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RUUKKU 7 Call: Practising and the practice of art

It varies greatly how big a part actual practising plays in the different practices of art, and what is the role of the skills acquired specifically through practising. For a performing artist, practising is part of everyday life. A musician sees practising as a basic routine, and missing a practice session can make one feel incomplete. Maintaining the command of an instrument - be it one's own voice or a musical instrument - requires regular training. If and when playing an instrument becomes a profession, practising starts taking up more and more time daily, perhaps for the rest of one's life. How does one find the most suitable practising methods? There are undoubtedly many different ways to train skills and to practise art – perhaps as many as there are artists. To some extent, focusing on playing an instrument can even resemble meditation. The body, mind, instrument, space and piece of music tune in to the same wavelength and create something unique.

If you are a dancer, your body is your instrument and knowing every aspect of it is a prerequisite for your artistic work. Visual artists learn to master hand-eye coordination and accumulate knowledge about the materials they use. In modern art, the relationship between having skills and practising art is largely context-dependent. Required skills may, for instance, be social or conceptual. Artists often begin developing their skills and even practising in a goal-oriented manner at an early age. Many musicians begin their music lessons already before they go to school and by the time they begin their professional studies, on the verge of adulthood, they have already developed a close relationship to regular practising. How does practising skills transform into the practice of art?

In most cases, practising and rehearsing is related to the work or piece the artist is currently preparing. Training basic skills, such as playing scales, performing various exercises and improvising, may also be on the agenda, but the main focus is on the works that will most likely be presented to an audience at some point. When artists practise their skills on a daily basis, they simultaneously mould their conception of art, their interpretation of the work of art being practised and, in a broader sense, their entire artist identity.

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What is practising or an art practice?

How do artists practise skills/art? What is practised?

How does one learn to practise?

What is good or bad practising like?

What is the significance of practising and rehearsing skills/art in different fields of art?

We invite artist-researchers to submit theme-related research expositions and contributions for the seventh issue of RUUKKU. The issue is edited by Markus Kuikka and Anu Vehviläinen.

We ask you to write your proposals or drafts for research expositions in the RC catalogue at http://www.researchcatalogue.net/ . Note! The catalogue requires user rights and registration (see ‘register'). Please submit your proposals via the RC catalogue (‘publish', ‘submit', and ‘Ruukku') no later than 31 July 2016 31 August 2016.