Erling Björgvinsson


Enheten för
Kristinelundsgatan 6-8
41137 Göteborg
Box 131
40530 Göteborg

Om Erling Björgvinsson

My research focuses on participatory politics in design and art. In particular, the dynamics of power and change as they are imagined and carried out in art and design through historical and material practices that enable, direct, and restrict ways of being and imagining.

Currently I head a six-year long practice-based research project titled Imaginaries of Value: Site and Mobility in Globalised Art and Design Practices Through Their Creative and Administrative Uses of Paper. Fellow researchers are Dave Beech, Marina Vishmidt, and Elena Raviola.

The project’s presupposition is that we now live in a time of what Anne Ring Petersen (2017) calls globalisation-from-above of art and design, in the form of institutional and discursive curatorial ideal that favour global international art events, as argued by Lotte Philipsen (2008) and Noël Carroll (2007) where trustworthy themes circulate between large globalised art and design scenes. The norms, ideas, and values of such practices and their visual and material culture are in need of being analysed by paying attention to the local and detailed aspects on transcultural intersections and dispersion of such work. This follows Arjun Appadurai’s (2013) exhortation to look at both the circulation of forms and the forms of circulation – in our case through paper - by analytically and methodologically paying attention to how matter and ideas produce imaginaries of value. In particular, how materials, space and time demarcate, discriminate, and orient who can say, make, hear, and do what, where and when, at specific historical and geographical conjunctions. Specifically, this will be done through the themes site and mobility. The theme “Site” deals with practices focused on site-specificity, such as art and design carried out through HQs, hubs, communal spaces, studio as community amenities, galleries as meeting place, and living labs. The theme “Mobility” deals with cases of transcultural engagements in art and in humanitarian design.

Previous practice-based research projects include City Fables and The Living Archives. In City Fables I researched, together with the poet Ida Börjel, the relationship between the narratives of political economies of urban space and the possibility of producing counter narratives. In The Living Archives I explored, together with Parvin Ardalan, feminist organisations, archives and heritage institutions, the politics of making public memory through the project Women Making History. I have also researched how small literary publics can participate in shaping the future of literary publishing and the literary public sphere. I have also conducted research on learning between health care professionals and patient learning within health care.

I supervises six PhD candidates studying at The HDK-Valand Academy and The Academy of Music and Drama.