The sixth edition of KuvA Research Days addresses a highly complex and heterogeneous set of framing conditions of knowing, learning, thinking and being together.

As it happens, the question of framing conditions affects also the event itself. This time the live participation to Kuva Research Days is limited due to covid-19 regulations, but most parts of this three-day event can be experienced online through this exposition.

Welcome to participate in the online sessions and/or to explore the documentations that will be collected here soon after the event.


Monday 7 December 2020

Mental independence – is it possible?

9.30–16.00 [CET+1]


Host: Katarina Pirak Sikku, Visiting professor, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki


Language: English

Colonialization, racial biology, assimilation politics, forced relocations and the theft of Sámi markers are a clear prominent picture of the Sámi history. In many cases, state policy in the Nordic countries also contributes to the Sámi being deprived of their language, culture, industries, and identity. This also belongs to the mental colonization through the eradication of the Sámi religion with its rites and conception of order in the universe. The Sámi share this story with other indigenous peoples in the world.

Colonial politics has not ceased, it has changed shape. Indigenous peoples and their lands are still subject to plunder and devastation. Language, culture, industries, and other forms of identity bearers are as well put on exception. The injustices continue and the list of regrettable faults and omissions can go much further. The states in question have for centuries been ignorant of indigenous peoples and shown, in many cases, total denial of their own abuses.

All this is about power. The power we have, power over our attitudes, power we possess. It is the formal power that indigenous peoples do not have. In the light of this, we will reason during the Research Day about mental independence. Can we become mentally independent? Do we need the excuses that are pending? How do we proceed? We have struggled and are struggling. What steps must we take to drive the process forward? Can the artistic processes contribute to mental independence?



Tuesday 8 December 2020

Pedagogy – what and how?

Pedagogiikkaa – mitä ja miten?


13.00–17.45 [CET+1]


Koollekutsuja: Marika Orenius, Taidepedagogiikan lehtori, Kuvataideakatemia, Taideyliopisto

Host: Marika Orenius, Lecturer of Art pedagogy, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki

Kieli: suomi ja englanti / Language: Finnish and English


Päivän aiheena on kartoittaa pedagogista ajattelua kuvataiteilijan koulutuksen yhteydessä sekä taidepedagogiikkaa, joka ympäröi taiteilijakoulutusta.

The topic of the day is to map out pedagogical thinking in the education of Visual Artists, as well as Art pedagogy that surrounds education of Artists.



DAY 3, part 1

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Should this submission be published? Your conclusions.

9.00–11.00 [CET+1]

Host: Mika Elo, Professor, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki

In co-operation with the online journal RUUKKU–Studies in Artistic Research KuvA Doctoral Program hosts a panel discussion concerning the challenges of peer-reviewing culture in the area of artistic research. Artistic research has given many kinds of critical voices to the artist-researcher. Research gestures taking place beyond verbal language are encouraged and recognised, but the critical discussions are still mostly expected to be discursive. How to identify relevant peers if the scholarly voice is not supposed to be the default? How to cultivate media sensitivity in peer review processes? How to enhance the quality of research publications in a situation where both the format and criteria need to be negotiated? Should we introduce peer review processes in artistic research settings beyond academic publishing? Or should we, on the contrary, reconsider the relevance of peer reviewing in artistic research? How to negotiate situated exigencies with equalising protocols?






DAY 3, part 2

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Launch of a new art journal:

Shy Plumber:

A journal of art and anti-art

11.30–12:00 [CET+1]


Hosts: Ilya Orlov, Doctoral student, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki and Matthew Cowan, Doctoral student, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki

Language: English

Program online

At Research Days, Ilya Orlov and Matthew Cowan will present Shy Plumber, a Journal of Art and Anti-Art (ISSN 2736-8203), a new independent art periodical they invented during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shy Plumber is focused on conceptual art today in its varied forms. It looks at the questions concerning philosophy of art, with a particular interest in new concepts and definitions of art and its functions. Along with texts in art theory, Shy Plumber publishes artworks, or perhaps it would be better to say, “artistic ideas, realised in the graphic form”, considering them a “fully fledged analogue of showing it at a gallery or museum exhibition”. The introduction to the first issue clearly places the journal on the side of the artist, and most, if not all contributors to the journal are indeed artists.

During the Research Days launch, co-editors of the journal Ilya Orlov and Matthew Cowan will talk about the general idea and reasons behind establishing the periodical. They will also introduce the contributors of the first and the second issues, share plans for future publications, and answer readers’ questions.

The journal will be issued 6 times a year and spread for free via pdf.

More about Shy Plumber

DAY 3, part 3

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Eco Noir: Dark Day for a Bright Future


13.00–17.45 [CET+1]


Host: Jack Faber, Doctoral trainee, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki


Language: English


The symposium is dedicated to the fragile and complex ways in which we share our habitats and environment with other species in times of crisis. Becoming more urgent than ever, in light of the state of emergency imposed by the recent pandemic waves and their vast influence, the symposium looks at how we can change the current escalating course of crisis towards a different path. By creating deeper connections based on equality with other species, we can have a wider understanding of the roles we can play for the betterment of the environment we live in, and therefore, have better understanding and deeper connections with each other. Keynote speakers, including Dr. Amir Vudka and the artist duo Hertog Nadler, will address the issues ethics in making artworks with animals, the forced perception of other species as enemies through art and media, and more.The day includes the official launching of the book Eco Noir: A companion for Precarious Times.


KuvA Research Days 2020 video documentations are available here: