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Marija Griniuk.
Marija Griniuk.

Dissertation: Recorded inner feelings become a part of performance

28.10.2022

In her cross-disciplinary dissertation, Marija Griniuk, MFA, studies new ways of presenting the audience the inner feelings of performing artists. The real time experience provided by utilising electroencephalography (EEG) measurements could enable the audience to have an authentic glance into the performer as a human being.

Have you ever been curious what performance artists feel during their performance? MFA Marija Griniuk's cross-disciplinary research demonstrates how the audience could experience the feelings of performing artists in real time. Inner physical conditions of performance artists during their live performance can be shown in real time or recorded and thus give us insight into the cognitive condition of the artist immersed into the live artwork.

Marija Griniuk has investigated the ways of utilising electroencephalography (EEG) measurements as a new tool within performance art. The research is expanding the current norms of presenting the performance artwork in the real time and documentation of performance by photo and video.

The artistic experimental part of the research took place in various venues and art events in the Nordic and Baltic region in 2019–2021, for example at the Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm and at the Common Ground project in Palanga, to name a few. Marija Griniuk developed participatory performances where interactions with the audiences were the bearing part of the artistic expression and these interactions impacted different bodily conditions of Griniuk as a performer.

These artistic experiments showed that performances are co-shaped and influenced by audiences, the sites of performances and objects used during the performances, such as DIY sound instruments, EEG equipment, and archival materials, such as photographs or texts. All them together impact on how the performer feels and what cognitive load she experiences.

"The real time experience gives the audience an authentic glance into the performer as a human being, who carries emotions and excitement, reflecting on the physical conditions while performing live artwork", Griniuk explains.

Marija Griniuk maalaamassa kadulla, päässään EEG-mittauslaite, osana performanssiaan Techno voyeurism into a reflexive painting. Kuva: M. Maslo.

Kuva Marija Griniukin performanssista Techno voyeurism into a reflexive painting. Kuvassa gallerian seinällä projektio taiteilijan aivotoiminnasta taiteilijan esiintyessä samanaikaisesti ulkona. Kuva: M. Maslo.
Marija Griniuk: Techno-voyeurism into a reflexive painting. 2022. Griniuk's brain activity is shown as a projection in the gallery, while she is painting outside. Photo: M. Maslo.

The combination of the video recording of the performance, and the recording of the performer's brain activity remediated into sound and images could be included in the presentation of the performance artwork to the audiences at the museums and art galleries.

"When the documentation becomes a unity of sound, image and records from inner states of the performing body, it can show that performance is not static, but an artistic action in progress", Griniuk states.

The research findings can make research and technology closer to art in the academic contexts, for example within performance art education in the art academies.

"The possibility to enhance communication between the audiences and the performer by the means of unfolding performers bodily conditions is exciting in many ways. Firstly, technology now allows us to expand the norms of recording a performance. The inner conditions of a performer have been always a hidden part of a performance which now becomes available to see and follow – it is possible to trace the moments of excitement experienced by a performer", Griniuk notes.

"Secondly, performing arts, and especially performance art education, could use these findings to take an innovative stride towards utilising technology to benefit the creation, experience and documentation of performances – not necessarily only by using the EEG technology, but also biometric technology in a broad sense."

Information on the public examination

The academic dissertation Technovoyeurism into a (performing) Body by Marija Griniuk, MFA, is publicly examined in the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland on Friday 4 November 2022 starting at 5:00 pm (Finnish time) in Lecture Hall 2 (LS2, Yliopistonkatu 8, Rovaniemi). The opponent is Professor, PhD Philip Auslander from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the custos is Professor Timo Jokela from the University of Lapland. The language of the event is English.

The public defence can be followed online.

Information on the doctoral candidate

Marija Griniuk is a Lithuanian artist, during the last decade working in the Baltic–Nordic region. She has specific interest in artist-run culture, and since 2013 she has initiated and realized numerous projects, symposia and performance pedagogy events under the framework of BiteVilnius AiR projects (2013–2022). Her another important project is The Nomadic Radical Academy (2019, 2020), uniting performance, pedagogy and environmental awareness.

Griniuk earned her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the Vilnius Academy of Arts in Lithuania in 2008, the Jutland Art Academy in Denmark in 2017 and from Konstfack (University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Sweden in 2020. Currently Griniuk holds the position of the Director for Sami Center for Contemporary Art in Norway.

Further information

Marija Griniuk, mgriniuk (at) ulapland.fi

Information on the publication

Marija Griniuk: Technovoyeurism into a (performing) Body. Acta electronica Universitatis Lapponiensis 348. ISBN:978-952-337-335-8. University of Lapland 2022, Rovaniemi.

The permanent address of the publication: https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-337-335-8