Trance art and other possessions

Chris Danowski, Laura González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How can one be reflexive when examining something from inside the object of research?

Laura González: In 2010, I finished a project researching seduction. The road to completion was tortuous, as I found that in studying seduction, I was being seduced that is, led astray. I was, simultaneously, subject and object of the research. I was in a trance, obsessed and possessed by the object of study. Rather than compromise, I turned this problem into an asset, devising a methodology to study wicked phenomena from within. I called this the self-reflexive methodology. It has three steps: recognition, capture and reflection, which can be enacted in a variety of fields, as well as methods or media. For this project, I chose writing, psychoanalytic practice and performative photography. Following a presentation of the methodology and the works produced as part of the seduction project, my aim is to see whether this methodology can be applied to the pedagogical practices I have developed at Transart, and in particular to the relation between supervisor and supervisee I experience with Christopher.

Chris Danowski: In 2010, I thought that a research project into trance and performance was beyond me. I would occasionally have flashes that this body of studio work might be leading to larger questions, but I was always sidetracked by mirrors. I followed the mirror’s reflection, until it lead me to Desire. Desire is losing one’s navigational star, but this time, it lead me to where I was trying to go in the first place. I let myself be seduced into the possibility that conscious repetitions might lead to new connections. But I needed a methodology. I didn’t have the patience (haha there’s a pun in here) for psychoanalysis, the training for ethnography, or the deep background for phenomenology, but perhaps a combination of all three would lead to something. Eventually, I found that a self-reflexive methodology might capture my attention, and that this would need further reflection. But I didn’t know I was already captured.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-149
Number of pages8
JournalElse Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


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