place it
(do not) touch
flirt with invisibility


“Object of Communication”, 2018, detail. Photo: Ingrid Cogne

The notion of format qualifies spaces (settings/containers), moments (events/encounters), tools (codes/means) that are commonly created/used to publicise (validate/disseminate) arts-based related knowledge. In this essay, knowledge is treated neither as a pre-defined concept, nor as an element to be defined/limited: verbal, embodied, affective, intuitive, cognitive, visual, practical, and tacit knowledge are all potential.

It may be important to indicate that this essay is written by an artist working as a researcher across the fields of choreography, dramaturgy and visual arts. As an artist doing—initiating, conducting, challenging (and being confronted with)—academic arts-based research, my contribution to “On the Question of Exhibition” is a navigation wherein I activate, share and present elements that I consider relevant regarding HOW exhibition has been/can/has to be treated as knowledge—be it as a tool, a space, a publication, an exposition, an invitation, a context, a method, an object.

Ce conte s’adresse à
l’intelligence du lecteur
qui met les choses en scène,


An exhibition is a performative space, it is an invitation to the visitors to be activated and to activate its contents. HOW that happens is personal to each visitor. The first element one may encounter is the title of the exhibition. A title is already a (text-based art-)work. In his doctoral dissertation, Mikko Pirinen uses the term title “for all ‘appellations’, ‘names’, ‘designations’, ‘designators’ and ‘labels’ of artworks.”[3] What is the story? A title could contain all of it or be conceptualised as one of the seeds, activating co-individual—be it physical or thoughts-based—journeys in a space.

Exhibition view of “Pas le temps d’être triste”, 2019. Photo: Ingrid Cogne

I see most of my titles as “underlining”.[4] Composed of one to three words, they have as function to reinforce/insist on the purpose of the works they accompany. Not Pas le temps d’être triste (2019) though, which could “serve to announce or support an interpretation of the work as a whole, in a fairly sharp central way”[5] and join the category of “interpretive” titles proposed/defined by Jerrold Levinson.[6] Yet, Pas le temps d’être triste (no time to be sad) was initially a phrase I dropped when talking to my mother on the phone a few years earlier. Almost provocative, or at least cynical, this positioning activated a reflection on the relations that automation and emotion might have. In order to unfold these in the “doing”, Pas le temps d’être triste became the point of departure for a collective process that led to the creation of a kinetic sculpture.[7]

Activating is inviting.

Tools and formats of communication—such as a title, an exhibition text and a catalogue— perform. They may not be the artwork or exhibition itself, yet they remain part of the situation created—whether it be for a choreographic, artistic or a research proposal. An artwork. They contribute to setting up and putting into play the situation wherein an artwork, a performance, an installation or an exhibition takes place. They outline and facilitate the frame of the relation artist-work-spectator. A situation is, in my perception, a meeting space. I believe in the potential of relationalities and search for their activation. Yet, in my work, “[f]acilitating does not want to become leading.”[8] I carefully develop layers of information. I combine and display “hints”. So, even if the artwork/exhibition is immaterial, an artistic gesture remains visible.

One is invited.

An artist can also perform an intended gesture by sending, proposing, sometimes imposing an “articulated” invitation to the audience with a selection of elements that act as points of departure/references. They can appear as rules, as a protocol, as a game calling the visitors to attend, follow, perform, respond to, appropriate, manipulate, expand the proposed situation. An artist can select the information given to the (invited) visitors, decide to privilege access or non-access, and choreograph the (non-)being and (non-)circulation in the exhibition space.

I consider that when one—visitor, viewer, passer-by and spectator—circulates in a space without considering the sharing a (temporal) occupation, artworks, installations and exhibitions are silent/ced.

The ideal game […] can only be thought as nonsense. But precisely for this reason,
it is the reality of thought itself and the unconscious of pure thought. […]
If one tries to play this game other than in thought, nothing happens;
and if one tries to produce a result other than the work of art, nothing is produced.
This game is reserved then for thought and art.
In it there is nothing but victories for those who know how to play,
that is, how to affirm and ramify chance, instead of dividing it
in order to dominate it, in order to wager, in order to win.
This game, which can only exist in thought and
which has no other result than the work of art,
is also that by which thought and art are real
and disturbing reality, morality, and the economy of the world.


There are elements in the room that I know are there. The place is empty “only in appearance”.[10] When working on an immaterial work, the relations between the work and the room are essential. Not everything is immaterial in my work; however, to work on the reality of something that is not materialised—or visible in the material world—remains one of the focus points I am still keen on exploring. Immateriality and invisibility are not a lack, an insufficiency, an absence, a missing thing or an empty space. It is, for me, an open door to imagination and fiction, as well as a stand regarding the artist-work-spectator relation. All (almost imperceptible existing) details—holes in the walls, holes in the floor—one perceives when meeting a room are not imperfections to me, but traces marking the history of the place, conserving, perhaps archiving former presences and works.

My work is process-oriented and my researches are try-outs/attempts of identification of the how/the way in which my artworks are structured, organised and created, with a particular attention to the triangle artwork-artist-audience within the frame of a particular institutional context. The sites of my exhibitions have, until now, always been indoors.

How does an (immaterial) artwork occupy a room?

In 2010, when I encountered the three-room gallery of Skånes Konstförening in Malmö, the irregular concrete floor, full of asperities, painted in dark grey, caught my attention. This floor became a partner facilitating the camouflage of my own work. At first sight, when entering the room, one could barely notice the work. The room seemed empty, no physical objects standing, no work(s) hung on the wall(s), and no performer(s) in the room. But it was only in appearance… Håkan Magnusson proposed to install indirect light, which, by way of a detour, brought back the gaze to the apparent emptiness.[11]

“An image of Processus”, 2010. Photo: Olof Broström

Perception is a game.

A timid sounding-out choreography of gazes takes place.[12] What are the others looking at? How do they take in the room and move around in the (devoid of objects) space? Gazes caress the floor slowly and the work becomes apparent, visible through a relay of glances. Evidence that a process had happened in that room was left outside, behind a door. A total of 12,960 pictures compiled in a nine-minute-long stop-motion animation by Olof Broström: a testimony of the traces of the “passage” of doers who placed, displaced and manipulated objects in that room.[13] A non-visible presence could be projected in the room by the visitors: RESTES or the performative presence of an absence. One could use the 300 dots/stickers as a tool to localise the nine tableaux, as seeds from where the works would continue to grow.

Sites have presences and energies.

The rooms are blank spaces. The void gives another relation to time. It gives time. The void can be connected to the past: what happened there?

The rooms are not empty. They are architectural containers. The void can be an invitation to a future: what will happen in another place?

The rooms are maybe empty, but not so the artistic proposal. My ambition is to put into play im/materiality and in/visibility. For that, I have been developing tools of communication that are, among others, invitations to the spectators/visitors/viewers to engage in (physical and perceptive) games with the context wherein I place works.

Nobody sees the same: an artwork is a translation.

To activate perception, I propose a “dispositif scénique” that calls for a choreography of details in specific rooms.[14] The dispositive of hints may be more or less materialised. The (invisible) work only materialises when someone accepts (more or less consciously) to enter and acknowledge the proposed game.

My work may include—but often also goes beyond—the use of a word/words. I like to combine, propose several tracks and layers of activation, in order to facilitate the diffusion of information (to be read, translated and maybe incorporated). Knowledge can be a source of trouble for people due to the types of vocabulary/language/phrasing used, and the quantity and complexity of the information presented. This concerns me as well. The production of knowledge is important and diffuse. Each word/notion/concept, as well as each practice and each technique, has a history that carries understandings and codes, which I consider impossible to filter out of a specific context.

Not that a work/word might not be enough by itself—I see no hierarchy between physical material artworks and text-based pieces and the ways in which they activate communication, translation, appropriation, projection, emotion, etc.—but an artwork without a context and a format wherein it is placed (or appears) may lose the gesture that pushed, led, activated its manifestation and by consequence its performativity.

I privilege the format of an A6 booklet to communicate.

WORK (2015) is a situation, an invitation to the creation of a personal piece, as well as the appropriation of a space and a work. It is an apparatus that reinforces one of my statements that each person, even when being part of a group, thinks something that is proper to their own perception, history, background, interest and mood in that specific moment of meeting a work of art.

Photo-montage exposing “WORK”, 2015. Photo: Ingrid Cogne

With WORK (2015), the words are the medium and the spectators are the real translators. WORK is an artwork in which the words substitute the works. It implies an appropriation of the words. I selected architectural points of reference and drew sketches that are hints to the invisible works. The booklet played with “stage” and “backstage” and I used the principle of a “fold” to un/reveal information. In my texts, I work with the dramaturgy, the rhetoric and the logic around the words. The booklet exposes my vision as an artist and the ways in which I intertwine activation and activity from the perspective of the spectator when encountering an artistic proposal and a particular context. WORK is a triptych one can project in three rooms. WORK is not a gesture of provocation. Each of the three artworks I envisioned (if I wanted to materialise them) would require an extensive budget to finance the corresponding research, production and installation due to their dimensions and technical aspects. It is unlikely that an institution would accept such a proposal and request, as it would touch upon the architectural structure of the building. When visions have to stay visions and projections… it becomes a game between the visible and the invisible, between the seen and the unseen.

The projection one creates in one’s mind is a form of materialisation. A layer is added/ superimposed onto the material world. The details of the visualisation can be as clear as the material details. The picture created is not shared, but two people can compare their respective projections. The limits between reality and fiction are challenged. The projection can be as real as whatever is in the room. Something happens and becomes visible, without being present. The collective and personal stories and perceptions coexist within the situation, even if they often remain silent. WORK is a translation of my words in space. WORK confirms and insists on the role of activator a space can have on me. With WORK, I am also an activator, I occupy and appropriate the site and I give space and time to the specta(c)tors to appropriate my works. The space is filled with the visions of visitors. I believe that the energy of the site will be affected with presence. Yet, its immaterial and invisible aspects underline that the knowledges carried within the work stays in movement, as much as they keep the potentiality of the work at its highest level. I am of the opinion that the reception of an artistic proposal changes with time. Each time one meets/reads/sees a same work, the interaction between the individual and the work is not the same.

A synthetic documentation of the ways in which the three immaterial artworks of “WORK” (2015) were encountered by the visitors in an empty building, the Semper depot in Vienna. Photo: Ingrid Cogne

A manifestation of resistance or the potentiality through which a work comes to be…

Immaterial works play with the concepts of projection and contemplation. They call for the contemplation of a projection. The physical and mental activities of the visitors are intertwined. One has to accept to move and be moved. WORK cannot exist without someone projecting it. One has to be present and be in presence. One has to be patient and accept to wait and let time affect one’s energy. One cannot proactively contemplate. Physical and perceptive displacements are the paths to de-/re-/install. The triptych WORK—and the objects constituting the works—are staged in space through words. The latter perform a language of and for movements of thoughts, bodies and relationalities.

Acknowledging the muteness of objects,
the fact that they don’t communicate according to human patterns,
may well force us to think that we cannot understand/control
everything that happens with and around us,
by our side, behind, in our infinitely composite inside
(who knows, acknowledging this could make me more modest and attentive).[15]


In the context of Six Formats it was crucial for me, more than considering a format as a tool for the communication of a particular content, to look at the kinds of associations and relationalities it may generate, allow, or disavow—within the very moment of meeting with an audience.[16] What is the knowledge that comes into play? How to approach the dramaturgical aspect of that knowledge?

An important element of the methodology of Six Formats was to use “filter(s)” as tools, be it points of departure, references, but also “Filter” as a position one takes in order to engage one’s skills, experiences and backgrounds in a research group. As the facilitator of the processes of this format, I proposed to use the notion of time as a filter: time would not be content but the perspective from which the research would be conducted. What are the temporalities created by and in an exhibition space? How to work not about, but with time?

In 2015-16, a group of artists, curators and art-based researchers collectively approached “exhibition” from the perspective of a/its form/at. What happens when exhibition is chosen as a format by an arts-based research project to expose an articulation (be it a process, a practice or a product)? How does one think of the spatial components of exhibition as the/a medium? How to treat exhibition as the content (instead of being a tool to exhibit content)?

Exhibition view of “Schallwirkungen auf Mensch und Tier”, June 2016. Photo: Tobias Pilz

Kunsthalle Exnergasse(KEX) was approached by Six Formats as a partner out of an interest in its specific history as a project and theme-oriented Kunsthalle in Vienna.[17] The history of the exhibition space (its past and upcoming exhibitions) as well as KEX’s “status” in the larger structure of WUK were central information for the research. The Exhibition Working Group (EWG)—gathering Ingrid Cogne, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Corina Oprea, Tobias Pilz, Elske Rosenfeld and Klaus Schafler—decided to go beyond exhibiting a process (NO to DIY aesthetics; NO to the public presentation of a working situation). How to work with or alongside and put into play different time-based or time-specific strategies towards the future/s, present/s and past/s of KEX? What are the needs of the exhibition space?

The triangle context-content-format was at the heart of the research in process and the exhibition space became a “body”. Issues of acoustics and sound turned out to be a recurring theme: the noise coming from the club below and the echo in the room made it difficult to follow talks held in the space. Working with the acoustics allowed the EWG to concretise various interests and, at the same time, to bring about a beneficial intervention for KEX.

How to transform a space without transforming its appearance?

The EWG collaborated with sound expert Peter Böhm, who took measurements to determine where and in what way the acoustics of the room could be improved with a limited budget. The EWG selected two hidden acoustic interventions to be implemented in the space. Along the research processes, the concept of “placebo” became central and Schallwirkungen auf Mensch und Tier became the title of the “show”.

Screen capture of “Format Exhibition—Schallwirkungen auf Mensch und Tier”, Research Catalogue, 2018[18]
The “invisible” became a strategy the EWG explored. The EWG used the A6 booklet, produced and distributed for all shows, as a space to flirt with the borders of the perceptible and invite visitors to search for an expected effect.[19] In addition, a series of subtle materialised hints was hidden in the exhibition space to activate potential perceptions of the interventions. The EWG had decided to keep silent their interventions during the exhibition period. Yet, it announced that the annual catalogue Kunsthalle Exnergasse 2016 would reveal EWG’s processes.[20] The text dedicated to Schallwirkungen auf Mensch und Tier published the acoustic interventions, a detailed description of the series of manifestations, and the ways in which they were implemented. It also suggests how presentations or talks at KEX could be optimised.

“move or be moved by some thing rather than oneself.”
Perhaps this means: to dare to be vaguely moved
by the making dissolution of a radical exteriority
at the edge of perception
(because unforeseen and unforeseeable)
yet fully sensed (because absolutely real),
rather than by a judgment and a form.[21]


Here I am reactivating one of the ways in which I have dealt with space and places in my work—as an artist and researcher—which consists of moving backwards. It may be relevant to share that I approach choreography as the writing of movements, be it material or not, visible or not, and dramaturgy as the ways in which elements placed or existing in a particular situation are dealt with, coordinated, or connected to expand their individual characteristics.

In autumn 2011, I was interested in creating situations facilitating practical approaches to knowledge. I started to think and develop strategies in order to appropriate data, while following protocols of physical practices. In between words and things, I processed data by doing and collected data by walking. During a residency at Pompidou-Metz, I applied a seven-day protocol that was an attempt to “practise” the exhibition ERRE, Variations Labyrinthiques. My keywords were “chance”, “recycling”, and “dead end”. I created a time-lapse in suspension—by repeating series of protocols almost meditatively—to activate shifts and provoke another performativity to “filter” an exhibition (its physical space as well as its content). Every day, several times a day, I walked through the exhibition, following different protocols/scores of walking, to study how the way in which I was walking would influence my perception and data collection.

Extract of my notes, 2011. Photo: Ingrid Cogne

When a physical movement into space is performed to activate a displacement of perception.

When I moved backwards, the picture was larger and included more elements: an overall vision was facilitated. This practice opens the structure of the mind and activates a shift in perception. Moving backwards does not follow the ontogenesis of an individual as it is conceived in occidental societies, where linearity and causality are dominant: everything is oriented forwards and towards something. One is not taught how to deal (be aware, explore, and control) with what one cannot see with one’s backspace—one is not taught how to move multi-directionally either.

Moving backwards affects the balance and verticality of the bodies, tilting and hobbling along due to the orientation of the articulations supposed to bend in one main direction (some twists are possible but not all directions, nor is 360°). One can do this on one’s own (I usually follow a track with my peripheral vision) or with the guidance of another person. When moving backwards, in the anatomical terms of motion, agonist muscles become antagonist and vice versa. By causing a specific movement to resist another particular movement, muscles can have different roles. Most muscles work in pairs: contracting vs. relaxing. Moving backwards slightly slows down one’s actions. The biomechanical parameters limit the variations of speed and make the pace towards the monotony and cyclical temporality of the actions uniform. Backwards invites the rethinking of the ordering of actions and of causality in a larger perspective.

The experience and perception of the practice backwards are both physical and conceptual. When walking (or running) backwards, one sees differently. Instead of passing by, data/elements/information are added to the picture and become part of a larger vision. The backwards practice challenges the relations one has to a context, a landscape and the horizon. When moving backwards, the “landscape seems to exceed the usual parameters of place by continuing without apparent end; nothing contains it, while it contains everything, including discrete places, in its environing embrace.”[22]

I am convinced that this practice helps us as individuals to position ourselves in the material world, and by extension—when a routine is created in relation to the material world—it facilitates our positioning in the abstract world. With practising backwards, one can jeopardise the design of exhibitions and free oneself from a guided/conditioning approach to the artworks displayed. Sharing this practice is like sending an invitation for an alternative way of approaching/taking on the space and considering/looking at the context. One can occupy the triangle context-content-format with a practice.

One can also push the rewind button and approach an exhibition from the end, starting with the last room and walking it backwards towards the beginning. The linearity and causality in the narrative would be reversed; like a reader, one would know the end, the result before knowing the cause and what led to a situation or an action. Instead of being goal-oriented towards the future/what is next, the focus would be on the before. How did it start?

I would not say that the backwards practice focuses on the past. The time frame of the narrative/action/gesture/practice proposed is too short and too related to daily activities, but it invites the rethinking of the relation to time and questions the proceedings of a narrative. Backwards invites the rethinking of ordering of actions, articulations and causality in a larger perspective.

Moving backwards is a practice and a physical displacement that allowed me to process my relation to time, reconsider efficiency and create another space of time. It is one of the components of the re/search titled Displacement(s) as Method(s) (2011-15), in which “move and be moved” and “displace and be displaced” were principles that called for attitudes of presence, distancing and (re-)positioning, and implied constant readings of contexts, informed uses of existing situations and the creation of appropriate methods, practices and tools.[23] A displacement has the potential to create a gap, a space in between. It allows the placing of the focus on what is not visible, immaterial or hidden. Displacement aims to focus on the reservoir of knowledge that may not be articulated (yet) and has a potentiality for re-lecture, re-consideration, re-articulation. Activation and displacement involve movements of knowledge.

What remains of an exhibition, once it has run its course,
is crystallised in its catalogue, the material it generated,
and the memories of those who experienced it.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, discussing the memory of exhibitions,
asserts that it has always been clear to him that
“an exhibition which does not produce a catalogue does not exist.”
As a residue of its programmed disintegration,
a catalogue becomes the sole trace of an exhibition.
A catalogue generally makes available
the details of the works that were included in an exhibition.
It “reproduces” images of the artefacts that made it be and/or views of the exhibition itself.
Catalogue are, at the best, the memory of an exhibition; at worst its checklist.[24]


I consider communication materials (such as newsletters and flyers) and catalogues as parts of an exhibition. They activate, perform, leave traces of knowledge. The prior is double-sided: while their activating function often teases me due to an appealing title, a well-articulated statement and often a high-quality visual, one of these elements may also dull my curiosity. When attending an event—be it an exhibition, performative, or not—I rarely read the communication material prior to the encounter with the work. I prefer to read the work displayed itself, without being conditioned or led by the curatorial vision (if there is one). I like to analyse and play around with the ways in which the exhibition is designed and the artworks are coordinated (implemented when it is a one-work show). Yet, I always consult communication materials and catalogues when exiting. I have a few catalogues at home, not because of the exhibitions, but because the knowledge these publications carry appeared relevant to my work. A catalogue is a format in itself. I never conceptualised, created, or produced a catalogue, but played with that notion using it as title for one of the chapters of my PhD thesis.[25]

With my artistic and research works, I aim to destabilise representations with “soft provocation” and to give (back) value and attention to knowledge, both its how and what.[26] This does not exclude its contents and potential senses and meanings. I manipulate details to work against the consumption of art. I am keen on disturbing established references and displacing focus in order to activate other perceptions. I am interested in the processes and movements of articulation, transformation and circulation. I believe in a live approach to knowledge, since history is (in) movement. Could a co-practice of knowledge be an economy against the over-production of knowledge? Could a practice of playing with knowledge be a method against its consumption?

Along Six Formats, a declination of notions took place: using “presentation” in 2015, replacing it by “communication” a year later, and finally adding “circulation” at the end of 2016. Presentation, communication and circulation are based on three different intentions. This declination reveals different relations to knowledge, authorship and others. In my perception, presentation corresponds to the time and space of/for sharing a process of articulation; communication approaches knowledge as points of reference; and circulation is meant for knowledge to (be) move(d) and be transformed. I insist on knowledge being in/and for transformation and I suggest its filtering from the perspective of the triangle context-content- format. By using circulation, I want to reinforce the positioning that knowledge is context-specific and requires a perpetual re-articulation to be of/in use. The triangle, or triptych, context-content-format is multi-relational and has several points of entry/activation.

In order to keep the flexibility, manipulation and expansion of the knowledge of/within the research project Six Formats by its various protagonists—with different experiences and intentions for the research project—I decided not to do a publication—in the sense of linear textual printed matter. Already in 2015 I had envisioned a 3D object to facilitate circulation(s) within the maze that Six Formats is/was.

How does a materialised work build upon, open up and articulate knowledge?

How can an object re-articulate knowledge and facilitate re/search?

Fold, detail of the “Object of Communication”, 2018. Photo: Ingrid Cogne

The Object of Communication (OoC) is a tool, an artwork, a publication that aims at going further than a book.[27] It combines:

• one box (a container—one can spread out—that frames and creates support for temporary points of reference supported by a selection of keywords in Fold: an “architecture” that invites itself to be moved);

• six forms (that can (re-)present one to six of the formats involved in the research);

• three layers (that can be (dis-)placed and illustrate various elements of the methodology of Six Formats, such as filters, processes, and transversal themes);

• additional textual components suggest routes of exploration (a Manual) and give insights to the articulation developed within Six Formats (a series of three booklets).


Tension, Elasticity, Suspension—one of the three booklets—is a written piece about a journey between presentation, communication and circulation; a journey about what “to circulate” means. When does a text shift to another end? When does a text arrive to the same end as another text? How far does elasticity (have to) go? How much tension, elasticity is needed for circulation? How active is one (or how active does one need to be, or how aware of being active does one need to be)? … thinking of an unconscious carrying/passing on/circulation of knowledge.

The OoC supports the practice of “improvised matrix of articulation”.[28] It is an opportunity to practise knowledge, articulations, questionings and reflections both inherent to and beyond the arts-based research project Six Formats. Its (re)mise-en-jeu (to put into play again and again) creates a playground-like zone of tensions/movements in which no given knowledge per se can claim more legitimacy than any other. It is a gesture of preventing any writing and communicating research strategies to acquire levels of authority that would tend to erase the complicated coalitions in which one thinks, communicates and/or performs whatever is called knowledge.

Moving and wording can intertwine and engage into articulation(s). With the OoC, practical knowledge can unfold and circulate. As re/search, for me, is analysing the doing while being in the doing, the OoC invites for the manipulation of its components and the exploration of their relations.

Photomontage of “Manual”, 2018. Photo: Ingrid Cogne

The Object of Communication has as ambitions to expose, to share, to let go, but also to activate, to articulate, and to recycle or expand knowledge. This by the doing.

Try/be part/play/engage.

The OoC is an invitation to a game in which one might end up playing and building situation(s).

In Manual, one can find “Visiting”, “Presentificating” and “Expanding”, which are invitations/tracks/ways to enter, exit, transit the variable geometry of the OoC. Manual offers didactical tactics where “game” and “play” do not exclude each other.[29] Manual proposes the basis for creating rules. Through shifting relations in a (fictive or existing) situation, the multiple potential of practical and tacit knowledges immanent to the triangle context-content-format is activated.[30]

Each element—such as research, project and event—finds significance when considered in the entire system it belongs to and as it pursues its own journey—be it in the art world or in my body of work. Each proposition invariably contains another one. There is more than one way of seeing things. Even if this essay in a written format can be perceived as documentation, an archive or a catalogue of my work, I am hoping that it may generate several activations and movements of the elements that constitute it.

Mediate presence
Present a document
Make public
Let go knowledge[31]


Note from the author: With this essay I attempted to practise knowledge in relation to the format exhibition. I circulated in the matrix of my experiences and focused on the particularity of my workings on tacit knowledge. I displayed and played with textual and visual materials—as well as titles, interjections and quotations. I treated “On the Question of Exhibition” as a context wherein I could propose/explore and choreograph/curate iterations in an exhibition of data revealing and hiding elements. Both “how” and “what” were marked in a structure composed of works, statements, questions, and methodologies. To put at play im/materiality in a written format was the challenge. I hope that this essay as a format, wherein I exhibited my knowledge, will perform both as an activator and a trace.




  1. Presented in Manual. In Object of Communication. 2018.
  2. Mallarmé, Stéphane. Œuvres completes. Edited by Henri Mondor and G. Jean-Aubry. 1951.p.433. This tale addresses the intelligence of the reader, which itself stages things.
  3. Pirinen, Mikko. Game of the Name. Titles and Titling of Visual Artworks in Theoretical Discussions from 1960 to 2015. Jyväskyl: University of Jyväskylä. 2020. p. 19.
  4. Ibid., p. 37.
  5. Jerrold Levinson as quoted in Pirinen.
  6. Pirinen, Game of the Name, p. 37.
  7. Cogne, Ingrid. “Facilitator”. Research in Arts and Education. No. 1. 2021. p. 164. Available at (accessed 2021-05-20).
  8. Deleuze, Gilles. The Logic of Sense. Translated by Mark Lester, edited by Constantin V. Boundas. London and New York, NY: Athlone Press. 1990. p. 60.
  9. Riout, Denys. Exaspérations 1958. In Vides, Une rétrospective. Paris: Éditions du Centre Pompidou. 2009. p. 37.
  10. I invited Håkan Magnusson and Olof Broström to co-realise the solo exhibition RESTES. They engaged with their presence, interests, materials, works, formats and tools.
  11. “Tâtonnante” as I would say it in French.
  12. Processus, animation, 2010. Available at (accessed 2021-03-18).
  13. Klein, Yves. “L’évolution de l’art vers l’immatériel”. Conference 3 June 1959. Paris: Sorbonne.
  14. Caspão, Paula. Relations On Paper. Lisbon: Ghost. 2013. p. 44.
  15. Six Formats was an arts-based research project, financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF, PEEK, AR291-G21). 2015-18. Portfolio available at (accessed 2021-03-18).
  16. See (accessed 2021-03-18).
  17. Format Exhibition—Schallwirkungen auf Mensch und Tier. Research Catalogue. 2018. Available at (accessed 2021-03-03).
  18. See (accessed 2021-03-18)
  19. Edited and published by Kunsthalle Exnergasse. 2016.
  20. Lepecki, André. thing:dance:daring:(proximal aesthetics). In Choreographing Exhibitions. Edited by Mathieu Copeland and Julie Pellegrin. Dijon: Les presses du réel. 2013. p. 100. The affirmation is from Yvonne Rainier.
  21. Casey, Edward S. Getting Back into Place. Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. 1993. p. 25.
  22. I define this process as analysing the doing while in the process of doing. To do research is, for me, the practice of engaging in the doing and the articulation of this doing at the same time.
  23. Copeland, Matthieu. “Choreographing Exhibitions: An Exhibition Happening Everywhere, at all Times, with and for Everyone”. In Choreographing Exhibitions. p. 22.
  24. Instead of producing a catalogue, I gathered and organised a selection of knowledges and visuals in the “portfolio” Six Formats—available for free and without ISBN—for the people who encountered the Object of Communication.
  25. The way in which I use “provocation” aims to be positive. My intention is to twist, maybe challenge, established orders of things. I believe in distraction and humour. It is a soft provocation, because I tease by placing hints and displacing elements.
  26. “Every artwork is a publication” said Igor Dobricic during “Format Workshop”. 2018
  27. Cogne, Ingrid. “Choreography of objects—choreography of ideas”. Doctoral thesis. “Displacement(s) as Method(s)”. 2015. p. 107.
  28. Three video tutorials illustrating these approaches were created in 2018 by Ingrid Cogne, Dominik Grünbühel and Charlotta Ruth. Presentificating is available at (accessed 2021-03-17).
  29. I believe that the format in which Six Formats and its content can be manipulated and digested before being recycled is workshop: from a one-day situation to a several-days proposition, between three to ten participants, with the Object of Communication.
  30. Manual. In Object of Communication. 2018.