The call was open between 31 August and 23 November 2020.
Contagion concerns the transmission of something by direct contact; the transmission is in the touching. But touch itself can refer to a physical as well as an intellectual or emotional connection. And when we speak of being ‘touched’ by art, we are suggesting a process that may begin with a specific contact event but which leads on to something that has a lasting influence. The artwork ‘invades’ our own consciousness and may also be passed on to others with whom we share our experience. There are both parallels and differences between the transmission of biological infection and the ways that artistic works and processes are shared, disseminated and spread – just as there are in terms of the distribution of knowledge, rumours and myths.
Contagion is therefore a potent and multi-faceted concept that can function literally or metaphorically. In the artistic sphere, it may manifest itself as inspiration, imitation, iteration, replication, mimetics, references, whispering games and in many more ways.
Throughout the spring and summer of 2020, the global world has been living through a frightening and new experience, new because of the scope and rapidity of spread of this previously unknown virus. This has been a time of quickly moving contagion in which an unpredictable and elusive sickness has taken a terrifyingly heavy toll of human life and, in the process, has paralyzed societies and economies, fueled conflicts and forced the creation of new conditions for human life, brutally curtailing movements, interactions and socializing.
As part of these upheavals, the conditions for art have been radically changed, both on a structural and a content-based level. Those artists who previously depended upon human contact in form of audiences, spectators and listeners have had to re-invent themselves in the digital sphere. They have striven to find new ways to ‘touch’ us at a distance and through our virtual interconnections. ‘Virus’ and ‘viral’ are already established metaphorical concepts in our everyday language of the internet and its use, but contagion/contamination is a notion that has its own and more dynamic meaning.
In which ways is art moving – can it function as a benign, instead of a malign, infection? For that matter, might it have value as some kind of metaphorical ‘vaccine’ against the more damaging social consequences of the pandemic? How do we as artists infect others and get infected ourselves? How is art and its associated ideas, aesthetics and forms transmitted – between artistic fields and between the arts as a whole and the public? Can art have any impact on the growing fear and protectionism between nations and regions? In research we emphasize the importance of references and documentation; are there ways of mapping the patterns and algorithms of artistic contagion?
VIS welcomes proposals which address contagion from any of these perspectives and more. It will take considerable time for the impact of the 2020 pandemic to be fully understood and assimilated but it is already clear that it is a world-event that we, as artists, cannot ignore. Our hope is that the sixth issue of VIS may offer some kind of ‘first draft’ of ways in which art is being re-shaped by the presence in our midst of an infection that has transformed our attitudes to space, to human interaction and to mortality itself.
Find all details about submitting here: VIS submission and editorial process (external link).
To apply for the open call: create, design and submit an exposition (in draft) using the Research Catalogue (RC). You need to register a full account in RC. On the RC, click ”create exposition” and use the help offered in RC-guides, tutorials and RC-support. Submit your exposition to the VIS Portal Page in RC (in the menu, choose “Submit for publication” and then choose the portal “VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research”, confirm by “Submit”).
You should consider your “exposition-draft” as only a proposal. You can leave notes within the draft that explain further developments and ideas. If your proposal is chosen by the Editorial Committee, you will be invited to further develop it into a complete exposition. The submitted full exposition will be peer-reviewed. You will have about 4-5 months for further development, editing and peer-reviewing before publication in VIS Journal.
The Editorial Committee selects seven contributions to each issue of VIS.
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The RC functions as a platform for the dissemination of self-published content as well as peer-reviewed publications. The RC hosts a number of journals and institutional publications that are peer-reviewed.
To be able to participate in VIS, you need to register an account in Research Catalogue (RC). Peer-Reviewers register a "basic account" to be able to participate in the review-process. Authors need to register a "full account" to be able to create expositions. RC is free of charge.
Learn how to create expositions with the RC-guides. Some institutions that are portal partners in RC gives lessons in how to use the publishing tool. Portal partners in RC can be found here. When you have a registered account in RC you are able to share your exposition with different contributors.
Register in RC
VIS holds an open call for every issue. 7 expositions will be selected by the Editorial Committee. As described above, all expositions are created in the database Research Catalogue.
If your submission is selected for consideration by the Editorial Committee, an external peer-reviewer will be chosen to evaluate it. The peer-review will take approx. 2 months; the review process will be partly dialogue-based so that it may be collaborative and developmental as well as evaluative. After peer-reviewing, you will have the opportunity to carry out further work on the exposition and you will get in copy-edited before submitting it for publication.
VIS is interested in exploring new ideas for the process of peer-review in artistic research. Models that combine rigorous scrutiny of work with a collaborative and developmental process are of particular interest to the Committee.
As a peer reviewer for VIS, you will be an expert in your own field and have a solid knowledge of what artistic research means. It is a great advantage if you are experienced with the exposition format in the database Research Catalogue or have peer-reviewed expositions and articles in experimental and unconventional formats.
Do you fit this profile and does the process of collaborative and developmental review appeal to you? If so, please send your expression of interest, accompanied by an up-to-date curriculum vitae, to: firstname.lastname@example.org