CFP: 'Articulating Artistic Research' @ SYMBIONT, Calgary 2018

25 May, 2018 by Bruce Barton | 0 comments

CFP: Articulating Artistic Research @ SYMBIONT, Calgary 2018

Call for Proposals: 'Articulating Artistic Research' Working Group, to be held this year as part of SYMBIONT at the University of Calgary (CANADA).


Annual ‘Articulating Artistic Research’ Seminar
to held this year as part of

Performing Arts Relay Canada / Pure Research / Articulating Artistic Research
November 12 – 17, 2018
School of Creative and Performing Arts / University of Calgary

“Organisms do not passively receive information from their environments … They participate in the generation of meaning through their bodies and action … they enact the world.” (Di Paolo, Rohde, and De Jaegher 2010)

Artistic Research (AR) is an umbrella term that references a wide range of distinct approaches to research that embrace creative processes as integral modes and methods of inquiry. Embracing Practice as Research, Performance as Research, Practice-led Research, Research Creation, and many other distinct but closely affiliated practices, AR prioritizes creative activity as a means of expanding the epistemological horizons of research within and beyond the academy.

Symbiosis is defined as “the intimate living together of ... dissimilar organisms [referred to as ‘symbionts’] in a mutually beneficial relationship” (Merrian-Webster). SYMBIONT brings the programming of a diverse assortment of AR organizations into an uncommonly pronounced level of interaction and exchange. Combining laboratory sessions, workshops, panels, online exchange, individual and group presentations, performances, and public engagement, SYMBIONT integrates an international roster of artistic practitioners, scholars, and artist-scholars in an intense and intimate week-long cohabitation.

SYMBIONT’s collaborating organizations include:

Performing Arts Relay (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Calgary, Toronto), an international practice-as-research network that explores the collaborative relationships between highly accomplished artistic practitioners and non-artistic specialists.

Nightswimming (Canada), Canada’s foremost dramaturgical incubator, which for over 20 years has created opportunities for professional artists to explore focused performance issues through its Pure Research program.

Articulating Artistic Research Seminar (Canada +), now in its 6th year, which facilitates embodied AR exploration, articulation, and dissemination on an international scale.

The focus of this year’s Articulating Artistic Research Seminar is context: that is, how the environments in which AR is conducted inspire, facilitate, determine, restrict and otherwise define what can be asked, explored, discovered and imagined. Participating artistic researchers will be asked to articulate what they do and how they do it as a reflection of the contexts in which they practice.

‘Context’ in this instance is understood as a multifaceted situation: personal and communal backgrounds, training, education, institutional and other affiliations, material conditions and culture are just the most obvious of determinants. Further, through the systematic integration and exchange within and between SYMBIONT’s collaborating organizations, participants will experience the transposition of their familiar practices, knowledges, methods and objectives, and will explore the emergent potential to be found in all ‘border crossings.’

Proposals should be 250 – 300 words in length and should describe a current artistic research project with a focus on how it relates to the specific context in which it occurred (or is occurring). In addition to information about your project, we request that you include a brief biography that states your educational background, your professional, organizational and/or institutional affiliations, your primary source of resources (funding and otherwise), and your current geographical location. Accepted participants will then be asked to submit a multimedia dossier related to the identified project, addressing its specific objectives, processes, collaborators, materials, documentation practices, and discoveries. Participants will also be asked to contribute to a modest 2-month online exchange process leading up to the actual gathering in November.

Once in Calgary, participants will participate in a broad cross-section of potential capacities: laboratory and workshop participants, presenters and respondents, panel and roundtable participants, observers and ‘outside eyes.’ We will also plan for group collaboration on multiple designated publishing opportunities, and will conclude the week-long event with a trip to the remarkable Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park.

In this fluid field of intersections, then, we will all be transplanted, ‘dis-placed,’ out of the comfort zones of our usual place-based contextual factors. As inter-reliant symbionts, our focus will be the supportive and restrictive properties of distinct contexts, as we explore new opportunities for symbiotic collaboration across difference.

Send proposals by July 15th to the Articulating Artistic Research co-convenors at

Bruce Barton, University of Calgary
Natalia Esling, University of Toronto

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