9th SAR - International Conference on Artistic Research
University of Plymouth, April 11-13 2018


The provocation Artistic Research Will Eat Itself can be understood as a warning against the dangers of methodological introspection, or as a playful invitation to explore the possibilities of a field in a constant state of becoming. In this context, the ‘cannibalism’ of artistic research ‘eating itself’ embodies a dynamic tension between self-destruction and regeneration.

If artistic research eats itself, digests itself and then releases its own waste, does it stink and linger, fertilise new growth or invade new destinations on the bottom of someone’s shoe? If we are to constantly defend and define, are we in danger of having no art left, only the claims for its ability to embody knowledge? When we bite off our own heads do we grow new tails?

Critical perspectives on the discourse surrounding artistic research might be argued to already be too formulaic or self-defeating. Making a case for its own institutional legitimacy could unwittingly reinforce some of the very things artistic research aims to critique. Yet such onto-epistemological paradoxes can offer a rich territory for exploration along with generative practices that involve reflexivity, automorphogenesis, and recursive feedback loops. In recognising auto-cannibalism as an analogy for broader socio-political and environmental concerns, one of the challenges for artistic research is to respond imaginatively to the dynamic tensions between self-destruction and regeneration.

"A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism"


We encourage the exploration of auto-cannibalism in its widest interpretation and invite researchers, artists and scholars of all backgrounds and in all stages of their careers to think of this call for contributions as the first kiss and to propose artworks, cooking classes, films, panels, papers, performances, workshops and other interventions which explore one of the following themes:

- Digestion Breaking down Methodological Introspection
- Regurgitation Reflexivity and Repetition in Artistic Practice
- Regeneration Artistic Research as a Process of Becoming


To submit a proposal to the conference
- Read theinformation about modes of presentation
- Submit the online form

DEADLINE January 7, 2018


The ninth edition of the SAR International Conference on Artistic Research is organised by Geoff Cox, Azadeh Fatehrad, Allister Gall, Laura Hopes, Anya Lewin and Andrew Prior in partnership with Society for Artistic Research represented by Johan Haarberg, Gabriele Schmid and Geir Strøm. The conference is hosted by the Arts Institute at the University of Plymouth with additional support from Kingston University.

The conference fees will be announced shortly as we are waiting for some funding decisions.

Modes of Presentation


Living poster




Performance, exhibition or installation

We are also able to accommodate installations and exhibitions in gallery style spaces and some public spaces with little or no technical support. These may be set up for a single day or the duration of the conference and you may propose scheduled times for introduction or discussion. We will try to organize an invigilator when you are not available, but cannot guarantee this. It is also possible to propose pop up performances, exhibitions and installations in other spaces across campus (indoors and outdoors) and possibly during conference ‘social times’. Please e-mail us with your ideas informally prior to submitting your proposal so we can work through possibilities with you.

Please note that we are unable to pay any fees or meet any personal expenditure related to travel and accommodation or those related to the presentation of creative practice at the conference. Discounts will be available for students. All presenters are required to pay a conference fee; (with the exception of performers/technicians who are not named on the proposal and do not attend any other conferences sessions).

Please fill out the online form at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=9saricar to submit a proposal for the conference.




APRIL 8 - 11, 2018

A research/PhD workshop will run in advance of the conference*, the results of which will be included within the conference programme. The workshop, to be held at KARST, a gallery and studio space in Plymouth, aims to provide a forum for emerging artistic researchers to enter into speculation, critique, exchange, making and dialogue about their research topic or practice.

PhD researchers and independent artists and curators are invited to bring a semi-developed project to discuss, work on and resolve into exhibitable form within the conference itself. We can provide workshop tools, technical assistance and some audio-visual equipment. The format of the workshop will include a series of talks, group critiques and discussions and time to continue project development. The workshop is free and lunch will be provided but we cannot cover travel, accommodation or other costs and these are expected to be met by participants or their institutions.

Workshop applicants should send

  • a short biography (no more than 150 words)
  • a one-page CV
  • a 350-word proposal describing the project you intend to develop at the workshop and how you imagine using the opportunity

DEADLINE January 15, 2018

Proposals should respond to the Artistic Research Will Eat Itself theme, include technical needs and be e- mailed to artsresearch@plymouth.ac.uk (please use the subject header “ARWEI Workshop Application”)


For further enquiries about the workshop please contact: andrew.prior@plymouth.ac.uk (please use the subject header “ARWEI Workshop”)


*Participants of the workshop are expected to register for and attend the conference.

The workshop is organised by Arts Research in the School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of Plymouth in partnership with KARST.


Located by a stunning waterfront and harbor, Plymouth is the perfect place to visit. The city boasts three theatres, three independent cinemas and seven art galleries, including the University of Plymouth's Peninsula Art Gallery. The historic Barbican waterfront and Royal William Yard are host to a range of independent shops and restaurants as well as a local farmer’s market.

For those wishing to extend their trip Plymouth is ideally situated for exploring both Dartmoor National Park and Cornwall, home to the world-famous Eden Project and the Minack Theatre.

Getting Here:

The three closest airports are:

Heathrow 4 hours
Bristol 2½ hours
Exeter 1⅓ hours

You can take a train or a bus from any of the airports to reach Plymouth.

Please note the times listed are by train or car and buses will take slightly longer.


The conference hotels are:

  • Jurys Inn (5 minute walk from venue)

    When booking use the code JIPLYM110418 and you will receive a discounted rate.

  • Crowne Plaza (15 minute walk).

    For Crowne Plaza please use the code (TBC) to receive the conference discount.

There are a large number of Bed & Breakfasts in the University area as well.