VIII Art of research

at Aalto University

Call for Papers 2023

Art of Research VIII


Conference dates: 30 November – 1 December 2023

Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Espoo, Finland

The deadline for paper submissions: 15th of April 2023

The Art of Research conferences has had a significant role in promoting continuous dialogue and fruitful convergence between art and design related research practices since its first edition in 2005. The previous seven international conferences have contributed to the development of the rapidly growing and spreading contemporary discourse on artistic research, acknowledging and rethinking the multiple notions of research where artistic and creative practice are used as context for enquiry.

The theme of the eighth Art of Research conference is “Re-Imagining”, addressing the various gestures of going back, returning to take another look, or for starting anew. It suggests that research in the context of artistic and creative practice could have a special relation to time; simultaneously attaching itself to a prior moment in time and from there propelling imagination to unforeseen futures. The theme proposes reassessments where the evaluation of past events, integral to research, are in unison with the anticipation potential, integral to the arts. It wonders about new conceptions of an idea, place, space, object, ways of doing and making that emerge from a reverse glance — the challenges, updates, and improvements.

We invite submissions to the conference that are original proposals and contribute to new praxis and research through art and design. This international conference brings together researchers from different fields of arts, media, design and architecture while also extending a warm welcome to related presentations coming from other fields.

The theme of the conference can be addressed in three interrelated subthemes:

  1. Re-interpreting 

Re-interpreting refers to questioning established notions, reassessing them and reproposing previously discarded concepts. It suggests looking at the past (e.g. in archival practices) and envisioning futures. Re-interpretation acknowledges that the creation of the new is simultaneously transformative and repetitive. It is also prone to distortion that may direct attention to what is often unwanted. Creative and computer-generated processes find new validity in such overlooked disturbances, that play a part as well in the construction of our worldview and relation to natural environment and to other species.

  1. Re-placing  

Re-placing embraces both physical and mental aspects of being. Place making is related to the processes of how space becomes a place. Space is never solely a physical entity but linked to mental as well as social aspects of our being, our imagination, and events. These aspects cannot be separated, and they always affect each other. Today belonging is also much connected to inclusive participatory processes that emphasise the connection of people and space. How could we ‘re-place’ and possibly re-imagine the notions of community and space, the concept of commons, the public and the private?

  1. Re-visioning 

Re-visioning addresses the challenge of re-examining one’s way of thinking and envisioning things. It refers to reconsidering a particular attitude towards, or way of regarding something, as well as proposing alternate ways to manifest an idea. Re-visioning may depart from a certain frame of reference and repropose ways to visualise a concept or a situation. It does not necessarily relate to correcting or improving, as it may look at the future in utopic or dystopic terms (e.g. addressing wider ethical or ecological issues). Re-visioning invites to take a position towards a condition, an idea, an event, or a time, and provide a proposition of how something may be regarded or understood. 

Through these interrelated themes, the aim of the conference is to engage in a shared exploration of bold and visionary thinking across different entangling practices. Historically, the Art of Research conference has been widely appreciated as an unconventional and interactive format for discussing, exhibiting and performing different modes of discourse.  

The conference is interested in proposals drawing from the full spectrum of artistic, arts-based/practice-based and practice-led research today. We invite submissions from academics and scholars (including doctoral students) and from artist-researchers representing different art forms e.g. contemporary art, film, craft, design, media, performance, and architecture. The conference themes encourage a diversity of perspectives and research orientations, and productive challenges to established ideas are also most welcome. 

Please, address your contribution to one of the following submission formats, using the conference templates:

(1) Full papers (5000 words max.) and presentations (20 min +10 min Q & A). These contributions will be double-masked peer-reviewed. To facilitate the review process, whenever possible, authors are expected to remove any identifying information from their submissions that might lead a reviewer to discern their identities or affiliations. The author’s name in self-citations must be replaced with “Author” in in-text citations, reference entries and footnotes. For practical details, go to submit.

(2) Explorative presentations (10 min + 5 min Q & A) as an extended abstract (800 words max., excluding short abstract and references). 

(+) In addition to your submission to either format, you may propose related artworks, artefacts, design components, or documentation of artistic projects to participate in the exhibition that will be organised concurrently with the conference. Your submission for the exhibition must include a separate description of the artwork and possible technical specifications (80 words max.) and visual material such as photographs or a video. Please note that the transportation of the artwork(s) is on the author’s responsibility. The organisers will review the submissions, and the exhibition team will curate the exhibition based on these submissions. For practical details on how to create the exhibition submission, go to the Exhibition page.

Note: Further information on the format of the exhibition in case of remote participation will follow later to all participants who have submitted an exhibition proposal. 

Deadline for paper submissions: 15th April 2023 

For questions, please contact:


The conference fee includes conference registration, lunches, and refreshments. In order for an accepted submission to be included in the conference program and proceedings, at least one of the submissions’ authors has to register and pay the conference fee and present the paper at the conference.  

◦ Early bird (15 August – 15 October): €175 

◦ Regular (15 October – 24 November): €250 

◦ Students, including doctoral students (with valid student ID): €125

This is the eighth in the Art of Research conference series, the first of which took place in Helsinki in 2005. The conference is co-organized at Aalto University in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture: the Department of Art and Media, the Department of Film, the Department of Design, and the Department of Architecture.