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Society for Artistic Research

Newsletter March 2021

  1. 2020 Best Exposition Announcement
  2. 12TH International SAR Conference on Artistic Research
  3. SAR General Assembly
  4. Site and Time Capsule for the Lost Bergen SAR Crisis Collective! Bergen Conference 2020
  5. Journal for Artistic Research (JAR) Issue 22
  6. Research Catalogue as Learning Platform for Portal Partners
  7. Research Catalogue Seminars and Developments
  8. Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
  9. Welcome to new Institutional and Portal Partner members

The Executive Board of SAR is sending you this newsletter to inform you of recent and upcoming events. Enjoy!


  1. SAR Research Catalogue ANNUAL PRIZE for BEST RC EXPOSITION 2020

The Executive Board of SAR has announced the Annual Prize for Excellent Research Catalogue Exposition 2020. The prize aims to foster and encourage innovative, experimental new formats of publication and, on the other hand, to give visibility to the qualities of artistic research artefacts. The Executive Board appointed a jury to assess the submissions. The jury received a total of 24 submissions and has started the selection procedure. The award ceremony will take place during the SAR International Conference, April 7 – 10, 2021, Vienna Austria (online). The Prize Award is 500€.

The jury are Angela Bartram, Christopher Williams, and Karst de Jong.


  1. 12th International SAR Conference on Artistic Research: Care/Dare/Share Digital Online April 2021

The 12th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research 2021 – from Wednesday 7 April to Friday 9 April 2021 – will take place as a digital online event with MDW–University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna as host institution and based on co-operation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Presenters are asked to relate their presentations to the three attractors: Care/Dare/Share.

For the first time, the SAR conference takes place as a collaboration between three arts universities. This will enable a very detailed presentation and creative exploration of both the dynamic field of artistic research and the diversity of art disciplines and approaches.

Our Keynotes will be

  • Emma Cocker (associate professor, fine art, Nottingham Trent University):
    Towards an Attitude of Openness
  • Liza Lim (professor of composition, Sculthorpe Chair of Australian Music, Sydney Conservatorium of Music):
    The stories we tell… the songs we sing…
  • Jyoti Mistry (professor of film at the University of Gothenburg):
    Political poiesis through film practice

With some 40 topical contributions from international participants, the conference will showcase works, methods, discoveries, knowledge-interventions, findings, forms of understanding, and efforts to support the exchange of experience in ways that may be simple or complex, conventional or unconventional, fragile or robust.

Contributions set out to question normativity, to draw on the most diverse forms of knowledge, to comment on social and societal issues, on social responsibility, on geographical diversity, on the social circumstances of artists, on potential conflicts between artistic freedom and research ethics, on questions of access to artistic research, and so much more. Taking a stand on these issues was an explicit requirement for submissions to this conference.

With ample time for discussion and exchange of ideas, participants will be able to reflect on the individual contributions through international dialogue via videoconference. The discussion will focus on illuminating the relevance to the core themes of the conference, exploring the connections between artistic practice and reflexive enquiry, questioning the social relevance of artistic research, as well as the diverse methods of research and communication. Ultimately, this will reveal how artistic choices, methods, ethical issues, challenges of collaboration, dissemination, documentation and other watershed moments were addressed in the respective projects.  The informal and individual exchange of ideas and networking between participants — even in the virtual format — remains an essential component of this annual highlight.

Besides strengthening this field of research, the 2021 SAR Conference will also shine a spotlight on Vienna as an important venue within the German-speaking world for artistic research in all disciplines of the arts.

There are special reduced fees for individual members of SAR as well as for the participants from our institutional members. To make the conference accessible to students and freelancers, we also offer further reduced prices in these categories.

For detailed program and registration:


  1. SAR General Assembly 2021

The SAR General Assembly will take place the day after the conference ends: Saturday April 10th at 10:30. This event will be online. Documents will be distributed to the membership ten days before the event.


  1. “Suspended Absence”, Site and Time Capsule for the Lost Crisis Collective!11th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research, Bergen 2020

Cancellation is a curse in all the arts. With the Bergen SAR Crisis Collective! conference 2020 lost due to the pandemic, the conference organisers – the Society for Artistic Research (SAR) and the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at University of Bergen (KMD, UiB) – are creating an opportunity to honour the work of the keynote speakers, the conference committees, and all those who had been invited to speak and had already made efforts in preparing contributions, in two ways:

  • First, we are currently designing a relic web-site – hosted and funded by KMD – to harbour the finished and the fragmented, unfinished work to be explored by peers and public. Audio-visual recordings, images, texts, references, etc., will appear in their original form or with any adaptations the authors choose to make in the light of the past year, including statements and reflections on what has changed. The website will be published on the Research Catalogue.
  • Secondly, the “Time Capsule” will be opened during a dedicated slot at our upcoming Care Dare Share 12th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research Vienna, 7-9 April 2021 ( ), with a link to the Lost Conference Site and a discussion room on “Suspending Absence”. Preparations have started and we recently approached all participants to take initiative and speculate on the past of a future that couldn’t happen. In this way we are hoping to kickstart dialogue on absence as an inverse and neglected topic, as opposed to the omnipresent consideration of (virtual) presence. Let’s care for the momentum of the past creative acts and research – longingly fragmented and cryptic as they may be – and give that imminent yet suspended resonance a voice together! Send your contributions to the site via email to site editor Jonas Howden Sjøvaag ( until Friday March 12.
  1. JAR issue 22

Engaging with debates on writing, interdisciplinarity and the knowledge economy encountered across Europe in arts educations and within the artistic community Michael Schwab, editor-in-chief for The Journal for Artistic Research, asks Why have we not been talking more about ‘artistic research’ in relation to MAs?

Plus five expositions:

  • 31 Days Old - Performance, Family and Ethics

By Sarah Black and Andy Frizell 

  • Exploring and Prototyping the Aesthetics of Felt Time 

By Elsa Kosmack Vaara and Cheryl Akner Koler

  • Impulsive Incantations - Voicing Migraine

By Mariske Broeckmeyer

  • Methods of Indirection: a trialogue between Patrizia Bach, Howard Eliand, and Luis Berríos-Negrón about Walter Benajmin and translating The Arcades Project

By Luis Berríos-Negrón, Patrizia Bach, Howard Eiland


  1. The Research Catalogue (RC) – Now also with the option as a teaching, learning examination platform for Portal Partners


The RC functions as a platform for the dissemination of peer-reviewed content and publications, for students’ presentations of work and the assessment of such work – as well as for self-published research outcomes.

The Research Catalogue is provided by the Society for Artistic Research (SAR).

RC enables students, artists and researchers to deviate from the standard format of academic presentations, journal articles and/or research repositories:

  • Because images and sounds are not subordinate to, but fundamentally on a par with the text;
  • Because of the opportunity provided to break out of the linear narrative structure;
  • Because it facilitates the option for a continuous (and collaborative) research activity from notation/documenting research processes and initial outcomes to fully elaborated publications.

The RC offers an online platform in which sound, images, video and text can be combined in an integrated format for presentation, and in which the visual disposition and the focus on different media formats can be decided by the author herself/himself.

The RC is available as a unique portal option for institutions and on-line journals.

As Portal Partner the RC offers a range of opportunities, such as:

  • Institutional documentation and publication platform;
  • Institutional archive, repository;
  • Research documentation and collaborative workspace for staff and students;
  • Research managing tool (e.g., application system);
  • Online rich media platform for peer reviewed journals.

For these purposes, the RC hosts a number of public portals for institutional presentation and archiving of research outcomes under each portal’s own criteria. At this stage approx. 20 institutions have subscribed for such a portal – not all of them are yet publicly active.

For the SAR Portal Partners, we now also provide the option of an internal (closed) portal for student related activities at bachelor, master and/or doctoral level. This internal platform may be used for student’s presentation of work outcomes, for teaching and learning (including supervision) purposes and for online assessment of student examination work. The institution can decide what part(s) of such material should be archived and/or shown on their public portal.

For more information contact SAR Executive Officer Johan A Haarberg –


  1. RC Developments and Thematic Seminars

With support from a number of our portal partners, SAR is now in the middle of further developments for the Research Catalogue (RC). In the beginning of January this year we presented the new personal Media Repository. This new feature is available for all registered users and will simplify regular documentation of research project developments.

SAR now arranges regular thematic seminars for our portal partners, focusing on a variety of features and qualities available within the Research Catalogue platform. These seminars take place approx. once a month.


  1. Call for Establishing SAR Special Interest Groups – SIGs

In preparation for the 12th International SAR Conference (7-9 April 2021), the Executive Board wishes to renew the Call for Establishing SAR Special Interest Groups (SIGs). On the Opening Day of the conference we will provide meeting venues for already established SIGs as well as opportunities to introduce and discuss new plans and proposals for setting up a new SIG.

SAR Special Interest Groups (SIGs) may be suggested, organised, and moderated by any SAR member (individual members, representatives of institutional members) with the aim of conducting a particular activity, theme or focus area under the umbrella of SAR and promoting the activity and its results within the SAR community. Endorsement of SIGs is handled by the Executive Board on the basis of a short proposal, including names of group moderator(s) and of at least three confirmed additional group members.

If you’re interested in initiating such a SIG, please get in touch with the Executive Board‘s contact persons for SIGs: Jaana Erkkilä-Hill ( and Michaela Glanz (

For the general conditions for establishing a SIG see also:


  1. Welcome to New Institutional Members

The Executive Board welcomes two new portal partners so far in 2021:

  • Swedish Research Council (VR)
  • International Center for Knowledge in the Arts, Denmark (ICKA),

We also welcome the institutional membership request from

  • Technology University MARA, Faculty of Art & Design – Shah Alam, Malaysia




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