Arter Research Programme 2020-2021 Participants

Arter Research Programme 2020-2021

Aiming to support cultural producers working in the field of contemporary art in diversifying their research methods, perspectives, and forms of expression, Arter Research Programme will continue on its second year with eight participants.


Selected out of 267 applications responding to the open call, the participants of the 2020-2021 programme are Kerem Altaylar, palimpsest (Larissa Araz & Ekin Can Göksoy), Eylem Ejder, Nejbir Erkol, Alev Ersan, Furkan Öztekin, Rojda Tuğrul, and Aslı Uludağ.


The participants are invited to make their individual contributions to a complementary diversity through their research topics, methods, and practices, and engage in a nurturing environment of discussion by concentrating on topics, including but not limited to the relations the human and non-human entities form with the environment, the impact posed by the processes of modernisation on public spaces, the interpretation of resistance and memory sites through artistic practice, the productive potential of educated randomness, expressions of individual and collective grief, and the renditions of nostalgia and utopia on stage. Gathering to consider these topics in a collective setting, the participants will use fiction, criticism, translation, archiving, oral history, mapping, coding, animation, moving image, and sound as their research methods and mediums of expression. Due to health measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the programme will be initiated online. Through this online phase, participants will be encouraged to form their own methods of meeting and relating to each other online. The programme will be propelled by a curriculum devised collectively, group critiques, dialogues based on individual mentorship, and will culminate in a publication produced by the participants.


Proposing a process-oriented approach, the first edition of the programme was shaped around the experiences and suggestions of the invited participants, the programme facilitators, and the contributors from the institution. The programme is planned to evolve through experiences gained during individual editions and the inputs of the participants. 




The curriculum will consist of seminars and workshops where researchers from different disciplines will share their knowledge, experiences, and working methods. The aim of the curriculum is to form a shared ground and conceptual lexicon for the discussions. 

The first two months of the curriculum will be structured by the programme facilitators, taking into consideration the individual practices of the participants. As the participants get acquainted with each other and discover their shared areas of interest, they will also be expected to engage in shaping the curriculum to serve their particular needs. 


Group Critiques


The group critiques aim to support the participants’ individual research projects by creating a shared ground for discussion. Over the course of the programme, three meetings will be organised where the participants will not only present their own research and production processes, but also provide feedback to one another. The group critiques will be attended by the programme facilitator Merve Ünsal, programme coordinator İz Öztat, and guest facilitators, who will also share their feedback. The objective of the group critiques is to seek possibilities of creating an environment shaped through mutual generosity and cooperation in a manner that allows critical dialogue to thrive while sharing vulnerabilities. 


Individual Mentorship


Arter Research Programme facilitator Merve Ünsal will provide individual mentorship to participants to support their practices. These individual meetings will take place on a monthly basis. 




Arter Research Programme will culminate in a publication shaped around dialogues and individual research projects. The processes that lead to the preparation of the bilingual (Turkish and English) publication will be an integral part of the curriculum. The participants will work in close cooperation with editors, translators, and designers who will also partake in this mutual learning process through the publication.



Kerem Altaylar (b. 1993) After completing his undergraduate education in History at Boğaziçi University, Altaylar pursued his master's studies in Sonic Arts and Sound Engineering at Istanbul Technical University’s Centre for Advanced Studies in Music (MIAM). Altaylar resumes his work and research in sound design, electracoustic/drone/contemporary music and sound programming. He defines his work as abstract, informal, expressionist extensions of a self-constructed reality in terms of the space they occupy in the formal, auditory and intellectual realms. Parallel to this philosophy, he produces and broadcasts music under the music label Extremophile which he founded in 2019. As part of the Arter Research Programme, he will be developing Conductor, an algorithm which composes polyphonic music. He aims to explore and enrich the concept of “educated randomness” with other participants in an interdisciplinary framework.


Larissa Araz (b. 1990) began her bachelor’s degree at New York University’s Steinhardt Department of Media, Communication and Culture in 2010 and graduated from Media and Visual Arts at Koç University in 2014. Araz explores subjects relating to history, identity, memory and belonging with a personal approach, regardless of whether they have been integrated into social memory or not. The artist, who partook in numerous national and international exhibitions and workshops, recently participated in Saha Studio’s artist residency program in 2019-2020. Concurrently, Araz runs Poşe artist run space, which was founded in April 2018. Ekin Can Göksoy (b. 1987) received his Bachelor’s Degree from Middle Eastern Technical University’s Department of Electric-Electronic Engineering, his MA from İstanbul Bilgi University’s Cultural Studies Department. His short story collection Münhal and novel Epope Tatavla were published respectively in 2014 and 2016, both by İletişim Publishing. Göksoy has conducted storytelling performances in Istanbul and San Francisco as part of the Artship Foundation since 2017. He opened his first exhibition titled A Chance for a Miracle with Larissa Araz at Poşe. He has been writer-in-residence in Camargo Foundation within the scope of Be Mobile Create Together, and co-facilitated the Garp Sessions research program, which brings together writers and thinkers. Göksoy has written on cinema at FilmLoverss since 2015, and continues his PhD degree on urban history at Boğaziçi University Department of History. palimpsest, which consists of artist Larissa Araz and author Ekin Can Göksoy, departs from the ancient belief that nothing is as it seems. With an approach far surpassing the modern conceptualisation of the archive, where historical records are brought together and classified, palimpsest attempts to create an archive of the annotations on the margins of manuscripts, the decorations crumbling from the walls of buildings, the written messages behind found photographs, and the testimony of what is no longer there. As part of the Arter Research Program, palimpsest intends to delve into an alternative reading of modernisation in Turkey by way of public night life through the proliferation of venues (from taverns, coffee houses, and mead halls to inns, bars, and nightclubs) from the late 19th century towards the last days of 20th century.


Eylem Ejder (b. 1981) studied Physics at Istanbul University and Theater at Ankara University. Following the completion of her master’s degree studies on Hölderlin, Heidegger and Hegel’s concepts of tragedy at Istanbul University’s Department of Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy, Ejder began her PhD in Ankara University Department of Theater. Ejder has participated in short term guest researcher programmes at Oslo University and Harvard University. Ejder is among the founders of Kritik Kolektif which aims to re-calibrate theater criticism as a collective, artistic and political practice, as well as the music and lyrics collective Letters to Songs which transforms open letters to songs. Her writings on theater and performance art have appeared on such international publications as European Stages, Critical Stages, Arab Stages, Platform, Monograf, Artism. Ejder’s work focuses on post-2000 theater and criticism in Turkey. Invested in underscoring the emotionally-charged dramaturgy which became prominent during this period by way of nostalgia, theatricality and utopia, Ejder explores the faultlines of the poetics of present day performative arts by using a model she terms ‘recycled dramaturgies’. Ejder’s written work can be found at


Nejbir Erkol (b. 1995) graduated from the Department of Painting at Mardin Artuklu University Faculty of Fine Arts in 2018 and continues her postgraduate studies at Hacettepe University Institute of Fine Arts, Department of Painting. She also took part in the Istanbul Biennial Production and Research Programme during the 2019-2020 term. Among the exhibitions she participated in are the Photobook Festival, Mimar Sinan University (2017); Repetition, Mixer Sessions III (2018); Artist Experience, Artnivo (2018), Sit, Stand, Walk, BASE (2019), It was there, Daire Sanat (2019); BASE Art Project 2 (2019). She is currently producing new work in the context of Common Works project at A4 Atölye and Daire Sanat Open Studio Artist Programme. Erkol’s artistic practice spans diverse media such as video, installation, painting and performance. In her work, she attempts to constitute a form of subjecthood confronted with the feeling of pain and impacted by trauma, through the imagery she produces. In the context of Arter Research Programme, she will depart from an event, where a mortar fell on 97 steps away from her home in Nusaybin but did not explode due to the wetness of the earth from the previous day’s rainfall, and will be developing works relating to the notion of precarity.


Alev Ersan (b. 1980) studied English Literature at Boğaziçi University (BA), and writing at Simon Fraser University and Bard College (MFA). She has produced theatre, animation and installation works in Vancouver and Istanbul. Ersan’s work has its roots in composition and narrative, and is developed through the mediums of literary translation, animation, poetry, and installations using text and sound. Central areas of research and teaching have been cross-genre forms of autobiographical subjectivity and narrative; the investigation of the city space through feminist and queer perspectives, and translation as a practice and mode wherein it acts as a crossing point of separation and connection, as a relationship of alterity between a subject and her environment as well as a rendering between different mediums (text/space/sound) and languages. Since 2017, her research has focused on experimental forms of elegy and epitaphs and works in private and public mourning. Her research and production during the programme will develop from this study.


Furkan Öztekin (d. 1993) graduated from the Painting Department at Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Fine Arts and completed his postgraduate studies at Namık Kemal University Institute of Social Sciences, Department of Painting. He was among the participants of Istanbul Biennial Production and Research Pogramme between 2018 and 2019. His solo exhibitions are Four Seasons in May at Mixer and A Topography of One’s Own at Riverrun. Öztekin re-interprets the notion of space through the axis of silence, emptiness, time, limits and rhythm. Informed by LGBTI+ activism in his works, the artist will reinterpret document-based historical narratives on spaces of resistance and memory through the lens of his artistic practice in the context of Arter Research Programme.


Rojda Tuğrul (d. 1986) is an interdisciplinary artist from Diyarbakır. Following her background in the field of veterinary surgery, she graduated from Mardin Artuklu University Faculty of Fine Arts in 2016. She currently pursues her PhD in artistic practices at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and explores the notion of identity in relation to space. Her projects predominantly explore this dyad of relations through photography and audio-visual installations. The context of her research is based on the relationship between the land and the individual, the interaction between human and non-human entities, ecological imbalances, as well as immigration and colonial politics; the artistic focus of her research includes the production and representation of images produced in said contexts – especially in contemporary art, in addition to their politics and manners of conceptualisation.


Aslı Uludağ (b. 1990) studied Fine Arts (Bachelor’s) at School of the Art, Institute of Chicago and Research Architecture (Postgraduate) at Goldsmiths University, London. Uludağ is among the members of the three-year project titled New Alphabet School at Haus der Kulturen Welt, which began in 2019. Her work was previously exhibited at Ukranian Institue of Modern Art and Pera Museum, and she is among the artists included in the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial. In her projects, which are predominantly practice-based, she explores the relations between humans and non-human entities and the environment that are formed through law, techno-science, and built environments, as well as the violence incited by way of these relations. In her work, she forms performative and interactive installations, workshops and archives which render this violence visible, and which can be employed as counter to it. Through these platforms, she proposes new ways of forming relations between humans and the environment. During the Arter Research Programme, Uludağ will be focusing on a project where she investigates the development of geothermal energy in the Büyük Menderes River Basin which is currently redefining and materially reorganizing the region. She will be examining this ‘slow violence’ and its toxic effects on fig and olive trees as a friction between mythologies.


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