Art and Media Research

Public defence in Visual Culture, MA Anna Jensen

Public defences

Anna Jensen will defend the doctoral thesis "Encyclopedia of In-Betweenness. An Exploration of a Collective Artistic Research Practice" that explores art as a process and a place for collective research and communities.

12.10.2023 17:00 – 20:00
Public defence from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art and Media

Evergreen Inner Jungle, 2021. Kuvaaja/Photo Shubhangi Sing.

Anna Jensen's dissertation "Encyclopedia of In-Betweenness. An Exploration of a Collective Artistic Research Practice" presents art as a socially prominent phenomenon that is always in a state of becoming. It suggests that art is on the front line perceiving new emerging ideas and ideologies while it also impacts and creates them. This means that art is obliged to seek what we, in fact, cannot yet know. 

Working towards the new always means working with the unknown, being in process and in an in-between state of becoming. To present in-betweenness, processes and becoming - things that are not known to us - new forms and methodologies are needed. Mapping the entanglements of the contemporary art world the thesis uses exhibition making and curating as methods and provides new perspectives on the relational nature of our being and ends up documenting a turn in the contemporary art world: how collective practices, site-specific and process-led approaches have emerged from the margins to the mainstream. The thesis shows how collective art projects can function as research platforms providing new knowledge and places for encounters. The form of the dissertation – an encyclopaedia with taxonomic colour-coding – adds one layer to the domino effect of projects playing with known forms and questions of the unknown. The form follows the logic of the over 20 collaborative projects realized by the author during the past ten years presented and analyzed in the thesis. Deconstructing familiar concepts from “biennial” to “world expo” and “encyclopaedia” helps to explore the unfamiliar and makes hidden structures visible. 

Thesis available for public display 10 days prior to the defence at:


Doctoral candidate: Anna Jensen
Opponent: Dr. Lucy Cotter, USA
Custos: Prof. Harri Laakso, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art and Media
Time: Thursday 12.10.2023 17:00 – 20:00
Location: Undergraduate Centre, Lecture hall A2 (A215) Otakaari 1, Espoo
Event language: English

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