Ecology, Site and Place – Piteå Performing Arts Biennial 2020

Call for Presentations 

Piteå Performing Arts Biennial seeks new formats for the performing arts to engage in societal issues.


The first edition focuses on ecological perspectives, and further seeks engagement in questions related to site and place. A series of new productions of ecological sound art, site-specific arts projects, dance and theatre productions, intermedia arts projects, film and video screenings will be presented. The Biennial also invites to a conversation between arts and science.


Piteå is a small town in the very north of Sweden. It hosts a campus from Luleå University of Technology, the most Northern university of technology in the world. Here, Piteå School of music holds an international position as a hub for interdisciplinary research in the arts and beyond, an environment which also includes the unique facilities of Studio Acusticum, Dans i Nord and Norrbottensmusiken with the contemporary music ensemble Norrbotten NEO, Norrbotten Chamber Orchestra, Piteå Chamber Opera and the two youth activities Norrbotten Youth Orchestra and the girl choir Arctic Light. As one of northern Europe’s most advanced concert halls, Studio Acusticum aims to provide ideal conditions for live concerts and audiovisual recording. Studio Acusticum also houses Luleå University of Technology’s organ (the Acusticum Organ by Gerald Woehl) for concerts, instruction and research. The combined resources of these institutions constitute an infrastructure for presentations of sound art, film, choreography, theatre, performance, installations and music.


We now welcome proposals to a peer-reviewed symposium that challenges the format of the scientific conference, and explores new formats for the communication of scientific results. Contributions may be in artistic form (we welcome presentations of installations, film, and performances in a wide range from music to theatre and choreography, and of course, intermedia work), traditional conference papers, or in a format that combines the two. Proposals for workshops and other interactive formats are also encouraged.


The ambition with the symposium is to bring various kinds of knowledge production in the arts and sciences together with a multi-disciplinary research perspective on ecological issues, broadly speaking. Hence, we welcome proposals from all research disciplines, in which questions of ecology, site and place are addressed. The symposium is structured as a lab, in which artistic work and research as process can be set in dialogue with other research disciplines. The aim of the symposium is to identify new ways in which the performing arts and the sciences can join forces to create and communicate new knowledge of ecological challenges in society. The presentations at the symposium will form the basis for a peer-reviewed edited publication.


Proposals may address one or more of the three central domains. The  list below is to be understood as non-exclusive suggestions of possible perspectives.



We invite proposals related to

  • Research addressing societal and environmental perspectives related to Agenda 2030
  • Narratives and art related to climate change and ecology
  • Ecological sound art
  • Acoustic ecology and bioacoustics
  • Urban soundscapes
  • Ecological perspectives on artistic practice which may include 4E cognition, a perspective proposing that our perception of the world is not only embodied but also embedded, enacted, and extended. Such an ecological understanding of human perception highlights “social, material, symbolic and aesthetic contexts […] It points researchers to the ways in which emotions, when shared, structure the agentive character of groups of individuals in ways that, when coupled with forms of appraisal, ready individuals for action and configure psychological and physiological features of those readied actors” (Clarke, DeNora and Vuoskoski 2015, 74).


We further invite presentations exploring site and place as urban and rural environments, built and natural places, public and private, sacred and profane, mental and physical, real and imagined. This may include explorations of narratives through theatre, film, installation art and choreography.



We invite proposals of artistic presentations encompassing

  • Site specific projects in the performing arts
  • Immersive sound and video
  • Sound and video walks



We encourage proposals that explore the relation between place, decolonizing indigenous studies, environmentalism and sustainability. We further invite presentations that address the role of place  in the formation of memory, historical and sociological perspectives, and identities.

  • Geographies of listening, sound and music.
  • Participatory and autoethnographic approaches to place


Each day will be specifically curated, and framed by a key presentation by an invited scholar or artist.  Our ambition is to create a format for discussion and dissemination of artistic work and thinking about and through artistic work, while avoiding the all too common theory/practice dichotomies and allow for a creative and intellectually vital environment in which artistic and scholarly approaches to the three perspectives can be molded together.



The deadline for proposals is April 13. The results of the peer-review will be announced on April 20.

The Biennial opens on October 24, and the symposium takes place between October 26-30.


Format and content of the proposal

– Please send proposals to

– The description of the content and format of the presentation should be no more than 300 words and may also include audio and video material.

– Please indicate which theme/themes the proposal addresses. the duration of the presentation and also a technical rider if applicable.

– Artistic materials for review can either be submitted as links for download (mp4 or h264, only stereo files and one screen video) or links to webpages for streaming.


Piteå Performing Arts Biennial is organized by Piteå School of music, Studio Acusticum, Norrbottensmusiken and Dans i Nord, in collaboration with Kluster, Pitebygdens musikförbund, Piteå Konsthall and Regionbiblioteket. Produced with  support from Statens Musikverk.


For more information, please contact: Prof. Stefan Östersjö, LTU,