Friday Lectures

Konstfack, Svarta havet, 2.00 - 3.30 pm

Unexpected insights. Friday Lectures is an open lecture series, and at the same time it is an artistic concept. Unexpected insights may be completely useless, but also have the potential to radically change the perception of the world. The general question being asked is: Stories that I don't find particularly interesting – how do they affect me?

The lectures are open to everyone, no pre-registration needed.


From the fall of 2019, the Friday Lectures will take place every two years. In the meantime, welcome to our Open School lectures and other activities/lectures noted in our voluminous calendar

Autumn 2018 theme: Homo Futurus

What will the reasoning human – homo sapiens – become? Relentlessly pursuing individuality, we have promoted competition and selfishness at the expense of what evolutionary biological research has shown to be our most natural element: cooperation.
Could more cooperation, along with genetic manipulation and/or artificial intelligence be the key to helping us survive the challenges we face – or will we destroy ourselves? Has the human species already begun to lose control of itself and its future? Will we be reduced to small synapses linked via the internet; part of one large brain that we in the future will refer to as ‘our world’?

During the autumn 2018 Friday Lectures series, we delve into the future of mankind, in times when the systems, more often than we are aware of, rule our lives.

All lectures are followed by a discussion moderated by members of Konstfack's staff.


19 October: New technologies and the future of mankind
Pontus Strimling,
Associate Professor, the Institute for Future Studies. Moderator: Senior Lecturer Simon Ceder.

9 November: Democracy – hated and vulnerable; pre, post and from below
Henrik Arnstad
, author and journalist. Moderators: Vice-Chancellor Maria Lantz and Professor Loulou Cherinet.

16 November: The human reason of being in the age of AI
Hedvig Kjellström,
Professor of Computer Science and Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson, Professor in Ethics with Systematic Theology and Human Rights. Moderator: Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of Research Magnus Bärtås.

23 November: Are We Human? The Design of the Species
Beatriz Colomina
, Professor in History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton University. Moderator: Senior Lecturer Katja Pettersson.

30 November: Homo Futurus – kropp, kontroll och magi
Ett samtal mellan filosof Jonna Bornemark, författare Helena Granström och professor Anders Ljungberg (in Swedish).


Autumn 2016 theme: Share and Care Beyond Markets and States

"Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil." Mahatma Gandhi

"Capitalism is against the things that we say we believe in - democracy, freedom of choice, fairness. It's not about any of those things now. It's about protecting the wealthy and legalizing greed." Michael Moore

One per cent of the world's population owns more than the remaining 99 per cent put together and the gap between the two groups is growing. The globally controlled economy affects us all, but for how long can the system sustain itself? Has the time come for a post-capitalist era where collective sharing and caring of the commons, as a new paradigm, introduces a world beyond market and state? Beyond shopping and owning.
In this series of Friday Lectures we delve into the creation of value, owning and the flows of capital, and take you further into alternative economic systems in a time when culture is being economized and the economy is culturalized.

21 October: Bo Franzén, senior lecturer in Economic History at Stockholm University, about the Middle Ages when economic activity wasn't about money. On exchange, trade, economic roots in protestant ethics and the emergence of the money veil.

28 October: T'ai Smith, associate professor of Art History, Visual Art & Theory at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, considers ways to reconfigure the ties between work and desire in the aftermath of fashion capitalism. On the libidinal economy of Warhol's factory model and the persistent problem with work.

11 November: Linda Rampell: PhD in Art History and Visual Culture, design theorist, author and lecturer, about her latest book The Shopmodern Condition. On contemporary design capitalism, consumption and identity, and the im/possibility to create a meaningful life outside the market.

18 November, Eva Friman: The commons and other alternatives. Dr. Eva Friman, Intellectual Historian, Ecological Economist and Director at SWEDESD (Uppsala University) is a transdisciplinary researcher interested in transformative economic theory that connects global equity and ecological sustainability. 

25 November, Emma Stenström: Arts in Business Education. Emma Stenström is Associate Professor and Director of The Center for Arts, Business, and Culture at Stockholm School of Economics, interested in the dynamics between arts and business, and in interdisciplinary research and education in general.

9 December, Patrik Witkowsky: Director Patrik Witkowsky screens his documentary Can We Do it Ourselves? A Film about Economic Democracy. A thought provoking work that investigates an alternative economic system where democracy not only prevails in the political sphere, but also in the economic.



Spring 2016 theme: Identity – inherited , bought, faked or imposed?

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” (Oscar Wilde)

What does it actually mean to “be yourself”? Are we born with an identity that we keep for the rest of our lives, is it desirable or even possible to decide who you are, to create a unique self? Or does it take its cue from society or others where appearance, language, gender and sexual orientation become starting points and limitations? Who, in that case, are these others and how are the “I” and the “we” connected? Without individuals there is no community and communities are necessary to confirm our identities. But when communities are defined through exclusion problems immediately arise.

The Friday Lectures spring season 2016 revolves around how the terms of identity has changed, about the consequences of identity politics and about antiquated gender identity laws and diagnoses etc. Is identity deterministic or constructivist, conquered or faked as a virtual fairy-tale?

12 February
Erik Gandini, film director, writer, and producer

26 February
Aleksa Lundberg, actor, director, dramatist, journalist and trans activist (lecture in Swedish)

4 March
Sara Jordenö, visual artist, documentary filmmaker, researcher and educator

11 March
Fanna Ndow Norrby, writer and activist

18 March
Bo Petersson, Professor of Political Science and IMER (International Migration and Ethnic Relations), Malmö University

8 April
Screening of Yael Bartana’s True Finn – Tosi suomalainen, 2014




Autumn 2015 theme: Beyond Humanism

What belongs to the essence of the world cannot be expressed by language. (Wittgenstein)

What does it mean to be a human today, in the Anthropocene Epoch? What are the consequences for humankind – as a species, as individuals, collectively – ­ when her activities lead to rising temperatures, melting polar ice and a mass extinction event? Is her unique position as the measure of all things unthreatened or is humankind to be regarded with post-humanistic eyes as one of many animals in a world in which the barriers between technology, biology and culture are being erased? Maybe it’s time for humankind to find a new role, in a new body, in a new place…

In this autumn’s Friday lectures series, we are investigating the post-humanistic perspective through a range of aspects that bring together science, philosophy, science fiction, the humanities and religion in an environment of critical, open and sincere curiosity.

23 October
Dr. Martin Hultman, Lecturer at Linköping University researching ecomodern utopias, environmental masculinities and ecopreneurship as part of Environmental Humanities Collaboratory. The co-editor of Posthumanistiska Nyckeltexter will talk posthumanities as historical intervention, decolonial strategy and line of flight.

6 November
Dougal Dixon
, geologist, dinosaur expert and author, founder of the genre of speculative evolution and science fiction enthusiast.

13 November
Alexander Bard
, cyberphilosopher and author, on how a new relationalist philosophy of nature is required and can be constructed to understand the forthcoming posthumanist condition in a hyperdigitalised world.

20 November
Patrik Lindenfors, Associate Professor of Zoological Ecology at the Center for the Study of Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University and author of God Probably Doesn't Exist; Samarbete; and Sekulär humanism - förnuft, omtanke, ansvar on how our thoughts are not our own - genes, memes and the histories that are us. (in Mandelgren)

27 November
Lena Trojer, Professor and Head of Research, Department of Technology and Aesthetics and Research Division of Technoscience Studies, Blekinge Institute of Technology.



Spring 2015 theme: Radical rethinking

"The ability to think differently today from yesterday distinguishes the wise man from the stubborn." John Steinbeck

This spring we continue to examine strategies, methods and examples in which radical rethinking has led to new understanding of the world and what it means to live in it. Thinking "it could ALSO be different" involves outlining a parallel track without going into polemics, without ending up in oppositional positions in which all that has been suggested must be rejected or refuted. A rethinking that is characterized by joy, sharpness and boldness, but is also searching and non-judgemental, is necessary for both social development and artistic creation, as well as for personal growth.

30 January 2015: Rethinking research (1-3 pm)

6 February 2015: Jesper Just, artist

13 February 2015: Simon Kyaga, senior consultant in psychiatry

6 March 2015: Irene Molina, Professor of Human Geography

13 March 2015: Ethel Baraona Pohl, critic, writer and curator


Autumn 2014 theme: The radical rethinking

"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern." (William Blake)

Thinking "it could ALSO be different" involves outlining a parallel track without going into polemics, without ending up in oppositional positions in which all that has been suggested must be rejected or refuted. A rethinking that is characterized by joy, sharpness and boldness, but is also searching and non-judgemental, is necessary for both social development and artistic creation, as well as for personal growth. What can a radical rethinking look like and how can it be encouraged?

This autumn's series of seminars is about strategies, methods and examples in which rethinking has led to new understanding of the world and what it means to live in it.

17 October 2014: Friday Lecture Beat with DJ Asha Ali. (Vita havet)

24 October 2014: Lars Krutak, tattoo anthropologist on cultural history, traditional techniques, religious dimensions and challenges.

7 november 2014: Anna Rosling Rönnlund, co-founder of Gapminder, on how to make statistics come alive, specifically in the art project Dollar Street. Here live all people of the world, from the poorest to the left and the richest to the right. And everybody else in between.

14 november 2014: Martin Hagström, Deputy Research Director at FOI, the Swedish Defence Research Agency, on possible futures and how to create them.

21 november 2014: Rachel Armstrong, Professor of Experimental Architecture at the University of Newcastle, applied scientist and innovator talks about materials that can "grow" architecture. Trough smart chemistry and the rational engineering of living systems she can stop Venice from sinking.

28 November 2014: Erik Bünger, artist, performs the lecture The Girl Who Never Was. (at Marabouparken)


Spring 2014 theme: Disruptive convictions

Powerful forces rising from below on a tide of conviction, frustration, concern, passion and/or hate, refusing to accept current power structures, set orders or the state of things. The goal is alteration – the result is anything from a backlash to modification to revolution. What are the dynamics – the means, methods and results of engagement, activism and action?

28 March 2014: Khaled Hourani
Palestinian artist, curator and art critic Khaled Hourani, also founder of the International Academy of Art Palestine, screens the film from his art project "Picasso in Palestine".

4 April 2014: Virginia Tassinari
Design researcher and educator Virginia Tassinari focuses, within the DESIS Network, on the positive feedback loop between design for social innovation and design philosophy.

25 April 2014: Mats Lekander
Professor of Health Psychology Mats Lekander explores the neuroscience of social interaction with some help from director Ruben Östlund's films.

9 May 2014: Stefan Constantinescu
Visual artist and film director Ştefan Constantinescu weaves personal stories about identity, memories and observations concerning changes in society into his works.

16 May 2014: Ahmet Ögüt
As a socio-cultural initiator, mediator, artist, negotiator and lecturer, Ahmet Ögüt works with a broad range of media.

23 May 2014: Johanna Gullberg
We Are Legion – The Story of the Hacktivists. Social anthropology PhD student Johanna Gullberg talks about the ethnography of resistance.



Autumn 2013 theme: Magnification

When enlarged, the hidden values and context become visible in a detail. Increased resolution makes systems connect, creating new insights and knowledge. When seen bright and clear, what is hidden in the detail – God, or the devil?"

18 October 2013: Lucia Guaita, astronomer
The astronomer Lucia Guaita tells us more about this phenomenon, called gravitational lensing and describes the initially-hidden details that become clearer and clearer through the use of very deep observations and the gravitational lensing technique.

8 November 2013: Katarina Bonnevier, architect, artist, researcher
Dr. Katarina Bonnevier, architect, artist and researcher with a practice that is evolving on the stage of architecture and feminism, points out how the built environment is far from neutral or free of values.

15 November 2013: Ola Wikander, author, translator, Doctor of theology
Ola Wikander, author, translator and doctor of theology, tells us how language can conserve and transmit thoughts and ideas about motifs as diverse as creation, destruction, dragons, order and chaos.

22 November 2013: Jonas Dahlberg, artist
Artist Jonas Dahlberg examines how built and lived space affects the politics of everyday life – through filmed details in miniaturized sets, opera scenography or public commissions – no matter what media, his works make us understand ourselves better. 

29 November 2013: Erik Bünger, artist
A Lecture on Schizophonia, by artist Erik Bünger, explores the phenomenon that makes dogs bark at speakers and savages demand their captured souls returned. 



Spring 2013 theme: Transitions

Reality – fantasy: A controlled mindset versus subconscious unfettered thinking. We are in constant transitions between light and dark, love and hate, life and death. Changes, transitions, cravings...How do they affect us, can we steer them and are we prepared for the upcoming, big ones?

12 April 2013: Agnieszka Kurant - The "unknown unknown"
New York-based Polish artist Agnieszka Kurant, explores how things created as fictions and paranormal phenomena enter into the economy and politics of our contemporary world. Her work also discusses virtual capital, immaterial labour, changes of aura, and the value and status of objects in cognitive capitalism.

19 April 2013: Anthony Dunne
We need to dream new dreams for the twenty-first century as those of the twentieth century rapidly fade. But what role can design play? This question will be discussed by Anthony Dunne, professor and head of Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art in London and partner of the design studio Dunne & Raby.

26 April 2013: Martin Ingvar - Skill learning
In his research, Martin Ingvar, physician and professor, has moved the magic of the placebo into the mainstream of cognitive neuroscience, model-based and social learning theory.

3 May 2013: "The Third Man" by Erik Bünger
The Third Man by artist, composer and writer Erik Bünger, is a lecture-performance which traces the footprints of an elusive entity.

24 May 2013: Alisa Andrasek
Open synthesis: Increased resolution fabric of architecture. The term "data materialisation" means architecture may finally resonate with the complexity of ecology. These concepts are presented by Alisa Andrasek, designer of Biothing and Bloom Games and director at GAD UCL in Bartlett, London.



Autumn 2012 theme: Truth & Consequences: What really happened? On history, crime, proof and ideology.

During the autumn, we'll examine search-of-truth technologies and their impact on artists, innovators, designers and citizens. Can we trust photographs as witnesses? Could criminology be seen as an ideology? What really happened? These questions will be answered.

19 October 2012: "The Image is the Bone!" by Eyal Weizman
Eyal Weizman, professor at Goldsmiths, University of London, will speak about the research project "Mengele's Skull, The Advent of Forensic Aesthetics" and other cases.

26 October 2012: "True Crimes. Do they exist for real? Some criminological concerns." by Jerzy Sarnecki
Jerzy Sarnecki, professor of General Crimonology at Stockholm University, will speak about the true statistics of crime, how they are defined and counted.

16 November 2012: "Sexual violence and War, transitional trauma and construction of memory - Grandma's Tattoos" by Suzanne Khardalian
Suzanne Khardalian is the director and producer of a new film "Grandma's Tattoos", which lifts the veil on thousands of forgotten female survivors of the Armenian Genocide, who were forced into prostitution and tattooed to distinguish them from locals.

9 November 2012: "Anarchism and Artistic License" by Nicoline van Harskamp
In her films and performances, artist Nicoline van Harskamp addresses the function and power of the spoken word.

23 November 2012: "Twisted time: Notes on photography and grammar" by Maria Lantz and "Who was wrong? Picasso/Duchamp" by Daniel Birnbaum and Ronald Jones
Maria Lantz: Photography is an important part of modernity. Without the impact of photographic imagery on contemporary society, demands, ideas and communication as we know it would be completely different. How can we understand the effects of technical pictures, as part of today's culture, in a genealogical sense?
Join Moderna Museet Director Daniel Birnbaum and Professor Ronald Jones, co-curators, for a tour discussing the historical significance and the curatorial decisions behind the current Picasso/Duchamp exhibition, which sees the work of these seminal figures installed in opposition to one another.



Spring 2012

16 March 2012: Tim Brauns, Sustainable flea market
The lecture will be about my passion about flea markets, about objects, about principals and functions on the on hand side and about soft facts you can learn by reading those products and places on the other hand.

23 March 2012: Tobias Degsell, The spark of creativity (Design)
How to be more creative, ways to come up with new ideas and how to become better problem solvers.

23 March 2012: Cecilia Sjöholm, Rethinking aisthesis in public space
In what way can we look at the public sphere as a product of "aisthesis", rather than discourse? In what way does intimacy contribute to its constitution, rather than remain in a separate space? In what way can aesthetic sensibility respond to the exploitation and commodification of the public sphere?

13 April 2012: Marina Vishmidt, The Politics of the common
Can we think of artistic work as producing attention or managing it, and conversely, can we think of art as the moment of suspension or unworking within regimes of production for value?

20 April 2012: Donatella Bernardi, TV Mejan
Donatella will discuss the TV Mejan project which will take place in March at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (Kungl. Konsthögskolan).

11 May 2012: Ben Highmore: Living Amongst Things: Habit, Memory and Ordinary Life
This talk will be about the ordinary things we live with. In recent years, philosophers, media theorists and those involved in science studies have puzzled about our relationship with things. Are they objects that confirm status? Are they extensions of human bodies – extending our capacities, our reach into the world?

25 May 2012: Reed Kram, Carsten Höller and Ronald Jones, Designing Experiences
Lecture on design.