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The Changing Face of ELIA

23 June 2020

Dear ELIA members,

Normally, during this time of year, activity at the ELIA office begins to slow down, as our members move into their well-deserved summer break. However this is not the case this year, so much is happening and we have exciting news to share with you. 

In the past weeks, we have been part of a transformation, discovering what the ELIA network is and can be in the future. To keep connecting our members, we moved online with a series of 14 webinars involving 2,015 registrants. It has been extremely rewarding, having been able to provide a platform for sharing experiences and solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The wonderful attendance figures showed us that we chose topics that mattered to you.

Thank you to all those who have taken part to date, and contributed their time and brainpower to making these webinars so strong. I may be going out on a limb here, but I am predicting that ELIA will not return entirely to the ‘old normal’ after the pandemic times. Meeting each other physically is a rich and powerful part of who we are, but we now have this new medium to connect all of you which will enable us to keep the conversation going in between physical events, making our interactions much more inclusive.
On this note you will be happy to hear the recordings of all our webinars are now available to our members to view online.
At first, running a webinar brought with it an adrenaline high. However, as the dust settled we found a steady routine and know what it takes to produce a high-quality online event.

Now we move on to our next challenge: running our first ever online Biennial. Thank you to those of you who sent us notes of encouragement as we transform this flagship ELIA event into a unique and not-to-be-missed online experience for all of you.  Believe me, there is some high-pressure learning happening now at the ELIA office and we are blessed to have the wonderfully open-minded team of our host Zurich University of the Arts at our side.

We are curating a programme that works digitally, using technology that will keep you interested and engaged, and – perhaps most importantly – provides the opportunity to involve many more of you than at previous events. The ELIA Biennial will be an event that your entire institution, including students, can be part of, without purchasing a single airline ticket.  Don’t make any other plans for the period 18 – 21 November because this chance may not present itself again!

In other news, research has been on our minds, with the excellent online CA2RE+ conference behind us and the Vienna Declaration on Artistic Research and the Frascati Manual just published. Also, for the first time ever and together with several other associations, ELIA nominated a researcher, Paulo de Assis, to the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.  These are important results in a field that is still so young. ELIA’s platform for artistic research will meet again virtually on 21 and 22 September. So, if you want to be part of this ongoing conversation about artistic research, be there!

Good to know: despite busy days, the ELIA team members are all alive and kicking and finding sunny ways to relax while socially-distancing in Amsterdam! Photo: ELIA Conference Manager Janja Ferenc Stand-Up Paddling through the Amsterdam canals.

Read the ELIA Newsletter June 2020

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