DIZZINESS — A Resource

For our project ‘Dizziness–A Resource’, we study dizziness, comprising its complementary areas of experience and reflection on it. Based on artistic, art-historical, philosophical and natural scientific sources, we address questions with respect to today’s conditio humana.

Ruth Anderwald
Leonhard Grond

As artists, artist-curators, and artist-researchers we have been working since 1999 in the field of Moving Image, Photography, Artistic Research and Art in Public Space. In 2014 we initiated Dizziness–A Resource. This project is a transnational, cross-disciplinary artistic-research process that explores the subject of Taumel (German for dizziness) in moving image art, artistic and curatorial practice, in philosophy, and through cultural and natural science sources. Specifically it poses the question if states of dizziness can be regarded a resource and if so, under which conditions.

Our blog http://www.on-dizziness.org depicts the project’s research process, its cooperations, conversations, events and findings in a context that combines the perspectives of the various disciplines involved in order to cast light on dizziness as a source of transformation and innovation.

To begin with, finding an appropriate terminology for what we aim at in our artistic research was not only our starting point, but is still part of an ongoing process. The German Taumel refers to a broader semantic field and can be used within positive, negative, and ambiguous connotations, pointing to disorienting complexity and divergence as well as enjoyable or frightening disorientation. Moreover, Taumel describes the experience of physical and emotional disequilibrium. One the one hand Taumel is the movement of the staggering body, on the other it describes the elated or dismayful experience of dizziness, as exaltation, confusion, uncertainty and turmoil. Psycho-biological research suggests a connection between our ability to maintain emotional and corporeal equilibrium and orientation.

The terms Taumel and ‘dizziness’ were challenged throughout the project’s trajectory and in view of the different disciplines involved, evaluating their implications, and exploring their functionality and appositeness. Through this multi-disciplinary confrontation Dizziness–A Resource was able to establish Taumel and ‘dizziness’ as an operational terms for artistic research.

This project treats dizziness as a phenomenon of embodied knowledge, blurring the categorisation between the perception and conception of dizziness. The phenomenon of Taumel was therefore investigated in its visceral experience, as well as in its reflection. We can confirm that dizziness breaks up the given, be it habits, beliefs, preconceptions or patterns, creating space and dynamics between established categories and perceived oppositions. In this sense dizziness can be regarded a resource. It provides power and dynamics to restructure, to rethink, and to redesign the given.

Having reached this point, we would like to widen the artistic research perspective to the communal aspects of dizziness. We propose to deliberate the implications of dizziness and of its possible resourcefulness on modes of community, be it for small groups and communities, be it on a larger scale, for organisations or even societies. Please, learn more in this video lecture:


© Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art

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Share on Facebook, Tweet – Posted on 09.04.2018