6th NoVA Suggests by Anette Göthlund 30 January 2016

IMG_5146Me and my daughter Agnes took a selfie in the colorful exhibition from Olafur Eliasson at Moderna Museet in November 2015. Me to the left (-:

1. Monday afternoon in the Konstfack research week, Feb 1st

The research week presents ongoing research at Konstfack, this year with a focus on the doctoral students. Presentations and lectures will be mixed with workshops. On Monday I will present the research area Visual Culture and Learning together with doctoral student Annika Hellman. Annika went on from magisterstudies at IBIS (Dep. of Sloyd and Visual Arts Education at Konstfack) to doctoral studies at Gothenburg university, Department of Education, Communication and Learning. She also teaches at IBIS. We will also be part of the Q&A-panel for: Everything you wanted to know about research – but were afraid to ask, a session especially for the 1 year master students. Konstfack Research Week is from Feb 1st to 5th. NoVA teacher Ulla Lind is the moderator of the program on Monday and Friday.

2. Journal of aesthetics and culture vol. 7 2015 Issue Visual Frictions
In this themed issue of the Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, the authors explore issues on visuality and power, with a rich array of texts and visual materials, analyzing phenomena ranging from Instagram photographs of the empty pink chairs that adorn LA’s Grand Park, to different productions of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, to the filmed experience of a young man who describes himself not as visually impaired, but as “seeing differently,” to mash-ups of Astrid Lindgren’s stories and characters, to educational settings where different modes of learning and knowledge come into conflict.

3. Cinemafrica Filmfestival, Stockholm, February 25 -28 

CinemAfrica is a non-profit organisation that works towards spreading high-quality African and diaspora cinema in Sweden. They act as a forum for African film in Sweden and work towards increasing the amount of African film shown in cinemas, during festivals and on television, and to broaden DVD distribution networks. CinemAfrica is now the largest festival for African cinema in the Nordic countries. If you cannot come to Stockholm, visit their web page and check out the films that will be shown – then you can look out for the titles locally!

Anette Göthlund is professor at the Department of Sloyd and Visual Arts Education at Konstfack, Stockholm. She is teaching and tutoring within the NoVA mastersprogramme as well as the department’s masterstudents in the programme Visual Culture and Learning with orientation art education. When doing research she prefers to work with visual ethnography, investigating different sites for learning and cultural production.

NoVA Suggests is a regularly published edition of interesting events, publications and sites by someone from NoVA. View other suggestions at  http://nova-master.fi/category/nova-suggests/

Aalto ARTS Lunch Debates 29 January 2016

Debates about New Materiality, Posthumanism, Digital space, Ubiquitous computing, History and Societal impact, and their meaning and relevance in the present and future Aalto University

Convenor: Prof. Paula Hohti (Department of Art)

Location: Arabia Campus, Department of Art, Room 5022


Debate 1: 26.1. 2016 at 12:00, room 5022:
Ubiquitous computing and new configurations of digital space
Lily Diaz (ARTS, Department of media)
Guest speaker

Debate 2: 24.2. 2016 at 12:00, room 5022:
Societal impact across ARTS
Kevin Tavin (ARTS, Department of art)
Sampsa Hyysalo (ARTS, Department of design)

Debate 3: 23.3. 2016 at 12:00, room 5022
New materiality
Kirsi Niinimäki (ARTS, Department of design)
Pirjo Kääriäinen (ARTS, Department of design)

Debate 4: 20.4. 2016 at 12:00, room 5022:
Ossi Naukkarinen (ARTS, Department of art)
Matti Häyry (BIZ, Department of Management Studies)

Debate 5: 11.5. 2016 at 12:00, room 5022:
History: The role and meaning at Aalto
Pekka Korvenmaa (ARTS, Department of Design)
Mats Fridlund (ENG, Department of Engineering design and production)


Konstfack Research Week 29 January 2016

1 februari 2016 kl 09:00 – 5 februari 2016 kl 15:00
Svarta havet, Konstfack, LM Ericssons väg 14, Stockholm

Konstfack Research Week is an annual event highlighting and discussing research practices at Konstfack and research perspectives related to Art, Craft, Design, Interior Architecture, Visual Communication and Visual Studies and Art Education, in Sweden and internationally.

The programme includes presentations of on-going research at Konstfack, such as projects within the new doctoral programme, other PhD and externally funded research projects, as well as related perspectives from invited Swedish and international guests. It combines presentations, lectures discussions and workshops and targets Master and PhD students, researchers and faculty members at Konstfack, as well as a wider public interested in these issues.

Contributors include Maria Hellström Reimer, Mara Lee, Irina Sandomirskaja, Esther Peeren, Cameline Bolbroe, Catharina Gabrielsson, Magnus Bärtås, Maria Lantz, Petra Bauer, Magnus Mörck, Ulrika Karlsson, Nina Hällgren, Katji Lindberg, Bo Westerlund, Frida Hållander, Cheryl Akner-Koler, Maja Gunn, Elisabeth Hjort, Palle Thorsson, Adam Bergholm, Behzad Khosravi Noori, Maja Frögård, Luis Berríos-Negrón, Anette Göthlund, Christina Zetterlund, Håkan Nilsson, Johanna Rosenqvist and Ulla Lind.

Konstfack Research Week is open to public Monday – Wednesday. Advance registration is not needed. Welcome!

Here is a detailed programme for Konstfack Research week 2016.

Konstfack Research week is organized through Konstfack Board of Education and Research (KU) and coordinated by Magnus Ericson.

SLEET, SALT, SAND: An experimental exploration of home 12 January 2016

Text: Grace Hewitt

I am a native of Australia but I have lived in Finland since January 2011. Currently I am engaged with the thesis phase of the NoVA Master’s programme.

The Master’s thesis, which I am currently working on, is an arts-based and autoethnographical investigation into the on-going experience of homing myself within a foreign country and culture. I aim to gain a deeper understanding of what constitutes home when an individual is experiencing diaspora or in-betweeness? As well as the ways in which I construct a sense of home and belonging, within both my native and adoptive cultures and countries.

My methodology employs the practice of embodied writing and embroidery as a way to gain access to new and deeper insight and knowledge. Due to the fact that December 2015 marks the first time I have travelled to Australia in over two years. I decided to experiment with embodied writing and journalling as a way to mentally process the long journey and turbulent feelings that come with crossing the world and its timezones.

This paper is an experimental exploration of literal and figurative liminal space.


The passport control officer stares at my passport and then at me, back at my passport and then at me, back at my passport and then back at me. I begin to grow nervous as he holds my eye contact. I feel myself begin to smirk.

“You look somewhat different,” the officer says.

“Well, that passport is almost seven years old,” I explain.

“Do you live here?” he asks me, looking a little suspicious and confused.

I switch to Finnish and answer somewhat haltingly, “Joo. Mä oon asunut Helsingissä viisi vuotta. Tarvisetko nähdä mun oleskelulupa? (Yeah. I have lived in Helsinki for five years. Do you need to see my residence permit?)”

“Please!” he replies rather enthusiastically.

I produce my permit and he begins studying it instead of my passport, interspersed with small talk in Finnish.

Niin, Australiasta Suomeen? (So, from Australia to Finland?)”

Joo (Yeah),” I answer, stumbling for something more to say without switching to English.

Nyt on aika pimeää  (It’s a little dark now)” he laments.

“But not at home!” I gush. And there it is, that word again… home. It rolls off my tongue seemingly so easily that no one would ever guess at the tension in which the word is steeped.

Home is a concept which has monopolised my thoughts. In the six years, since leaving Australia, I have experienced an odd tension when trying to conceptualise and understand home.  A tension which raises, but then refuses to answer, a plethora of questions such as: Is home a physical place or a mental creation, a state-of-mind, so to speak? Does home exist only in my memory or is it purely constructed from my memories? And, is it possible to have two homes

My wandering mind  is brought back to reality, as the passport control officer continues with his, mostly one-sided, conversation.

Vietätkö Joulun Australiassa? (Will you spend Christmas in Australia?)”

Joo (Yeah),” one more monosyllabic answer.

He finally hands me both my passport and residence permit, “Hyvää matkaa! (Have a good trip!)”

Kiitos (Thanks)” I mumble as I slink off through the border gates.


It seems to me as if transit is a very fitting word to describe the half space I now occupy. Not quite here and not yet there. Where am I? Obviously I am physically in Bangkok, Thailand, but mentally? Emotionally? In terms of time zones and body clocks, where am I?

I am in a liminal space.

Andrea Eimke in her Master’s thesis Liminal Space: An investigation of material and immaterial boundaries and their space in between (2010), states that a liminal position is not characterized by the dichotomy of either/or, but rather neither/nor and also both/and (p. 11). Liminal space is nowhere space, it exists on the threshold between two possibilities. In this way, long-haul travel constitutes a liminal space, as one traverses the threshold between one physical place and another.

I have been thinking about this long journey back to my native country as a physical manifestation of the homing process that takes place within me everyday. An embodied and rather sensory, living through of the space between Finland and Australia. An experience fraught with jet lag, sweat, cramps, hunger and bone-breaking weariness but also excitement, anticipation and longing.

19.12.2015, 06:30, 150 BRUCE STREET, AUSTRALIA:

Dad texts me at 06:30,

up 4 a swim?

I am actually already awake (cheers jet lag!) and just getting out of the shower. I call him back,

“Hi Dad…Yeah I’ll come, but can we get breakfast after cause I haven’t eaten yet?… Okay, see you soon.”

I go and wake up my little sister and let her know that dad and I are going swimming. She is all sleepy eyed and messy haired.

“Alright, I’ll come too,” she says, “but I have to be at work around 08:30.”

The weather is crystal clear and hot! The temperature is already well over twenty degrees celsius and the smell of bush fire lingers in the air.

“Now this is Australian summer!” I think to myself.

At 07:30 the beach is already relatively busy and the tide is going out. The water is intensely salty and aqua coloured. Considering the temperature of the air, the water is a brisk sixteen degrees celsius and it takes the breath out of me as I dive under the first wave. But, the peace, affinity and utter contentment I feel in the water is akin to a drug induced high.

Water is my element. I have been swimming and riding waves basically, since I was six years old. I do not know what it is to be afraid of the ocean and anyway, I know this ocean. I know it so well and even though I ignore it, even though I choose to live so far away from it, it still knows me. We know each other, and swimming in it now feels like the embrace of an old friend – comfortable and familiar. It feels like home.

Lucille Korwin-Kossakowski in her article Displacement: The mandala guides me home towards different ways of knowing (2013) states that, she believes, the concept of home plays a key role in the development of people’s sense of themselves and their sense of belonging to a place. However, not only in the structure of their private dwellings but also in a deep-seated familiarity with the environment and sensual surroundings. She expands on this further by saying, “In relocating from one place to another it is usually the intangible elements that we miss the most. It is precisely the space and the relationship we had with it that is lost. Our sense of self that developed from interacting with the environment, our intimate and sometimes unconscious understandings of the light, smells, tastes, sounds and the perception of our familiar space that leaves one feeling bare and alone in a foreign environment” (p. 6).

Korwin-Kossakowski’s understanding and experience of home certainly echoes parts of my own experience and journey. When I first left Australia, I did not expect to miss the beach or the summer thunderstorms or the blazing azure of the Southern Hemisphere sky. I did not believe that scenery or nature or sensual experience was something that human beings developed a relationship with, something we carry with us, something that shapes who we are and our sense of belonging. I have come to realise though, since being away, that a part of how I home myself is via my proximity to salt water and beaches. I do not feel comfortable if I do not live in a city with a coastline, because I grew up living by the beach, and deep water and the ocean inspire a sense of total calm within me. Therefore, the euphoria and sense of belonging I felt swimming in the pacific ocean again, came as no surprise.

My understanding of home and how to home myself between two foreign and familiar cultures, is an indefinite and ongoing process. Embodied writing and journalling, throughout my recent travel experience, has helped me to become more comfortable with liminality, and maybe this is where I am actually most at home, in the in-between.

  • Eimke, A., (2010). Liminal space: An investigation of material and immaterial boundaries and their space in-between. (Master’s Thesis). Auckland University of Technology


Grace Hewitt is originally from Australia but has lived in Finland since 2011.

She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Diploma of Secondary Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia, in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Between then and 2014 she worked as a teacher of all ages in Australia, England and Finland.

Now she is a student in the Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education (NoVA) Master’s programme at Aalto school of Art, Design and Architecture.

Her interests currently lie with: the concepts of home and in-betweeness, arts-based research, experimental writing, autoethnography as methodology, as well as fibre and textile based techniques such as embroidery and needle felting.




5th NoVA suggest by Mira Kallio-Tavin 4 January 2016

12248038_10206256185976841_7027103568776768522_oWhile taking part in the Brushes with History conference, at Teacher’s College in NYC in November 2016, I had time to visit exhibitions and the roof terrace in the New Museum.

1. Ote / Points of View exhibition in EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Areena

This exhibition shows one work from the Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection and invites the public to meet with an artwork in alternative ways. Dancing and dining with a painting, for example, stretches the idea of a museum as an institution. The exhibition is open 19.12.2015–31.1.2016.

2. InFormation special issue on art didactics and marginal voices

InFormation is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal aimed at disseminating knowledge and experience from research and development projects based on artistic practice and reflection, art education, art theory, cultural theory and related areas. This issues includes my latest publication: Representation of art as an ethical and political act, where I discuss the representation of people with disabilities through Levinasian philosophy and disability studies in art education. The issue is edited by Rikke Gürgens Gjærum, Venke Aure, and Stine Nielsen Ellinggard.

3.New book on Visual methods in childhood and youth studies

For those who read Finnish, there is a new book on visual methods in childhood and youth studies: Visuaaliset menetelmät lapsuuden ja nuorisotutkimuksessa. This book offers interesting new sites to explore visuality among children and young people. While youth communication is more visual now than ever, there is a need for research to bring images as a source of knowledge. The book is edited by Marleena Mustola, Johanna Mykkänen, Marja Leena Böök, and Antti-Ville Kärjä. My chapter in this book is on learning in digital gaming and game design: Oppiminen digitaalisessa pelaamisessa ja pelisuunnittelussa.

Mira Kallio-Tavin works as a senior university lecturer of international art education at Aalto University. Her research area focuses on questions of diversity, social justice, embodiment and disability studies, and on the relationship of education and gaming.  She is the chair of the Finnish InSEA (International Society for Education through Art), and chair of the international Master’s degree program Nordic Visual studies and Art education, NoVA.

NoVA Suggests is a regularly published edition of interesting events, publications and sites by someone from NoVA. View other suggestions at  http://nova-master.fi/category/nova-suggests/