Art of Research 2020

at Aalto University

Call for Papers 2020

Art of Research VII

Authorship and Responsibility

3.-4. December 2020 at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Espoo, Finland

Over the past two decades, the Art of Research conferences have had a significant role in promoting continuous dialogue and fruitful convergence between art and design related research practices. The conferences have contributed to the development of rapidly growing and spreading contemporary discourse on artistic and practice-led research – acknowledging and engaging in multiple notions of research where diverse modes of creative practice are used as context for enquiry.

The theme of the seventh Art of Research conference “Authorship and Responsibility” addresses the varied collaborative and individual working situations of researcher artists, designers and architects. The theme connects to questions of singular authorship, shared authorship, lost authorship, invisible or uncredited authorship, participatory conditions, co-creation, inclusion and exclusion—that is, with the potentiality of one’s individual or shared praxis. These questions intertwine with the essential questions of power, control and responsibility, which accompany the acknowledgement that we inhabit this planet with other people, species and materials.

The conference seeks discussion on the potentiality of co-existence and its relationship to singular methods of working within artistic, arts-based, and practice-led research. We invite submissions to the conference that are original proposals on various forms of the arts that significantly contribute to praxis and research through art and design. This conference brings together researchers from different fields of arts, 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. The planet. Human and non-human relationships
  2. Singular/collective authorship and individual/joint responsibility
  3. Inclusiveness, co-existence and the related participatory and empowering practices

We seek conversations around the questions: How does artistic research embrace the enmeshed relationship between humans and environment, including its different non-human actors? 

How can artist-researchers contribute to this discussion with their diverse actions and use their power in the domain of different praxes? Are we currently facing such complex issues that we need to team up and co-act to reach proper contribution and novel perspectives? When is it important to focus on working solo? What might this mean in relation to larger contexts and realms of art, politics and society?

Through these questions, the main aim of the event 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 and practice-led research today. We invite submissions from academics and scholars (including doctoral students) and from artist-researchers and practice-led researchers representing different art forms e.g. contemporary art, film, photography, scenography, craft, design, media 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 categories: 

(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, authors are responsible for removing 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.

(2) Explorative presentations (15 min + 5 min Q & A) as an extended abstract (800 words max., excluding short abstract and references).

(+) In addition to your submission to either category you may propose related artworks, artefacts, design components, or documentations of artistic projects, to participate in the exhibition that will be organized concurrently with the conference. Your submission for the exhibition must include a separate description of the artwork and possible equipment requirements (80 words max.) and visual material such as photographs or a video (password protected to a Vimeo or Youtube link). Please note that the transportation of the artwork(s) is on the author’s responsibility. The submissions will be reviewed by the organizers, and the exhibition based on these submissions will be curated by the organizers. 

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.

Publication options
We are happy to announce that the AOR2020 conference will collaborate with two Journals. The conference committee will edit special issues around the conference theme ”Authorship and responsibility” to both Research in Arts and Education and RUUKKU. Studies in Artistic Research. All authors who have presented their papers in the conference will receive detailed information about the publication options after the AOR2020 conference.

Research in Arts and Education (former Synnyt/Origins) is an international journal that serves as a platform for critical comprehension of theory and practice in art and design. Thematic scope of the journal includes, but is not limited to, the questions of art & design practice and production, criticism, pedagogy, curriculum and instruction. The journal grants an open access to all the publications and it is ranked in the publication forum of Finnish academic research. All the accepted full papers will be given an opportunity to be published in the journal.

The special issue based on AOR2017 conference papers can be found here:

RUUKKUStudies in Artistic Research is a multidisciplinary, multilingual, peer-reviewed journal on artistic research. It is based on the Research Catalogue (RC), an international artistic research platform and database that enables multimedia publication. The primary languages of publication are Finnish, Swedish and English. The journal is ranked in the publication forum of Finnish academic research. All the authors of accepted full papers and explorative presentations will be invited to develop their ideas further and submit their proposals to RUUKKU. The special issues edited based on AOR2017 conference can be found here:

Any questions, please contact

This is the seventh 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 School of Arts, Design and Architecture: the Department of Design, the Department of Film, Television and Scenography, the Department of Art, the Department of Media and the Department of Architecture.