RUUKKU Call: Dreaming the city for real – spaces of polyphony, dissonance and coexistence

Deadline for Contributions: 30th September 2024
City is a space for many intersecting and conflicting interests, practices, and orders. It is not just a pre-established order, but an open and changing environment that channels its inhabitants' freedoms, needs, actions and desires. City is a terrain of events, comings and imagination, in which temporal and spatial layering is always present. City is time, space and power within which site-specific inequalities are created, as well as possibilities for emancipation and democracy are opened. Although urban space is shaped by conventional frameworks and norms, there is room for diversity, difference, controversy, strangeness, change and surprises. 
It is important to take into account the intersecting diversities in the city in order to enable a more polyphonic urban space. It is appropriate to identify linear and rigid, as well as flexible and porous, exhaust lines that define urban space, in order to open it up for singularities as well as for horizontal co-existences. Art and artistic research both in their own terms and in parallel with other fields of research open vibrant and concrete touching points and practices in the city, which we invite artists, researchers and writers to reflect on and dream about in this issue. 
This RUUKKU issue invites artist-researchers to consider the relationships between dominant and alternative orders of the city as well as the expectations, practices and utopias that have potential and real impact in the city space at different scales. Among other things, we propose participants to consider:

• What is the urban space made up of, and how is it possible to amplify polyphony in it? 

• How can citizens create urban space in relation to the prevailing order and regulation and, on the other hand, the more indefinable fringes and blind spots of urban space?

• How to re-think, analyze and implement the sensory and political debates and practices that affect the city, especially from a spatial perspective? 

• How would it be possible to allow new kinds of spaces and spatial practices to emerge and act differently from the prevailing regulations, norms and roles? 

• What kind of material, discursive, imaginary and as yet unrecognized places and regions does the city contain?

• Can encounters and clashes between different actors, for example, between human and non-human agents, open up new ways of reorganizing established positions and spaces, and if so, in what ways? 

• How can the city dwellers share the city as a tense and diverse space for co-existence and co-experiment? 

• How does the urban space affect the opportunities of its residents to participate and experience belonging to their own city?

• How to promote a fair city? 

• How to promote inclusiveness and/or emancipation in the city so that city dwellers, as well as passers-by, can empathize with their city, in the city?

• How can the city be re-coded?

In addition, we suggest but do not limit to the following questions to be addressed:

• What kind of perspectives can artistic research bring to urban space and its realization?

• What are the freedoms, responsibilities, and irresponsibilities of art in the city?

• What kind of permanent traces and consequences can long-term or ephemeral artistic events and spaces as well as artistic research leave in the city?

• What relationships between rules and norms, on the one hand, and unpredictability and anarchy, on the other, are realized in the city?


The issue is edited by Maiju Loukola with Henna-Riikka Halonen, Aino Hirvola, Jaakko Ruuska, Tanja Tiekso and Paul Tiensuu. The issue is part of the City as Space of Rules and Dreaming research project, which combines artistic research, urban research, philosophical aesthetics and legal theory.

We ask you to create your research exposition proposals in the Research Catalogue (RC) publishing platform at Note that the use of RC requires a full user account (see ‘register' and choose ‘full account'). In addition to the theme and its discussion, the exposition must include the planned structure in the RC platform. Please submit your proposals (complete expositions) via RC (‘submit for review' and choose the portal ‘RUUKKU') by September the 30th 2024. 

For additional information about the issue, please contact
If you need technical advice when creating your exposition, please contact Priska Falin at
Detailed instructions for submitting expositions and drafts at
Established in 2013, RUUKKU is a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal for artistic research. It is published in the Research Catalogue (RC), an international publication platform and database that enables multimedia elements. RUUKKU is published and supported by the University of the Arts Helsinki, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, and the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland. The primary languages of publication are Finnish, Swedish, and English.