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Which clippings match 'Poiesis' keyword pg.1 of 1
24 JANUARY 2011

Practice vs praxis: modelling practitioner-based research

"Praxis, for me, involves the critical and inextricable meld of theory and practice. Thus practitioner–based research is concerned with processes for theorising practice ... In moving creatively into our practice we are fundamentally concerned to develop new knowledge, to challenge old beliefs and to speculate on the 'what ifs' of our concepts and processes. For the arts practitioner, this new knowledge is made in the context of and challenge to the history, theory and practices of the relevant field. The research function for developing and extending knowledge is judged on the outcome of the research, which synthesises, extends or analyses the problematics of the discipline. It is important to realise that this creative work resembles pure and applied research in any field. As Richard Dunn says; 'a work of art or design is embedded in or deforms the theory and practice of the discipline' (1994:8)."

(Robyn Anne Stewart, 2003, USQ ePrints)

1). Stewart, Robyn Anne (2003) Practice vs praxis: modelling practitioner–based research. In: 2002 International Society for Education through Art (InSEA) World Congress, 19–24 Aug 2002, New York, USA.


Simon Perkins
15 NOVEMBER 2009

Dance techne: kinetic bodily logos and thinking in movement

"Techne is a name both for the activities and skills of a craftsman and for the arts of both mind and hand, but is also linked to creative making, poiesis. Poiesis is normally translated as 'making', but Heidegger interprets poiesis as 'bringing–forth' (Her–vor–bringen), creation. An apple tree 'brings–forth' its fruits as a silversmith 'brings–forth' a chalice. In this sense of poiesis, there is a deep commonality between natural production and human production in that they both bring–forth whether by making or by growing. Physis, the arising of something from out of itself, is a bringing–forth, poiesis. Physis is indeed poiesis in the highest sense. Physis, often translated as 'nature', signifies not simply geological or biological processes, but the Being of all beings. Techne is a mode of poiesis in the extended sense which Heidegger attributes to poiesis. This means that both humans and nature bring–forth their products. They differ only in that nature brings–forth itself whereas humans bring–forth from another. In the ancient world natural production is the primary sense of production, human production is derivative from it, or, as the usual translation has it, 'art imitates nature'. In the modern world human making is primary and nature is understood as a self–making. Poiesis is related to that which comes–forth out of its own nature alone and techne is related to that which comes–forth only by our intervention in that nature.

Heidegger illuminates techne in describing the cabinetmaker's work. A cabinetmaker is not merely skilled in using his tools. His craft lies in his ability to understand different kinds of wood and the shapes slumbering within wood. He is not related to his materials in the way of the industrial machine operator who uses the raw materials. The craftsman has a feel for his materials, he has become part of them. The handling of the wood is not a mere manipulation of it, but proceeds with a sensitive, firm touch which assists the wood in becoming the cabinet. The cabinetmaker's role is something like that of a midwife. In the techne of the craftsman there is a releasement toward things. Here we see that letting–be means neither passivity nor domination. When techne becomes technique, the attitude of 'letting–be' loses its priority over 'making–be' and craft becomes domination. In this process work changes its character.

The artist's work differs from the cabinetmaker's work, though they both have techne. The creation of an artwork requires craftsmanship. In fabricating equipment, the cabinet, material, wood is used, and used up. It disappears into its usefulness. The material is all the better and more suitable the less it resists perishing in the equipmental being of the equipment. The sculptor uses stone just as the mason uses it, in his own way, but the sculptor does not use it up. The artist is a handiworker who knows how the material behaves, but he lets come what is already coming to presence."

(Jaana Parviainen,

Fig.1 nagpur59, 'Maori wood craftsman', 20 February 2006, Rotarua, Aotearoa New Zealand



art imitates nature • cabinetmaker • choreographycraft • craftsman • craftspersoncreative practicedancedialogue with materialsenframingGestell • handiwork • improvisationkinetic bodily logoslogosMartin Heideggermaterials • Maxine Sheets-Johnstone • movement • physis • poiesis • techne • technique • thinking in movement • wood


Simon Perkins

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