An Event Series on New Materialisms


7 May 2020


Yhdessä elämistä – uusmaterialistisia kokeiluja pohjoisesta

ILA (Intra-living in the Arctic) -ryhmä tarkastelee tutkimustyössään enemmän-kuin-inhimillistä elämää pohjoisessa. Esityksen aikana tutkimusryhmän jäsenet kertovat käynnissä olevasta tutkimusprojektistaan, jossa he hyödyntävät ja kehittävät uusmaterialistista teoriaperintöä ja siihen kietoutuvia metodologisia lähestymistapoja. Ryhmän tavoitteena on luoda keinoja visioida, käsitteellistää, tarinallistaa ja sanallistaa enemmän-kuin-inhimillistä maailmassa-olemista. Ryhmä katsoo tulevaan, olemalla kuitenkin joka solullaan läsnä tässä hetkessä, arjen pienissä yllätyksissä ja odottamattomissa kohtaamisissa. Herkistyminen, huolenpito ja kokeilumieli ovat keskeisiä ryhmän toimintatapoja.

Esitys kutsuu pohtimaan yhteisiä tapojamme olla maailmassa muun muassa hyttysten, puiden ja kivien kanssa. Millaista on kokea hyttynen kanssaeläjänä? Miten virittäytyä kivien ja kelojen rytmiin? Miten sanoittaa metsän ei-inhimillisten asukkaiden toimijuutta?

ILA-tutkimusryhmän jäsenet Outi Rantala, Anu Valtonen ja Tarja Salmela ovat matkailu- ja organisaatiotutkijoita. Heidän tutkimuksensa ammentaa kriittisestä ja feministisen uusmaterialistisen filosofian ohjaamasta tutkimusperinteestä sekä humanistisesta ympäristötutkimuksesta. Heidän käynnissä olevan Suomen Akatemian rahoittaman tutkimusprojektin ”Matkailua lähelle – uusmaterialistinen näkökulma” internetsivut löytyvät osoitteesta:


19 February 2020

Elisabeth Belgrano

ORNAMENTING-as-a-METHOD: exploring a poetical onto-ethico-epistemology

In this presentation, Elisabeth performs an insight into the process of developing a research method that is based on a practice-led/diffractive/artistic research methodology. The results include a true story about a woman’s vocal awakening through the concept of NOTHINGNESS; about seventeenth-century voices and musical manuscripts; about voicing experiences in Venice, Kyoto and Jerusalem; about a collection of poems dedicated to one of the first opera singers – Anna Renz Romana – who became NOTHINGNESS on stage; and about touching on Italian Nothingness and French Je-ne-sais-quoi. As a (provisional) endpoint to this story, the presentation will articulate a process of ornamenting-as-a-method that allows for the emergence of a poetic-onto-ethico-epistemology.

Elisabeth L. Belgrano allows her performance research to diffract through contemporary vocal studies and 17th century vocal music. She is a recipient of the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society (2005), and was awarded a PhD in Performance in Theatre and Music Drama for Performing Nothingness through Operatic Mad Scenes and Lamentations at the University of Gothenburg (2011). Elisabeth is also a supervisor and examiner through ‘performative methodologies’. Currently she is investigating the Art of (Vocal) Ornamentation as an intra-active research tool for measuring Nothingness and the Unknown.

Dr Belgrano’s artistic research portfolio can be found here.


9 January 2020

Amy Cutler

The “New Humanitrees”?

At a moment when the meaning of the forest is suffering increasing standardisation, Dr. Amy Cutler discusses the forest’s history as a space of “querying”. Bringing together the department’s interests, and participation from each of our crossed disciplines and fields, how can we go beyond its “eco-normative stamping”, to take responsibility for the materials and lives of the forests in which we currently live – and examine far stranger human and sylvan horizons?

Amy Cutler has worked in the GeoHumanities and Environmental Humanities and taught in nonhuman philosophy and geography since completing her PhD, and recent finished an Early Career Leverhulme Research Fellowship on the meaning of forests and sylvan thinking. However, she also now works independently of academic institutions, challenging public discourses of nature in its own arenas and monopolies. This includes her exhibition of 100 artists and scientists on forest memories, “Time, the deer, is in the Wood of Hallaig”, her BBC Late Junction radio show on experimental forest ecologies, politics and the nonhuman (“Into the Forest”, 2018), and her contribution to the BBC’s “The End of the World Has Already Happened” (airing 16 January 2020). She currently curates the internationally touring film festival/concert Nature’s Nickelodeons, which queers or hacks the power of the modern nature documentary (Sheff Doc Fest 2018, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2018, San Francisco Green Film Festival 2019). She has also completed her first artist’s film residency (Dec 2019 – Jan 2020), on narratives of extinction and the biodiversity of Örö fortress island in the Finnish archipelago, previously a closed military area.


30 October 2019

Helle Breth Klausen

Struggling with technology in ASMR experiences

Helle Breth Klausen is a visiting PhD fellow at the University of Turku from the School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University, Denmark. She is currently working on a project on technologically-mediated ASMR, also known as ‘whisper videos’, on YouTube. As a media scholar, she is interested in how the intended bodily intertwinement with technology serves certain goals in regard to ASMR; enabling telepresence, digital intimacy, and para-sociality. She recently published an article on what technologically-mediated ASMR is capable of through sound.

Helle’s talk in this event series will present some of her ongoing research on the theme of struggling with technology in ASMR experiences by diving into comments on the videos on YouTube and by playing around with theoretical concepts in order to explain how ASMR videos can be seen as a solution to the struggle – in some cases – while being the source of struggle in other cases.


4 October 2019

Yoga for Academic Writing

This workshop, run by creative writing and yoga teacher Kirsi Saivosalmi, and organized by the research project Localizing Feminist New Materialisms (Academy of Finland, 2017–2021), combines academic writing with yoga. The workshop introduces a toolbox of embodied and relaxing writing exercises, yoga-based movement and easy breathing techniques that are tried out in relation to some concepts of new materialist thinking. It aims to offer a few novel tools for a creative and balanced writer’s life. This workshop

  1. introduces the “free writing” technique.
  2. offers practical 5- to 10-minute new materialist writing exercises.
  3. teaches simple yoga-based movement to release tension in the body and re-sharpen the mind.
  4. guides to a set of easy mindfulness techniques to relax and re-focus while writing.
  5. inspires to reflect on one’s strengths and weaknesses as a writer and choose techniques that suit your own purposes.

The exercises are intended only for personal use and not shared with others. No experience from yoga, creative writing or new materialisms is needed to attend this workshop.

The yoga movements are gentle and done standing, sitting or lying on the ground. You can wear your normal clothes. Yoga mats are provided by the organizer so you don’t need your own. Take along your notebook, pen, and possibly also your laptop.

The main language of the workshop is English.


22 May 2019

Tilaisuudessa julkaistaan Katve-Kaisa Kontturin monografia Ways of Following: Art, Materiality, Collaboration

Open Humanities Press, 2018, 258 s.

Tilaisuudessa kirjasta keskustelevat Taina Erävaara (koulutus- ja tutkimuspäällikkö, Turun taideakatemian kuvataiteen ohjelma), Visa Immonen (arkeologian professori, Turun yliopisto), Elina Suoyrjö (toiminnanjohtaja, Titanik) ja Norie Neumark (ääni- ja mediataiteilija, teoreetikko, Melbournen yliopisto; residenssitaiteilija, Titanik).

In Ways of Following, Katve-Kaisa Kontturi offers rare, intimate access to artists’ studios and exhibitions, where art processes thrive in their material-relational becoming. The book argues for an ethical and affirmative mode of engaging with contemporary art that replaces critical distance with sensuous and transformative proximity. From writing-with to dancing and breathing, from conversations to modelling, it maps ways of following that make the moving materiality of art intensively felt. Drawing on long-term engagements with selected contemporary artists and their art-in-process, Kontturi expands the concept and practice of collaboration from human interactions to working with, and between, materials. With this shift, Ways of Following radically rethinks such core tenets of art theory as intention, artistic influences and the autonomy of art, bringing new urgency to the work of art and its political capacity to propose new ways of being and thinking.

Katve-Kaisa Kontturi toimii taidehistorian yliopistonlehtorina ja nykytaiteentutkimuksen dosenttina Turun yliopistossa. Hän on Honorary Fellow Melbournen yliopistossa.


8 May 2019

Norie Neumark

Speaking of Atmospheres: more than voice and voice of the more-than

Speaking of atmospheres evokes something palpable, something that moves us—inviting or repelling. When atmospheres speak to us—they tincture our relations to a place and the people and things that compose it. We sense and respond to an atmosphere—of a room, say, or an artwork or a garden—but even as we attend to its call, its vibe, we also sense something more. A more-than-ness. Like voice, atmospheres call out and connect. And, like voice—with voice—atmospheres “traverse distinctions between peoples, things, and spaces,” attuning us to ambiguities “between presence and absence, between subject and object/subject and between the definite and indefinite” (Anderson 2009, 77-78). Voice and atmosphere have much to say, resonating with each other. Voice alerts us to the complexities and more-than’ness of atmospheres. And, in turn, attuning to atmospheres opens up our thinking with/through voice. With new materialism, we can explore these entanglements of atmospheres and voice through engaging with a number of artworks.

Reference: Anderson, Ben. 2009. “Affective Atmospheres.” Emotion, Space and Society. 2. Pp 77–81.

Professor Norie Neumark is a theorist and sound/media artist. She has a collaborative art practice with Maria Miranda as, which began in radio, then expanded to include media art, site-responsive and unsitely installations and performances, and radiophonic essays. Their award-winning work has been commissioned and broadcast and exhibited nationally and internationally. Their earlier work engaged with questions of culture, place and memory. Recent projects, such as Waiting, Coalface and Shredded, have engaged with questions of ecology, power and ethics. Norie’s 2017 monograph, Voicetracks: Attuning to Voice in Media and the Arts (MIT Press) explores voice and new materialism. Norie co-edited Voice: Vocal Aesthetics in Digital Arts and Media (MIT Press, 2010) and At a Distance: Precursors to Internet Art and Activism (MIT Press, 2005). She is founding editor, Unlikely: Journal for Creative Arts

Affiliations: Norie is Honorary Professorial Fellow at VCA, Melbourne University and Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University. She is currently resident artist at Titanik, Turku.

[Video] Professor Neumark’s lecture

Watch (.mp4,

NB! Video clips shown during the guest lecture are louder than the rest of the lecture. Video clips are shown at 27:25–31:25, 39:06–41:26, [41:45–41:54 (accidentally)], 50:17–58:16.


17 April 2019

Mattie Sempert

Essaying bodies with conceptual loose ends: A necessary conclusion

What if essai (French for aim, or attempt) is allowed to become a thing in its own right: an essaying body that thinks as it moves and moves as it thinks. As a verb, the essay needs to move and its body is shaped—that is, grows text-tissue—relationally, by what it encounters as it moves. The essaying body, I propose, “[finds] its patterns in contingent motion” (Retallack, p. 36). There is a materialization of the body in language that takes shape in open-ended process. As a writing form, essay doesn’t merely talk, but demonstrates how its immanently growing body is a site for knowledge production, always quivering with more-than possibilities. However, in order sedate the flow and force of further thoughts forming—that is, to fix it into a readable form—the conceptual loose ends need to be burned, or therapeutically cauterized.

Reference: Retellack, J. (2003). Wager as essay. Chicago Review, 49(1), pp. 31–51.

Dr Mattie Sempert is a practicing acupuncturist, creative writer and researcher. Her PhD project (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia) explores the intersection of three practices: creative writing, acupuncture, and process-oriented philosophy. In blending these distinct fields, through lyric and experimental essay writing, she discovers the body as a site for knowledge production—alive—always in process. Her affiliations include RMIT’s non/fiction Lab, SenseLab/3 Ecologies Institute and Fascia Research Society.

[Video/Audio] Dr Sempert’s lecture

Watch (.mp4, / Listen (.mp3,