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2016 Research Week programme cover. Design: Hans Gremmen

2016 Research Week programme booklet. Design: Hans Gremmen

Welcome to the fifth edition of the Royal Institute of Art’s Research Week that runs from 20-27 January 2016 and spans a multitude of perspectives and approaches in order to reflect the institution’s commitment to the widest interpretation of research with respect to art production. The programme for this year’s Research Week has the ambition to make ideas yet undisclosed or embedded within the institution formulated as public lectures and discussions with colleagues and the general public.
[read_more title=”read more”]In elaborating on Research Week, it is important to note that the programme includes the annual RIA Open House  that provides prospective students and those interested in the school with an opportunity to visit studios, the expansive workshops, and to have discussions with students and members of the faculty. At the same time, during the week a series of events organized by RIA students including the exhibition of work by Year 1 Fine Art students  in Galleri Mellanrummet  and Student-to-Student Grant  project presentations. There are also various research projects presented in Galleri Mejan.

This year’s overall Research programme is unmatched by previous years in scope. It presents an unparalleled amount of student presentations from all programmes throughout the BA, MA and PhD levels. It also welcomes international speakers and institutional collaborations forming connections between artistic practice, critical studies, philosophy and society at large, all in all reflecting the impetus of RIA’s research platform. As part of this ambition two new courses have commenced in the autumn 2015 – Critical Habitats and Philosophy in the Context of Art  – and both courses’ students and representatives will present as part of this year’s Research Week. In particular, the conference ’Useless Uses’  serves as a preamble to this year’s Research Week and as developed in close cooperation with the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Kingston University London, it is an extension of the RIA course Philosophy in the Context of Art.  The conference functions as a kind of thematic strand within the wider programme, which specifically will consider ‘use’ and ‘usefulness’ in relation to art’s social function, conditions of criticality and discourses today. In tandem with the conference, students enrolled in the advanced level course Philosophy in the Context of Art will also present practice-based projects: Olivia Berkowicz, Giorgio Giusti, Emma Hammarén, Emma LaMorte, Erik Peters, Samuel Richter  and Merzedes Sturm-Lie.

Students enrolled in the Critical Habitats  course will present as part of a full day cluster that relates to architecture including among others Peter Thomas Lang  in dialogue with Daniel Urey from Färgfabriken to discuss an emerging project between the Baltic and the Balkans; Cecilia Sagrén  traces connections between Sweden and Russia through the architecture and engineering school Technikum in Strelitz in 1920-30’s Germany and Kerstin Barup  looks into how the continually evolving technology of 3D laser scanning is revolutionizing the documentation of heritage sites. This is only a fragment of the expansive programme that will ensue with the participation of the institution’s students, faculty and cooperative partners throughout the week.

Research Week is among the initiatives the institution has commenced with in order to bring to the forefront the still evolving nature of what constitutes research with respect to art production and in doing so, it supports the need to keep ‘research’ an open category that extends through the BA, MA and PhD levels as well as in faculty members’ research activities. This has resulted in RIA’s commitment to make available courses that bridge research and production. In Spring 2016, the institution sees the introduction of our PhD candidates in teaching the following: Conditions of Collaborative Practices  led by Emanuel Almborg and Olivia Plender, and Art and the World , taught by Melanie Gilligan who will explore a process of thinking about the ways that artworks have related to their historical and political moment. Further educational initiatives include among others individual workshops led by visiting filmmaker Lisa Aschan; by author Mara Lee in a workshop entitled Text and Resistance ; and by visiting artist Rodney McMillan, Associate Professor at the Department of Art at UCLA.

As in previous years, this year’s Research Week programme encompasses a diversity of presentations, lectures, performances, exhibitions, film screenings and other events including the RIA Open House. Together in this constellation these presentations bridge practical, transdisciplinary, theoretical and philosophical aspects of contemporary art with particular interests. It is with special thanks to all those who have contributed to such heterogeneity of thought and practice.

— Marta Kuzma, Vice-Chancellor[/read_more]