EARN gathering: Making Artistic Research Public

How to make artistic research public? How do artworks engage with their immediate surroundings, neighbourhoods and public space? How to bring forth artistic research in its diversity and variety? The gathering of the European Artistic Research Network (EARN) and the accompanying exhibition engages with these questions.

Strawberries on asphalt and their empty plastic container.
Photo: Denise Ziegler


The next EARN Gathering will be held in Helsinki in October 2022 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki.

Making Artistic Research Public event is a platform for initiating further activities of the EARN working groups and their collaborations.

Making something public is intrinsic to art making and artistic research. How could artistic research be made public on its own terms?

To display a work in public might require leaving behind a singular piece or event, in order to proceed further with the work. This could also mean that development of one theme ends and another begins. The occasion of publishing clearly initiates reflection on its reception and leads to new approaches for proceeding with the research. Art and artistic research are not only made for the public; they are also informed by their own publicity.

To what extent does making something public presuppose making it identifiable? Does this something have to be named? Does addressing the public always take the form of production? Are there alternative experimental or experiential ways of relating to matters of publicity?  Could they be more relevant to publishing artistic research than declaring products (artworks, articles, etc.) as outcomes of research or end results of processes? Could publishing be seen as a live model, a prototype for learning processes that develop a relationship with the public?

Photo: Denise Ziegler


You can register until Monday 24.10.2022 (closes at 24:00 Finnish time)


Venue: Room K218, Mylly building

Zime zone: UTC +3, EEST


9:00–9:15 Welcome words and introducing of the six EARN working groups 

9:15–10:45 WG Sustainability and Attunement. Performance lecture with: Sam Belinfante, Onya McCausland, Kasia Depta-Garapich, Benjamin Jenner, Tom Poultney, Nastassja Simensky and Patrick Ward. Robert Mead, Siôn Parkinson and Zoe Quick will attend online.

10:45–11 Coffee break

11–12:30 Keynote Bassam El Baroni: “Tarrying with the Alien: On Curating and Algorithmic Realism”

Abstract: This talk considers recent curatorial and artistic discourse emerging within the framework of the algorithmic turn and its transformative impact on creativity, society and the political. The talk elaborates on what some have called the “alien logic,” that underlies artificial intelligence, and how such alienness sets in motion various tactical modes of artistic and philosophical operation. Could subjecting curatorial thinking to the conceptual and political pressures of said alien logics push the ‘visual arts exhibitionary complex’ to evolve past simply extending its existent structures and practices into virtual platforms, to instead enhance a rethinking of those structures and practices? Building on the work of philosopher Luciana Parisi and other thinkers, this talk presents an early attempt at addressing this question.  

12:30–14 Lunch break

14–15:30 WG Curatorial Studies

Book launch and workshop with: Joasia Krysa, Bassam El Baroni, Henk Slager and Mick Wilson

15:30–16  Coffee break

16–17:30  WG On Value with:  Rolf Hughes, Ciel Grommen, Tria Amalia, Pepa Ivanova

17:30–20  Opening of the exhibition and getting together (Kaiku gallery and Majakka)


9:00–10:30  WG Space + Practice. Presentations by: Antti Nyyssölä, Marloeke van der Vlugt, Kristen Kreider. Space + Practice Parasite, performative presentation with: Frank Brümmel, Çal Doğa, Mika Elo, Heidi Hänninen, Maiju Loukola, Heini Nieminen, Antti Nyyssölä, Xenia Ramm, Hanna Vahvaselkä, Qiong Zhang, Denise Ziegler

10:30–10:45  Coffee break

10:45–12:15 Keynote Paul Tiensuu: “From Carpenter’s Square to Citizens’ Square: on Strategic Agencement and Spatiality of Norms”

Abstract: The presentation connects with the theme of “making art public” at the problem of what it means to “make public”. Here Tiensuu approaches this problematic from a perspective where the public space is produced socially and defined by norms that regulate it, and being public refers to the use and production of the public space. In this context he will discuss theories of production of social space and spatiality of norms to provide a theoretic understanding of the relation between social space and norms. This has some theoretic value of its own, but may also help to approach the problematic of participating in the distribution and use of the public space artistically.

12:15–13:30 Lunch break

13:30–15:00 WG Methodology. Presentations by: Maddie Leach, Annette Krauss & Christina della Giustina, Elina Saloranta

15:00–15:30 Coffee break

15:30–16:30 WG Politics of Aesthetics. Presentations by: Azadeh Fatehrad and Wendy Lynne Lee

16:30–17:30  Wrap up with Henk Slager and Mika Elo

All presentations are streamed also on zoom. After registration you will get the link.


There will be an exhibition in connection with the gathering which will take place in various spaces in Mylly building at the Academy of Fine Arts. The exhibition will open 27 October, during the gathering, and stay open until 13 November 2022. 

Both the gathering and the exhibition have a free admission and they are open to all, welcome!

The main emphasis of the event

  • EARN working groups presentations and artworks exhibited in and around the Academy of Fine Arts building (Mylly)
  • Two guest speakers, Basam El Baroni, Assistant Professor at the Department of Art and Media at Aalto University and Paul Tiensuu, University Researcher at the Faculty of Law at Helsinki University.
  • Publication events of Expo-Facto: Into the Algorithm of Exhibition (MetropolisM Boooks) co-edited by Henk Slager & Mick Wilson and RUUKKU-journal’s thematical issue: Making Artistic Research Public, co-edited by Denise Ziegler, Tero Heikkinen and Saara Hacklin. 

Keynote speakers

Bassam El Baroni is a curator, writer and an associate professor at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University. Through exhibitions, publications and other media, his research most recently engages with financialization in relation to artistic practices, artists’ engagement with infrastructural futures and histories, and new forms of artist-led activism. 

Paul Tiensuu, PhD candidate in law at university of Helsinki, co-creator of the “City as space of rules and dreaming” -project.

Workshops by the six EARN Working Groups

EARN Working Group: Methodology 

Three senior artist researchers from Helsinki, Gothenburg and Utrecht will present current research with particular attention tn the different ways in which questions of research methodology are being addressed. These three lives of ongoing research (Fontänen The Fountain, led by Dr. Maddie Leach; artistic¨educational∞relationalities by Annette Krauss & Christina della Giustina; and Kirje Liisilta by Elina Saloranta)  are considered from the perspective of the methodologies working group which focuses on methodological invention. The panel is especially interested in how this works beyond the formal domain of  doctoral  studies. 

Partners: Hdk-Valand, Univ. of Gothenburg, School of Media, HKU Utrecht, TU Dublin 

EARN Working Group: Curatorial Studies 

The curatorial studies workshop will present a new publication Expo-Facto: Into the Algorithm of Exhibition (Metropolis M Boooks) co-edited by Henk Slager & Mick Wilson. In this new volume to be launched at the EARN gathering in Helsinki, contributors address the question of exhibition in response to the extensive digitization of culture in general, and the intensive mobilisation of exhibition via digital network infrastructures in particular. As part of the workshop the editors will be joined by two contributors to the book (Joasia Krysa, Bassam El Baroni) and will consider the immediate tasks arising within curatorial research. Copies of the new volume will be available during the event. 

Partners: HKU Utrecht, GradCAM / TU Dublin, Hdk-Valand, Gothenburg 

EARN Working Group: On Value

How do we form values that help us operate in specific contexts while building key ecological relationships? Can alternatives to extractive values be identified e.g. practices that “give back” to their sites, or “borrow” elements which are subsequently returned and emplaced? What is the nature of the public(s), or audience(s) we are trying to reach? How can these specific audiences be invited into an artistic research forum? Can “publics” beyond the city be reached by invoking the “commons” (the things we share like air, nature, language) to widen the perspective of what a public is and what it might become? These are some of the questions that will be addressed by Ciel Grommen, Pepa Ivanova, Tria Amalia Ningsih and Robert Gorman, two artists and two architects who have been engaging through artistic and design research practices, in investigating more-than-human concerns of the former mining town Genk, Belgium. Their explorations will result in different, unconventional ways of mapping the site and its histories, and their contribution during Making Artistic Research Public will experimentally foster dialogues with the particularities of Helsinki.

Partners: LUCA School of Arts,Dept. of Architecture, KU Leuven

EARN Working Group: Space + Practice

We focus on addressing the multiplicity of space and the ecology of spatial practices that they suggest. We prepare and experiment with site and situation specific interventions, gestures, and other space-reckoning practices. We develop collaborative and individual methods of visualizing, materializing, or presenting thoughts on the role of space as structure for taking place of things, gestures, and events. In the four Space + Practice Parasite Course sessions during the spring 2022, peer learning was extended not only to fellow students and teachers but to the following sites around Helsinki city center: we learned from an office space in transition of use and did re-arrangements and interventions in that institutional space, did re-citations with sites on Uunisaari – an island, carried 3-meter wooden sticks to be connected with Agroksenmäki – a rocky hill; and we were exploring the depth of the sea bed from a wooden landing used for washing carpets.

Excerpts of these practices will be part of our presentations and artworks for the EARN gathering. 

In 2022 Space + Practice working group is collaborating with Space + Practise Parasite, a course organised by the Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki.

Partners: Academy of Fine Arts and Theatre Academy at Uniarts Helsinki, Slade/UCL London, HKU Utrecht 

EARN Working Group: Sustainability and Attunement

The Sustainability and Attunement working group proposes for a radio show to be installed and broadcast from the University of the Arts Helsinki. The ‘form’ of radio will be used to attune to the nature of institutional collaborations in and out of the EARN ‘network’ and the radiating global principles of sustainability that support social, racial and environmental justice.

As a telepresence, and decentred transmission, the radio show will allow for a multiplicity of live, remote and archival contributions or presences. The material will be developed over the coming months collaboratively, in a series of online rehearsals and bilateral recording sessions at our respective recording studios.  

Partners: Slade/UCL, School of Fine Art, History of Art, Univ. of Leeds, School of Fine Art, History of Art, Univ. of Leeds

EARN Working Group: Politics of Aesthetics

This working group begins from a recognition that meaning-production can be a violent tool of categorizing and othering and that the concept of “research” has long been built on the condition of “extractivism.” An aspect of the work of this group is to challenge, undermine, and transcend these processes. Refusal, opacity, and abjection are among some of the possible political-aesthetic ways of working in the field of art that are considered by the group.

Partners: KUL/The Warburg Institute London, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Practical information for Uniarts Helsinki conference attendees

Contact information for the gathering

Denise Ziegler
University Researcher, artistic research,
Academy of Fine Arts at University of the Arts Helsinki 

Antti Nyyssölä
Doctoral student, artistic research,
Academy of Fine Arts at University of the Arts Helsinki 


27.10.2022 – 28.10.2022



Sörnäisten rantatie 19

00530 Helsinki

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