Nida Doctoral School “CO-ACTION” on 22nd – 28th August

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Vilnius Academy of Arts (VAA) and Aalto University School of Arts hosted the second Nida Doctoral School session, which took place at Nida Art Colony on 22nd-28th August, 2016. The one-week courses featured nine lecturers, academics and selected doctoral students who reflected on the value of artist placements in non-arts organisations such as business, political and science bodies.


Nida Doctoral Summer School is a course designed for doctoral students in the field of art, design and architecture or in related fields (e.g. humanities, social sciences). In Nida we explore unorthodox approaches to research. We test—through making, performing, writing, discussing—the possibilities for generating knowledge outside of the conventional models of academic research. Nida Doctoral Summer School is organized by the Vilnius Academy of Arts and Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Nida Doctoral Summer School is a free doctoral course for the participants. All accepted students are currently fully funded including travel grant and accommodation. In this course, doctoral students will be able to position their own research and practice within a broader field of research approaches. This course aims to open up the horizons for experimental development through intersecting with a diversity of fields. The goal of this summer course is to provide time, space and a conceptual framework for participants to gain insight into the expanded role of the artist as researcher, entrepreneur and social agent.

“CO-ACTION” on 22–28 August, 2016

The idea of the “CO-ACTION” 2016 summer course was to examine the value of artists’ placements in non-arts organisations, such as business, political and science bodies. This idea rests on the assumption that representatives of creative professions (such as artists, curators, architects, designers) are no longer romantic lonely creators. In order to design a viable way to organise such placements where artists would work in non-arts fields, this course aims to discuss and research various contemporary art practices that have been engaged in similar activity. “CO-ACTION” was mainly inspired by the British artists’ collective Artist Placement Group (APG), founded by Barbara Steveni and John Latham. APG claimed that the role of the artists in 1970’s society was limited to aesthetic problems, and APG’s purpose was to expand this role.

We wanted to ask: what might follow if we as artists and researchers take up the role of the ‘social visionary’, as suggested by Olinde Rodrigues in 1825¹. Such roles are often used in financial and management consultancy services to perform creatively and successfully, so might it also be a way for the arts to adapt themselves to the current system of production? What are the dangers and motives of resistance within such systems? What are the methods used by social visionaries and how do they overlap with the modes of production in creative industries?

Selected doctoral students
Bastian Beyer (Royal College of Art, London, ArcInTex ETN), Marina Castan Cabrero (Royal College of Art, London, ArcInTex ETN), Carla Castiajo (Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn), Dovile Dagiene (Vilnius Academy of Arts), Adomas Danusevičius (Vilnius Academy of Arts), Heta Kaisto (Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture), Eleni Kamma (Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague), Jyoti Kapur (University of Borås), Agnieszka Karasch (Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture), Kati Kärki (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art), Svenja Keune (University of Borås, ArcInTex ETN), Sara Lundberg (Vilnius Academy of Arts, ArcInTex ETN), Monika Mačiulienė (Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius), Juste Peciulyte (Vilnius Academy of Arts, ArcInTex ETN), Jukka Purma (Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture), Mindaugas Reklaitis (Vilnius Academy of Arts), Daniel Suarez (Berlin University of the Arts, ArcInTex ETN), Julia Valle Noronha (Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture).

Lecturers, academics

Ulrike Jordan (a curator, art historian and writer in Berlin), Dr. Skaidra Trilupaitytė, (Culture, Philosophy and Art Research Institute in Vilnius), Dr. Laima Kreivytė (an art critic and curator based in Vilnius), Dr. Nina Möntmann, (Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden), Dr. Sofia Pantouvaki (Aalto University), Dr. Teemu Leinonen (Aalto University), Ariane Koek (Arts@CERN), Barbara Steveni (UK), Robertas Narkus (LT).

¹Olinde Rodrigues, “L’Artiste, la savante et L’industriel:Dialogue”, 1825, quoted in Matei Calinescu, Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism. (Durham: Duke University Press, 1987).


Full programme and description is available here

Full programme to download (PDF)


The programme is organised by the Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania, and Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture.


ArcInTex network
ArcInTex European Training Network (ETN) is a network for early stage researchers to explore the expressions of sustainable forms of future living in the intersection of Architecture, Fashion Design and Interaction Design. With EU funding through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action European Training Network, the Vilnius Academy of Arts is now one of a consortium of academic institutions and companies able to offer funded studentships to early stage researchers. Together, the researchers will belong to a new generation of designers, who build their work practice on new ideas of material and design thinking with an emphasis on sensitive design for reflective living.