Artistic Research and City Space 1

Artistic Research and City Space 1

Host: Maiju Loukola, University Lecturer, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki

Onsite and streamed on the Uniarts Helsinki YouTube channel.


Onsite venue: The White Studio (Valkoinen studio), Uniarts Helsinki’s Sörnäinen campus, in the Academy of Fine Arts building Mylly (Sörnäisten rantatie 19, Helsinki).

The two first days of the event focus on artistic research, urban space, and spatial practices. Read keynote speakers and presenters bios here. 

Parts of the program has been made possible through Uniarts Helsinki´s Academy of Fine Arts partnership with the Saastamoinen Foundation and by funding from the Kone Foundation. 


Monday, 12 December 2022


Time zone: UTC +2
– views in parataxis with City as Space of Rules and Dreaming and guests

Spaces of Exception, Exceptional Spaces session brings into kaleidoscopic view feeds and impulses from artists and researchers tackling the practices and conceptual cartographies, shadowy sides and sleeping possibilities, potentials and invisible motives of city space through artistic research and urban intervention, architecture and empirical urban studies, research on refugees' rights and the spatiality of demonstration, legal theory and the spatiality of law, surrealism, cultural geography, and critical social and spatial theory.

°'Parataxis' (παράταξις from παρα, para, 'beside' + τάξις, táxis, 'arrangement') is derived from a Greek word meaning 'to place side by side'. It can be defined as a rhetorical term in which phrases and clauses are placed one after another independently, without coordinating or subordinating them through the use of conjunctions. The audience will be provided with brief hand-out abstracts at the beginning of the session.

parallax I

9:00–9:20 Maiju Loukola, Inscribed need to get lost, terrified, dream

9:30–9:50 Anna Jensen, Visitors

10:00–10:20 Aino Hirvola, Exception makes/breaks the rule – Hegemonic struggles in urban space

10:30–10:50 Erna Bodström, An asylum seekers' demonstration as an exceptional space


parallax II

11:10–11:30 Marloeke Van Der Vlugt, The tunnel as space-in-between

11:40–12:00 Paul Tiensuu, Spaces of legal exception

12:10–12:40 Tanja Tiekso + Tuomo Alhojärvi, Map Listen Dream

13:00–14:00 Lunch break (not included)


Rachel Armstrong, Cultures of Life

My talk focuses on establishing a culture of life as a counterpoint to modern industrial development by drawing on the life-promoting powers of microbes as catalysts for all forms of sociable life. As microbes are invisible, we encounter them through stories that tell of their existence. Having labelled them obligate foe and bringers of disease, modernity’s Reign of Hygiene has set us to war with them, enforcing rituals of bleached sterility that kill all known germs dead. However, biotechnology reveals that microbes have built the base of the biosphere and established the very first cities called biofilms. If we are to re-design human development through different ways of working and being together, then we have much to learn from microbes. To explore microbial contributions to healthy bodies, environments, and cities, I will outline first principles, then share a range of case studies that use artistic research methods in an interdisciplinary context to explore some of the implications of cohabiting with microbes via built installations. These comprise Living Architecture, Active Living Infrastructure: Controlled Environment (ALICE); 999 years 13sqm (the future belongs to ghosts); and Home Grown. Finally, I will provide examples of lectures/performances and other work that interrogate various microbial characteristics. Each of these explorations generates original insights into how we may establish new communications platforms, evaluation systems and rituals of living together in our cities, so that we may become ecological collaborators, co-creators, and much better neighbours.

15:00–15:45 Exhibition visit in Majakka with presentation "Drone Zone" of the artistic research at work in the exhibition "Daily Disasters", part of JKFR's PhD project "Autonomous Animals". The presentation consists of a short introduction to the practice-based research and a guided tour at the exhibition. The exhibition is part of the Research Days Related events. [This part of the program is not streamed]
The exhibition is in the Lighthouse (Majakka) Project Space and adjoined areas, 6th Floor in Academy of Fine Arts building Mylly, (Sörnäisten rantatie 19, Helsinki). The 6th Floor can be reached from the 5th Floor via the staircase or with the elevator.
Read more about the presentation 
Read more about the exhibition 

15:45–16:00 Coffee pause 


talks by the invited guests from the Wits School of Arts and Wits School of Architecture (Johannesburg), with traces from "sites, situations and enabling constraints" workshop

Brigitta Stone-Johnson, Mattering with vital stone – Practices with vital matter in rubbling terrains

Zen Marie, Paradise Fallen: Rethinking Site Specificity from Inside the Museum and Through Practice Based Research