Agencies of art and artists in the Arctic
This session focuses on the diverse agencies of artists, art projects and their beholders or participants with regard to the Arctic. In recent years we have witnessed a substantial widening of artistic activities in the Arctic. The impacts of climate change, extractivism, national state politics and regional interests are issues at stake here. Indigenous as well as Non-indigenous artists working in different visual media have created works of art ranging from, say, representations of peoples, settlements, and landscapes; to abstractions, objects, installations, and participatory projects. Some artists insist on controlling the production of their works in a studio or a workshop, alone or in collaboration with others. Others engage in open-ended art projects in which the role of the audience is mandatory. In what ways is the Arctic – in the sense of nature, region, or culture – put at work in recent art? What are the roles of the artists themselves? How do ideas concerning the artists’ backgrounds, traditionally referred to as identity, influence Arctic art projects, if at all? Is there a difference between ‘Arctic art’ created or activated by artists who have their background in the Arctic areas and that created by those coming from other areas? How may we talk about identity – or belonging – in circumstances regarding such as the above-mentioned global issues of climate change and extractivism?
Artistic research in the North
- Chair: Asthildur Jonsdottir (IS)
- Host: Iceland Academy of the Arts
Global communities are constantly in flux. As the world’s population continues to grow, artists are increasingly engaging in the international dialogue on sustainability and the intricately-connected, if not overlapping, issues— environmental, economic, cultural, and social—that surround it. In the Arctic region where we strive for sustainability, it is important to observe and value different forms of knowledge. Creating art is not a meaningless exercise. Instead, one might say that works of art serve as a window that interprets the world. Sustainability is becoming an issue where artistic involvement and creative approaches in education and research could be crucial in creating much needed awareness of our place in the world and the context of our existence and behavior. The participants in this session will be offered to introduce their artistic research/ art-based research, artistic activities or pedagogy that have the potential of opening up diverse understanding and experiences of the Arctic.
Culture, politics & cultural politics
- Chair: Hanna Lempinen (FI)
- Host Arctic Centre, University of Lapland
The rapid economic, ecological and social changes shaping the Arctic region and its environments and communities are also impacting cultures and cultural life in the circumpolar north. Amidst these processes of change, cultural policies and programmes have a pivotal role in promoting cultural diversity and activity and cultural sustainability in the region. Meanwhile, policies from other sectors of the society also create, enable and constrain the conditions for culture, cultural activities and cultural sustainability without even specifically aiming to do so. For this session focusing on the interplay of culture, politics and cultural policies and politics in the Arctic, we invite presentations focusing on but not limited to Arctic and cultural policies of Arctic states, the European Union or UNESCO; cultural diversity and cultural sustainability in the Arctic region; the interplay between the creative sector and local, regional and state policies; and creating models for art and cultural policy that promote circumpolar cooperation, cultural sustainability and sustainable development. Contributions from researchers, funding bodies and other (cultural) policy practitioners focusing on or touching upon the Arctic region or parts of it are equally welcome.
Cultural research and research-creation projects in the circumpolar North
- Chair: Daniel Chartier (CA)
- Host: Université du Québec à Montréal
The purpose of this session on “Cultural research and research-creation projects in the circumpolar North” is to bring together artists, writers, curators, organizers of cultural events, professors, researchers and graduate students to enable them to share their expertise, by presenting their projects related to the North and the Arctic. Participants are invited to explain the objectives, interest and assumptions of one of their creation, dissemination or research projects. Projects can address either one of the northern circumpolar cultures, comparative or global aspects of the North, the Arctic or Winter. Whether it is to understand the cultural components of the "Imagined North" or to study particular disciplines (literature, theater, visual arts, design, architecture, cinema, music, or traditional practices), all the projects of study, research-creation, dissemination and research are welcome.The general objective is to review the state of current research, to foster links and contacts between researchers, artists and cultural workers from different cultures of the North and the Arctic, and thus to allow transversal collaboration in cultural studies, and especially between disciplines.
Arctic Design in development and appropriation of the Arctic: Challenges and opportunities
- Chair: Svetlana Usenyuk (RU)
- Host: Ural State University of Architecture and Art
One of the main challenges of the present, i.e. sustainable development of the world's regions becomes a truly global issue of a planetary-scale importance in the case of the circumpolar Arctic. In the light of the world trend, i.e. searching for ideas of protecting local ecosystems, creating favorable living conditions and enhancing human wellbeing, the Arctic provides an ideal testing ground for experimenting with the most daring as well as ethically and environmentally friendly solutions with respect to the spatial development of territories, for developing optimal life-support systems, and for protecting and activating the cultural capital of local indigenous communities. It is clear that these tasks are integrative and trans-disciplinary, and, therefore, the key to their successful solution can be found through the creative combination of human- and environmentally oriented attitudes with artistic thinking, based on the methods of technological aesthetics and design. This section invites design researchers to discuss possible contributions into solving topical issues of sustainable development of the Arctic and, in particular, the issue of a strategic transition from the conquest of the Arctic frontiers towards the development of the way of living within these frontiers.
Decolonizing Research Practices in the Arts: Indigenous Methodologies for Engaging Circumpolar Arts Institutions
- Chair: Heather Igloliorte (CA)
- Host: Concordia University Research Chair in Indigenous Art History and Community Engagement
Linda Tuhwai Smith argued in her foundational text Decolonizing Methodologies (1999) that although Indigenous researchers—such as curators, professors, museum practitioners, artists and art historians—often train and work in non-Indigenous institutions under specific disciplinary methodologies, they emphasize Indigenous culture and knowledge in their work through a variety of decolonizing strategies. This emphasis is necessary because Western art historical paradigms of pedagogy, research, and exhibition practice are invariably inadequate to describe or present the complexity of Indigenous culture and artistic practices. This discussion will focus on Indigenous strategies for advancing decolonial research and engagement practices within institutions that hold Sami, Inuit, and other circumpolar peoples’ collections, art, and art histories. Affirming the politics of resistance that has sustained Indigenous cultures through to the present day, and acknowledging the critical moment we are in to undertake daring action together to challenge and creatively disrupt the colonial underpinnings of museums, art galleries and universities, this panel invites circumpolar Indigenous arts research-practitioners and their collaborators to share and explore innovative, critical approaches to decolonizing and indigenizing research and engagement in institutional practices. This session will be a panel discussion. Propose a contibution to this panel!