The Second International Congress for Artist Run Spaces

The International Congress For Artist-Run Spaces returns for a second edition at this years Lofoten International Art Festival, in Svolvær. Over the course of a week we will be discussing, problem solving and making with art initiatives Kurant (Tromsø, NO), Bingo (Oulu FI), Raketa (SE) and Hverdag Books (Oslo, NO).
We welcome you to participate in a public discussion, on Wednesday 25. 6pm at the NNKS Artists House, Svolvær, around the reasons, challenges and joys associated with running an artist- run space. Please join us, contributing questions, thoughts and creative solutions. Refreshments and food will be served.
Further information:
The First International Congress for Artist-Run Spaces took place in 2017 as part of LIAF's events programme, and invited spaces included Kurant, EKKM, Estonia, Ekkisens, Iceland, Bingo kulttuuribingo, Finland, Elektroteatr, Russia.
The second edition looks to continue in a similar manner. It is being supported by Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter and LIAF 2019. The group will stay from 22. - 27. in the Artists house sharing space, food and thoughts.

The main intentions of this second edition are:

  • sharing knowledge regarding artist-run spaces, different structures, funding, salaries etc
  • sharing different methodologies for retaining the 'artist' in the artist run space
  •  sharing thoughts on creative responses to difficult circumstances
  • building solidarity and a network of Artist Run Inititatives
  • trying to cement or concretise some of this knowledge into a stable form (artistic, digital or otherwise)


Participating spaces and artists:

Kurant Visningsrom

Kurant visningsrom is an artist-run space based in Tromsø, which has been running since 2009. Since November 2018, we have been without permanent premises and are currently running a nomadic programme in and around the Tromsø area. Kurant's objectives are to assist in the development and strengthening of Tromsø's growing art scene and environment. The programme is shaped by the artists who organise and run the space, focusing particularly on contemporary emerging and early career artists. We are currently run by Robert Julian B. Hvistendahl, Humle Rosenkvist and Ruth Aitken, with additional help from André Enger Aas, and receive funding from the Norwegian Arts Council and Tromsø Kommune.

Robert Julian B. Hvistendahl materialises social structures, amplifying moments of tension, disintegration and transformation through process-based sculptures and installation. He graduated from the MA programme at Tromsø Academy for Contemporary Art, 2017, and has been a drift member for Kurant since spring, 2017.

Humle Rosenkvist is a homesick, installation artist, who uses ceramics and other media to explore socialism and collectivism - both Swedish and globally. She joined Kurant in winter 2017, and graduated from the BA at Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art in 2018.

Ruth Alexander Aitken is a mixed media artist who works with ethics, climate and economics through subtle acts of resistance and non-action. She graduated with a Ba(Hons) in Time Based Art from Dundee University, 2012, and from the MA programme at Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art in summer 2018. She has since worked for Kurant. She also runs project 'Failure, Understanding, Care (&Kunst): The Arctic Agency for Environmental Research Methodologies and Artistic Practice'  out of an old caravan with partner James S. Lee.


R A K E T A operates interdisciplinary collaborative projects and experiments in projects in the area between art, architecture, digital media, philosophy & social/political reflection in the widest sense. R A K E T A has existed since 2000 as an ongoing experiment - a laboratory in process - works interdisciplinary, in theory and practice. R A K E T A is particularly interested in the alternative world map that is drawn between the digital and the urban, the mental and the wild terrain: the alternate geographies that lie as a raster over the world, searching in between, below, above.

R A K E T A has within the group considerable expertise in architecture, art, design, education, research and music. Over the years the Institute has been running large and complex projects and conducted some 100 exhibitions, seminars, talks, actions, rallies, public works and workshops nationally and internationally. R A K E T A expanded in 2005 with RAKETA _ PRESS, an independent publisher producing books, magazines, fanzines and other printed matters in various shapes and formats.

Cecilia Enberg, Åsa Lipka Falck, Viktor Fedoseev


Bingo is an artist run space in Oulu, Finland. It has private working space for around ten people, a more open general space, a gallery, and a small performing area. The space is run by the twenty or so members of the organisation Kulttuuribingo who rent the space. Anyone can suggest an event, exhibition or workshop at the weekly meeting held at Bingo. There were around eleven exhibitions and twenty events a year at the previous space which Kulttuuribingo had to leave in 2017 since it was being demolished to make room for new construction. In late 2018 they found a new space and started working on getting the exhibitions and other activities running as before. Kulttuuribingo also runs a gallery called Ränni in the pedestrian subway at the Oulu railway station together with Oulu Museum of Art.

Heikki Palomaa is a self taught musician and performance artist. His main instruments are his voice and the guitar. He has played in many bands and has written around 150 songs and sings and plays on several albums and EPs. He has also done performance art together with Ossi Koskelainen and Jaakko Junnila. Palomaa also has a keen interest in the visual arts and has directed and edited music videos, designed album covers and has had a couple of photography exhibitions. He is currently the chairperson for the art organisation Kulttuuribingo.

Inka Koutaniemi is a student of cultural management at Humak University of Applied Sciences. She is on various cultural organisations boards: Rotos (organisation which works on live music in Oulu), Oulu Film Centre and Oulu Urban Culture (urban culture organisation). She is also producing events at the space run by the art organization Kulttuuribingo. She is the producer of the short film competition in IIK!! -horror film festival. Kouitaniemi is closely following the culture scene in Finland and spends her free time at gigs, festivals and other cultural happenings.

Senni Kela is a curator, producer, and language professional from Kajaani, Finland with in-depth knowledge in contemporary art and artistic practices, organizing exhibitions and events, and running artist-in-residence programmes. She is the chief curator of Kajaani art museum and works as producer in several performing arts productions, e.g. at Mustarinda, Hyrynsalmi, Finland.

Jessica Williams /Hverdag Books

Established in 2016 in Oslo, Hverdag Books is small publisher and Risograph printshop founded by Jessica Williams (US/NO). Hverdag makes publications for and about the everyday. Affordability, attainability, environmental awareness, and the telling of untold stories are equally important factors when it comes to publishing. Starting in 2020, we will having a rolling open call and strive to work with unknown artists alongside more established ones in Scandinavia and beyond.

Jessica Williams (b. 1986, US/NO) is an Oslo-based artist who works freely within the realms of publishing, photography, text, and new media. She holds a BFA from the Cooper Union in New York City (2008) and a MFA from the National Academy of Art, Oslo (2014). Her working methods are like those of a hunter/gatherer, which is a nice way of saying she often works with trash. Everything from institutional language, mass-produced consumer goods, internet scraps, and physical debris finds its way into her work. She is also an avid collaborator, often involving others in her works.

Her work has been exhibited widely over the past decade, notably at Studio 17, Stavanger (solo), Good Press, Glasgow (solo); KRETS, Malmö (solo); High Tide, Philadelphia (two-person); The New Museum, New York City; Art in General, New York City; Capricious Space, Brooklyn; Open Space, Baltimore, among others. She has also had solo exhibitions in Oslo, Bergen, Barcelona, and Austin, Texas.