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Society for Artistic Research

SAR Newsletter - May 2022

  1. President’s Note
  2. Weimar Conference Update
  3. SAR General Assembly – Monday 4th July 10:00-14:00 CEST in Weimar
  4. Vienna Declaration – Proposals of Adjustments to the Frascati Manual
  5. Funding Agencies Meeting
  6. New Members
  7. New RC Functionalities
  8. RC Webinars
  9. RC Annual Price 2021
  10. Portal Partner Activities / Portal Partner Meeting
  11. The Option for RC Portal Partnership


1.   President’s Note

As despicable cruelties continue in the Ukraine, and in the many other places affected by war in the world, it is difficult to write a newsletter, strange to say anything except expressing solidarity with those who are suffering under, those fleeing from, and those resisting within and outside repressive regimes right now. Despite the unspeakable, may our work in artistic research, in its ethical strivings, directly and indirectly, overtly and covertly, loudly and subtly, and in real solidarity with those in need wherever possible, help increase the human ability for peaceful conflict resolution. 

As announced in the SAR Presidential Report 2021, the Vice Presidents, Executive Board and myself engaged in focused collective thinking and developed a strategy to increase the benefits for both our institutional members and – with innovative care – for our current and future individual members, including visibility and number, both outside and within institutions. We identified as a key value the creation of a virtual place for members to access the multitude of SAR activities in all their diversity from a central point, to engage in ongoing friendly and lively discourse on these activities and on topics of interest to artistic research, and to bundle and advance resources (like the popular thematic seminars) for research and education. In a nutshell, you can count on SAR strengthening the research community and culture via dissemination tools and formats as always, plus a unique new site for and mode of ongoing discourse. For this, we are currently working on a completely revised SAR webpage and a dedicated members area. We established a new position of SAR Executive Board Consultant to drive this new, long needed development for the SAR membership, and we are delighted to welcome artistic researcher Jessica Kaiser as SAR Executive Board Consultant. I am pleased to announce a new online format that is about to be inaugurated in May – the SAR Trialogues on Artistic Research – moderated by myself and other Executive Board members, in which we shall regularly offer in depth discussions of topics of value to Artistic Research in general and SAR in particular, and where we meet your input with open ears. A recent new responsibility is that SAR is now associate consortium partner of SENSE! (by Lydia Schulze Heuling, with European Commission grant agreement process under way and two Postdoc positions to be announced shortly) aiming for a roadmap towards a „New European Integrated STEAM Education“, i.e. a model of education including arts amidst science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Part of this is meant to carry some central ideas and values of artistic research into secondary education. Also, we just signed a letter of support as associate partner for the NEU NOW funding application for the Creative Europe programme by ELIA. And there is more: as you can read in this newsletter, the SAR community is brimming with constructive activity. Excitement is mounting as our 13th SAR conference in Weimar is approaching, with its 24-hour online event and three local days, followed by the local General Assembly. The programme offers a fascinating variety of topics from artistic research; it also includes a first ever network meeting between SAR and the society for artistic research in Germany, the GKFD. Registration is opening soon; I look forward immensely to seeing you there – 

Deniz Peters


2.   Weimar Conference Update

Due to the epidemic situation, the Conference Committee decided to move the conference with the aim still to arrange the main part of the event on-site in Weimar, starting Friday 1st and ending Sunday 3rd July, followed by the SAR General Assembly on 4th July. The online part will start Thursday 30th June in the evening and end on Friday 1st July before the official opening of the onsite conference.

We are pleased to report that nearly all presenters already accepted by the Conference Committee have been able to adjust to this shift, so that the programme will cover a full 3 days as planned.

According to plan, the program should be available around the beginning of May. As for the previous on-site SAR Conferences, the number of seats at the conference will be restricted. For that reason, there will be the opportunity for the SAR membership to pre-register during the first week after the programme website has been launched, while regular public registration will open after that first week. As usual, there will be a reduced fee for non-institutional-affiliated SAR Individual Members, but also these tickets will be restricted in numbers.

On the first day, before the official opening, there will also be presentation slots for SAR Specialist Interest Groups (SIGs).


3.   SAR General Assembly – Monday 4th July 10:00-14:00 CEST in Weimar 

As already announced, the SAR Executive Board has decided that the General Assembly will take place in Weimar on Monday 4th July from 10:00-14:00 CEST. Registration of participants will start at 09:30. Further information on the venue will be announced later. Please note that in order to attend the GA, the membership fee for 2022 must have been paid before the meeting.

We may also inform you that the presentation of new institutional members will take place early Sunday evening, after the closing session of the conference.

We encourage all SAR members to plan for attending both the conference and our GA – and thereby have the opportunity to exercise your right to vote in the elections!


4.   Vienna Declaration – Proposals of Adjustments to the Frascati Manual

Nine organisations signed the Vienna Declaration on Artistic Research: SAR, AEC, ELIA, Cilect/GEECT, Cumulus, EAAE, Culture Action Europe, EPARM, EQ-Arts and MusiQuE.
This consortium has taken the work for national and international recognition of artistic research further, with the aim of ensuring clear recognition for artistic research in the OECD endorsed Frascati Manual on what constitutes recognised research. In the current version of the manual, artistic research is not recognised as research at all.

A Task Force has been appointed within the Consortium to work on concrete proposals of reformulations in the manual texts, and the preliminary results of this work will be presented to the whole group on a meeting on April 29th. If the proposed changes will be endorsed by the Consortium, this text will be made available more broadly. The next aim will be to see if such changes can be brought up for discussion in the OECD NESTI Bureau, responsible for the editing of the manual, in their September meeting.
At the same time, pilot collection of statistical data should be tested in some countries.


5.   Funding Agencies Meeting 

SAR will invite Funding Agencies to an on-site meeting in Stavanger, Norway, starting on Wednesday evening, October 26th, and continuing on Thursday, October 27th. In the days leading up to the meeting, the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme will hold its annual Artistic Research Forum in Stavanger. Participants of the funding meeting are invited to attend the Forum as well. The programme will be announced later, but the focus will be on the status of the work on the Vienna Declaration.


6.   New Members

The Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (one of our most long-standing institutional members) has decided to become a RC Portal Partner with SAR from this year onwards.


7.   New RC Functionalities

The RC is the largest existing online platform for presentation and dissemination of artistic research processes and outcomes, with approx. 16.000 registered users and around twenty-five institutional portal partners from within the higher arts educational and research environment.

Several new developments/functionalities have been introduced to the RC during the last months, including:

  • A new exposition editor, the Block Editor. This editor is easier to use and adapts to different reading devices, including tablets and smart phones.
    Both the Graphical and the Bloc editors can be used in the same exposition.
  • This editor is also especially useful for creating conference programmes etc.
  • Institutional archiving of un-published expositions, which secures portals can archive for instance students’ exposition works and other material that is not meant to be published;
  • A revised font catalogue which secures that the chosen font in an exposition will read the same on all platforms and browsers;
  • Real-time collaborative editing of graphical expositions. This enables a number of creators to work simultaneously on the same exposition and will be useful for many purposes where several people work together in a project or on a course.


8.   RC Webinars

The RC Management Team has conducted several RC Webinars, introducing how to work on the RC for new users. This includes how to create your own personal media repository where research activities, practice demonstrations, documentation, etc. can be stored for future use in expositions, how to maximise the use of the different editors and how to communicate with partners and supervisors when creating an exposition.

These seminars are open to all SAR individual members as well as to staff and students of our institutional members.

The next Webinar is scheduled for Thursday May 19th from 16:00 to 18:00 CEST.


9.   RC Annual Price 2021

The selection procedure for the Annual Prize for Excellent Research Catalogue Exposition 2021 has been initiated. 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 SAR Executive Board has appointed the following jury:

Gabriele Schmid (SAR Board), Angela Bartram (SAR Board, substitute)

Paulo Luis Almeida (Portal Partner), David Scheutz (Portal Partner, substitute)

Ernie Roby-Tomic (Prize Winner), Christoph Solstreif-Pirker (Prize Winner, substitute)

The jury has received a total of 10 eligible submissions and has started their assessment. The award ceremony will take place during the SAR International Conference in Weimar, June 30 - July 3, 2022. The prize is 500€.


10.   Portal Partner Activities / Portal Partner Meeting

SAR has arranged three Portal Partner Thematic Seminars for our portal partners this spring, introducing new features and demonstrating various ways of using the RC for portals, including how the new Block Editor can be used very easily to plan and present programmes for conferences, seminars, and other events.

The first on-site Portal Partner Meeting since January 2020 is now planned for Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st June with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna as the host.

The programme will include a thorough presentation of the new features and modules developed over the last two years. We will present a new category of project portals that will be displayed on the RC web front pages. This option will be open for research projects that have been funded after an external peer review process, as well as for SAR endorsed Special Interest Groups’ research projects.

We will introduce a new functionality that will enable to create a number of groups within the same portal. Users can be organised together in different groups independent of which part of an institutions they belong to – and users can be connected to several groups when needed. In combination with the Real-Time Collaborative Editing feature, this functionality will make both teaching and project developments much more flexible.

During the two-day meeting, we will also focus on challenges connected to ownership rights, open access and publishing strategies on RC Portals, as well as get input and discuss how the RC can be further developed and made more attractive for both users and portal admins.

10. The Option for RC Portal Partnership

Also with the option as an internal teaching, learning and examination platform

The RC is available as a unique portal option for institutions and online journals.

As Portal Partner, the RC offers a range of possibilities, 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 that are all peer-reviewed by that portal’s own criteria. At this stage approx. twenty-five institutions have subscribed to 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 –


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