Trust in co-composition: responding to resonance in relational research
Tristan Partridge
Iain Findlay-Walsh

Proposal submission for:
Field/Works II: Generating Ecologies of Trust (EASA 2024)

This work draws on our experiences collaborating through relational research methodologies, (auto)ethnographic inquiry, and sound art practice. It forms part of our ongoing, exploratory, iterative processes of developing and reflecting on approaches to ‘co-composition.’ In that term, we find a range of generative ideas that span across different modes of action, from the ethics and relationality of ethnographic fieldwork to the resonances and responsiveness of experimental music and sound art. This is co-composition as an evolving practice of hearing, and sounding, differentially situated collectivities; a practice that also references and emerges through existing methods of ‘quantum listening’ (Oliveros 2022) and nondominating ethical frameworks associated with ‘grounded normativity’ (Coulthard & Simpson 2016). Both fields seek to undo exploitative scholarly practices and instead foster profoundly nonauthoritarian modes of relationality (ibid.). Pursuing such goals, our focus here is on exploring trust-as-praxis within co-composition – as a process that relies less on ‘trusting’ the judgment of others and is instead built by developing shared intuition(s). Trust, in this sense of praxis, arises through our responses to the resonances we build between ‘us,’ which here is understood as any shifting combination of collaborators, friends, research participants, practitioners, other species and/or materialities. Trust-as-praxis thus demands that we take responsibility for co-creating contexts within which mutual conversations can take place – with a commitment to embodied forms of interaction that foster care, sensitivity, and reciprocity. Combining text, audio and images generated through our individual fieldwork and shared discussions, we present this work in the form of a 4-minute video, an aesthetic object that invites the co-mingling of sensory experience and conceptual-methodological reflection. As such, this work forms part of our ongoing process of developing, interrogating, and reflecting on co-composition as arts-based anthropological practice.

Coulthard, G. and Simpson, L.B., 2016. Grounded Normativity / Place-Based Solidarity.
American Quarterly, 68 (2), 249–255.

Oliveros, P., 2022. Quantum Listening. Ignota Books.