Research Cells

Research Pavilion #3 has a modular structure consisting of six Research Cells. Instead of being focused on a curated exhibition, the Research Pavilion #3 offers a space for parallel processes of exhibiting, performing, exposing and discussing research. These are realised by so called Research Cells in semi-autonomous and often parallel ways. The process of bringing together the battery of cells is facilitated, reviewed and critically discussed by the switchboard.

Research Pavilion #3 Research Cells:

Cemetery Archipelago

Disruptive Processes + Artistic Intelligence Research Alternator AIRA


Territories :: Dialects

Through Phenomena Themselves

Traces from the Anthropocene

The participants and partners were chosen through an open call for Reseach Cells in June 2018. The research cells were selected by the convenors Mika Elo and Henk Slager with help of two advisors (prof. Esa Kirkkopelto, Uniarts Helsinki and prof. Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger, Uniarts Helsinki) from the submitted proposals.

Research Pavilion #3 uses the international research database Research Catalogue as the collaborative space for documenting and archiving the activities of the Research Cells. The Research Pavilion #3 exposition constitutes a living archive that collects the materials and rich media documentations of the Research Pavilion project. The individual Research Cell pages are partly accessible already during the process. To the Research Catalogue


Research Pavilion # 3 project proceeds towards the high season in Venice through a series of Research Cell Assemblies in a critical dialogue with the Switchboard.

The first Assembly 6-8 September 2018 in Helsinki focused on sharing the key ideas of each Research Cell to other participants. The 2nd Assembly 7-8 November 2018 in Helsinki shifts the focus on allover logistics and scheduling the joint events of the Research Cells. The third Assembly 15-16 February 2019 in Helsinki constitutes a critical preview of the Research Cell activities planned for the high season in Venice starting in May 2019.


One of the key aspects of the Research Pavilion #3 project is an ongoing critical dialogue between the Research Cells. A group of international experts – Esa Kirkkopelto,  Ellen J Røed, Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger and Giaco Schiesser – have been invited to facilitate this self-reflective and collaborative process. Due to its decisive role in articulating interconnections between the Research Cells, this group of experts is called the Switchboard. Read more about the Switchboard members.


Mika Elo is professor of artistic research and the head of the doctoral program in fine arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki. The areas of his research interest include photography theory, media aesthetics and epistemology of artistic research. He is participating in the discussions in these areas in the capacity of visual artist, educator, curator and researcher. His most recent publications include the book chapter "Ineffable dispositions" (2018) in Transpositions – Aesthetico-Epistemic Operators in Artistic Research (ed. Michael Schwab) and Figures of Touch (2018), a book co-edited with Miika Luoto. In 2012-2013 Elo co-curated the Finnish exhibition Falling Trees at the Biennale Arte 2013 in Venice. He is also a member of the editorial board of tiede&edistys, JAR and RUUKKU.

As Professor of Artistic Research (Finnish Academy of Fine Art 2010-2015) and as Dean of MaHKU Utrecht, Henk Slager has made significant contributions to the debate on the role of research in visual art. In 2004, Henk Slager – together with Jan Kaila and Gertrud Sandqvist – initiated the European Artistic Research Network (EARN), a network that investigates the impacts of artistic research on current art education through symposia, expert meetings, and presentations. Departing from a similar focus on artistic research, he also (co-)produced various curatorial projects, e.g. To Seminar, BAK Utrecht 2017; Timely Meditations, 5th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, 2015; Aesthetic Jam, Project Taipei Biennial, Taipei, 2014; Offside Effect, 1st Tbilisi Triennial, Tbilisi, 2012; Doing Research, curatorial project for dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, 2012; As the Academy Turns, Manifesta 8 Collaborative project, 2010; Nameless Science, Apex Art, New York, 2009; and Translocalmotion, 7th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, 2008. In 2015 he published The Pleasure of Research, an overview of educational and curatorial research projects.