February 14, 2012

Artistic Research in Depth: International Summer Academy for Artist-Researchers 2012

Aalto University

Call for proposals
The second International Summer Academy for Artist-Researchers will take place in Finland on August 3–10, 2012. The aim of the Summer Academy is to discuss in depth participants’ doctoral projects within the developing discourses of art practice and research. A research centre near Helsinki in an enjoyable natural environment by a lake offers a peaceful atmosphere for constructive debates.


Doctoral studentsin academic institutions pursuing practice-based research are invited to submit applications and proposalsto the Summer Academy. The deadline for applications is February 29, 2012.


The Summer Academy provides a supportive setting where artist-researchers from all fields collaborate, present their ongoing artistic work and research and receive feedback from experienced tutors and peers from leading academic institutions. The 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 doctoral projects of the participants within the framework of artistic research.


The Summer Academy consists of a broad range of activities including individual presentations by all the participants, discussions on material sent beforehand, individual tutoring and collective work. The maximum number of participants will be 20. The working language is English.


The teachers of the Summer Academy 2012 are (short bios below): Professor Kathleen Irwin, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Regina, Canada Professor Jan Kaila, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Finland Professor Esa Kirkkopelto, Theatre Academy Helsinki, Finland Research coordinator Katrien Vuylsteke Vanfleteren, School of Arts, University College Ghent, Belgium Dean Mick Wilson, Gradcam Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Ireland The 600 eur fee for the Summer Academy includes local transportation, accommodation at the research centre, full board and tutoring. The participants are responsible for their international travel costs and possible extra nights in Helsinki.


For more information on the Summer Academy, visit


Application procedure and eligibility
Applicants must be enrolled as doctoral students. When applying, please attach the following documents:


1. Covering letter including following personal details Surname, Firstname University, School, Department Nationality Gender Address, postal code, city, country Phone and e-mail Web page Title / topic of the research / thesis Starting year Supervisor(s)
2. a short CV (one page)
3.  an abstract of the doctoral project (one page) & research plan, possible visual material in one pdf file (Please note that accepted abstracts and research plans are published on the participants-only section of the Summer Academy’s website)
4.  a letter of motivation, explaining how you think the Summer Academy would support your research and how you will contribute to it (max. two pages)
5.  a letter of support from your institution
6.  a clarification on how you will finance your participation to the academy (only applications with confirmed financing will be taken into account) 


Please send the files in PDF format and direct all questions on the Summer Academy and on the application procedure to [email protected]


Important dates
February 29, 2012: Deadline for submitting applications. March 31, 2012: Notification of acceptance. Instructions for participants. May 25, 2012: Deadline for discussion papers on work in progress (for accepted participants).




Kathleen Irwin (Doctor of Arts, Aalto University School of Art and Design) is a scenographer, writer and educator (Head of Theatre Department, University of Regina, Canada) whose practical and theoretical research focuses on site-specific, community-based practice and alternative performative spaces including found space and the internet. As co-artistic Director of Knowhere Productions Inc., she produces large-scale, site-specific performances. As cofounder of ArtsAction Inc., she advocates for the redevelopment of urban space for cultural re-use. She presents regularly at international conferences and has given workshops in Helsinki, Belgrade, Tallinn, and Utrecht and Melbourne. Her research is published in Canadian and international journals, anthologies and is disseminated through documentaries and web-based archives. As Canadian Education Commissioner / OISTAT, she is active in organizing Scenofest for the Prague Quadrennial of Space and Performance/2011. Publications include Sighting / Citing / Sighting (Canadian Plains Research, 2009) and The Ambit of Performativity (University of Art and Design Helsinki Press, 2007).


Jan Kaila studied at the Doctoral Studies Program at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts from 1997 to 2002. The subject of his doctorate, completed in 2002, was Photographicality and Representation in Contemporary Art.


Kaila worked in the 1980s and 1990s as a full-time and visiting contracted teacher and lecturer in several Nordic photography schools, including the University of Art and Design Helsinki and the School of Photography at Gothenburg University. In 2001, he was elected Professor of Photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and, in 2004, he was appointed Professor of Artistic Research and also Head of the Doctoral Studies Program at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. In 2008, he was elected Vice Rector of the Academy.


Since his Doctorate in Fine Arts Kaila has published and lectured regularly about artistic research. Kaila was together with Henk Slager the founding member of European Artistic Research Network (EARN) in 2004 and in 2010 he was nominated as a member in the executive board of the Society of Artistic Research (publisher of Journal of Artistic Research, JAR). Kaila has also worked as an evaluator of fine art educations and artistic research in Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Ireland.


Since 1980, Kaila has held one-man exhibitions and participated in group shows in many European countries, the United States, Japan and South Korea. Kaila has also worked as a curator and has published writings about visual art and photography.

Esa Kirkkopelto
2007–2012 Professor of Artistic Research, Finnish Theatre Academy. Vice-Rector 2012-2015 Responsible leader of the “Doctoral Programme of Artistic Research” (Theatre Academy Helsinki, Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, Aalto University) 2011-2014 Responsible leader of the “Asian Art and Performance Consortium” (Theatre Academy Helsinki & Academy of Fine Arts) 2009-2011 Responsible leader of the “Actor´s Art in Modern Times” research group (Theatre Academy Helsinki, University of Helsinki) 2007-2011 Member of the Steering committee of the “Doctoral School of Music, Theatre and Dance” (Sibelius Academy, University of Helsinki, University of Tampere, Theatre Academy Helsinki) 2009-2012 Member of the “Figures of Touch” research group (Aalto University, Helsinki University, Theatre Academy Helsinki) 2004-2007 Post doctoral position at the department of aesthetics, University of Helsinki. 2002 PhD at Université Marc Bloch (Strasbourg).

Theatre director and playwright. Convenor of “Other Spaces” – live art collective (since 2004). Author of “Le théâtre de l´expérience. Contributions à la théorie de la scène” (PUPS 2008).


Katrien Vuylsteke Vanfleteren studied social cultural studies (Artevelde hogeschool Ghent), history of art and theatre studies (University Ghent). She obtained her doctoral degree in 2005 at the University of Amsterdam with a PhD-thesis “Drama and Desire”. A Lacanian View on the Political Dimension of Contemporary Theatre. In 2007 she started her postdoctoral research ‘Act the caesura!’ which focuses on the identification process in post-dramatic performances in relation to the contemporary theatre education and dramaturgy.


Since 2010 she is research coordinator and lector at the School of Arts, University College Ghent, Belgium. As coordinator she coaches artistic researchers in several art disciplines. Some of them are working on a Phd in art, others are working on artistic research projects. She teaches on the topics ‘research and theatre’, ‘psychoanalysis and media (theatre/film)’ and ‘political theatre’. She is also mentor of several master projects (film, multi media, performance and theatre). She has published on theatre, film and video from a psychoanalytic perspective.


Mick Wilson is an artist, writer and educator. He is Head of Fine Art at the Dublin Institute of Technology, currently on secondment as Dean of GradCAM until August 31st 2010. Before that, he was director of MAViS and the BA visual arts practice programs at IADT (1998–2004) and an associate lecturer at NCAD, CCAD, IADT and TDC (1991–1998). His PhD was completed in 2006 on the topic “Conflicted Faculties: Knowledge Conflict and the University” at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.


From the mid-1990s to 2000 Mick Wilson has produced a series of one-person shows and projects including: Trains Made Mary Vague, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios (2000); The Tuileries Incident, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin (1999); The Medium’s Project, Temple Bar / various (1998); Athman Ben Salah: On Loss, Triskel, Cork (1997); The Bull/Ox Herding Series: Cruising Masculinity, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (1996); and Queerly Heteroclite, City Arts Centre, Dublin (1995). He returned to artmaking with his participation in the group exhibitions Float (2007) New York curated by Sara Reisman; and Blackboxing (2007) curated by Tessa Giblin at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin; and Coalesce: Happenstance (2009) curated by Paul O’Neill at SmartProject Space, Amsterdam. More recently he has exhibited in a two-person show with Isabel Nolan, Reach Out and Touch Faith (2009) curated by Vaari Claffey at Gallery For One, Dublin; and in the group show Something Else (2009) at Roth House, Kilkenny curated by Aisling Prior.


Mick’s research and professional interests range from the interrogation of art institutional practices and the reputational economy of contemporary art to the rhetorical construction of knowledge conflict and the contested reconstruction of the contemporary university, and the general arena of critical cultural pedagogies. His teaching practice has been primarily focused in recent years on the critical re-construction of creative arts education in a way that is informed but not prescribed by trends and tendencies within international contemporary cultural practice. The question of art research represents for him an opportunity to thoroughly rethink critical and creative education at all levels of state education.


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