Artist: Anni Laakso, Title: Folly. Installation view by Yehia Eweis.

Sculpture with purpose built entrance through window and an inner space shown at Exhibition Laboratory, Helsinki, 2016.

This joint research cell aims at initiating processes that make societal, communal and artistic collaboration possible. The cell consists of two associated halves that collaborate with the aim to locate and disseminate shareable outcomes. Following an episodic structure, we visit each other, invite artists and activists in order to follow diverse themes, methods and concepts. We investigate spatial, temporal and performative operations and ask how they activate epistemic, aesthetic and collective processes. We are keen to alter intentions and disrupt perpetual practices.


Disruptive processes starts with akcg (anna kindgren and carina gunnars), Minna Heikinaho, Jaana Kokko, Anni Laakso, Pia Lindy, Mari Martin, Lena Séraphin and Paula Tella.


AIRA initiators are Harri Laakso, Maiju Loukola, Susanna Helke, Liisa Ikonen and Marko Karo.

Cemetery Archipelago will investigate the ways in which mortality is figured in the spaces, material processes, practices and symbolic production of the Venetian archipelago. The basic point of departure is that the morphology of multiple liminalities constitutive of the Venetian lagoon, operates as a dynamic and unstable constellation of land and sea, and as a motile encounter of human and non-human agencies, and so provides a highly particularised site for the figuring of death. This enquiry is conceived in five acts: A survey of the different imaginaries of mortality in human and non-human systems, an exposition of a synthesis of materials thus gathered, production of image, text, sound, and vocalisation at key sites within the lagoon, a seminar on migrancy and mortality, and a collective vocal performance work in the pavilion and at other sites within the lagoon.


Cell initiators:


Mick Wilson & researchers attached to Valand Academy

Kyungho Ko, Reflection-Shelter, Installation, 2018

Medium: trailer, VR, video(13' 27"), LED, projector, CPU

The idea of this research initiative around “shelters” emerged from the artists’ participation in interdisciplinary research-based colloquiums that were held during the past three years, in conjunction with the Research Center of the Arts at Hongik University and the Interlab, a multidisciplinary research group consisting of visual artists/curators, architects, engineers and philosophers. Following a thread of questioning that emerged out of these discursive events, the artists inquire into South Korea’s “compressed and rapid modernization” after the Korean War that led to the dominance of high-rise apartment cultures and function-oriented urban planning. Because of the primary focus on the efficient and rapid accumulation of capital in the urban space, the history of urban development has often run counter to the “safety and protection” of residents in the urban environment, building structures that rather distress subjectivity than provide “shelters” that are human-centered.


Cell initiator:


Shim Chung, Hongik University, South Korea

Practices of artistic research often refer to the notions of “phenomenon” and “phenomenology”. However, the interpretation and use of phenomenological theories by artists and artist-researchers diverge, sometimes fundamentally, from the philosophical understanding of phenomenology as a method. This research cell proposes an experimental arrangement for an intensive dialogue between artistic and phenomenological research in order to explore new possibilities of mutual enhancement, refinement and hybridiztation. The aim of this research cell is not to defend phenomenology but to investigate unexplored possibilities by exposing phenomenological concepts and practices to practices of artistic research. In this open-ended investigation, critical views elaborated in the framework of poststructuralism, feminism, new materialism and speculative realism will be addressed. The working modes of the research cell include methodical workshops, demonstrations, and production of artefacts.


Cell initiator:


Alex Arteaga, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria.

Territories is a multifaceted research cluster that induces a metamorphosis of a music ensemble. It extends its scope of expression and investigation to non-aural territories such as writing, installations and other performative and conceptual forms. The background hypothesis of this research cell is that artistic research is recharged through a transdisciplinary component. The research extends the ensemble’s scope from music to a larger frame of expression, to other territories, and builds layers of analysis, translation and communication upon the original act of musicking. In this way, the inner dynamics of a specialist ensemble can become apparent and tangible to others as common dialects to be shared, discussed and reformulated.


Cell initiator:


Otso Lähdeoja, Uniarts Helsinki, Finland.

The starting point of the Research Pavilion #3 was an open call for Research Cells (April 2018). Six groups of artist-researchers were selected to develop, to expose, to discuss, to publish and to exhibit key aspects of their research in frame of the project. Here is an overview of the selected projects.


Research Cells, an overview

Disruptive Processes +

Artistic Intelligence Research Alternator AIRA

Climate change has raised general awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment. Ecological degradation induced by anthropogenic factors such as microplastics, contamination of the soil or the successive disappearance of pollinating insects have become major sources of concern.

Under the umbrella title Traces from the Anthropocene, this research cell addresses the social and ecological consequences of human footprint through art. The work proceeds within two parallel subprojects entitled Working with Soil and Insects among Us


Cell initiators:


Maarit Mäkelä, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland in cooperation with Tuula Närhinen Uniarts Helsinki, Finland

Territories :: Dialects

Through Phenomena Themselves.

Exploring new possibilities of mutual enhancement between artistic and phenomenological research practices


Traces from the anthropocene: 

Working with Soil & Insects among Us


Photo: Uupi Tirronen

Cemetery Archipelago:

On the imaginaries of human and non-human death

It is necessary to develop the neologism “Astopia”, the topology of Asia, because Asia has its own special topology in the context of globalization, which in turn codified by its contradictory origins. Astopia is helpful in clarifying that a single definition for Asia does not exist. Cultural syncretism and social conglomeration, which altogether cannot be represented in an ordinary manner, carry spatial relations as “unplaceable places.” Astopia is a terra incognita, which is the essential expression of Asian life. The paradoxical nature of Astopia is indeed induced from the problematic definitions of what Asia is.


Research Cell contact person: Hongjohn Lin