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Open webinar: Action Stories - How can artistic research create actions?

Open webinar: Action Stories - How can artistic research create actions?

How can artistic research create actions? The KHiO artistic research community is pleased to invite geologist and social innovator Sarah Prosser; artist, designer and founder of Future Farmers, Amy Franceschini; and designer and founder of GroLab Oslo, Mads Pålsrud, to come together for presentation and discussion of their work and their collaboration in the interdisciplinary community-focused project Action Stories.

Action Stories is a continuation of the urban activist platform Action City, a project initiated in 2019 by Growlab Oslo and partners that sought to create physical meeting places for sharing tools and knowledge on how citizens can actively shape their neighborhoods. This latest iteration of the project has been developed as a means of allowing us to continue to cultivate a network among activist circles and experiment and reflect on the themes that we and our partners are working with. In this way, Action Stories is part of a wider process that researcher Tara Yosso refers to as “building community cultural wealth” i.e. strengthening communities by honing storytelling and communication skills; sharing counter-stories that challenge the dominant narratives; creating new art forms; and developing practices of mutual support.  

Action Stories launched in March 2021 with a series of six newly-commissioned texts and artworks by Liisa-Rávná Finbog, Anders Sunna, Jordan Seiler, Bill Posters, Sarah Prosser and Amy Franceschini covering three distinct but interrelated topics: Indigeneity and the Green Return; Urban Commons; and Radical Economies.

Sarah Dallas Prosser

Sarah Prosser is originally a geologist and had her own research group working on 'rift-related sequence stratigraphy' before moving from the UK to Norway in the late 1990s. 

In 2015 Sarah started in a position working with grassroots social innovation and social entrepreneurship in the Tøyen area of Oslo. Here she founded neighborhood incubator Tøyen Unlimited, as well taking the initiative to implement participatory budgeting for the first time in Norway, and trial projects around different forms of alternative community currencies. 

Sarah subsequently moved to Oslo Municipality's department for urban development and was key in the team responsible for researching and developing a report describing how a more inclusive housing sector in Norway could be achieved. 

As country manager for Ashoka, Sarah represented the world's largest global network for social entrepreneurship and changemaking in Norway. She also lectures in social innovation for social workers at VID in Oslo.

Sarah was a co-founder of Oslo's Human Rights Human Wrongs documentary film festival, worked at UNEP's centre GRID-Arendal with matters concerning the UN Law of the Seas and led British Council Norway, the UK's international cultural organisation for the arts, education and inclusion. She is originally from Edinburgh in Scotland. 

Amy Franceschini

Amy Franceschini is an artist and designer whose work facilitates encounter, exchange and tactile forms of inquiry by calling into question the "certainties" of a given time or place where a work is situated. An overarching theme in her work is a perceived conflict between "humans" and "nature". Her projects reveal the history and currents of contradictions related to this divide by challenging systems of exchange and the tools we use to "hunt" and "gather". Using this as a starting point, she creates relational objects that invoke action and inquiry; not only to imagine, but also to participate in and initiate change in the places we live.

In 1995, Amy founded Futurefarmers, an international group of artists, anthropologists, farmers and architects who work together to propose alternatives to the social, political and environmental organization of space. Their design studio serves as a platform to support art projects, an artist in residence program and their research interests. Futurefarmers use various media to deconstruct systems to visualize and understand their intrinsic logics; food systems, public transportation, education. Through this disassembly they find new narratives and reconfigurations that form alternatives to the principles that once dominated these systems. They have created temporary schools, books, bus tours, and large-scale exhibitions internationally. 

Amy received her BFA from San Francisco State University in Photography and her MFA from Stanford University. She has taught in the visual arts graduate programs at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Stanford University and is currently faculty in the Eco-Social masters program at the Free University in Bolzano, Italy. Amy is a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, a 2019 Rome Prize Fellow and has received grants from the Cultural Innovation Fund, Creative Work Fund and the Graham Foundation.

Mads Pålsrud

Mads Pålsrud is a designer working towards regenerative futures. Over the years he has been involved in various socio-ecological projects related to themes like placemaking, food culture and alternative economies, always with a participatory and societal aspect to them. 

Mads holds an MA in Design from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. During his studies he founded Growlab Oslo and in 2015 he partnered up with Tabea Glahs. Core in Growlab's projects is transdisciplinary practice, and over the years their collaboratories has included artists, social scientists, farmers, architects, social entrepreneurs and more. 

He is also co-founder of the regenerative farm Haugneset, and co-founder of Action Stories.

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