RUUKKU CALL: Everyday utopias and artistic research 

In public discussion, a growing concern about the dissipation of political imagination and inability to envisage alternative futures has been articulated over the recent decades. Elements for imagining alternative social formations and futures seem restricted at this current conjuncture. The question of alternatives is, however, currently particularly acute as the climate emergency, growing social inequalities, pandemics, transformation of work and crisis of democracy push us to search for the prerequisites for ecologically and socially sustainable societies. On the one hand, the contemporary crises give rise to growing anxiety, dystopias and polarization of views, but on the other hand, they also animate the process of imagining alternative worlds and making and living utopias here and now.

Art is one of the pivotal arenas in which alternatives are imagined and performed. Art has a complex and multifaceted relationship to what is going on in society: it reflects and comments on, organizes and articulates, manifests and makes things happen. In this special issue, we are particularly interested in the many different forms and methods through which artistic practices and everyday utopias gesture towards the future. 

We invite artist researchers from different disciplines to submit expositions for the special issue "Everyday utopias and artistic research". The expositions can address, for example, the following questions: 

What kinds of perspectives can artistic research offer for revitalizing the political imagination and utopian thinking? 

What kinds of realities are currently being imagined and put into practice in art?

What kinds of methods and tools can artistic research offer for social thought and action?

How do different spaces, technologies and embodiments shape the practices of imagination?

What kinds of relationships does art have to sustainable societies?  

How do everyday utopias manifest themselves in art?

What could utopia mean in pedagogy? What kinds of alternative, arts-based pedagogical methods are practised at the moment?

How is art and artistic research related to hope?


The issue is edited by Pilvi Porkola and Suvi Salmenniemi and is part of the research project "Political Imagination and Alternative Futures" (University of Turku) funded by the Academy of Finland. 

We ask you to create your proposals for research expositions in the Research Catalogue (RC) at Note! The creation of an exposition requires registration and a complete RC user account (see ‘register'). Please submit your proposals (complete expositions) via RC ('submit to publication', 'submit unlimited publication to', and 'ruukku') no later than 1st March 2021. If you wish for additional information, please contact Pilvi Porkola at

Draft submissions can be discussed with the editors before 15th February. In this case, the exposition should be shared with the editors using the RC link share function. Use the ‘share' menu, keep the exposition private but select the last option (‘When enabled…'), confirm the selection and send the link via e-mail to the address above. If you need assistance, please contact Tero Heikkinen at

Detailed instructions for submitting and draft submissions can be found at

RUUKKU is a multidisciplinary, multilingual, peer-reviewed rich media journal on artistic research launched in 2013. RUUKKU 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.