Narrative, Power and the Public
11. Mikko Kanninen: Seer/Doer
Mikko Kanninen is an actor, director and artistic researcher who teaches at the University of Tampere in Finland and is artistic director of the Tampere Theatre Festival. His doctoral dissertation, “Theatre as a Project of a Body” (mikkokanninen.com/new/en/), was examined in 2012. He plays in the KONEV band (konevband.com/).
Juha Suoranta: What do you do when you do what you do as an artistic researcher?
Mikko Kanninen: I usually discover that there is something in the (surrounding) observed reality that puzzles me. So it’s quite simple: I come up with the research question and then I start to work within its “environment” (usually that is a performance or a framework for it). Research questions in my case (which usually is practice-led research in performing arts) are mostly artistic “hunches” or observations that something quite important is missing from my work. Research work itself involves work with theories (reading and writing), laboratory work (performance rehearsals and workshops) and critical evaluation (performances, discussions and seminars). I am quite concerned about the “third party” in my research. During research (artistic theatre work), these works (or the “information gained in them”) go through such processes where the existing information has to be interpreted outside the actual performance practices of the works—outside the direct performer/audience interaction. The information existing of art thus must be translated in a way that the practical perceptions made by the performer and audience can also be understood by the “third party”—the research...
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