Frontiers in Retreat


DIY 14: 2017 - Call for Proposals / Live Art and Scottish Sculpture Workshop

SSW invites DIY proposals to continue and develop upon the issues and approaches that has been explored within Frontiers in Retreat. A great open call for artist working with Live Art practise, with interest in ecological issues, alternative ways of learning and knowing, community building through making, and consideration and care for humans and non-humans!

Application deadline: 12noon, Monday 13 March 2017.

DIY is an opportunity for artists working in Live Art to conceive and run unusual research, training and professional development projects for themselves and other artists.

DIY understands that the development of a Live Art practice is as much about the exploration of ideas and experiences as training in skills and techniques, and past DIY projects have proved to be invaluable experiences for project leaders, participants and organisers alike.

DIY is all about creating spaces to explore new ideas and test new methodologies. We want to hear from you if have an idea for an exciting, innovative and idiosyncratic Live Art professional development project that offers something different and is geared to the eclectic and often unusual needs of artists whose practices are grounded in challenging and unconventional approaches, forms and concepts.  

We particularly welcome proposals led by or addressing underrepresented artists and practices, and projects reflective of other politicised territories.

DIY projects may take any form and can be based anywhere. Each DIY project is placed with a partner organisation and this year’s partners are detailed below. If a partner organisation has a regional remit your DIY project will happen in that region, if it has a national remit it can happen anywhere. We particularly welcome DIY projects that are geared towards partners’ locations. Please make clear in your application your preferred location(s), although we do encourage flexibility in this matter. (Once we have selected the final projects we may ask some proposals to be relocated to ensure an even spread of projects across the country.)

DIYs can be about anything you want, but some DIY partners have written specific briefs for artists to respond to, which cover an exciting and diverse range of themes – see below for full details.

DIY 14 has a wide range of new partner organisations and some exciting new developments including three new strands of DIY activities supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, and three DIYs supported by Live Art UK’s new Diverse Actions initiative


Partner organisations

Partners with a national remit will support a DIY which takes place anywhere. Partners with a regional remit will support a DIY which takes place in that region.

Partners supporting DIYs this year: Access All Areas (London), Agency for Agency (London), ARC Stockton (Stockton), Artsadmin (National), BUZZCUT (Glasgow), Colchester Arts Centre (Colchester), Create (Ireland), Culture Coventry/The Herbert (Coventry), Fierce Festival (Birmingham), Folkestone Fringe (Folkestone), Heart of Glass (St Helens), Iniva (National), Jersey Arts Trust (Jersey), Lancaster Arts (Lancaster), Live Art Development Agency (National), The Marlborough Pub & Theatre (Brighton), National Theatre (London), ]performance s p a c e[ (Folkestone), Scottish Sculpture Workshop (Aberdeenshire), Snape Maltings (Suffolk), Southbank Centre (London), SPILL Festival (Ipswich), Steakhouse Live (London), Wunderbar/NewBridge Project (Newcastle), Z-arts (Manchester).


Frontiers Reads

reading list around art and ecology

HIAP’s Frontiers team is happy to announce Frontiers Reads, an accumulating reading list around art and ecology, compiled by the artists and curators participating in the project. The list includes non-fiction and fiction from writers such as Donna HarawayRosi BraidottiJussi ParikkaT.J. DemosKim Stanley RobinsonBenjamin Bratton, and Antti Salminen.

We wish you an inspiring read!


VALENTINA KARGA / ELENA MAZZI / LA JETEE: Media works - local dialogues on global change, February 1 – 14 at Maunula-Talo

Frontiers artists Elena Mazzi is part of the "Media works - local dialogues on global change" exhibition realised at Maunula neigborhood in Northern Helsinki. Read more


mirko nikolic: burning hearts of a thousand tiny matters, February 1–5 at Ambika P3

mirko nikolic's Doctoral degree show in Arts & Media Practise in Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), University of Westminster

burning hearts of a thousand tiny matters

mirko nikolić with araucaria araucanas, carbon-dioxide, copper, Mynydd Parys, Duško Jelen, Isidora Spasović Lebović and Tuomas A. Laitinen

The exhibition is introduced with a text by Elina Suoyrjö, available in the gallery.

“Matter comes to matter”, Karen Barad invites us to think about the world’s becoming. Through differences, bodies—inorganic, vegetal, animal—find modes to do things with one another, to ‘come to matter’ through shared practices. From these entanglements emerges a necessity to reconfigure what is deemed to be exterior or interior, the boundaries of the (human) body and of the social.

The doctoral degree show assembles two constellations of works developed in various locations throughout the research. The constellations address two complex techno-socio-economic networks: the European Union mechanism for trading with carbon emissions, and mineral mining complexes in Northern and Eastern Europe. Through a series of material and discursive performative acts, the works interpellate atmospheric, biospheric and lithospheric elements and processes, seeking to reproduce possibilities of common futures, before and beyond the historically determined figure of the ‘human’.

mirko nikolic’s art and research aims to re(con)figure power apparatuses that extract, capture and control life and non-life. His works develop through fieldwork along the frontiers of extraction, materialising on sites through different media, performative and philosophical elements. Recently he has developed site-specific and collaborative works in Southern Finland (with the Helsinki International Artist Programme), Saari (Saari Residency), Røst archipelago (Røst AIR), and Bor (Cultural Front GRAD, Belgrade). He is a member of Posthuman Art & Research Group; Frontiers in Retreat, a network on multidisciplinary approaches to ecology in contemporary art, and COST Action New Materialism. At the moment he is developing a long-term art and philosophy project in the Kainuu region, Finland with support from the Mustarinda Association.

Facebook event


Wednesday 1 February 2017, 6 - 9 pm

Opening performance with Tuomas A. Laitinen

Hospitality by Cinzia Cremona

Saturday 4 February 2017, 4 - 8 pm

Arts, ecologies & new materialisms microsymposium: facing the inhuman

The symposium gathers practitioners from visual arts, performance, writing, curating, philosophy, and hybrids thereof, that in different ways attempt to “face the inhuman” (Karen Barad). Over the recent years, across the humanities and the arts, a significant attention has turned to a-, non-, extra-, in-, other-than-human bodies and their agencies. The ‘actors’ or ‘subjects’ of our inquiry are changing, different agencies take centre stage. But, with Karen Barad, “what if the point is not to widen the bounds of inclusion to let everyone and everything in?” It is perhaps a matter of accounting for a palpable sensation that the inhuman might have ‘always already’ been facing towards us, or that it might not desire to do that at all. In other words, what is it that these multispecies modes of socialisation do to the arts and humanities, and to the natural-cultural practitioners themselves? 

The symposium will feature a diversity of modes of research and artistic presentation by: Arendse Krabbe (Copenhagen), Bartaku (Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland), João Florençio (University of Exeter), Larval Rock Stars (enfolding the orbifold twins Pilarva and Larvaidya), Matterlurgy (Mark Peter Wright + Helena Hunter, London), Nina Trivedi (Royal College of Art / Syracuse University), Taru Elfving (Frame Contemporary Art Finland / Goldsmiths University of London), Tom Corby (University of Westminster), Sam Skinner (Manchester School of Art).

For symposium details and RSVP, visit the event page

The research and the exhibition were supported by the University of Westminster, Helsinki International Artist Programme, Cultural Front GRAD, Technical Faculty at Bor and the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Serbia.


Open lecture by Mirko Nikolić

today at Theatre Academy, Helsinki, 6–8pm

MA in Ecology and Contemporary Performance presents and open lecture by Mirko Nikolić

minoritarian ecologies: performance before a more-than-human world

Following ecofeminist and biopolitical critiques, the dominant economic and political apparatuses can be understood as a web of material and discursive strategies geared at managing, disciplining, eventually normalising difference. Bio-political/-capitalist apparatuses of modernity are based on a premise that difference can be translated into an axiomatics of binaries, they operate ‘as if’ the world is codeable and determineable. To a degree it is, but there is a surplus that withdraws from capture, and this excluded side matters.

Drawing on quantum physics, Karen Barad tells a different story of how bodies engage in ‘spacetimemattering’, of how matter ‘comes to matter’ through a co-constitutive ‘intra-action’ of different agencies. In line with this understanding, philosophers of difference (Gilles Deleuze, Rosi Braidotti) claim that worlding is powered by a generative force of differentiation. What would it mean to re(con)figure and reorient social practices ‘as if’ they aimed to maintain and (re)produce difference instead of reducing it? How to perform naturalcultural assemblages of difference within contexts of appropriation?

This talk will outline a transversal ‘material-discursive’ praxis, a performative mode of entangling heterogeneous bodies and concepts in a posthuman(ist) continuum of ecological praxis, in an attempt situated in the here-now of apparatuses of ‘capture’, but oriented towards alternative, hopefully more just, naturalcultural intra-actions. These alternative ‘re(con)figurations’ are not ecotopias beyond yonder, they are possibilities that effectively constitute the very here-now, yet they are minoritised.



Artists Hanna Husberg and Mari Keski-Korsu at HYBRID MATTERs exhibition

Forum Box 25.11.2016 - 18.12.2016

In biology the term hybrid is used to describe the cross-breed of two species. HYBRID MATTERs expands this to address different concepts, materials, or ideas which have been until recently thought separate or independent of each other, but which we can now observe as coming together, converging, to form new constellations with new qualities.

HYBRID MATTERs investigates the convergence of our environment with technology, it explores the term hybrid ecologies, which is a thought vehicle to talk about the intentional and unintentional transformation of our planet through human action.

Read more


Bartaku and Antti Majava gave talks at Residencies Reflected Symposium on November 18th, 2016

read more about the symposium 


Mirko Nikolić and Marika Troili at Saaren Kartano residence

October-November 2016

Swedish artist Marika Troili and Frontiers artist Mirko Nikolić will be working at the Saaren Kartano residence (Hietamäki, Finland) on their joint project which deals with the requirements that self-help literature create for people today and considers tactics to resist them. Their project is not, however, ironic. Rather its aim is to test affirmative reversal as a method. The background to the development of the inverse idea it is their belief that we should get beyond the notion that the ultimate goal of life is survival. Read more


FiR Artist Interviews: Tracey Warr

Tessa Aarniosuo met with Tracey Warr during her autumn 2016 residency at HIAP, to discuss her projects relating to Frontiers in Retreat, her relationship with Fine Art, water, and the world’s end. Link


Company in residency at GRAD

Within the artists in residence program as well as part of the project "Frontiers in Retreat” during November Cultural Center Grad will host artistic group from Finland, Company.

Company are Aamu Song and Johan Olin. They are artists, designers, producers. Beside running their own art studio Aamu and Johan are  founder of Salakauppa design shop where they exhibit their products.  Their work in the field of visual art and design is presented in many international art and design events. Despite the large number of projects they have carried out so far we would like to point out  "Secrets of ...". Their exceptional commitment to the work is  reflected in this very project that they have so far carried out in Finland, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Belgium. In cooperation with local producers they are creating a collection of objects. Collection itself is actually in a way the final result of a large research process. During their stay in the country where they want to find inspirational secrets Aamu and Johan are exploring a new environment, learning about the local customs, they communicate, study the materials, meet artisans… Currently they are cooperating with the Amish community in USA on  new Secrets collection.

Their stay in Serbia will be in two phases. During the first phase Aamu Johan will try to discover the "secrets" of Serbia ….