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The Royal Institute of Art periodically hosts externally funded artistic research projects. Applications are made to national funding bodies such as the Swedish Research Council.

Petra Bauer

Researchers (2019-2021)

Looking for Jeanne

In autumn 2017 the #metoo movement spread through societies, women demanded that society should take women’s negative experiences and exploitation seriously. The events can be compared to the 1970s when artists made films and artwork to visualize, question and change the role and position of women in society. For example, Chantal Akerman made the film Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels (1975) which was very important for a feminist debate about women’s work, role and resistance in society. The film Jeanne Dielman also revealed the need for a film that was based on feminist theory and practice.

Petra Bauer’s research project Looking for Jeanneis rooted and reflects on the film Jeanne Dielman and asks the questions: Who is a contemporary Jeanne Dielman? How can the film, through its aesthetics, investigate, question and change unequal conditions and exploitative arrangements regarding women’s work and role in today’s global society? The research project, in close collaboration with feminist organizations and networks, will produce 3 films about contemporary forms of feminized work today: sex work, maternity and home work. The 3-year project follows the theme of the film Jeanne Dielman, and an annual symposium is organized about social reproduction in our contemporary society, based on theoretical and artistic perspectives in collaboration with reference groups.

Still from the film Workers! (Petra Bauer & Scot-pep 2018) Photo: Caroline Bridges

Funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Filippa Arrias

Researchers (2018-2020)

Paramaribostorken flög sin kos och kom aldrig tillbaka – Transformationen som den Andre

In the artistic research project, The Stork from Paramaribo Flew Away Never to Return – Transformation as “the Other”, I will advance my inquiries into how a content/subject matter transforms by being translated in-between different artistic medias and materials. By reflecting an inherited ”hi-Story”, at the time fictional as well as real, I will use both painting, documentation and writing to express different aspects of that same story. My intention is to relieve the polyphony of ”the Story”, by stressing the coherence in-between the specificity of the media and its way of interpretation. The specific qualities that signify a certain media or material, thus decide its validity. I focus on the materialities of painting as the means of expression in my research. The artistic process loads as well as defuses the different materials in its strive to make sense to the content. The factual qualities of the materials as well as their symbolical connotations blend into an ongoing dialogue. In my research project painting and the palimpsestic qualities of the media represent the figuration of time, memory and imagination.

Funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Filippa Arrias, Vera and I


Annika Larsson

Researchers (2018-2020)

Non-Knowledge, Laughter and the Moving Image

’How can the Moving Image and the Laughing Body become agents for new thought, acts, and embodiment? The project will examine the Moving Image and the Laughing Body’s capacity for new and alternative modes of thinking, acting and being, and their potential to overturn our habitual course and change the order of things. Through a series of audio-visual montages and contexts, it will experiment with new modes of knowledge production, viewing and circulation, and examine the interconnection between Laughter, the Moving Image and Non-knowledge. Like the sudden invasion of laughter that for a moment sets us off course, this project will explore ways in which we communicate beyond instrumental language, subjectivity and reason, to experience what the moving image and our bodies can do and how they can teach us about the limits of our thinking.’

The project is run in collaboration with the University of Fine Arts Hamburg (Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg – HFBK)
where Annika has a Professorship.

Funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Carl Johan Erikson & Karin Willén

Researchers (2018)

The Final Repository: A Macroscopic Exploration

Borehole HFM 29, borehole HFM 26 and feeding machine for wild boar

Within the field of physics, the macroscopic scale is the measurement scale on which objects or processes are of a size that is measurable and observable for the eye. In relation to phenomena and abstract constructions, the macroscopic scale describes the world as we experience it.

The aim of the project The final repository: a microscopic exploration is to confront our very personal existential concerns and worries regarding the perception of nature which can be said to be prevalent in contemporary civilization. Through artistic methods we wish to problematize and reveal processes and systems that form this current perception of nature.

Simultaneously, we seek alternative ways to relate and to act in response to this situation. The physical starting point for the project is Söderviken, the site where a future and final repository for spent nuclear fuel will be constructed. The final decision will be taken in the next few years by all involved parties. According to the presented plans for the repository, the spent nuclear fuel is meant to be contained by special copper capsules, submerged down to 500 metres below ground level in the bedrock – secured from man and the environment for 100 000 years.

We will confront the site and our own perceptions through different methods. We plan to camp on the site for recurrent periods of time, thus making Söderviken our habitat. During these stays we will perform activities with our own bodies while undertaking everyday activities such as, fishing, monitoring hunting sessions, collect berries and mushrooms in the woods. Sleeping on site may also mean a possibility to approach and experience Söderviken through an alternative or enhanced level of consciousness. To further broaden our study of the site, other individuals will be invited to participate in some of the activities, thus creating conditions and a mental space for earnest dialogue and shared experiences.

Local politicians with some influence over the decisions on the repository will be invited, as well as individuals living in the area. Through this close reading of the site and its wildlife, which comprises all hours of the day and with different levels of consciousness, we will capture photographic material, produce text and documentations of actions and dialogues. This body of work will, together with our unpredictable artistic process, form the base for our compilation, editing and presentation of the project. The outcome will be a book and a seminar held at the Royal Institute of Art with a performance and invited guests.

The format of the book is, to us, an artistic tool and we aim to subversively appropriate the format of ‘reality producing genres’ such as nature books, cookbooks, lifestyle books, among others. This artistic method, the book, enables us to expose our own individual and our civilization’s relationship to nature and the earth’s resources, and it gives us the possibility to reveal alternative ways of understanding the world.

Funded by Seed Box Environmental Humanities Collaboratory, Linköping University.

Björn Larsson & Carl Johan Erikson

Researchers (2017-2019)

Refuse to Kill – Stories of the Conscientious Objectors

Refuse to Kill – Stories of the Conscientious Objectors investigates a specific phase in Sweden’s recent history through one of the great existential narratives of the human condition; the concept of peace and reconciliation. In this artistic research project we utilise the potential of the large number of experiences and stories from the 35 000 young men who, between 1966 and 1992, made the choice to not enter traditional military service, but instead applied for, and were granted, unarmed civil service.

The conscientious objector movement’s existential issue surrounding the right to refuse to kill relates to both the individual’s freedom and artistic expression in relation to the law – then as well as now. Artists had an important role in the conscientious objector movement; many chose civil service and artists were very active in the public discourse that led to legislative change. The research project wants to learn through the experiences of the conscientious objectors and reconnect to the artists’ role as agents in a contemporary political landscape.


Service book

Funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Karin Hansson (Project Leader), Åsa Andersson Broms, Shiva Anoushirvani, Per Hasselberg, George Kentros, Nils Claesson

Work a work

Researchers (2017-2019)

In the interdisciplinary art project, Work a work, a group of artists explore the concept of work from a philosophical, political, and critical perspective through an open and collaborative work process including researchers and union activists.

Changing global work relations and digital labour are transforming the way we perform our identities and understand our life worlds. Crowdsourcing, micro-tasks, sharing economy, and an expanding class of temporary and flexible workers strengthen commodification of relations and create extreme forms of alienation. The shift away from permanent employment to short term and independent contract work challenges the labour rights established during the last hundred years to keep class warfare at bay. However, at the same time, social media also strengthens community and enables labour activism on a global scale.

To develop an understanding of this ongoing transformation of what we know as “work”, we start with our own artistic practices and work relations, developing artistic research methodologies. Here we start with ideas about the reflective practitioner, researcher’s situatedness, and art as micro-publics or infrastructuring, to explore how the reflexive artistic work process can be enhanced and supported through collaboration, and how the idea of work can be developed through materialization and art performance. Work about work takes place in workshops, online, in public seminars, and foremost in artists’ practices, through artworks.

Karin Hansson,The Affect Machine: Distribution of shares, 2015

More information:

Funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Mara Lee

Researchers (2017-2019)

Loving Others, Othering Love:

A Toolbox for Postcolonial and Feminist Artistic Practices

The artistic research project intends to examine the role that love plays in the construction of Othered women. The result will be a feminist/postcolonial toolbox in the form of a hybridized reference book that uses literary and poetic forms, as well as theoretical expository writing.

Funded by the Swedish Research Council.