Invitation/Call for participation
August 9th–15th in Helsinki/Helsingfors, Finland
In the year of 2020 the Nordic Summer Academy for Artistic Research (SAAR) will take place in Helsinki, Finland. It will be organized by the University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki). The venue for SAAR 2020 is Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre.
SAAR 2020 will bring together up to 18 artistic researchers and 9 supervisors for an intense and stimulating week in August. This year’s gathering under the topic Problems? Soak and Surrenderfocuses to share some of the acute knots, itches and questions that puzzle you right now in your research project.
SAAR is a joint Nordic project between the partner countries Finland, Sweden and Norway. The summer academy provides a supportive setting where artists undertaking a research education (PhD candidates, Doctoral candidates, Doctoral students or Research fellows in artistic research) from all fields collaborate, present their on-going artistic research and receive feedback from peers and experienced tutors from leading academic art institutions. The summer academy aims to reflect the international diversity and scope of artistic research and to provide a stimulating intellectual environment. It seeks to clarify, discuss and develop further emerging themes and issues arising out of the individual projects of the participants.
The activities of SAAR take different forms of intensive conversation, supervision and shared practices. SAAR is based on the participants' projects and activities are centered around their projects as well as questions/thoughts generated by this specific context.
During the week the participants will also visit the first Helsinki Biennale 2020 at the island of Vallisaari/Skanslandet in Helsinki. Uniarts Helsinki will be arranging an art fair at Kuninkaansaari/Kungsholmen island at the same time as the Helsinki Biennial takes place on neighboring island. With the aid of art and science, the Saari 2020 project will be introducing new perspectives on our current ecological issues. Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari are joined by an isthmus that can be crossed on foot, making it easy to visit both events at the same time.
The SAAR network is coordinated by Uniarts Helsinki and governed by a Nordic Steering Group. Each participating country in the SAAR network select their participants internally and inform prospective applicants how to apply, as well as inform participants about travel arrangements.
General information will be published and updated on the SAAR website. The event coordinators in Helsinki will also keep all participants up to date via e-mail before and during the event.
SAAR supervisors will have a skype meeting before the summer, regarding practicalities and working methods during the SAAR week.
The Helsinki SAAR 2020 is planned by the Finnish institutions that are members of the Finnish SAAR community (Uniarts Helsinki and Aalto University). The team consists of University lecturer Laura Gröndahl (Theatre Academy, Uniarts Helsinki); Post doctoral researcher Denize Ziegler (Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki) and Post doctoral researcher Maiju Loukola (Dept. of Film, Television and Scenography, Aalto University). The practicalities are coordinated by the SAAR network coordinator, Specialist (Research and publishing) Michaela Bränn (Uniarts Helsinki).
Sunday9th 2020 before 13:00 (Finnish time) in Helsinki
Saturday 15th 2020 after 14:00 (Finnish time)
The institution of each participant will cover the travel costs. Please contact your own country’s contact person/institution for more details after you have been accepted to the Academy.
- There is no fee for the participants
- The accommodation costs will be covered by the Nordic SAAR Network
- Breakfast, coffee, lunch and dinner is included in the accommodation. Dietary restrictions will be taken in consideration
- The centre has sauna facilities/swimming pool that will be available for participants during parts of the week.
- The weeks program includes an excursion
We will book individual hotel rooms for supervisors and research fellows. Accommodation is included in the network fee paid by the participating country.
Venue: Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre / Kulturcentrum för Sverige och Finland
Address: Hanasaarenranta 5, Espoo (city)
Tel: +358 (0)9 435 020
Spaces and equipment
There will be opportunities for discussions and presentations, both in smaller groups and all together. There will be access to seminar rooms and spaces outside. There will be a piano available for use in the center. Before the beginning of the SAAR week we will ask participants for specific needs for equipment or technical support, and we will see what is possible to facilitate on site.
The SAAR 2020 schedule and information about practical things will be posted and updated on our website. Up dated Information about all practicalities will also be sent out to participants via email before the start of the Summer Academy.
The aim of SAAR is to discuss in depth the participants’ research projects within the developing discourses of art practice and research. This happens through different forms of supervision and intensive conversation. SAAR is based on the participants' projects and is centered in the discussion of the projects. Supervisors are there to facilitate the discussion and to participate in working groups.
All participants will also have one person allocated for them as a dialog partner for the individual presentation rounds for the whole SAAR group.
“What is the challenge/problem right now in my research”
– Written short descriptions before start
Before the start of SAAR 2020 all participants will be asked to send short written descriptions max ½ A4) highlighting one specific challenge, problem on their mind right now. You are also asked to give some basic information (topic of research, affiliation – note not a CV) and tell at what point you are in you research (just begun, or more advanced etc.). Do not write a complete CV, but focus on such information, which the other participants need to know about you in order to have relevant discussions. The presentations will be published on SAAR`s website. The presentations should be read by all participants thoroughly before the start of the week.
Before the summer school, a dialogue partner will be appointed to every participant. The partners should familiarize themselves in depth with each other’s descriptions. The individual live presentations on Monday and Tuesday will be based on dialogical conversations between these partners. (More detailed instructions will be given later) The dialogue partners are also encouraged to be in touch with each other before the summer school begins.
Walking and talking – as SAAR week starts
As a warmup session to kick off the SAAR 2020 week we will walk outdoors on the beautiful Hanaholmen grounds surrounded by the sea. The walks are conducted in pairs that will be changed after a certain amount of time. The aim of the walks is to introduce everyone to each other, as well as to start sharing participants current research challenges/problems. The dialogue partners will have an opportunity to prepare their presentations in the following days.
After the walking and talking sessionsSAAR 2020 participants (Fellows and Supervisors) will have an opportunity to present their research challenge/problem through a dialog with their partner for the whole group. The dialog works also as a response to each other’s current research challenges/problems. The time is a maximum of 20 minutes/person for the dialog in pairs, including general discussion.
For the dialog presentation: Choose just one (1) specific challenge/problem in your research that you would like to explore and highlight during the SAAR week. Do not go in-depth in your whole research project in the presentation/dialog. The challenge/problem may be related e.g. to theoretical or methodological choices, the arrangements of artistic works, articulating and focusing the research questions, the progress of your research process, or any specific needs you have at the moment. Do not be afraid of posing simple or even stupid questions – they may often produce best discussions.
The live presentations work as a source of complementary information to the written presentations that participants have written beforehand.
The format for the presentation is open – all forms of presenting and communication are welcome. The presentation can e.g. include an action/practice element.
We encourage you to bring with you research materials/tangible samples of your research. The use of Powerpoint is not forbidden, but we encourage you to make your presentation without it.
During SAAR 2020 participants will work parallelly in 4 separate smaller groups. The group work has two (2) goals/aims:
On Wednesday 12.8.2020: The group work is based on the initiatives of the participants and their own specific questions/problems/objectives in their research that they have chosen to explore during the SAAR week. Each participant will initiate one group discussion that can take 1 h 30 minutes. In order to start the group discussion, the participant should prepare a 5–15 minutes demonstration for the group, which is then followed by an open conversation. The demonstration can be e.g. physical action or experiments with the group members, reading texts, showing visual material, making music, explaining one’s work etc. It should somehow "open a window" towards a domain that the researcher wishes to discuss. The same groups continue Friday.
On Friday 14.8.2020: The groups plan Collaborative statements (30 min per statement/group, incl. discussion). Each group crystallizes a Collaborative statement – an exploratory/experimental synthesis of initiatives/actions and discussions that have occurred within the group. The format for the Collaborative statement the group delivers is open – all forms of communication are welcome within the practical possibilities in Hanasaari. The presentation can e.g. include an action/practice element. Groups are also asked to consider and prepare a feedback element as part of their Collective statement presented on Saturday 15.8.2020.
Groups can work outdoors or in the meeting rooms that are reserved for SAAR. There are also time slots in the schedule for “general meetings”, where all participants gather for discussions.
This is an opportunity for the parallel groups to report on their work and discuss topics or questions that are interesting for all. We also make sure all practicalities are on track.
The participants will have the possibility to sign up for individual supervision with the supervisors. Schedules for this will be drawn up during the week.
Collaborativestatments at the end of the week
We will end the week on Saturday 15.8.2020 with the Collaborative statement presentations, which have been developed during the week in groups. The format is open, providing it is doable in practice. It may be any kind of an artwork, music, dance, painting, performance, installation, or a workshop, demonstration, lecture etc.
During the week the participants will visit the first Helsinki Biennale 2020 at the island of Vallisaari in Helsinki. More detailed information about the excursion will be sent out to participants before the start of the Academy. Please note that the excursion is a mainly outdoor activity (time on boat) and involves walking in outdoor terrain.
In terms of social activities, we will provide information about interesting events or other possible activities in Helsinki in the evenings. We will have one joint dinner and an evening out in the city of Helsinki during the week.