Welcome to Stockholm University of the Arts and to the second conference of Alliances and Commonalities.

At Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH), our aim is to increase the impact of the arts. We want to address the challenges of society today through the development of experimental and innovative artistic research where art forms and dialogue around the arts and education are reinforced.

With the conference Alliances and Commonalities, we wish to develop new collaborative research formats nationally and internationally, to generate dynamic areas where artistic research can be challenged and confronted

At SKH, artistic research is firmly rooted in our art practices and it encompasses all art forms. The results are presented from their own artistic terms and involve various forms of production, display formatting, presentation, and documentation. 

Alliances and Commonalities offers a wide-ranging programme intended to generate inquiry and dialogue that we believe will further illuminate and strengthen our development as artistic research communities across institutions, society, and borders.

Welcome to Alliances and Commonalities. We hope that your days here are inspiring and that you gain new insights as you investigate our shared yet distinctive materials and practices which connect us as artistic researchers in artistic alliances and creative commonalities.

Paula Crabtree, Vice-Chancellor
Cecilia Roos,
Vice-Rector for Research

Curatorial Statement

Alliances and Commonalities 2020 was created around the themes of connectivity, experimentation, and engagement, themes which were also central to the first conference. We had no idea that 2020 would be a year when qualities that artistic researchers use in their work, like responsiveness, adaptability, and sensitivity would focus our attention on what is important now while also helping us look forward.

The conference aims to put artists, researchers, and students at the center of that path forward. The artists-researchers participating in Alliances and Commonalities have generously adapted their research to communicate what is essential and accessible in an online format. This allows us to still be together and to move our research beyond the institutions that support it. Our hope is that you will find examples of how to be nimble and dependable; qualities we will need in order to challenge and adapt to the world in which we now live, work, and create.

Rebecca Hilton, Professor of Choreography, Profile area Site, Event, Encounter
Juliette Mapp, Professor of Choreography, Profile area Concept and Composition 
Ellen Røed, Professor in Film and Media, Profile area Art, Technology and Materiality
John-Paul Zaccarini, Professor of Performing Arts, Profile area Bodily and Vocal Practices


Questions posed to conference presenters
Each presenter was asked to choose and answer one of the questions below.

You can read their answers on the link to their presentations.

  • What is most urgent to you in your research right now?
  • How has this time of Covid-19 affected your research questions and/or methods?
  • What aspect of your research is most connected to this political/cultural moment?

Profile areas

The profile areas function as tools for interdisciplinary discussion and development of the Artistic Practices area.

About the profile areas

The Artistic Practices area is based on the practices and research that are conducted within the research specialisations film and media, choreography, opera, and performing arts at Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH), which constitute the third-cycle education subject Performative and Mediated Practices. These research specialisations have been strengthened and expanded through four thematic profile areas of research: Concept and Composition; Art, Technology, Materiality; Bodily and Vocal Practices; Site, Event, Encounter.

These profile areas represent strategic initiatives and they aim to create opportunities for synergies within the research field, for the development and broadening of transdisciplinary and thematic hybrids between research in these different specialisations. They are not necessarily tied to research topics or artistic areas and disciplines, but are primarily characterized by an interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary approach. Each profile area opens the way for critical and creative thinking about hierarchies, power relations, conventions and norms regarding creation processes, aesthetic and other values, and social categorisations and layouts. The profile area descriptions should be seen as living and open definitions of issues that can attract and inspire research projects and research questions.

These profile areas structure the research centre at SKH and each profile is led by a professor. The profile areas are used as tools/lenses for interdisciplinary discussion and the development of all research conducted within the University. The combination of these profile areas with increasing specialisation within our artistic disciplines has established an environment for emerging innovation and cutting-edge courses and study programmes and research.

Concept and Composition

This profile area highlights and articulates questions around the initiation, formation, implementation and documentation of creative and artistic processes.

The area includes inquiries about question formation, methods, experimentation, dramaturgy, lineage and influence. This area is where questions about aesthetics and ethics are equally important, and where the linking of ideas is as much about asking questions as it is about researching their answers. The formation of ideas and terminology, dramaturgical/narrative structures, interpretation, methodologies and documentation are key concepts, as are the area’s overarching critical terms/concepts and composition, which are understood and activated in the widest possible sense. This area integrates an exploration of the synergies and frictions that result from encounters between different disciplines, art forms, interpretations and performance traditions.

Art, Technology and Materiality

This profile area serves as a context for critically engaging with the material entanglements of artistic practice and its consequences. It explores how people, material entities, and technological devices connect in ways that generate meaning as well as knowledge and enable relevant forms of inquiry. The profile area focuses on the conditions of technological and material processes in art, material developments and technical expansions of ongoing artistic practices. 

Art, Technology and Materiality opens the way for discussions about the interplay between doing and thinking, where knowledge and meaning are formed through interaction with the world, with others, and through materials and objects. Here, objects are considered active and co-creative rather than discovered or revealed.

Bodily and Vocal Practices

This profile area explores techniques, methods, and systems for the articulation, interpretation and communication of research and creativity through the body and voice.

Its central questions concern notions of interpretation and physical performance, pedagogical and didactic inquiry, and sustainability in artistic practice. Bodily and Vocal Practices engages with and contributes to research about embodiment, connectivity, articulation and representation. Bodily and Vocal Practices is a research platform into the ways in which bodies and voices manifest meaning, understanding, ambiguity and abstraction through movement, sound and language. Modes of critical inquiry enable thinking about the body and voice in terms of social and political spaces, which exposes ways in which corporeal practices express conventions, norms and coded systems, while creating the potential to challenge and re-evaluate them.

Site, Event, Encounter

This profile area explores the interplay between art and society, and considers the protean nature of participation in contemporary art practices/process/events and the many contexts and conditions in which 21st century artists work.

In this profile area, the focus is on the shifting constellations of relationships, practices and processes which develop between the various devisors, performers and participants in an artistic practice, process or event. Research in this profile area includes critical explorations of art created in/with/for the public realm, encounters with audiences, methods of interactivity/connectivity in physical and virtual spaces, the relationship between ethics and aesthetics in artistic practices, and the transforming roles and responsibilities, contexts and conditions of artists working in society today. Public/private space, power relations and convention/norm criticality are key notions, as well as a commitment to framing critical dialogue about art within the broader cultural context.

Stockholm University of the Arts
Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH) provides education and conducts research in the fields of circus, dance, film, media, opera and the performing arts. With our unique combination of education and artistic research, we aim to create new opportunities for developing our society and generating knowledge for the future.


Postal address:
Stockholm University of the Arts
P.O. Box 24045
104 50 Stockholm


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Conference Committee

Paula Crabtree, Cecilia Roos, Rebecca Hilton, Juliette Mapp, Ellen Røed

A&C team

Sissel Behring, Bodil Lagerås, Sanna Hagström, Anna-Carin Stymne – Research Office
Katherine Stuart – Language editor
Jonas Howden Sjøvaag – Webmaster
Max Edqvist – Technical Director
Helle Zimmerman - Communications
Maria Stålhammar – Producer