Conference: The Collaborative Turn in Art: / Koostööpööre kunstis: The Research Process in Artistic Practice / Uurimisprotsess kunstipraktikas

Date and time: October 19-20, 2018
Venue: Estonian Academy of Arts, Põhja pst 7, rooms: A101 (19.10) and A501 (20.10)

The conference The Collaborative Turn in Art: The Research Process in Artistic Practice deals with artistic research, in particular the expanded understanding of this term and the questions raised by collaborative creative practices.

The term and approach “artistic research” has been in active international use since the beginning of 2000. The first doctoral artistic research theses in the ‘Art and Design’ programme at the Estonian Academy of Arts were defended in 2011.

The term “creativity” tends to be connected with activity and practice that does not necessarily need previous knowledge, being derived from inspirational and non-rational processes. On the other hand, “research” is traditionally a form of ‘scientific activity’, a rational exploration of knowledge, which is based on previous information and wisdom. Today’s expanded understanding of the term “artistic research/practice” illustrates, however, that this situation has changed.

Collaborative research in science is standard practice, and collective work in design/production is common in the field of design. In contemporary visual art, however, collaborative creation has been traditionally rare, although fundamental changes can now be observed: artists are working in interdisciplinary teams, they commission parts of their projects from specialist fabricators, and the artworks are made at the crossroads of interrelating mediums, technologies and localities. The previously individualistic, introvert and heroic artist is replaced by the competent communicator, project manager or researcher, who is socially fluent in interaction with fabricators and the art audience.

The goal of the conference is to present and discuss the themes presented above and to sketch an up-to-date map of current research-based and collaborative creative practices in fine art.

Invited speakers: Pia Tikka, Arne Maasik, Tuula Närhinen, Jan Kaila, Varvara Guljajeva, Raul Keller, Taavet Jansen, Taavi Talve, Piibe Piirma, Andi Hektor, Chris Hales, Julijonas Urbonas and others.

Conference organizers: Raivo Kelomees, Chris Hales, Faculty of Fine Arts.


Requirements for student participation

The conference is opening a call for doctoral students to make a presentation and write an essay which is related to the aforementioned conference themes.


Interested graduate students can apply to participate in the conference via e-mail by 11th of October.


The working language of the seminar is English, and participation in the conference is free of charge.

Students who are not members of EKA are required to add a short CV to specify their education and research interests.

In order to obtain 1 ECTS credit points the student has to:

1. fully attend at least one day out of the two;
2. prepare in advance an essay/summary of a relevant presentation (5000 characters);
3. make the above-mentioned presentation at the conference (15 min)

Student proposals will be evaluated by a panel consisting of the conference organisers and representatives of the doctoral school of the Estonian Academy of Arts, and chosen on the basis of the quality of the proposal and its relevance to the conference theme.



The final registration deadline is October 15. Registration form.


This event is organised by the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts, supported by the ASTRA project of the Estonian Academy of Arts – EKA LOOVKÄRG (European Union, European Regional Development Fund).