Disorientations: Winter Symposium 2020

Disorientations: Winter Symposium 2020

Call for Proposals

Download the CfP as PDF

Artistic Research | Performing Heterotopia study circle invites proposals for workshops, interventions, presentations, performances and experiments on the theme of


Artistic Research | Performing Heterotopia
Winter Symposium
5 – 8 March 2020
University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland

We invite artists and researchers from all fields to take part in our artistic research circle, a migratory non-hierarchical group of international participants. We welcome participants from all geographical, artistic, cultural and academic contexts and backgrounds, both outside and within universities and other institutions.

The circle is developed within the framework of Nordic Summer University, which consists of thematic study circles that meet twice a year on a three-year cycle. Our 2019–2021 cycle is called Artistic Research | Performing Heterotopia and this winter symposium will be the third of six symposia taking place during this time period. The circle aims to share ways artistic research can explore, experiment with, critique, create and perform heterotopias, which are spaces, temporalities and practices that disrupt the continuity and the norms of ordinary reality. We hope not only to engage with heterotopic concepts, but to be a heterotopic space.


In our winter symposium we would like to explore heterotopic states of disorientation, being lost, spaces of ambivalence and ambiguity, times of shifts and crossings. We are interested in transitions, impermanence, states of flux, transformative spaces and fugitive moments. We would like to know how to stay in-between. We would like to reflect on being on the way, to go on a journey whose arrival point is unknown.

We are interested in interpretations of these states both within the process of artistic research or practice and in wider social, political, philosophical and other contexts. We would like to explore spaces, states and situations where our familiar strategies and knowledges are suspended. We want to examine times and places where not-knowing and uncertainty are the guiding principles. We would like to ask how these states, spaces and temporalities manifest themselves in our realities and how artistic research responds to and engages with them.

We encourage work in progress, incompleteness and unfinished work, partial and fragmented efforts, lost or missing elements, especially when they reflect on real or imaginary, everyday or socio-political liminal spaces and transitional states.

Proposals for workshops, interventions, presentations, performances and experiments could engage and depart from ideas and concepts surrounding
– states of not-knowing, uncertainty and doubt
– situation, times and places where our existing knowledges are challenged and put into question
– times and spaces of shifts, transitions, transformations, crossings
– being in-between, liminal and discontinuous states, edges and boundaries
– passages, impasses, happy accidents, failed experiments, unwanted discoveries, wrong turnings and unforeseen avenues
– states and places of waiting, expectation, empty time and wasted time
– being on the way, getting lost, not knowing the destination

We encourage experimentation and collaboration, and especially alternative formats of participation beyond individual presentations. We welcome proposals for discussion or reading groups, conversations, workshops, walks or excursions, and other possible and impossible formats. We also welcome site-specific proposals engaging with the past or present of Wroclaw.

On one of the symposium days we plan to hold an evening event of performances or other artistic interventions, and we encourage applications specifically for this part of the programme.


We welcome proposals for presentations of artistic research in various formats including: indoor and outdoor experiments, workshops, demonstrations, collaborations, performances, presentations or excerpts of on-going work. We also welcome more traditional, theoretical reflections and short papers. Participants are encouraged to form constellation presentations with other members. We aim to allocate each presentation/performance a 30-minute time slot.

To submit a proposal please send

1. A written proposal as a Word document: no more than 350 words.
This text should include your title, your presentation proposal, its format and the facilities you need (e.g., technical equipment).


2.A short bio: no more than 200 words.

If you would like to attend the winter symposium without presenting, please email a short statement explaining your interest in the topic and a short bio (no more than 300 words in total). Priority will be given to those wishing to perform or present.

Applications must be sent via email to the coordinators Elina Saloranta and Alia Zapparova circle7@nsuweb.org


The programme will be published in January 2020.

Important dates

Deadline for proposals: 1 November
Applicants informed of outcome: 10 December
Deadline for registration and payment: 10 January

Arrival: 5 March
Departure: 8 March

Registration and fees

Independent/freelance/self-financed artists and students: €80
Those funded by institutions: €160
Baltic and Polish residents: €25
Residents of low-income countries (see list): €25
Local participants who don’t need hotel accommodation: €10

In addition to the registration fee, participants need to pay the Nordic Summer University’s annual membership fee. The membership feefacilitates the existence of the Nordic Summer University, which is a volunteer-based organisation. There are two rates:

Annual membership fee (for those funded by institutions): €25
Reduced annual membership fee (all others): €10

The registration fee includes most lunches and dinners. Moreover, the Nordic Summer University will organise and pay for basic accommodation for all participants who are willing to share a double room (except for local residents). Both the registration fee and the membership fee must be paid online in advance of the conference. Details about registration and payment will be provided on acceptance.

The Nordic Summer University is a nomadic, academic institution, which organises workshop-seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, the Nordic Summer University has organised forums for cultural and intellectual debate in the Nordic and Baltic region, involving students, academics, artists and intellectuals from this region and beyond.

Decisions about the content and the organisational form of the Nordic Summer University lay with its participants. The backbone of the activities in the Nordic Summer University consists of its thematic study circles. In the study circles researchers, students and professionals from different backgrounds collaborate in scholarly investigations distributed regularly in summer and winter symposia during a three-year period.

The Nordic Summer University is committed to the principle of sustainability. At our symposia we offer vegetarian/vegan food only and aim towards zero waste. We thus invite members to bring their own reusable coffee cup and water bottle to the symposia and to consider carefully the carbon footprint of their travel choices.

For more information www.nordic.university

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