Sisters Academy is research-based. Sisters Hope develops new art-based research methods to collect data on each manifested academy. These methods allows us to transport data out of the sensuous experiment while the participants are in the sensuous and poetic mode which it is the ambition to activate during the academy. It is the development of a new methodological and analytical tool that operates from within while it transports data out. Thus, the content of The Sisters Archive (see below) gives us special insight into the aesthetic mode of being as the data is produced while the aesthetic experiment and experience is going on rather than afterwards. Do also see our study on the potential of sensuous transformation and the transformative impact of our performance methods here: Sensuous Society – Carving the path towards a sustainable future through aesthetic inhabitation stimulating ecologic connectedness, and on Sensuous Learning here: Sensuous Learning.
The concrete tools for data collection during the academies include notebooks, diaries, logbooks, unmanned confession booths, sometimes equipped with a camera, furthermore, the data includes vows, dreams, letters and other donated articles, by which we identify the participants response to the Academy’s radically different educational, performance- and research approach. All data collected during our manifestations is donated to our Archive, by which it is agreed to be shared as the Archive is open source. This mean that everyone can have access to the Archive, which we bring whenever we manifest in larger scale. The data in the Archive is accessible for research, visual representations and other purposes by everyone interested. We handle information according to the guidelines provided by The Faculty of Humanities’ Research Ethics Committee.
Besides the research done by the Sisters staff, the Advisory board of Sisters Academy has been invited to research this full-scale performance- and educational experiment.
We hope that this interdisciplinary and inter-institutional approach allows us to develop an overall inter-disciplinary research design within which all interested parties are invited to do research in Sisters Academy.
Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in doing research in Sisters Academy.
Sensuous Learning, Gry Worre Hallberg at TEDxUppsalaUniversity
Sensuous society, Gry Worre Hallberg at TEDxCopenhagenSalon
Sisters Academy, Gry Worre Hallberg in Experimental Cities
Participation as Poetic Transformation, Gry Worre Hallberg at Aarhus University
The Sensuous Society in Visions of the Now, Sternberg Press, October 2017
Sisters Academy: Radical Live Intervention into the Educational System in Experiencing Liveness in Contemporary Performance, Routledge, 2016
Keynote: Sisters Academy. Intervenerende performancepraksis og sanselig uddannelse in BUKS nr. 61, April 2016
Sanselig læring in Replikker, December 2015
All tomorrows dreams in DRAMA, Nordisk Dramapedagogisk Tidsskrift no. 01, 2015
Sensuous / Sisters – Intervenerende performancepraksis og sanselig uddannelse in Performance Designs 10 års jubilæumsbog, Roskilde University, September 2014
Udvikling af nykunstpædagogisk strategi MOVING ARTS, April 2014
Sisters Academy – Et uddannelsessystem neddyppet i sanselighedin Peripiti. Journal of dramaturgical studies. 20-2011. Theme: Music theatre, 2013
Experiencing everyday life anew: Applied theatrical and performative strategies in Handbook on the Experience Economy, Edwards Elgar Publishing Limited, 2013
Sisters Hope – En kunstpædagogiks strategi forankret i en samtidskonstnerisk tendens in Peripiti. Journal of dramaturgical studies. 15-2011. Theme: Art pedagogy, 2011
Protected by the fiction in CCC, Goldsmiths, ISSUE 1 # Novelty, 2011
Sisters Hope – in Afart, 2011
At fænge elever med fiktion in the journal Gymnasieskolen, 2010
Education, Contact and the Vitality of Touch: Membranes, Morphologies, Movements
This paper explores how touch is key to understanding education—not as an achievement or an instrument of acquisition, but as a process through which one becomes a subject capable of both living and leading a life that matters for ourselves and others. As a process, it is concerned with how we encounter things and others in the world and not solely with what we encounter. In particular, it argues that the dynamics of touch-as both a touch- ing and being touched by-are central for understanding educational encounters as sensory landscapes of contact. This paper turns first to Aristotle’s understanding of touch as central to life itself in order to contemplate how it is not merely one of the senses but signifies as the primary mode of all bodily contact with the world. This vital aspect will then be exam- ined in relation to the specific ways bodies experience contact, through their membranes, morphological make up and their movements. Here, I draw on a number of philosophers and theorists, such as Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Juhani Pallasmaa and Erin Manning, and a recent art installation The Boarding School by Sisters Hope to demonstrate how bodies matter to the very practices of education. I conclude with some thoughts on what mor- phologies, membranes and movements can specifically offer to a sensuous understanding of education.
“Education, Contact and the Vitality of Touch: Membranes, Morphologies, Movements” by Sharon Todd in Studies in Philosophy and Education, 2021. Read here.
What if Imagination Were Real?
The article investigates how Sisters Hope intentionally evoke examples of (and for) a future Sensuous Society. It argues that framing is key to what Sisters Hope examples evoke and whether they ‘work’ as intended; as transformative counter-parts to ‘the outside world’. While extremity may take on the appearance of shocking contrasts, it is also emphasized as a matter of blurry boundaries in the selected perfor-mance art examples. In this context, extremity is cast as radical risk and potentiality that shake or transform experienced reality. The paper argues that Sisters Hope participants navigate in what if modes where sensations in the present and hopes for the future overlap in utopian performatives here and now. Through engagement with performance art examples over time, pretend play can transform into experienced authenticity, and this may eventually reverse experiences of what is ordinary and extreme for the immersed participant. The paper ends with a contemplation on whether the transformative impact of perfor-mance art examples is limited by societal fear of the unknown.
“What if Imagination Were Real” by Maja Ejrnæs in “Journal of Extreme Anthropology”, 2021. Read here
In the anthology Cultivating Creativity in Methodology and Research Sisters Academy is used as an example of new modes of being in time.
“Into the Wild: Notes from a Traveller” by Christina Berg Johansen in “Cultivating Creativity in Methodology and Research”, 2018. Read here
Æstetik og pædagogik
In the anthology Æstetik og pædagogik, Sisters Academy is used as an example of aesthetic experience in collective learning processes with contemporary art.
“Arts-in-business from 2004 to 2014 – From experiments in practice to research and leadership development” in “Artistic interventions in organizations: Research, theory and practice” by Lotte Darsø, 2016. PDF
The performative schizoid method is developed as a contribution to performance as research by Connie Svabo. The method is inspired by contemporary research in the human and social sciences urging experimentation and researcher engagement with creative and artistic practice. Sisters Academy is mentioned as an inspiration for this method, and Svabo also initiated and conducted her experiments as a Visting researcher in Sisters Academy #3 – The Boarding School and in Sisters Eat at the Prague Quadrennial PQ15. In the article, the method is presented and an example is provided of a first exploratory engagement with it. The method is used in a specific project Becoming Iris, which enquires into the creation of arts-based knowledge during a three month visiting scholarship at a small, independent visual arts academy. Using the performative schizoid method in Becoming Iris results in four audio-visual and performance-based productions, centered on an emergent theme of the scholar acting as artist as the bird in borrowed feathers. Interestingly, the moral lesson of the fable about the vain jackdaw, who dresses in borrowed peacock feathers and becomes an outcast, stands in sharp contrast to the potential of a performative schizoid method: to liberally experiment and make-believe.
“Performative Schizoid Method: Performance as Research” in “PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research” by Connie Svabo, 2016. PDF
Sensuous Society – Carving the path towards a sustainable future through aesthetic inhabitation stimulating ecologic connectedness
In Gry Worre Hallbergs PhD she explores how her artistic practices stimulate an ecological awareness of connectivity in the participants, which according to the ecological theory presented in the dissertation is pivotal to sustainable transition. This stimulation is induced through aesthetic evocation, by which the aesthetic, and thus sensuous, do support the transition towards a more sustainable future. She furthermore recommends what she has termed inhabitation in the artwork – Inhabitation moves beyond not only spectatorship, but also participation and allows for more permanent access to the sensuous and poetic.
PhD, “Sensuous Society – Carving the path towards a sustainable future through aesthetic inhabitation stimulating ecologic connectedness”, by Gry Worre Hallberg, Københavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet, 2021. Buy
To Go Deeper when It Works: Anthropological Inquiry into Engagement and Search for a Sense of Deeper Living in a Copenhagen-based Performance Practice
An exporation of participants’ experiences and engagement in Sisters Academy. It is written from an insider position. The study contributes to methodological fields of sensory ethnography and insider research, and to dialogues between anthropology and performance fields. The study builds on ethnographic material from four months of fieldwork conducted around the large-scale manifestation Sisters Academy – The Boarding School at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art in 2017. It is analytically grounded in the intersection between performance theory, social practice, and phenomenology. The study presents a three-fold analysis structured around the problem statement: How does Sisters Academy enable performer-participants’ search ‘to go deeper’?
Master’s Thesis, “To Go Deeper when It Works: Anthropological Inquiry into Engagement and Search for a Sense of Deeper Living in a Copenhagen-based Performance Practice”, by Ejrnæs, Maja, Copenhagen University, 2018. PDF
Poetic and sensuous modes of being, in immersive spaces
How does one use poetic and sensuous methods in immersive spaces to catalyse personal growth and the formation of meaningful relations? And how does one enable an organisation working deliberately with otherworldliness, mystery and total immersion to successfully enter the context of a Danish folk highschool working deliberately with building community, unity and from an old, elaborate tradition? For two months, Mathias moved to Ryslinge Højskole to be the figure of continuity in the very first execution of Sisters Performance Method – Sensuous Learning as a long-term course. He came to mediate between the two organisations, host a variety of performers as they conducted their sensuous classes and support the students of the course in their growth and development. Relating, coordinating and active observation has been my primary practices in immersing in the Sisters universe and the context of Ryslinge højskole. The experience proved a unique opportunity to investigate how to work with communities of practice in whole institutions. How to evoke different modes of being and learning through deliberate work with scenography, the sensuous and the poetic. The strong activist intention of Sisters Hope was a great inspiration for peaceful activist approaches.
Field sensing, “Poetic and sensuous modes of being, in immersive spaces”, by O. Jacobsen, Mathias, KaosPiloterne Spring 2019. PDF
Den regressive dramapædagogiske strategi
Within current learning institutions, aesthetic subjects are of less importance than theoretical subjects. This challenges society because imagination and creativity increasingly are key competencies in business. Based on this issue, Helene Sally was motivated to study an educational form which will accommodate both the aesthetic and emotional development of people and an educational, didactic interest in development of the intellect. With inspiration from her participation in Sisters Academy Boarding School in the fall of 2017, she has explored, through the phenomenological scientific theoretical approach, the auto-ethnographic method and the theoretical apparatus of the thesis; how the regressive drama pedagogic and the related aesthetic elements that were practiced in Sisters Academy Boarding School, can contribute to the teaching the subjects of History and Theory at Roskilde University. Finally, she offers a potential path for this.
Master Thesis, “The regressive drama pedagogic strategy – An exploration, how the regressive drama pedagogic and the related aesthetic elements that were experienced in Sisters Academy Boarding School 2017. Potentially this can contribute to the teaching the subjects of History and Theory at Roskilde university”, by Sally, Helene, Roskilde University Spring 2018. PDF
The Hope of The Sensuous
An examination of the conceptual framework ‘The Critical Gaze’ and ‘The Devoted Body’ and how the terms affect the sensuous experiments conducted in Sisters Academy. Processed from the point of view of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s definition of phenomenology, and the issue is investigated based on notebooks from 30 upper secondary school students who have participated in Sisters Academy. It is concluded that the critical gaze and the devoted body manifest as different levels of engagement in Sisters Academy. They affect each other continuously within the framework and hold different potentials in relation to the sensuous experiment. The devoted body holds potential to access new modes of being and being together and has the potential to expand its margin of manoeuvrability. The devoted body can also be a reflecting body. Devoted participants can feel limited by those who approach the experiment with a critical gaze, an approach that can appear one-dimensional. Simultaneously, the critical gaze can also be a vulnerable body. The concept of fear and fear of the unknown are relevant to both levels of engagement. Simultaneously, their way of responding to fear is also a part of what sets them apart from each other. The two concepts merge in the intersection, in ‘The Absorbed Body’, which takes the shape of a critical practice that plays out performatively in the meeting between the participant and the experiment.
Master’s Thesis, “The Hope of The Sensuous – An exploration of The Critical Gaze and The Devoted Body”, by Senderovitz, Nana, Roskilde University, Winter 2017/2018. PDF
A thesis centered Sisters Academy – The Boarding School #3. It explores the potentials of an education based upon aesthetics and draws upon the danish philosopher Dorthe Jørgensen and her ideas of what she has termed beautiful thinking.
Master’s Thesis, “Det Skønne i en Uskøn Verden”, by Lantz Møller, Janne, Roskilde University, Spring 2017. PDF
An examination of how courage can be strengthened through performative practice and in which ways a focus on performativity can enhance and secure a more stable learning. The dissertation considers philosophical, psychological, collective, relational and phenomenological theories of art and courage in order to define courage in performativity and to create a method of practicing a more couragous approach to the practice. Ellen Flyvbjerg draws on her personal experiences from Sisters Academy #3 – The Boarding School in her research.
Bachelor Thesis, “At turde er at turde igen – praksisbaseret udvikling af performative metoder for øvelse af mod i kunstnerisk kontekst”, by Flyvbjerg K. Nielsen, Ellen, Copenhagen University, Spring 2016. PDF
Training for the Creative Economy
In their thesis Emilie Dipo Zimmermann and Carina M. E. Hammer investigate how current training initiatives are organizing to prepare participants for the creative economy. They use Sisters Academy as one of three cases. The thesis suggests that a framework towards training that can be used as an inspiration for practices and re-thinking training towards preparing the future worker for the creative economy.
Master Thesis, “Training for the Creative Economy” by Dipo Zimmermann, Emilie and M. E. Hammer, Carina, Copenhagen Business School, Spring 2016. PDF
In her Bachelor Thesis Maja Ejrnæs examines how teachers negotiate their responsibility to meet multicultural aspects and ethnic minoritiy children in a primary school in Denmark. Ejrnæs draws on her own experiences as a Sisters Academy staff member in her exploration. The study concludes that inclusion of ethnic minority children is a given but not fixed responsibility among primary school teachers, and it shows how teachers negotiate responsibility based on risk awareness and work motivation. It points at the importance of a teacher perspective in order to understand practices of inclusion in a primary school in Denmark.
Bachelor Thesis, “Den ordentlige lærer – En antropologisk undersøgelse af oplevet læreransvar på en ‘flerkulturel’ folkeskole i Danmark” by Maja Ejrnæs, Copenhagen University, Spring 2016. PDF
Examination paper, “Sanseæstetisk projektarbejde som Strategisk organisationsudvikling på Fremtidslinjen” by Morten Roneklint Ellehauge, Diplomuddannelsen, Spring 2016. PDF
Examination paper, “Sisters Academy – set i et transformativt læringsperspektiv” by Mette Laier Henriksen, Spring 2016. PDF
Bachelor Thesis, “Den æstetiske dimension – et blik på sanselig erfaring som grundlag for læring, dannelse og erkendelse, gennem et studie af performancegruppen Sisters Hope og værket Sisters Academy #3” by Mikkel Dahlin Bojesen, Copenhagen University, Spring 2016. PDF
Bachelor Thesis, “Sisters Academy – I et dannelsesperspektiv”, by Maja Ravn Christiansen, Aarhus University, Fall 2015. PDF
Sisters Academy – mellem ruminstallationer og interaktive performances
In the paper “Sisters Academy – mellem ruminstallationer og interaktive performances” Fransiska Sejten explores how Sisters Academy uses spacial installations and interactive performance art to create more sensuous modes of learning based on Sisters Academy #1 in VUC & HF Odense.
Examination Paper, “Sisters Academy – mellem ruminstallationer og interaktive performances” by Fransiska Sejten, Aarhus University, Autumn 2014. PDF
Sisters Academy – mellem idealistisk kunstpædagogik og aktivistisk kulturforskning
In the paper “Sisters Academy – mellem idealistisk kunstpædagogik og aktivistisk kulturforskning”. Fransiska Sejten investigates the pedagogic intention that lies behind Sisters Academy .
Examination Paper, “Sisters Academy – mellem idealistisk kunstpædagogik og aktivistisk kulturforskning” by Fransiska Sejten, Aarhus University, Spring 2015. PDF
In the Master Thesis “Diplomarbeit” Claudia Lomoschitz highlights Sisters Hope and the large-scale project Sisters Academy as an initiative that explores performative knowledge production. This is in continuation of the thesis’ main focus; new performative ways of generating and transferring bodily knowledge. The shift from rational, text based knowledge forms towards a bodily practical knowledge highlighted artistic practices and their forms of knowledge production.
Master Thesis, “Diplomarbeit” by Claudia Lomoschitz, The Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, May 2014.
Sisters Academy som eksempel på samtidens sanselighedspædagogiske behov
In the paper “Sisters Academy som eksempel på samtidens sanselighedspædagogiske behov” Luna Christine Christensen explores the manifestation by Sisters Academy at Odense HF og VUC in the spring of 2014. Her focus is on the desire for more sensuous practices in contemporary pedagogical thinking.
Examination Paper, “Sisters Academy som eksempel på samtidens sanselighedspædagogiske behov” by Luna Christine Christensen, Aarhus. PDF
Teaterteori og poetik
In these two papers Katrine Koppelgaard and Louise Bruun Hansen investigates respectively the work of Sisters Hope and Cantabile 2. Their research is based on three joint collaborative work-days between the groups in Stege, Møn with the purpose of inspiring each other and exchanging experience and finding and unfolding related and different elements of their poetics. Same but not the same.
Koppelgaard focuses on the performativity and theatricality in Sisters Hope and Hansen explores the perception of art of Cantabile 2.
Examination Paper, “Teaterteori og poetik”, Dramaturgy, ARTS, Aarhus University by Katrine Koppelgaard. PDF
Examination Paper, “Teaterteori og poetik”, Dramaturgy, ARTS, Aarhus University by Louise Bruun Hansen. PDF
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