How does artistic research transform society?

Practicing Communities: Transformative societal strategies of artistic research

Winter Symposium: March 18 – 20, 2016


Zirgu Pasts, Latvian Academy of Culture/Latviljas Kultῡras Akadēmija, Riga

We invite scholars and artists from all fields to join the artistic research study circle 7, which pursues an interdisciplinary collaborative approach to interweaving practices and strategies from other geographical, contextual, societal, institutional and non-institutional spaces. The circle has developed within the Nordic and Baltic framework of Nordic Summer University. Since its inception, the primary aim has been to provide a forum for experimentation and cross-disciplinary collaboration welcoming members both from within and outside universities and art institutions.

The 2016-2018 cycle is called: Practicing Communities: Transformative societal strategies of artistic research and this winter symposium will be the first of six symposia taking place in a different Nordic or Baltic country. The focus of Practicing Communities is on building generative communities through the interweaving of localities, practices and strategies. The circle aims to explore and create transformative societal strategies within a space where diversity is welcomed and fostered. The study circle provides a space for theoretical and artistic experimentation and the cross-fertilization of methodologies. It aims to develop insights that could be used in further research.

In this first session we would like to explore themes of Transformation and ask:
How does artistic research transform society?
This may include examining:

What does it mean to transform?
How might we (re) think and practice society and community?
Can diversity or intervention bring about transformation?
What strategies and practice/research can we develop to transform?
How do notions of transformation effect and form distinct ways of knowing between artists, and non-artists, and artists and environments?
What tools and methods can we develop to chronicle and critique transformations?

Over the course of three days we are invited by local hosts to Zirgu Pasts, Latvian Academy of Culture in Riga, Dzirnavu 46. We welcome 
proposals for presentations of artistic
in various
including: indoor and 
experiments; workshops; demonstrations; collaborations; presentations 
work. We also welcome more
 traditional, theoretical reflections and short
 papers. Participants are encouraged to form constellation presentations with one or more other members that reflect points of intersection in your work. Below is a set of
presentation, however we will try to accommodate specific requests regarding format and duration depending on the requirements  of individual participants: 5 minutes presentation and 25 minutes discussion; 15 minutes presentation and 15 minutes discussion or 30 minutes presentation and ten minutes discussion. Maximum duration of presentation + discussion: 40 min.

To submit a proposal please send via email to the coordinators Ami Skånberg Dahlstedt and Lucy Lyons:

A written proposal (350 words) with a title and descriptive subtitle. This text should include your presentation proposal, its format, its duration, facilities you need (i.e. technical equipment).

A short bio (200 words).

If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting, please email a short Bio.

The deadline to submit proposals is November 15, 2015. The preliminary schedule will be announced on December 15, 2016 on where you can also find more information about NSU and sign up for the newsletter.

Registration and fee

Students and freelance artists: 90 €

Those associated with institutions: 180 €

*Baltic residents: 35€

This cost includes lunches and dinners. Moreover, NSU will organize and pay for basic accommodation for all participants not funded by their institutions who are willing to share a double room. The registration fee must be paid via bank transfer in advance of the conference.

Participants should apply to their institutions, Art Councils, local foundations or sponsors to have their travel cost covered.

Arrival: Thursday, March 17th late afternoon, 2016

Departure: Sunday, March 20th late afternoon, 2016

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

Decisions about the content and the organisational form of NSU lie with its participants.  The backbone of the activities in NSU 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.

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