RUUKKU 9 callAesthetic Intra-Actions: Practising New Materialisms in the Arts

Since the 1990s, art and cultural theories have increasingly questioned models of research that prioritise notions of representation, discourse and text. Many approaches have embraced an alternative or parallel orientation towards re-appreciating the material, sensory, and aesthetic dimensions of the arts. One of the forces shaping this shift comprises theorisations referred to as new materialisms. Developers of new materialist thinking have formulated fresh concepts and ontological positions that foreground the activities and significance of various materialities: human, pre-individual as well as non-human. New materialist matters of concern thus range from human bodily processes to machines, other than human life forms, and at once naturally and socially shaped milieus.
In the context of these concerns, one influential concept has recently been intra-action introduced by philosopher of science Karen Barad. Instead of positing materiality as a self-contained sphere, this concept stresses the mutually constitutive relationships between materialities and discourses, nature and culture, and human knowledges and non-human processes. Because of the relational ontology it advocates, the concept of intra-action can reorganise research approaches beyond Barad's location in science studies, hence affecting also the practices and theories of the arts.
The aim of the Ruukku 9 is to examine the uses and potentialities of intra-action across different areas of the arts, artistic processes and research practices related to the arts. We also hope to contribute to the urgent task of translating new materialist ideas into actual methodological, technical and analytical practices – that is, into ways of doing art and research.
More specifically, this volume explores for example the following questions:
What kinds of intra-actions can be found in the practices and experiences of contemporary arts spanning from film, media, sound and music to performance, visual arts, architecture and curating?
What methodological insights, techniques of doing, and further concepts can intra-action inspire in artistic research and art studies?
How can aesthetics be reconsidered and studied with the concept of intra-action and with new materialist modes of thinking?
How to reconsider the situatedness of the artist and/or researcher in relation to the notion of intra-action?
We invite theme-related research expositions and contributions for the 9th issue of RUUKKU. The issue is edited by Marie-Luise Angerer, Katve-Kaisa Kontturi and Milla Tiainen, who co-chair the New Materialism embracing Creative Arts working group at the European new materialist network, and Tero Nauha, who's part of the RUUKKU editorial board.
We ask you to submit your proposals or drafts for research expositions and other contributions in the RC catalogue at . Note! The catalogue requires user rights and registration (see ‘register'). Please submit your proposals via the RC catalogue (‘publish', ‘submit', and ‘Ruukku') no later than 12 June 2017, and inform the co-editors about your proposal via email (, ja, We will let you know about the results by the end of June. For accepted proposals the deadline for completed submissions is 15 August, 2017.
RUUKKU is a multidisciplinary, multilingual, peer-reviewed journal on artistic research launched in 2013. This biannual journal is published and supported by the University of the Arts Helsinki, Aalto school of Arts, Design and Architecture and the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland, with a particular focus on multi-lingual publication. The primary languages of publication are Finnish, Swedish and English.