Not Quite King, Not Quite Fish

Call for Contributions to the Research Symposium at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, 2023

As artists-researchers, we are in tension with the real and fictive expectations of both artmaking and research. Not quite king, nor quite fish, we turn to the animal queendom for answers. We dive into water like the cosmopolitan kingfisher. Different bodies of water lead us to a different catch, we function well with the abundance of a range of habitats. We are masters of diving in, no matter what the circumstances might be. Easy to recognise but at times obscured by our environment, we are feathered like artists but are actually entangled artists-researchers: short tail, long beak, or both. We flutter around as observers and participants in complex systems. According to legend, if one spots us on the way to a battle, all must return home and seek peace.

The symposium Not quite king, nor quite fish is hosted and organised by doctoral candidates in Fine Art, Design and Architecture from the Vilnius Academy of Arts. The focus is on durational and performative forms of presentation and/or public experimentation as research.

We aim to provide opportunities to both experienced and upcoming researchers and artists to share their projects within the support structures established by temporary epistemic communities organised around four research clusters. Each cluster is conceived and moderated by doctoral candidates of the Vilnius Academy of Arts and is based on their artistic research interests.

O P E N    C A L L

Location: Vilnius Academy of Arts and various locations in the city
Partners: Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA), SODAS 2123

Dates and Deadlines

2023, November 9-11th, on site in Vilnius

Call for Contributions until June 11th, 2023

Notification of acceptance no later than 21st of June

Apply via Google Forms

Keynotes: everybody who is selected

Funding: participation as well as coffee breaks are for free, the selected participants will be issued a letter of acceptance which you could use for fundraising from Erasmus+, KUNO, or your own institutional and other funding sources.

Types and lengths of proposals:

We accept and wish applicants to experiment with performative lectures, living posters, artist talks, workshops (indoor/outdoor), performance, exhibition / installation, intervention, panel discussion, screening or screen-based performance, or other yet-unknown forms.

Duration 10, 20, 30, 40, 60 minutes. Alternative time slots are open for discussion if your rationale is convincing.

Opportunity to publish your proposal in a peer-reviewed journal (text, visual or hybrid forms): The presenters will have the opportunity to submit a proposal to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis.
Organising Committee:  Miki (Miklós) Ambrózy, Greta Grinevičiūtė, Miglė Križinauskaitė, Jan Glöckner,  Gabrielė Gervickaitė, Povilas Marozas, Sophie Durand, Gailė Griciūtė, Ignas Pavliukevičius

Scientific-Artistic committee: Dr. Marquard SmithDr. Rūta Spelskytė-LiberienėDr. Vytautas MichelkevičiusJan Glöckner,  Gabrielė Gervickaitė,  Greta Grinevičiūtė,  Miki Ambrózy,  Miglė Križinauskaitė, Povilas Marozas, Sophie DurandGailė GriciūtėIgnas Pavliukevičius 

Each thematic cluster is curated and moderated by doctoral candidates at Vilnius Academy of Arts and/or at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy.


1. Flying Potatoes

Moderated by Jan Glöckner,  Gabrielė Gervickaitė,  Ignas Pavliukevičius

We welcome all humans and other-than-humans who are interested in challenging, discussing, or deconstructing the current state of our planet. We recognise the Eurocentrism and Anthropocentrism that has contributed to misunderstandings, and we refuse to be part of it. Let's dance!

We are not referring to a future in which something will happen or things will change. We already live in a world that has undergone tremendous changes. We are already cyborgs and have been for a long time. The world is neither ours nor ours to take. These are facts. There has always been interest in other-than-human bodies. There are also dreams of artificial sentience, but the toxic mindset inherited from settlers, colonisers, exploiters, and standardisation must be addressed first.

We care about mushrooms, trees, oceans, dogs and cats, carrots and potatoes, humans and machines. We believe in accessible and open-source data, friends and loved ones, joy and techno. We demand freedom for nature and all beings.

It is unfortunate that we still need to discuss social inequality, judgement, power, abuse, victimisation, war, and loss. However, we are researchers of hidden life, beyond what is seen and felt. We invite you to contribute by being true to yourself and sharing who you are or who you aspire to be.

2. Microscopic Gesture: Being and Moving With…

Moderated by Greta Grinevičiūtė, Miki Ambrózy, and Miglė Križinauskaitė-Bernotienė

What if one does not take a stand at the outset of creative acts, including the often repeated expectation for situating one’s practice within existing families of knowledge? Can we avoid the “death-knell of creative acts” by not situating our research in domains of the known? With these questions in mind, we invite early career doctoral researchers to join the symposium in Vilnius. 

What kind of artistic research practices allow us to capture, express or be present with the ongoingness of experimentation? How and where do image and sound, in the context of artistic research, enable the microscopic gesture to manifest and sustain its existence? We are looking for examples and models of artistic research that are performed in combination with sound, moving image, and alternative cultures of making cinema

We are interested in expanded approaches to the relationships between idea, technique, medium and method. What lies beyond (or beside) some of the binaries that dominate the discourse, such as optic and haptic visuality, embodied knowing and artificial intelligence, disciplinary versus institutional conventions, auto-ethnographic strategies and a post-human ontology? Where do the most generative acts of writing and making happen within this process?

3. Architecture, Art, Bureaucracy

Moderated by Povilas Marozas 

Tedious but compulsory, bureaucracy is usually perceived as the antithesis to any artistic practice. Always at work in the background, bureaucracy regulates processes, defines the outcomes and prescribes rules for conflict resolution. 

This part of the symposium offers a space to present, discuss, share and learn about critical artistic and research practices in the fields of architecture, fine art and design. We want to acknowledge and actively engage with bureaucracy as a significant part of creative processes, treat it as a space of intervention and/or challenge it through different critical artistic means. We welcome applications from PhD candidates as well as scholars and practitioners and invite them to submit proposals for different forms of knowledge sharing. 

4. Empathy and Ecology: (co)relation 

Moderated by Sophie Durand, Gailė Griciūtė

How might an artistic researcher construct experiences that are empathetic to the ecologies that support them?  

Concerning methodologies of art practice; participants are invited to examine how they work with, present within and acknowledge the various ecologies their work is connected to. Examining the idea of co-worlding; this cluster seeks to acknowledge how artworks might collaboratively emerge with(in) ecological systems. Dismantling hierarchies of authorship, participation and experience ; we ask you how a form (of art)  might emerge with empathy to the ecologies that support them?

We also ask: How can we break down the structures of community and work within the frameworks of the local? 

The aim of this is to focus discourse on community engagement; asking submissions for artists, artist researchers and community members who look to strategies of engagement and making that amplifies the voices of the many and listens to the needs of those in the community from the perspective of the community working from the framework of artistic research. 

This cluster is open to artist talks, workshops that invite participants into the logic of a practice, performances and experimental formats for sharing processes of making. (If empathy is possible and even if it isn’t this cluster sees empathy as a process and therefore performative, time-based and experiential forms are encouraged.)