In a very simple description RAPP Lab asks:
What nurtures a reflective attitude and criticality in artistic practice? What kind of learning and teaching settings empower reflectiveness and critical thinking in music higher education? How can we overcome concepts of mastery, how can we un-learn how to learn, how can we create an awareness for making self-determined connections between practice and (own) context?
In a more complex way reflection turns out to be a very ‘slippery’ phenomenon.
Does reflection need articulation in words or also in sounds? Which genre does reflection in art belong to? Is it scientific, academic or artistic? Does leaning back (“reflectere”) actually mean to go into distance to oneself or rather to immerse completely in oneself? Or both? How can we overcome dichotomies like reflection-on-practice and reflection-in-action? How can we grasp a phenomenon going from day-dreaming to rigorous research?
There can be discursive, verbal articulations of reflection, unvoiced or silent ways of reflecting or something in between. Reflection can be a notion of something, it can occur as artistic sounds or in improvising. It is explorative, explicit and collaborative. It’s hand-on, detailed it means to peel off (the onion), to find a metaphor, to resist, to articulate, to argue, to stay in a mode of fatigue. It is about day-dreaming, un-learning, loosing narratives, rethinking powerness and mastery, re-framing, domain-switching, role-swapping, decision making, unfolding. It functions as a door-opener.
The knowledge, RAPP Lab wants to gain, and the way, how to reach this aim, are in itself experimental. RAPP Lab is a developmental work. It is a commitment to enrol and to unfold the projects contents and outcomes.
Written by Dr. Evelyn Buyken (February 2023)
Since this pool of definitions and conditions of “reflection” grew and developed during the RAPP Lab project, the work-packages and the “Catalogue raisonné” (guidelines) became important tools. The "Catalogue raisonné" focuses on the values of RAPP Lab and describes how we came to our research results.
Lab 1 functioned as a first impulse for the “Catalogue raisonné”. This Lab made visible how we came to the reflective settings, we approved in the Lab and how these tested settings taught us, what critical reflection needs to grow or better: what artists need to critically reflect on/with and through their practice.
Each RAPP Lab is testing in small, what we want to develop in big. It is about testing/exploring modes/models of reflection in each Lab, which we want to use for a conceptualization of the whole RAPP Lab’s idea of “reflection”. We might think about this relation as a “Pars pro toto”: each Lab tests and explores as an exemplum of the models we want to create and disseminate within the whole project.
Therefore, the “Catalogue raisonné” is a work-in-progress.