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Research Week 2021

RW00: Nurturing a research environment

This year, transformed by the pandemic, has imposed several limitations and restrictions but offered at the same time a unique opportunity to pause and reflect on fundamental questions at our university:  

  • What is the relation between teaching and research with artistic and architectural practices today?  
  • What do artistic practices and exhibition-making do, in light of the upheavals in the cultural field?   
  • How do we create an understanding of the exhibition practice as an experimental learning process that embeds presence and care?   
  • What are some of the “immersive learning” processes that we involve in our art practices and teaching? 
  • How do we juxtapose different models in both artistic research and teaching practices? 
  • How can this be used to foster solidarity within the institution?   
  • How does knowledge of techniques empower artistic practice? 
  • What can we learn beyond existing formal languages and canons?    
  • Who has the authority to make exhibitions?    
  • What is the impact of our practices beyond the art academy?  

These are some of the questions around which we will gather for this year’s Research Week, 24–27 March. Since last year the Professors’ Collegium has been given the task by the Education and Research Council to rethink the format of Research Week. In monthly presentations and discussions, which have included faculty, Ph.D. candidates, researchers, students, and the administration, a vast plurality of approaches in teaching methodologies and research trajectories have emerged, both centered around architectural and artistic practices. For this year’s experimental pilot edition, Research Week 00 will be centered around the university’s unique approach grounded in the belief that both teaching and research are informed by an active architectural and artistic practice. RW00 aims to nurture a research environment beyond the planned four days in March, pointing to initiatives and actions that will be further explored in the coming year and fully developed in subsequent years. 

The Royal Insitute of Art has hosted nine artistic research weeks since 2011. The previous editions have been wide-ranging in formats, including presentations, film screenings, bus tours, performances, workshops, exhibitions, conferences, and parties. The events have been located at the school, Galleri Mejan, or in external venues such as cinemas. Presenters have included Ph.D. candidates, externally funded researchers, those who have been internally awarded artistic research and development project funding (KFoU), and teachers who presented research at different stages. In the last few years, an increasing presence of students from postmaster courses have presented their ongoing research. External guests have been invited as conversation partners, for keynote lectures and taking part in discussion panels. The main audience has been the school as well as the general public. 

Due to the current situation and according to pandemic restrictions, the program this year consists of a live broadcast format hosted within the school premises, with a hybrid program of live-streamed presentations from the school, musical performances, online discussions, virtual chatroom meetings, and on-location reportage from sites on Skeppsholmen, as well as from the Art Academy, where the exhibition Love, Body and Work, Artistic Research in Uncertain Times opens on 27 March.  

Day 1: Wednesday 24 March

What is the role of the exhibition in artistic practice and art education? 
How do we use the exhibition as part of the learning process?

Statement from Professors’ Collegium
Represented by co-chairs Alessandro Petti & Ming Wong

Conversation I
The role of the exhibition in art education
Petra Bauer, Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Asier Mendizabal and Lina Selander.

The various modes of exhibition-making at school take different forms and fulfill different functions along the path of art education. These different roles of exhibitions within the educational context might give us a chance to analyze the task they play in teaching and sharing, in defining and addressing the public, in propelling, monitoring and evaluating learning processes and outcomes. Is an exhibition always a conclusion? Is any act of sharing a working process already an exhibition? Are our peers rehearsing the role of a future audience or is their judgement of a different kind? Are internal exhibitions akin to peer reviewing processes?

Live Intervention at Mellanrummet by students Cilia Wagén & Karon Jonsson

Conversation II
Understanding the codependency between the research and its environment
Åsa Andersson, Romulo Enmark, Kajsa Dahlberg, Oscar Lara

How are we as artists invested in collective research processes? What are the existing and potential relationships between research and education? In what ways can the two benefit each other? How can this form of research be disseminated? what is recognized as research? What should we expect of researchers when it comes to building a research environment at the school?

Summary & Closing of Day 1

Day 2:  Thursday 25 March 2021:  

In this session, we explore the relationships between art and architecture with an emphasis on research-based artistic and pedagogical practices.  

Hosts:  Moa Engström & Cristian Quinteros Soto 

Musical performance by The Sound Engineers (Hannah Clarkson, Caio Marques De Oliveira, Breogán Torres Gutierrez, Aron Fogelström) 
Costumes by Malin Bengtsson 

Conversation III   

Detours: Skeppsholmen  
Guest: James Taylor-Foster  

Using Skeppsholmen as a script, James Taylor-Foster, curator of contemporary architecture and design at ArkDes, will guide online viewers in aseries of detours around the island in conversations with students and faculty from the postmaster research laboratories in Decolonizing Architecture, Of Public Interest, Architectural Conservation and Collective Practices. 

Live intervention at Mellanrummet by students Cilia Wagén & Karon Jonsson 

Conversation IV   

Making Space   
Sophie Tottie 
Guest: Karin Sander  

In her ongoing course “Making Space”, Sophie Tottie, touches upon different pedagogical models that emphasize artists’ experiences and work as active artists. In this session, she has invited the artist Karin Sander to talk about her work as aprofessor of art at ETH, a university of architecture in Zürich, and give us a live preview of her upcoming exhibition “Office Works” at Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany.  

Summary & Closing of Day 2 

Day 3:  Friday 26 March 2021   

What is the future of exhibitions? What changes are needed in the pandemic and post-pandemic eras, with regards to art research, exhibition, and education?   

Welcome to Day 3 
Hosts:  Moa Engström & Cristian Quinteros Soto 

Musical performance by The Sound Engineers (Hannah Clarkson, Caio Marques De Oliveira, Breogán Torres Gutierrez, Aron Fogelström) 
Costumes by Malin Bengtsson 

Conversation V  
Finding each other in multi-modality and transdisciplinary research at KKH  

Part 1: Lina Selander & students Elina Birkehag, Sara Ekholm Eriksson, Mattias Andersson and Astrid Eriksson 

Part 2: Rut-Karin Zettergren, Martin Christensen, Andreas Hammar Moderated by Benjamin Gerdes 

Join us in a VR chatroom for a discussion on how to deal with the realities of social restrictions via the digital and virtual realm and expanded fields of sound, performance and visual media.  How can we continue to create safe spaces and formats for sharing different modes of artistic research and communicating across diverse subjectivities? 
Access link to the VR section to be shared in the live stream chat during the session. 


Live Intervention at Mellanrummet by students Cilia Wagén & Karon Jonsson 

Preview of the exhibition Love, Body and Work, Artistic Research in Uncertain Times at the Art Academy for staff & students of KKH 

Conversation VI 

Strategies for the future of art and art education  
Sara Arrhenius 

Guest: Magdalena Malm, former director of the Public Art Agency Sweden, currently working with the governmental investigation Restarting Culture, Meryem Saadi, PhD candidate, Uppsala University.

Existing cultural structures and systems must respond to the pandemic crisis amid issues of sustainability and inclusiveness. What would we propose as sustainable future models and methods?  

Can the Art Academy, with its capacity to enact hybrid structures for students and public, serve as a future model for art institutions? 

Final Plenary discussion 

Participants:  Sara Arrhenius, Professors’ Collegium, PhD candidates, ÅsaAndersson (research coordinator)

In this session we will discuss how to continue to nurture a diverse and experimental research environment for the years to come. More concretely, we will identify research trajectories and ideas for RW2022. 

An online walk-through of the exhibition Love, Body and Work, Artistic Research in Uncertain Times at the Art Academy 

Summary & Closing of Day 3.