In this text we inquire about and develop the potentials of critical thought and practice within artistic research in the performing arts. Doctoral projects have a unique position in what we might call ‘future academia’ – a say into what academia could become. A lot of thought and development activities flow into doctoral education, across disciplines, to ensure that the work emerging through doctorates is relevant, of high quality and meaningful to the researcher. Simultaneously projects have the potential to challenge, push and influence academic discourses, traditions and habits. So how can we develop and position our works so they do not stabilise the status quo, but push thinking and practice within artistic research in a critical and change-oriented way? This is the question we attend to here, offering contextualisation and some practical questions and considerations to ask oneself in the process of developing and following through with a doctoral project in the performing arts.


A scan of the artistic research projects presented at the recent Society of Artistic Research Conferences (SAR 2017 and 2018) or of works recently published and peer-reviewed in artistic research platforms such as JAR, VIS, OAR or Ruukku show that only a few are overtly critical or political (in the sense of explicitly driving towards social change, speaking out against injustices, demanding equal access to resources and so on). Tom Holert, honorary professor of art theory and cultural studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, even suggests that any political positioning that is not about research politics is by all means avoided in the context of artistic research (Holert 2015, 282)1. However, when looking more closely at projects, they often do have a strong impetus for questioning dominant modes of sense-making and knowledge creation, as well as a critical engagement with academic norms and procedures. This is especially the case in projects that delve deeply into processes of making explicit what is often considered to be tacit or embodied knowledge; knowledge, that is too deep, too unknown, too diffuse to be dealt with as trustworthy in traditional academic contexts. Because artistic research invites projects that join with affectual thought, that are inclusive of embodied, cross-disciplinary and processual research methods, it is currently still operating as an often dismissed niche phenomenon that the majority of people in and outside of academia doubt exists, and which, in the German context, has already been honoured with an obituary (Hornuff 2015). So whilst we argue that artistic research is currently not a stronghold of work that is overtly political, we also recognise that many of the working modes contributing to artistic research are implicitly political and have a particular potential for affecting social change through a developed expertise in making alternative ways of knowledge creation operational.

1 ‘Eine solche [auf die Überwindung des Kapitalismus zielende] Perspektive scheint selbst in abgeschwächter Form kaum kompatibel mit den aktuellen institutionellen Anrufungen, die Kunst und Forschung in einem (akademisierenden) Atemzug nennen, wird hier doch zumeist tunlichst jede politische Positionierung vermieden, die keine forschungspolitische wäre.’ (Holert 2015, 282) (‘Such a perspective [one that would aim towards overcoming capitalism], even in an extenuated form, seems incompatible with the current institutional invocations, that speak of art and research in the same (academic) instance, as any political positioning, that is not about research politics, is by all means avoided.’, translation Kramer)

In a discussion of what he calls the “artistic research syndrome” (ARS), Mika Elo, professor of Artistic Research at the University of Arts Helsinki, argues that the ARS ‘provokes the recognition of previously underestimated forms of cognition. It holds sway in the neuralgic points of today’s economies and ecologies of knowledge’ (Elo 2017, 30). He further considers artistic research practices as ‘tend[ing] to be transformative, which means that they deliberately touch upon their own opacity’ (ibid.). He explains: ‘Instead of being means to an end […] artistic research practices complicate the relation between means and ends. In short: they thematise their own mediality. This implies that they do not only facilitate cultural processes, but furthermore embed them in a setting that shapes and transforms these processes, and, at the same time, shows something of the effects of their embedding’ (ibid.).

This suggests that in addition to challenging dominant modes of knowledge creation and dissemination, artistic research makes explicit, reflects, questions and furthers the very material and structure that it is generated by, and does not position itself as separate, or other, from such conditions. Artistic research projects thus provide excellent tools for reflecting on, and intervening in blatant structures of dominance and exclusion that structure our social worlds on a daily basis. But it unfortunately tends to not apply its tools towards this endeavour.

Our line of argument is thus twofold – on the one hand we consider it relevant that we, as a community of artistic researchers, continue to argue and make space for a broad and inclusive methodological spectrum of knowledge creation. At the same time a sense of alterity in the wider academic field cannot replace a sincere turn towards exclusionary and depoliticising mechanisms operating within the field of artistic research itself. Normalised structures of exclusion also shape our field and the lack of overtly political projects can be understood as signalling a lack of support and structural anchoring for more politicised voices.

Carmen Mörsch, Professor for Art Education at the Academy of Arts in Mainz, critically examines the current positioning of artistic research as a ‘unique selling proposition’ (Mörsch 2015, 78), that neutralises the history of critical, self-reflective and engaged research- and art practices that exist(ed) before and outside of current discussions and development of artistic research (ibid.). Artistic research also came about in close connection with the Bologna Process and it is worth investigating its ties to neoliberal practices in the academic context. As Anette Baldauf and Ana Hoffner remind us: ‘A consistent continuation of critical artistic research requires a constant questioning of the situatedness of artistic-academic research practice and the contextual positioning of limited, partial and precarious standpoints’ (Baldauf and Hoffner 2015, 84; translation Kramer, emphasis added)2.

2 ‘Ein konsequentes Fortführen kritischer künstlerischer Forschung erfordert eine kontinuierliche Befragung der Situiertheit künstlerischer-wissenschaftlicher Forschungspraxis und der kontextuellen Verortung der begrenzten, partialen und prekären Positionen.’ (2015, 84)

How then can we develop and position our research projects, doctoral and otherwise, so they don’t fall prey to stabilising structures that threaten the existence of multiplicity in all kinds of possible ways, attending instead to the complexities of situated, historically embedded, critical research?

Seeing Whiteness

In many fields such as feminist, political or queer theory, and post-colonial studies, the discussion of embodied situatedness and intersectionality peaked during the 1980s and 1990s alongside social justice, equal opportunity and diversity activisms that (should) have impacted academia. However, the well-oiled exclusionary mechanisms of the academic world ensured that the ‘face’ of academia in the North-Western European contexts today remains mostly unchanged. Some of the disciplines named above are also still structurally housed under one university department (Social Sciences, mostly), despite their specificities and despite proving a vast wealth of potentiality in their own fields. In her book On Being Included feminist writer and (now) independent scholar Sara Ahmed (2012) critically exposes and analyses the functioning of institutional whiteness, unfolding how ‘some more than others will be at home in institutions that assume certain bodies as their norm’ (Ahmed 2012, 3), how whiteness is ‘a kind of surround or just what is around’ (Ahmed 2012, 38). Ahmed unravels the sheer might and constant repetition with which institutions and those who shape them reproduce themselves, holding on to what is familiar, known and alike. She draws the term ‘cloning’ from her empirical research with diversity workers in institutions, to describe this constant replication of self (Ahmed 2012, 40).

Once we turn our attention towards this dynamic, we will find that it is scarily prolific and very relevant for artistic research as an extended community of practice, and we would like to suggest that it is high time we turn our attention there.

It is without surprise that the context in which we, the authors, are currently active – artistic research in the North-Western European academic context – is strongly shaped by outspoken and publishing white, male artist-researchers. Embodied research on and through dance, performance and choreography might be shaped and led predominantly by women, but mechanisms of white, able-bodied cloning and exclusion are also functioning here and bodily, cultural and socio-economic multiplicity remains very limited.

Ahmed picks up Nirmal Puwar’s term ‘somatic norm’ from her book Space Invaders (2004) (Ahmed 2012, 38), which we suggest is a term well-suited to examine the context of embodied research in Western-European artistic research. It resonates with the vocabulary of the field, yet asks us to go beyond the relevant first-person experiential perspective of somatics. In addition we need to take into account what the normative repercussions of our research practices are, as well as consider what somatic norms are privileged in our field. What kinds of bodies and bodily practices and experiences are considered to be normal, which fall out of the frame? Take a critical look at your research environment: consider your research groups, the conferences you go to, the seminars you attend, the editorial team of this resource – pay attention specifically to who is in a leadership, decision-making and curating role: what is the somatic norm you find?

Whilst simplistic ‘body counts’ are not helpful, which Ahmed also notes with reference to Spivak (2000, 128) (Ahmed 2012, 38), the presence of certain bodies over others have effects and reflect structural givens. Body counts don’t speak of the diversity of research projects – we learn nothing about the diversity of content, action, background, attention, intention, quality, reach etc. However, bodily presences still matter and reflect power structures that tend to go unnoticed by some, and are incredibly painful, exhausting and exclusionary for others.

On the whole European universities are still entrenched in what feminist theorist, activist and professor Gloria Wekker calls “White Innocence” (2016). In her book with the same title Wekker analyses the prevailing failure to grasp race within the Dutch academy and unveils how the denial of racism is connected to a stance of innocence that still safeguards white privilege. Wekker details how innocence does not only speak of soft, harmless, childlike qualities, but is strongly connected to privilege, entitlement, and violence. A loss of innocence, that is, knowing and acknowledging the work of race, does not automatically entail guilt, repentance, restitution, recognition, responsibility, and solidarity, but can call up overt racist violence and often results in the continued cover-up of structural racism (Wekker 2016, 33).

So we suggest that it is time to question our somatic norms, taking active steps towards change. Ahmed reminds us that the very diversity measures put in place can serve to protect and reproduce whiteness. This doesn’t make them less necessary, but it does become necessary to think about what happens when individuals are relegated to deal with institutional whiteness without being provided adequate mandates and without being supported: ‘An appointment of a diversity officer can thus represent the absence of wider support for diversity’ (Ahmed 2012, 23). We similarly suggest that while much fuss is made about diverse and multicultural student enrolment, little is done to structurally include an ever-diversifying set of needs that each student of a ‘different’ background brings, or to acknowledge an ever-growing alternative body of knowledge within the student body itself. It is thus relevant to remember that this work is laborious and it needs alliances and clear standpoints and choices at nodal points that are equipped with power. It also needs for things that are often accepted as status quo to change.

There are noteworthy counter-examples, such as the PAR (performance as research) Working Group3 of the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR), which has been active since 2006 and that currently creates a broad and very diverse platform for exchange on artistic research. Whilst in the beginning also this networking group was configured mainly by white academics, an open and diverse platform for exchange has been the vision from the start. Especially in the recent past, perspectives in this working group have significantly multiplied and thinking on “PAR and decolonisation” (e.g. Gayatri 2018) is currently pursued in this context. But voices that question how forces of exclusion and tacit assumptions are operating in our own field are still scarce.

3 Accessed June 25, 2018.

An example from Vienna’s art and art research scene that took on the ‘teaching machine’ (Spivak 1993) and its perpetuation of social gaps and inequalities is Night School. Commissioned by the Wiener Festwochen 2017 as part of the programme for their Academy of Unlearning (Akademie des Verlernens), Night School was organised by Neda Hosseinyar, Marissa Lobo, Stephanie Misa and Catrin Seefranz. This experimental school opened its doors on thirteen Monday evenings between March and June, focusing entirely on minoritarian and marginalised positions. The concept drew on the idea of the evening school that was initiated in 1925 as a high school course for socialist workers by Wanda Lanzer (1896–1980), a journalist, editor, librarian and strong supporter of the ‘Red Vienna’ and the workers’ movement.

Night School invited forms, bodies, methods, positions, geographies and fantasies that would enable a re-thinking of knowledge deemed inconvenient and unimportant. Workshops and class conveners were as diverse as the student body and ranged from Brazilian Indigenous Rights leader Sonia Guajajara, to Marxist and Feminist theorist Silvia Federici, Amsterdam’s “We Are Here Academy” (a refugee-led school), South African author, DJ, educator and co-founder of the Keleketla! Library Rangoato Hlasane, philosophers Nikita Dhawan and María do Mar Castro Varela, and many more. The school’s setting of a three-hour workshop plus an hour of eating together every Monday night produced an unlikely space for learning and community building and became an exploratory place where collaborations and allyship were formed.

Another inspiring example from the art school context is the movement “Anti*colonial Fantasies”, a group composed of Black and People of Colour associated with the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) who critiqued the repercussions of colonialism and envisaged strategies of resistance – inclusive of their own institution – through a group show and book publication (Caceres, Mesquita, and Utikal 2017). This movement was born out of frustration with the Academy’s failing to address the needs of students and lecturers-of-colour, namely in representation within the teaching staff or with curricular content that reflected bodies of knowledge that was held within an ever-diversifying student body. Also the anthology “Curating as Anti-Racist Practice”, published in English in 2018 but first stemming out of the publication line of Vienna’s University of Applied Arts (2017) offers a productive and practice-oriented perspective on the colonial lineage haunting the art school and artistic research context.

The activist group University of Colour set another change-making example in the academic context. It was one of the key actors in the Maagdenhuis occupation on the university grounds and part of the student-led outcry against severe cuts at the University of Amsterdam in 2015. The University of Colour was founded to diversify and decolonize the University of Amsterdam, and alongside the student group Amsterdam United fights for an inclusive university free from racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism. The work of both groups resulted in a significant push for curricular change within the university and a diverse student “contactgroup” mandated and supervised an interim diversity commission who filed a first diversity report and was headed by Gloria Wekker.4

4 Accessed September 20, 2018.

We included the examples into this text to allow for future points of reference and connection and to highlight that change is possible also in the ‘very white’ and often seemingly closed circles of academia. At the same time we acknowledge that the initiative “Anti*colonial Fantasies” in Vienna has largely remained unheard by the leadership of the Academy of Fine Arts and whilst the University of Amsterdam appointed a diversity officer in 2017, not a lot of change has been implemented and her work as well as her position as a white woman has been highly challenged after her first year of appointment by the community who instigated the change process (Hofman 2018)5. So clearly the struggle remains very present and as one strategy we encourage you to look around and notice the somatic norm of artistic research, asking simple questions that might complicate the status quo:

5 Accessed November 12, 2018.

  • In my research field, whose voices are most prominent, most referenced?
  • Where do I turn to for information and resonance?
  • What do I notice in the art works, practices or research methodologies I engage with, in my list of references, in my case study community?
  • What would I need so I could broaden my frame of reference?
  • Who is present when I do and / or share my research?
  • What somatic norms can I pick up on?

Situating the Body in Artistic Research

In this context it is relevant to remember, once more, the earlier and more recent work done for example by US-American feminist scholars and activists such as Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga (ed. 1981), bell hooks (1981, 1984), Chandra Talpade Mohanty (1984), Gayatri Spivak (1988), Donna Haraway (1988) or the editorial collective of Jacqui Alexander, Lisa Albrecht, Sharon Day and Mab Segrest (2003) who all raised their voices for the acknowledgement of situatedness and intersectionality, demanding recognition and change so that access to power and resources, participation in intellectual labour or contributing to artistic making would no longer be inherited privileges. The body and the body-of-colour was brought back into focus also in feminist art, for example in the work of Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta (1948–1985), all as means to re-gain political leverage amidst a post-modern wave that was feared to ignore the material to such a degree that difference and concrete experience would no longer matter. In a general setting of hypervirtualisiation that renders the body invisible whilst bodily representations of power have hardly changed, we argue that a similar attentiveness and political leverage is again needed.

What is crucial for the context of artistic research with and through embodied practices, is to understand that we are operating within a wider system which continues to normalise a blind spot for bodies-of-colour and others differing from the white-cis-male-norm. Bodies-of-colour, female, trans, queer, non-normative bodies – the body as such, but especially any body-not-quite-fitting-the-norm, is historically and currently extracted and excluded from positions of power, also, and very visibly so, within academia at large and within artistic research more specifically.

A body, especially a body-of-colour, is never simply a body. Bodies-of-colour, female bodies, non-normative bodies, have historically been politically disenfranchised and stigmatised, the weight of slavery, eugenics, medical experiments, exotification and otherness embedded into their very pore. Every gesture of a body-of-colour, say a raised fist, is something other than just a body lifting a hand. It recalls Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton, Olympians John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s black power salute during the awards ceremony of 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City – it symbolises struggle, resistance, and insubordination, and is anything but unintentional. Yet the usage and appropriation of the gesture that has resonated with so many milestone protest movements is, as we write this in 2018/2019, so utterly ubiquitous that it is as likely to be seen performed by Donald Trump, as being used as an emoji for staying ‘woke’. However, this ubiquity, though sometimes numbing in its proliferation, does not take away from the historicity of the gesture nor the fight it symbolises.

A gesture can thus not be divorced from the body that produces it. This is what it means to never be in a neutral place, a place which academia has structurally reserved for white bodies, who have the privilege of extracting themselves from the ‘mess’ of the political, who do not bear witness to the instigation of violence unto other bodies that do not hold this same privilege. Situatedness plays a very important role for the unfolding of the layers of complexity that are present in the everyday and in the making of artistic research. The question then on whether or not an embodied artistic research project can choose or not choose to be political is thus a moot point. To divorce our projects from political implication is to divorce ourselves from a situatedness that bolsters the construction of whiteness. We therefore all carry the responsibility to ask ourselves how our research projects contribute to a stabilisation of the status quo and how they could contribute to what we might consider a ‘future academia’, a context of research and education that is more than a continuation of our colonial past.

History impacts our research practices and communities and very often creates situations in which only or predominantly white practitioners and theorists are part of the story. Whilst contemporary white, able-bodied artist-academics have in most cases not personally caused this status quo, it is time to rethink and undo what appear as given or ‘normal’ situations. Where no change is instigated the status quo is reproduced.

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Huges (1971), photographed by Dan Wynn for Esquire Magazine6, © Dan Wynn Archive.

Inheritance, Decolonising Spaces and the Future

When working within institutional frameworks, we often find ourselves grappling with structures that not only seem immoveable but that also have centuries of ‘tradition’ sedimenting them into place. Sarah Ahmed exemplified this in her talk at the third Colonial Repercussions symposium “Planetary Utopias – Hope, Desire, Imaginaries in a Post-Colonial World” (Berlin, June 23, 2018) by referencing a comment made by the University College of London (UCL) provost Michael Arthur, that highlights the often overlooked power structures that are silently at work in the University setting. When asked by a student during a panel session why the institution continued to celebrate Francis Galton, the father of Eugenics, the provost had answered ‘my only defence is that I inherited him’ (Ahmed 2018). Inheritance, in this case, is thus seen as tradition, as historical significance – ratified for instance by continued grants and donations to the institution that still bears his name and providing a reason why Galton is still around even after the renouncement of Eugenics. The popularity of Eugenics as a belief or practice with implications for “social order” and the genetic improvement of a population, inevitably seeded extremely racist government and institutional policy. And this, Ahmed believes is what we have to stay on top of, that the privilege of working within institutions comes with the perennial task of making sure that the inheritances passed on do not go unexamined.

6 Image of the two founders of Ms. Magazine was taken by Dan Wynn in 1971 for Esquire Magazine and shows Steinem and Hughes sharing a large skirt, each with a raised fist salute to demonstrate feminist solidarity. A print of this image is housed in The National Portrait Gallery’s collection.

An example strongly highlighting the exclusivist forces at work in institutions and offering a counter-imagination is the Carters’ “Apes**it” music video (a collaboration between musicians Beyoncé and Jay-z) released in June 2018, which takes the Louvre as its stage. Dancing among and in front of precious objects of fine art, Beyoncé and Jay-z insert their black bodies into the very heart of colonial institutions that have habitually shut them out (see also Byrd 2018)7. The result of this subversive act of black bodies performing in front of art depicting predominately white bodies is sublime and powerful, offering another point of reference for the decolonizing potentials bodily articulations and actions have. We take this up as a noteworthy articulation within popular culture, whilst simultaneously aware that as a commercial music video this work also enacts and reproduces stereotypical aesthetics that we would like to see challenged.

7 Accessed June 25, 2018.

Still from “Apes**it” music video (Carters 2018), full video here
Still from “Apes**it” music video (Carters 2018), full video here

A case of taking on the complex messiness of bodily positionality and the artistic canon in the context of artistic research and dance is Rani Nair’s piece “Future Memory” (2012). Nair at first reconstructed “Dixit Dominus” in 2003, the last and least known work of Kurt Jooss which he created in 1975 for Indian-Swedish dancer Lilavati Häger and which was passed on to Nair as a gift and inheritance. “Future Memory” is borne of Nair’s own processing her first engagement with “Dixit” and thus a second-order performance as well as an engagement with the complexities of history, memory, inheritance, reconstruction and tradition, but also with marginality on several levels. Theatre and performance scholar Kate Elswit, who acted as dramaturge, historian and writer in this process relays that Nair also asked with this project ‘… whether anything she could do would always be marked as “Indian” within Swedish dance, or whether she could push the limits of movement and embodiment toward a more ambiguous legibility, in which multiple practices interrelate without either entirely revealing themselves or dissolving into one another’ (Elswit 2014, 16).

Rani Nair performing Future Memory at Impulstanz, Vienna (2015), © Katherine Simóne Reynolds

Again we offer these examples as places to turn to when counter narratives are needed that do not make invisible what is so easily overlooked in the predominantly-white scenario of art, artistic research or academia more generally. It is necessary to point to the blatant and quite all-encompassing reproduction of white privilege that structures the contemporary places of engagement of artistic researchers in Europe. But it is also necessary to recognise that many research projects and art(istic research) interventions deal with the trouble. We encourage you in terms of your own artistic research projects to actively seek out references and examples that counter the dominant tenor in order to subvert the dominant currents and turn the tides one project at a time.

Conclusion: Change, Collaboration, Alliances and Potentials

As we have shown, a clear acknowledgement and description of a situation is a necessary first step for making visible what is mostly invisible and normalised. Whilst this does not yet change a situation, it makes obvious what is unbearable about it and what needs to change. But rather than acknowledging this situation and carrying on as per usual, it is necessary to actively shape future artistic research so it does not fall prey to reproducing the very structures it is critiquing.

We consider it indispensable to change nodal points of power within the field of artistic research so that they are inclusive of diverse positions. We can no longer look at groups of all-white, heteronormal and able-bodies artist researchers and call this ‘normal’. Instead we need to foster collaborations and alliances that cross all kinds of divides that have previously been cut to enable research that can create change. We also need to appreciate and strengthen the specific potentials artistic research offers. Especially for projects based on and engaged with bodily practice the potentialities are large and still under-used.

It is within and through our bodies that much of the named scenarios take place, become visible and are (dis)enabled. It thus has an effect, how our bodies and our bodily abilities play a part in this (or not). In reflection on “Future Memory” Elswit also notes: ‘It was not until 2012 that Nair began to play with the mixture of practices that coexisted within her own body, neither flattening or smoothing them to a continuous whole, nor allowing clear distinctions to emerge’ (2014, 16). It is this particular complexity and potentiality of our being-a-body that we also need to attend to in the context of artistic research. It is not only relevant whose body is placed where, but also if the complexities housed within a body are allowed to speak and influence how knowledge is created, change what is inherited and shape what future academia can look like. A challenge posed by “The Lure of Possible Futures: On Speculative Research”, invites researchers to seek, and take seriously the (im)possibilities latent in the present, as these speculative implications may enable rethinking broader political ethical and aesthetic questions (Savransky, Wilkie, Rosengarten 2017, 13).

May all such strategies enable our “staying with the trouble” (Haraway 2016), our carrying on to re-envision and re-shape our researching with and through our positioned, loaded and potent bodies.


  1. ‘Eine solche [auf die Überwindung des Kapitalismus zielende] Perspektive scheint selbst in abgeschwächter Form kaum kompatibel mit den aktuellen institutionellen Anrufungen, die Kunst und Forschung in einem (akademisierenden) Atemzug nennen, wird hier doch zumeist tunlichst jede politische Positionierung vermieden, die keine forschungspolitische wäre.’ (Holert 2015, 282) (‘Such a perspective [one that would aim towards overcoming capitalism], even in an extenuated form, seems incompatible with the current institutional invocations, that speak of art and research in the same (academic) instance, as any political positioning, that is not about research politics, is by all means avoided.’, translation Kramer)
  2. ‘Ein konsequentes Fortführen kritischer künstlerischer Forschung erfordert eine kontinuierliche Befragung der Situiertheit künstlerischer-wissenschaftlicher Forschungspraxis und der kontextuellen Verortung der begrenzten, partialen und prekären Positionen.’ (2015, 84)
  3. Accessed June 25, 2018.
  4. Accessed September 20, 2018.
  5. Accessed November 12, 2018.
  6. Image of the two founders of Ms. Magazine was taken by Dan Wynn in 1971 for Esquire Magazine and shows Steinem and Hughes sharing a large skirt, each with a raised fist salute to demonstrate feminist solidarity. A print of this image is housed in The National Portrait Gallery’s collection.
  7. Accessed June 25, 2018.

Reference List and Additional Resources

Ahmed, Sara. 2012. On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Durham: Duke University Press.

Ahmed, Sara. 2018. “COLONIAL REPERCUSSIONS – Sara Ahmed and David Scott, Opening Plenary Session.” Accessed September 21, 2018.

Alexander, Jacqui, Lisa Albrecht, Sharon Day, and Mab Segrest (eds). 2003. Sing, Whisper, Shout, Pray! Feminist Visions for a Just World. EdgeWork Books.

Baldauf, Anette, and Ana Hoffner. 2015. “Methodischer Störsinn.” In Künstlerische Forschung – Ein Handbuch by Jens Badura et al., 81–84. Zürich/Berlin: Diaphanes.

Caceres, Imayna, Sunanda Mesquita, and Sophie Utikal. 2017. Anti*Colonial Fantasies/Decolonial Strategies. Vienna: Zaglossus.

Elo, Mika. 2017. “Artistic Research Syndrome.” Artnodes – Journal on art, science and technology, no. 20, 28–32.

Gayatri, Manola K. 2018. “PAR and decolonisation: Notemakings from an Indian and South African context.” In Performance as Research. Knowledge, Methods, Impact by Annette Arlander, Bruce Barton, Melanie Dreyer-Lude, and Ben Spatz, 170–184. London/New York: Routledge.

Haraway, Donna J. 2016. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke University Press.

Hofman, Eva. “Diversity officer onder vuur tijdens eerste State of Diversity-avond.” Folia, November 9, 2018.  Accessed November 12, 2018.

Holert, Tom. 2015. “Produktivität.” In Künstlerische Forschung – Ein Handbuch by Jens Badura et al., 281–284. Zürich/Berlin: Diaphanes.

Hornuff, Daniel. 2015. “Praxis Dr. Kunst geschlossen.” (Dr. Art’s office has been closed). Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, August 1, 2015. Accessed March 13 2018.

Mörsch, Carmen. 2015. “Methodischer Störsinn.” In Künstlerische Forschung – Ein Handbuch by Jens Badura et. al., 77–80. Zürich/Berlin: Diaphanes.

Puwar, Nirmal. 2004. Space Invaders. Race, Gender and Bodies out of Place. Berg Publishers.

Savransky, Martin, Alex Wilkie, and Marsha Rosengarten. 2017. “The Lure of Possible Futures: On Speculative Research.” In Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures by Alex Wilkie, Martin Savransky and Marsha Rosengarten, 1–18. London and New York: Routledge Francis & Taylor Group.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. 2000. “Claiming Transformation: Travel Notes with Pictures.” In Transformations: Thinking through Feminism edited by Sara Ahmed, Jane Kilby, Celia Lury, Maureen McNeil, and Beverley Skeggs,119–130. London: Routledge.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. 1993. Outside in the Teaching Machine. New York and London: Routledge.

Wekker, Gloria. 2016. White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race. Durham and London: Duke University Press.


Paula Kramer

Paula Kramer is a dance researcher and movement artist living and working between Berlin and Helsinki. She has a background in Political Sciences (M.A. 2005) and holds a practice-as-research PhD in Dance from Coventry University (2015). Her work focuses on site-specific movement practices and she is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Artistic Research (CfAR), the University of the Arts in Helsinki. She explores outdoor dance and movement practices in the light of new materialist thought, collaborating with materials of many different orders as active agents in the creation of movement, performance, daily life practices and sense making. She is part of the editorial board of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, a founding member of AREAL (Artistic Research Lab Berlin) and part of the research team of ADiE – Artistic Doctorates in Europe.

Stephanie Misa

Stephanie Misa is a visual artist and doctoral researcher at the University of Arts in Helsinki. She currently lives in Vienna, Austria. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (2012) in Installation Arts & Sculpture with Univ.-Prof. Monica Bonvicini and has a masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Her work consistently displays an interest in complex and diverse histories, relating to these topics through her video work, sculpture, installations, prints, and collages. Her current artistic research looks at the persistence of languages relegated to its oral form, and the activation of this “orality” outside the usual educational modes of instruction— its evolution, cannibalism, appropriation of terms, and creative becomings.