Post Doctoral Research

Sin título (Billonarios) / Untitled (Billionaires), Luis Berrios-Negron, 2022. Installation at POST, the Koolhaas/OMA new culture house in Houston, Texas (the new home of Tesla and the ol'Jet Propulsion lab).
Sin título (Billonarios) / Untitled (Billionaires), Luis Berrios-Negron, 2022. Installation at POST, the Koolhaas/OMA new culture house in Houston, Texas (the new home of Tesla and the ol’Jet Propulsion lab).

UmArts Postdocs and Researchers

UmArts is recruiting an exciting new team of interdisciplinary postdoctoral researchers. The postdocs are a central part of the UmArts research environment developing new art, architecture and design practices that generate a critical and creative discourse within the public realm. We are delighted to welcome Luis Berríos-Negrón, our new postdoc in Art and Architecture in partnership with Bildmuseet and Umeå School of Architecture (UMA). In 2023 we are working with Umeå Institute of Design and Teresa Frisan’s Molecular Biology Research Lab to appoint a new post-doc in Design and Molecular Biology; and we will advertise for two new positions in Architecture and AI, and Design and AI as part of the WASP-HS Art and AI project. The post-docs will also be joined by artists in residence and research fellows.

Postdoc Opportunities in Architecture, Design and Artificial Intelligence

UmArts is leading research in Art, Architecture, Design and Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Umeå University in partnership with the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS), and the Centre for Transdisciplinary AI at Umeå University (TAIGA). In 2023, curator Sarah Cook will join UmArts as the WASP-HS Guest Professor in partnership with Bildmuseet, Umeå School of Architecture (UMA), and Umeå Institute of Design (UID).

We are seeking two outstanding postdoctoral researchers in design and architecture to join our new Art & AI project with guest professor Sarah Cook. We will appoint two postdoctoral researchers: one in Architecture and AI with Umeå School of Architecture, and one in Design and AI with Umeå Institute of Design. The positions are full-time for three years commencing on 1 September 2023, or by agreement. Deadline for applications: 10 April. 16.00 CET.

The Art and AI project explores how arts research can contribute to the social and ethical discourses of AI and machine learning. We are working in partnership with museums and galleries, artists and curators to critically interrogate the aesthetics and politics of AI, collaborating with and challenging the algorithmic logic underpinning hardware and software development. We are interested in how creative encounters can allow publics to experience and engage with the ethical considerations and societal shifts that widespread use of AI will bring and feeding that back into AI development.

The postdoctoral fellows will develop interdisciplinary architectural and/or design research which uses and/or investigates the uses of AI in the built environment and public space, with research outputs in the form of contemporary art exhibitions, public events and/or publishing which drive forward the role of art and societal development. The postdocs will also play an active role in the UmArts programme, leading research workshops and reading groups. Each post-doctoral researcher will work independently on their own creative project with support from Guest Professor Sarah Cook, a supervisor in their department, and the Director of UmArts.

We welcome proposals for research practices that demonstrate how art, design or architecture can contribute to the social and ethical discourses of AI and machine learning. The research will generate a critical and creative discourse on the politics of space or the politics of AI and design, including: territorial divisions, decolonization, social cohesion, sustainability and resilience.  The AI research in this area includes but is not limited to: facial recognition and algorithmic biases, data feminism, climate change datasets and visual information, deep fake synthetic images, coding and cryptography, extraction of rare earth metals, and the transition from global to planetary thinking.

Further details and application portals will soon become live:

UmArts Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Architecture and Artificial Intelligence at Umeå School of Architecture.

UmArts Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Design and Artificial Intelligence at Umeå Institute of Design.

Current Postdocs and Researchers

Luis Berríos-Negrón is the UmArts Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Architecture and Art, in partnership with Bildmuseet and Umeå School of Architecture (UMA), 2023-2024. Luis Berríos-Negrón investigates the greenhouse as metaphor, effect and technology. Luis’s practice unarchives the Greenhouse as support structure, a model of early warning, and a history of colonial botany. The postdoc research will develop a new Transhemispheric project between Scandinavia and Puerto Rico to rethink colonization, create new ways of replanting and extending the growing season.

Lisa Nyberg is undertaking her postdoctoral research at the Art Academy at Umeå University, in partnership with UmArts 2023-2024. Lisa will develop her research project ‘To Know and Be Known by (a) Place’ with an emphasis on site-specificity as an artistic research method and artistic practices that consider our relationship to site-place-land. The research will explore the meaning of reciprocity and reconnection in and beyond times of settler colonisation.

Toms Kokins is an UmArts Architecture Research Fellow supported by a Future Forests grant to develop his practice based research on Sweden’s Timber Empire during 2023. The research started through an UmArts Small Visionary Project and is developing social and creative processes to critically map the extent of the new Swedish timber empire in the Baltic region. See ‘Small Visionary Projects’ for more details.

Artists in Residence

From 2023-2025 UmArts will commission an international artist to make a new work each year. Artists will be invited to develop new projects investigating Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as part of the Art and AI Working Group; as well artists working in a wider field of practice who will contribute to the UmArts interdisciplinary research environment.

If you would like to discuss a research proposal for a postdoc or residency please contact Ele Carpenter, Director of UmArts: ele.carpenter@umu.se