neuer Saal, which is used for the talks and performative / concertant presentations. Fixed media elements (sound, video, audio-visual) outside the presentation slot will be scheduled for display at the Center Stage of kä, neighbouring the GMPU. Center Stage features a two channel video display, and a multi-channel sound system (Ikosaeder loudspeaker and hemisphere).

About the Organisers

The Gustav Mahler Private University for Music (GMPU) in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee is an academic institution of the state of Carinthia, Austria’s southernmost state at the intersection of the Alps-Adriatic region that connects cultures and language communities. Founded on a long history of music education and emerging from the Carinthian State Conservatory, the Mahler university is a young and thriving institution that stands for variety, internationality and diversity. The first Forum Artistic Research marks its ambition to establish an environment for Artistic Research, with a PhD in the Arts programme currently in the process of accreditation.

Simultaneous Arrivals (simularr) is a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) through its PEEK framework (AR 714-G). Bringing together artists-researchers of different disciplines, it probes the concepts of spatiality and simultaneity to develop other modes of working together and collaborative aesthetics in a research process. Despite a rich history of collaborative practices, artists-researchers still work mostly isolated in their core capacity in the arts and through the arts. We are interested in reference frames that allow to establish a “togetherness, at the same time”, where different types of spaces—thought spaces, aesthetic spaces, architectural spaces—interact and interfere.

conference chair: Hanns Holger Rutz <>
team: Hanns Holger Rutz, Nayarí Castillo, Daniele Pozzi, Hakan Ulus, Anna Morgoulets, Luisa Valeria Carpignano, Eber García Condes.

Gustav Mahler Private University for Music
Mießtalerstraße 8, 9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria