„Beratung & Begleitung durch kunstorientierte Prozesse“
Expressive Arts Institute Berlin
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In the beginning there was sound

The Expressive Arts Institute is dedicated to arts-based and phenomenological research and theory building. Especially non-verbal modes and elements of interaction through body and sound and their impact on human development are addressed in our projects.

Earliest perception and communication structures are rooted
in the exchange of sound and movement signals within the
mother-infant dialog. The climate of this dialog and the organization of signals into sensual-symbolic units of meaning and forms of relation are considered to be the existential ground of our being-in-the-world and the presupposition for further development.

In this existential reciprocity of signs, sender and receiver generate a field of participation, in which the attention is shifting to a shared third. In terms of personality development, relationship skills and the development of symbolization this is of eminent importance.

In the research program, the Expressive Arts Institute Berlin explores the qualities of these exchange processes. In our current project we focus on the relationships that can arise between sound and forms of bodily hearing in choreographing music through movement.

Music is shaped sound and contains all levels of humanity: emotions, thoughts, movements, relations, development, conflicts and solutions, spirituality, sociality, culture…

In the complexity of bodily resonances with sound lives the ability
for an immediate inner emotional impact and the synchronization
with music.

In an empirical-phenomenological research project we want to identify possible levels of relation between hearing and moving and determine their importance for the development.

The research aims to make practical experiences and theoretical levels always mutually accessible to reflection. Thereby we turn towards determining factors that contribute equally to the creation as for the conservation and restoration of health.

Heinrich von Kleist: "Not we know, it is first a certain state of our,
who knows

Research Project
Expressive Arts in Aesthetic Education

Barbara Hielscher-Witte is a member of the artistic-scientific Expert Council
of the International Society for Polyaesthetic Education IGPE.
The research project focuses on the interconnection between the field of Expressive Arts and Aesthetic Education as conceptualized by the IGPE.

The Expressive Arts, largely founded by Paolo Knill, are based upon a phenomenological image of man, which understands the individual as always already embedded in the world through the lived body. What the heart is in the human being, is - metaphorically speaking - the lived body for the human being in the world: a poly-sensual and relation constituting life force. Life emerges from the lived body and returns back to it. This reciprocal coupling of man and world is inevitable given through the lived body.

Man is not permeable to himself in this hidden corporeality.
He can experience it only in expressive events and in creative acts in which human-world relationships materialize and thus become available to conscious perception and reflection. Along with the phenomenological image of man, there is the conception in the Expressive Arts that functional and aesthetic components of experience are co-present and can be addressed, evoked, developed and differentiated through different activities. The aesthetic experience points to a different quality of relationship between man and the world, which is freed and elevated from of the requirements of functional actions and the instrumental use of the self.

The artistic activity in the Expressive Arts aims at activation and sensitization of the individuals for precisely these poly-sensory and aesthetic parts in their own life. These should become resources that enable them to be active in their own shaping of life and thus to find connection to cultural and social aspects and artistic achievements of mankind. For the development of Poiesis, i.e. for the responding and shaping capacities in our humanness, children and adults are equally approachable.

In the educational context, in our opinion, the task is to provide suitable frameworks in which the individual has the opportunity to sensitize himself to his own aesthetic responsivity (Waldenfels) and

• learns to understand it as a sensual reference to the world
• learns to be polyaesthetically active in it
• learns to apply the material of the arts in order to achieve participation, fulfillment and autonomy within the tension of what belongs to one's own life horizon and what does not.

Susanne K. Langer
Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art
Franfurt am Main 1984

Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Phenomenology of Perception
New York 1962

Kurt Lewin
A dynamic theory
of personality.

New York 1935

Rene Spitz
No and Yes: On the genesis of human communication
New York 1957

Patricia Leavy
Methods Meets Art Arts-Based Research Practice
New York 2008

Daniel Stern
Mother and Child:
The First Relationship


Max van Manen
Phenomenology of Practice: Meaning-Giving Methods in Phenomenological Research and Writing Developing Qualitative Inquiry
Walnut Creek 2014

Max van Manen
Researching Lived Experience
New York 1990