Announcing SIG 8: Facilitating


We are happy to announce SIG 8: Facilitating, organized by Marija Griniuk, Postdoctoral researcher at Vilnius Academy of Arts in Lithuania, and director at Sami Center for Contemporary Art in Norway; Janne-Camilla Lyster, Associate Professor, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Norway; and Adelheid Mers, Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA (coordinator) contact:

The SIG Facilitating took shape at the 2023 SAR Conference in Trondheim, after observing over an extended time how frequently artists, artistic researchers and even policy makers refer to facilitation when describing interactions with audiences, communities and research partners. Finding ways to examine such facilitating processes is crucial to the work under way.

We know that facilitating practices exist widely in interactive and community based art, and in theater and the performing arts, for example using games, props and improvisation. There are intersections with pedagogy and professional facilitation and coaching, with at least the latter understood as prizing outcomes over processes. The SIG Facilitating asks: What does it mean to facilitate as part of artistic research? Why is this focus emerging now? How are we drawing on a greater web?

We are issuing a call for contributions for our inaugural meeting:

We have been invited to contribute to the SAR Forum in Tilburg and in turn invite you to propose short (max. 15 min) presentations or activations along the practice sharing model. What are your experiences with facilitating? Where is it located in your research and practice? We currently anticipate that presentations will be followed by a collaborative mapping session to collect and connect the many facets of facilitating that are part of the work of those who will join us in Tilburg. We also remain open for other/additional engagements that may emerge through your input.   


We feel that the SIG Facilitating particularly intersects with the first theme introduced for the forum, "ethical dimensions of artistic research and the responsibilities when navigating this complex," through issues of agency and expertise arising in facilitating. Facilitating also considers "the spaces, places and contexts of artistic research", for example by designing laboratories and engaging with institutions for supporting those. "Artificial Intelligence" may be addressed by thinking about algorithmic facilitation.


Please send proposals including a description (250 words max) and link(s) to no more than four related images or videos to, by February 20, 2024. We will respond by March 10, 2024. Sessions will take place Thursday, 11 April from 9-13.

If you are not able to join us for this inaugural meeting in Tilburg, please indicate if you are interested in designating proxy presenters, who may read material or share prompts you provide, or if you would like to contribute by offering material to seed a research catalogue site. General expressions of interest are also more than welcome.