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The University of the Arts

RUUKKU 17: Everyday utopias and artistic research

Everyday utopias and artistic research is the topic of the new issue 17 of RUUKKU - Studies in Artistic Research. What kinds of perspectives can artistic research offer in seeking to cultivate political imagination and utopian thought? What kinds of tools and methods does it suggest for social action and thought? How do spaces, materiality and embodiment shape the practices of imagination? How can artistic research contribute to creating more ecologically and socially sustainable societies?

These were some of the questions we set out to explore with our invitation for submissions for the issue on everyday utopias and artistic research for RUUKKU. By everyday utopias, we refer to networks, communities and practices in which people imagine, construct and experiment with new ways of experiencing and organizing social and political life in the ‘here and now' (Cooper 2013). Everyday utopias strive for experiential detachment from existing reality and gesture towards something that cannot yet be known or achieved. They are ‘glimmers or anticipatory illuminations of other possible worlds' (Allen 2015, 525).
This issue approaches art as a site that produces utopian thought and imagination. It is driven by a curiosity about conceptions of utopia that are currently being proposed and developed in artistic research. The question of political alternatives seems particularly pertinent in our current conjuncture as the social and ecological unsustainability of our prevailing social formation has become glaringly apparent. There is an acute need for counter-images and counter-practices (Lakkala 2020) that could offer pointers towards more sustainable forms of life in the future. 
Read the rest of the editorial and articles here:




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