[ … ] delicate negotiations between demands for the autonomy of artistic research and the necessity of its intervention into [collective] reality.
– WHW 2016 

The 11th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research, SAR 2020, investigates and discusses the relation between Artistic Research, various notions of collective reality and alternative imaginations. Reality, as we currently know it, is marked by a series of inter-connected crises, and as part of larger collective structures, artistic researchers are confronted by and immersed in these. The urgency of these crises forces the agency and relevance of Artistic Research into question. By debating modes of research, dissemination and communication employed by Artistic Research as well as its academic contextualization, the SAR 2020 conference aims at negotiating and analysing the problems we face. The questions relates to the autonomy of the individual artist-researcher, the systemic institutionalization of Artistic Research and the current more collective state of emergencies that we face. What are the modes of trial/experimentation, creation, reflection, and communication in this Crisis Collective like? Can Artistic Research - through artistic actions - generate alternative modes of knowledge, art, and reality? 

The Four Strands


How might we visualise and comprehend the change that is currently and urgently happening to the globe, and how can we create sensual experience of the Crisis Collective through Artistic Research? Representation of facts / narrating the unknown / creating a new paradigm are topics that may emerge within this strand in response to the situation of emergency. How might the necessary transformation to a sustainable society take shape? Can the transition be understood as re-construction or a qualitative leap forward? Is social justice and global equality a possible solution to crisis and what models of thinking are required? As we face extinction and sadness Artistic Research may contribute to the discussion through a critical framework for the inevitable; various endings? or a sober design of the post-apocalypse? Any proposal - large scale or micro - is needed. Urgently! 
Are you ready?

The Great Conversation

The transition caused by climate change, involves a repositioning of the relationship between humans and other living beings as part of the natural world. This transition has philosophical implications and opens up for new modes of thinking and being to be explored. The sciences are confronted with an ecological fragility, that forces a change of worldview. In the intersection between practical regimes and a new ethics of climate developments, Artistic Research might be exactly the place to explore a new understanding of ‘the return to Earth’ (B.Latour). With the aim of enabling a fragile, yet passionate conversation we call for proposals to open up these new realms of ‘being in the world’.

Hammer and Mirror? The language of artistic research
Artistic research shares its metaphorical language with the language of capitalism, sports, and warfare. Resource. Production. Method. Gain. Challenge. Opposition. Defence.

This vocabulary creates a formal context and an imminent agency that might influence the specific Artistic Research undertakings and their potential to intervene into the larger collectives of reflection and discourse. In this strand we encourage proposals/presentations that engages in critical reflection on the roles, formats and objectives of Artistic Research. As projects, performative situations or by discursive reflection. Questions might concern: How to perceive, shape and how to convey meaning through experiment? From which viewpoint and from what location? What, how & for whom? Presentations may address who they are aimed at and applicable too?

Various rehearsals 
This strand offers the opportunity for a testing ground for experimentation and unfinished work. Artistic Research is exactly that – an artistic exploration, a process, and a rehearsal without closure. The shape of things to come. In this section we open up a platform for research rehearsals; this is not about presentations or powerpoints, but an open laboratory for ongoing Artistic Research rehearsals. A place to take risk. We call for practitioners willing to share their process for an audience, for participants or for other kinds of public interface. These explorations might be exactly to the point or they might function as a vent to let fresh air in. Let it blossom, let it bleed. 

The SAR 2020 conference calls for proposals to constitute the Crisis Collective in four different strands. Each conference proposal/presentation adds into the shared vision of troubles and possible paths active now and in the future and generates a response by Artistic Research to the current crises.

The four strands are:

  • Emergency 
  • The Great Conversation
  • Hammer and Mirror? The language of Artistic Research
  • Various Rehearsals 

Crisis Collective, the 11th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research, is organized around three types of session formats for input and discussion:

  • 90 minutes format, including discussion
  • 30 minutes format, including discussion
  • Video presentation + online discussion (total 30 minutes)

The Program Comittee will combine the accepted proposals in different thematic blocks, each led by a moderator. A keynote presentation will be delivered for each of the four strands. 

In the video/online-format the presenter might participate from the distance, but have to be present via the online-interface created by the conference-organisers. 

Proposals have to adress one of the 4 strands and should include the preferred session format, a proposal abstract and a list of technical requirements. 


The 11th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research 2020 is organized by the Society for Artistic Research (SAR) and the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at University of Bergen (KMD, UiB). It takes place in Bergen, Norway, 25 – 28 March 2020. 

More information about the conference will be available on a dedicated website that will be launched 20 January 2020. The conference will open for pre-registration for SAR-members 13 January 2020.

The fees for conference participation are:

  • Non-members of SAR: 3.500 NOK incl. VAT.
  • SAR members: 2.500 NOK incl. VAT. To register in this category, you must use your institutional email address. Check if your institution is a SAR-member here.    
  • Non-institutional-affiliated SAR individual members: 800 NOK incl. VAT (limited availability). Membership must have been paid before you attend the conference.
  • Students: 800 NOK incl. VAT (limited availability). A valid student card must be provided when arriving at the conference.

You may apply for SAR-membership here.

All attendees, participants and contributors must register for the conference and pay the appropriate fee in advance. 


Conference Committee:

  • Frode Thorsen (KMD) - Chair
  • Bente Irminger (KMD)
  • Anne-Helen Mydland (KMD)
  • Angela Bartram (SAR)
  • Johan A. Haarberg (SAR)
  • Geir Strøm (SAR)

Programme Committe:

  • Frans Jacobi (KMD) - Chair
  • Dóra Ísleifsdóttir (KMD)
  • Jostein Gundersen (KMD)
  • Leena Rouhiainen (SAR)
  • Giaco Schiesser (SAR)
  • Ang Bartram (SAR)

Event Management Group:

  • Dagfinn Bach (KMD) 
  • Mia Kolbjørnsen (KMD)
  • Additional members from KMD, producer, economy, technicians 

The call for submission is closed. The deadline was November 15, 2019 at 13:00 CET. 

Frequently asked questions:

Q: I would like to know if there are some specifics around the proposal, like the format, number of words or keywords, abstract or statement etc? 
A: It is up to you what format you want to propose as long as it stays within the one of the two time-slots; 90 or 30 minutes (including discussion). You can present a paper, a performance, a performance-lecture, a sound-piece, a concert, a video or whatever format you prefer. If you choose to propose an ‘online-only-presentation’, we prefer a video-presentation, combined with a direct online discussion/debate. 

Q: Is it possible to apply as a collective or to propose a full panel?
A: Yes you may apply as a collective and full panel.

Q: Are you open for art works as well? 
A: We are open for all kinds of proposals within the framework of Artistic Research. Read about Artistic Research here: “Handbook for Artistic Research Education”

Q: Is it possible to apply for presenting parts of the master?
A: Please make a proposal. The programme committee will consider it and select who to contribute to the conference after the deadline.

Q: Is the format of Various Rehearsals for showing one's artistic practice live or for sharing one's working procedures? 
A: We would like to challenge the formats and push the boundaries for sharing of knowledge and dissemination of Artistic Research. It is up to you how you want to define this format. Please surprise us!

Q: Who is the audience for the conference?
A: Our audience is first and foremost practitioners within the Society for Artistic Research Community: Artistic Researchers, Artistic PhDs and related Artistic Communities.

Q: Will there be a discussion of art-based research methods?
A: The language of Artistic Research deals with art-based research methods and the language used around them. 

Q: Are there any examples or sample publications as point of reference?
A: For examples please check out the 10th SAR Conference on Artistic Research 2019 in Zürich, the 9th SAR Conference on Artistic Research 2018 in Plymouth or the 8th International Conference on Artistic Research 2017 in Helsinki.

Q: Can i submit my work as independent artist, or do i have to have an academic body to support my application?
A: You may submit an application to contribute to SAR2020 as an independent artist. Please remember to register a for a RC account at the earliest opportunity, because of processing time.

Q: Do you endorse travel and commendations?
A: No, unfortunately we don't have funds available for support of travels or accommodation. This applies for both participants og presenters at the conference. 

Q: When can I register for the conference?
A: The SAR2020-conference will open for registration around mid January 2020. 

More questions? Contact: sar2020@uib.no