Welcome to Hurricanes and Scaffolding: Symposium on Artistic Research 2024 

4-5-6 December 2024
Arts Campus, Umeå University

This year the Swedish Research Council Symposium on Artistic Research explores the dynamic interplay between more-than-human forces and culturally resilient structures. 

The Symposium is organized by UmArts Research Center and will take place on the Arts Campus, in partnership with Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå School of Architecture, Department of creative studies, and Bildmuseet . There will also be events taking place across the city.  

Within the lively debate of artistic research, the symposia will identify critically reflexive frameworks that the arts bring to the wider discourses of society and politics, starting with the concept of hurricanes and scaffolding. 


The concepts of hurricanes and scaffolding will be used to identify new critically reflexive frameworks that the arts bring to the wider discourses of society, technology and politics. The hurricane being a non-human force, and scaffolding being the built infrastructure on which systems can grow. Nora N.Khan outlines her concepts of hurricanes and scaffolding in her essay ‘Towards a poetics of Artificial Super Intelligence’ (In: ‘The Atlas of Anomalous AI’ edited by Ben Vickers and K Allado-McDowell).  The symposium presentations will explore human and non-human perspectives on infrastructures for new ways of thinking and making. 

Whilst artistic academies and conservatoires have supported the development of the arts for many centuries, Artistic Research is a relatively new field of practice in relation to University research infrastructures. On the one hand disciplines want to protect their traditions, whilst on the other hand practices that engage with an interdisciplinary critique enable a clearer understanding of the contribution of the arts to society. This symposia will bring together artists, architects and designers who are moving beyond individual practices that rely on the art market or state sponsorship to engage with societal infrastructures and responsibilities through research. At the same time Universities in Sweden are slowly changing the way in which they validate artistic research supported by new initiatives such as CoARA which require subject specific assessment. 

The conference is designed for structured engagement with these ideas through maximum participation through three presentation formats: 

  • Invited keynote speakers will provide critical research frameworks which will be used to think through the practices and ideas presented over the three days.
  • The symposium will create a shared experience through a range of presentations formats for artists and researchers to present their work in short presentations, research posters and show and tell performances, film screenings and conversations. 
  • This will be accompanied by a series of discursive panel debates on key questions for interdisciplinary research organised by UmArts post-doctoral researchers. 

Important dates

1 June 2024 – deadline for submission of abstracts. Submission via link

1 August 2024 – Notification of acceptance. 

September 2024 – Registration opens, and detailed programme announced. 

25 November 2024 – Deadline for registration.  

4-6 December 2024- Symposium at Arts Camus, Umeå University 

Practical information

The symposium will be held mainly in English and in Scandinavian languages. Participation in the symposium is free of charge. For climate reasons we recommend travelling by train, please see


The Symposium is financially supported by:

Swedish Research Council, UmArts Research Centre, Umeå University, Umeå Kommun, Umeå Transformation Research Initiative (UTRI), The Communications Office, Umeå University 

In partnership with Umeå School of ArchitectureUmeå Institute of Design, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, the Department of Creative Studies in Education and Bildmuseet.