Meet the KUNO teachers in Tromsø


sigrún hrólfsdóttir

Iceland University of the Arts

Keywords: drawing, photography, painting, performance, philosophy

Working mainly in drawing, painting, photography, video and installation, Hrólfsdóttir explores the intangible realm of emotions and the interaction of the inner world of feeling with the outer world of materials, ideas and symbols. Sigrún is founder of the art collective The Icelandic Love Corporation, active since 1996, working in a variety of media with focus on performance, blending sincerity and sarcasm, playfulness, humour and spectacle with eccentricity and social critique.

Hrolfsdottir studied Fine Art at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafs and Pratt Institute New York, and holds an MA degree in philosophy from the University of Iceland.

Sigrun Hrolfsdottir is Dean of the Department of Fine Art at the Iceland University of the Arts, since 2016. She is currently chairman of the KUNO steering group.

She lives and works in Reykjavik, Iceland.




Oslo National Academy of the Arts

Markus Degerman is an artist with a background from both visual art and architecture. He is a graduate from Umeå Academy of fine Arts, Konstfack and at the Royal institute of Art in Stockholm. As of October, this year, Degerman holds the position as dean for the Department of Art and Craft at The Oslo National Academy of the Arts in Oslo. From 2012-2019 he held the position as professor in Fine Arts at the Academy of Arts at the UiT The Arctic University of Tromsø where he also was Head of department from 2012-2016 and Head of the study programmes in Fine Arts form 2016-2019.

Degerman has a broad background involving curating, exhibiting, teaching and writing. As an artist he has worked extensively with spatial design in various environments such as public spaces, urban spaces and art institutions. He is also a member of the influential art, design and architecture office Uglycute that is based in Stockholm.

Markus Degerman is currently chairing the Committee for Artistic Research at the Swedish Research Council.

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villu jaanisoo

Academy of Fine Art, UniArts Helsinki

Keywords: sculpture, public space, processes of materialization.

Since the definition of nowadays’ sculpture is so broad, would be good to set some focal points within its teaching practice – for example, the awareness of sculpture traditions and their transmission in contemporary art, broad understanding of materials and techniques together with courage of making mistakes.

I consider myself as a sculptor in the most classic sense, although I am interested in the ‘border-areas’ of sculpture where it transforms into something else. I work with different materials, techniques and dimensions. My recent practice is mainly related to public space.



OTTO ville Väätäinen

Turku University of Applied Sciences

Keywords: process, distant touch, photography, digital I am a teacher of photography in the Arts Academy at University of Applied Sciences in Turku. In my work, I focus on the process of making and thinking: Endless conversations, working side-by-side, readings, making notes, a great number of notes and reading and watching these notes – representations. Pushing forward and going back, doing again. To process, not to create. In my artistic work, I am interested about the distance between something or someone and how one perceives it. To understand and to make this distance visible, I tend to turn towards experimental processes and repetition. In my work, I use mostly lens based systems and different digital tools. At the moment I title my artistic works as Notes and I collect them to a black box. In addition to my work as a teacher and as an artist, I work also as a photographer mostly in a field of theatre: As a house photographer for the City Theatre of Turku from 2014 and as visiting photographer for Helsinki City Theatre from 2019. I have recently graduated from The School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University as Master of Arts (2018). I have also done pedagogical studies in Häme University of Applied Sciences (2015) and did my bachelor studies in the Arts Academy at University of Applied Sciences in Turku (2007).


laura kuusk

Estonian Academy of Arts

Laura Kuusk (Tartu, 1982) works as an artist and associate professor at Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. She has studied at Annecy Higher Art School (DSRA, 2014), Estonian Academy of Arts (MA in photography, 2008) and Tartu University (BA in semiotics and cultural theory, 2005). Kuusk mainly uses photography, video and installation in her work. Most of her works are connected to (recycling) anthropological visual materials. Her latest works address the identity construction and its’ links to visual intertextual materials. In her work, Kuusk is interested in collective phenomena, mass culture, visual data and politics of bodies.


christoph draeger

Umeå University

Christoph Draeger is a conceptual artist who is often working with themes of disaster, destruction and their representation in the media. Often, he applies an ironic or even comical angle to serious phenomena like tragedy, grief, collective memory and its societal reception. His projects take form in installation, video, sculptures, painting and photography. Draeger is especially interested in the notion of artistic research within collaborations. He has collaborated on several long-term projects with artist Heidrun Holzfeind (2005-2018), filmmaker Reynold Reynolds(1999-2003), and was a founding member of the collective ©️USA-United Swiss Artists (Rebecca Schmid, Urs Lehmann, Martin Frei, CD, 1990-1997) He has exhibited internationally since 1991.


frans jacobi

University of Bergen

Professor in timebased art / performance. artistic research into 'the dark poetics of contemporary politics'. crisis and beyond. escape attempts and/or how to get ready!

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Åsil Bøthun

University of Bergen

Åsil Bøthun is a professor in sculpture and installation at the Art Academy- department of Contemporary Art, Faculty of Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen. Living and working in Bergen.

I am an artist with a focus on 3-dimentinal practice, educated at the Oslo National Academy of Arts (KHIO), teaching experience from KHIO, University of Agder, Nordland kunst og filmfagskole, Lofoten, and currently at the University of Bergen.


aðalheiður l. guðmundsdóttir

Iceland University of the Arts

Aðalheiður L. Guðmundsdóttir is an assistant professor and programme director in art history and art theory at the department of fine art at the Iceland University of the Arts. She is graduated in philosophy from the University of Iceland and in philosophy of art from the University Phanthéon-Sorbonne, with a speciality on contemporary art and philosophy. Her special areas of studies and writings lie in the field of contemporary art, artist books and writings. In her teaching she emphasises working with theory and art history through artistic praxis, artworks and experience. She is a member of the Board of NORDIK – The Nordik Association for Art Historians.


bjarki bragason

Iceland University of the Arts

Bjarki Bragason studied fine art at the Iceland University of the Arts, Universität der Künste Berlin and completed his graduate studies at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. Bjarki has participated in numerous group exhibitions and has held solo exhibitions internationally since 2006. Bjarki has curated exhibitions and taken part in artistic research projects in collaboration with artists, architects and earth scientists, among them Infinite Next, engaging in field work at the Greenland ice cap. Presently Bjarki is in a collaborative research residency at UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, researching trees and human impact on forest eco systems. Since 2016 Bjarki is Assistant Professor and BA Programme Director at the fine art department at the Iceland University of the Arts.

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leslie johnson

Valand Academy, Gothenburg

To trust and persevere in experimentation, to pay attention to intention, to connect work to contexts and other disciplines, to invent a method of being in the public sphere is the basic teaching platform. Experiments from the art practice become premises for teaching: what is office art?, new signs necessary, improvisation with found problems. The art practice is embedded in visual and text aphorisms from the everyday which can problematize social and economic concerns. Humor is always important. Ideas take shape through materials/media but often recycled through other media: repurposed and assembled into thematic exhibitions. Sometimes work collaboratively, often self-organize be it multiples online, event or installation. Recent exhibitions: 'Coming Home' (Gerlesborg Konsthall, 2019), 'Metamorphosis of Power', (Tbilisi Triennial, 2018), 'Unravelling: One story leads to another', (Hammarkullen Konsthall, 2018), "Bubble in Progress: Do not Disturb", Galleri Box (Gothenburg 2017) '3BHK', (Kochin, 2016), 'Drive-by-video', (Bangalore, 2016)


jóhannes dagsson

Iceland University of the Arts

Jóhannes Dagsson is a philosopher and a visual artist. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Calgary (2012). His research takes place at the intersection of philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and aesthetics. Questions surrounding perception and meaning in the context of art define his research. Jóhannes uses his research in his teaching, publications, and his visual art.


Vytautas Michelkevicius

Vilnius Academy of Arts

Keywords: artistic research, curatorial practice, post-media art, art as social practice, ex-photography, mapping. I am a curator, researcher and associate professor whose focus was gradually shifting from photography in expanded field to media art & theory and lately to artistic research in academia and beyond. He is teaching art practice & theory BA, MA and DA/PhD students in Vilnius Academy of Arts and served as artistic director of Nida Art Colony (2010-2019). Since 2019 he is the head of Photography and Media Art Department and Doctoral Programme in Fine Arts in the same academy. He has curated exhibitions of artistic research in various situations, among them Lithuanian Pavilion in Venice Biennale. He has edited and authored more than 10 books on art and media.

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Felix Gmelin

Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, NTNU

Keywords: uselessnes, nonsense and subtext for responsible actions in art and society

Felix Gmelin is a conceptual artist, painter and educator, living and working in Trondheim since 2018.

Educated at the Royal Institute in Stockholm, since 1992 he has been teaching at at art schools in Stockholm, Oslo, Amsterdam, Frankfurt a.M., Salzburg, Ramallah and Prishtina. Currently he is teaching at Kunstakademiet in Trondheim.

As a teacher I am curious, and don’t discriminate certain mediums, ideas or methods that could be considered wrong for the moment. Rather I believe developing “wrong” methods is the more constructive path to go. We can’t all go were everybody goes, can we?

I take interest in how theory becomes practice. Especially I am interested in when ideas don’t work. Together with my students I often examine how artistic practices can become useful for society, and in turn how society can become useful to artistic practices. My best works often come out of posing good questions to my students. The answers to these questions sometimes unexpectedly have taken me to quite amazing places.

But art has to be useful, no? Or maybe being useless is the point of art?



maj Hasager

Malmö Art Academy

Maj Hasager is an artist based in Copenhagen. She studied Photography and Fine Art in Denmark, Sweden, and the UK. Hasager’s artistic approach is research based, dialogically and interdisciplinary, and she works predominantly with text, sound, video, and photography. Her work deals with power structures, identity, memory, architecture, and the construction of history, looking at how these interlinked phenomena are interpreted and represented culturally and spatially. In addition to numerous international residencies and grants, she has been guest lecturing at the International Academy of Art Palestine; Dar al-Kalima College; Barbados Community College, Bridgetown; Sacramento State University; Bethlehem; and the University of Ulster, Belfast. Maj Hasager is senior lecturer and the Program director of Critical and Pedagogical Studies (MFA) at Malmö Art Academy.


Jeuno JE kim

Valand Academy, Gothenburg University

With a background in feminist theology, music and radio, Jeuno JE Kim’s artistic practice and research has focused on the realm of sound, performance, video, and text. Her peripatetic interest has an inter-disciplinary framework, by mixing disparate methods and cultural cannons, by problematizing the narratives between fiction and reality, and by blending historical "facts" with speculation about current movements. Her work is influenced by the ongoing modernization and westernization in Korea and the Pacific East region, and the urgency of the political, sociological, and cultural issues that permeate this reality such as nationalism, identity construction, and historical narration. Kim’s projects are continuous inquiries into artistic responsibility and the use of art as a space for research and a public arena for a communal and meaningful exchange.


johanna Vakkari

Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki

My name is Johanna Vakkari and I am Vice Dean responsible for teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki. My background is in art history and before starting at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2011 I was working for about 20 years at the University of Helsinki. I am adjunct professor of art history at the Helsinki University and adjunct professor of history of art history and Italian Renaissance art at the University of Turku. My special areas are old Italian art, historiography of art history and contemporary art. During 2014–2016 I worked as head of arts and culture programme at the Finnish Institute in London. I am also member of the board of NORDIK – The Nordik Association for Art Historians.


micael norberg

Umeå University

Micael Norberg is an artist, Senior Lecturer and the Deputy Head of Department at the Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå University. Micael Norberg has been teaching fine art on an Academic level since 1996. He is an experienced teacher at both basic- and advanced level with a broad knowledge within the fields of contemporary art. Educated at at the Academy of Fine Art in Trondheim, Norway, Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunst in Den Haag, Holland and the Academy of Fine Arts in Umeå Sweden in early 90’s. Micael Norberg is in his artistic work exploring his close surrounding and subjects close to his person. His work and methods could be seen as documentary and his artistic work is often limited within a specific time, space and place. His artistic work has its foundation in photography, text and video. Micael Norberg is based in Umeå, Sweden. More info:


david rych

Trondheim Academy of Fine Art / NTNU

David Rych is an artist, professor of timebased art and Head of study programmes at the Art Academy in Trondheim at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Rych graduated at the Academy of Fine Art Vienna and with post-graduate studies at the École supérieure des beaux-arts de Marseille (ESBAM). His projects and films engage with matters of social, political, cultural and aesthetic transformation. His work explores different approaches in the field of documentary, mostly dealing with the production of knowledge in relation to collective identities, personal and official narratives of history and their visual representations. He currently lives in Trondheim and Berlin.


agita gritane

Art Academy of Latvia

Keywords: Art history, art management.

Agita Gritane's field of research and interests is the Latvian art environment during the first half of the 20th century in the context of political, social and historical events. Doctoral thesis is a monographic research about one of the most controversial Latvian artists Jekabs Bine. Agita Gritane is deeply interested in researching what was an artist’s contribution and role in the making of the Latvian identity. She also researches how changes of political powers during the first half of the 20th century affects an artist who strongly believed in Latvia's identity. With her research she has participated in the conferences in different countries. Also she is author of international theoretical publications in journals and art reviews. Currently she conducts lectures in Art Management. The lectures combine theoretical material with the practical experience material with the experience of professionals in the field so that students, with the widest knowledge, can begin their professional and practical careers both as employers and employees. She also teaches lectures on Western art history.

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taavi piibemann

Estonian Academy of Arts

As an artist I use photography to probe the medium itself. My teaching is an ongiing project to keep the conceptual method evolving.


honza hoeck

Jutland Art Academy

I work as an artist, curator and a professor of artistic practice at DJK. Rethinking the relationship between criticality and implicity in post-democratic societies forces us to approach our positions as artists differently and seek out new ways to pose questions. I am preoccupied with the coping situation that hereby arises and the forms of practice it calls for. Following this, investigating and playing with frameworks for artistic expression has become the overall interest that drives the various strings of my artistic practice. The work may vary greatly in format and medium, from painting, exhibition making, publications and videowork to installation or drawing. As an educator this understanding of the field of artistic practice calls for an open ended approach towards students and the possibilities of their future practices. I have taught at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Copenhagen), The Royal Institute of Art (Stockholm) and KIT (Trondheim).


ieva pleikiene

Vilnius Academy of Arts

Keywords: art history, visual art, artistic communication. Ieva Pleikienė is an art researcher. In 1995 she graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts with MA in art history and criticism, in 2005 defended her PhD thesis in art history under the title "Lithuanian Small Graphics. Forms of Artistic Communication by Mail (1960-1990). Since 1995 she has been working at the Institute of Art Research in Vilnius Academy of Arts. From 2005 to 2010 and from 2015 to 2019 she held the position as the head of the Doctoral Studies Department of the academy. Since 2019 she has been a Pro-Rector of studies at VAA. A member of the Lithuanian Society of Art Historians. Major research interests: Lithuanian art of the Soviet period; marginal art phenomena, art and politics.

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frank brümmel

Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki

I use my heritage as stonemason as a conceptual base for my artistic work. I utilize the historical usage of stone-text-plates and seek to develop a contribution to the contemporary art discourse by carving texts, words and imagery in stone. The stone-text-plate, used for thousands of years across cultures and geographies, combined with my vocational training in which many techniques and formal aspects trace back from today to Romanesque and Gothic times, is for me a perfect vehicle to elaborate on the different contemporary implementations I intend to research. As a teacher I am interested to provide the best possible, meaning motivational and positive constructive environment to support the students needs.