PACE Building, De Montfort University, Leicester

27 – 28th June 2019

The turn to creative practice is one of the most exciting and revolutionary developments to occur in the university within the last two decades and is currently accelerating in influence. It is bringing with it dynamic new ways of thinking about research and new methodologies for conducting it, a raised awareness of the different kinds of knowledge that creative practice can convey and an illuminating body of information about the creative process(Smith and Dean, 2009:1)

 This conference will explore the ongoing ‘accelerating influence’ of practice-based research, as it continues toshape new ways of thinking about research and creative methodologies. Focusing on the evolution and increasing importance of creative practice within academic contexts across the arts and humanities, Cracking the Established Order (CtEO) returns to the key question of ‘Can practice allow us to re-envision the role of a traditional researcher?’. We are looking for ways that practice-based research provides a possibility for the formation of new knowledge – both critical and embodied – created and articulated through unique forms and formats. CtEO provides a new platform to reconsider the provocative potential of practice-based research.

Most importantly, this conference invites PhD students, early career researchers and artists to engage directly, either through practice – from performance, exhibitions or screenings, to workshops and discursive activities, or through traditional paper format. Proposals for presentation through practice-based formats are particularly encouraged. Inviting participants from a range of artistic backgrounds and disciplines, CtEO seeks to highlight the innovation, range and diversity within creative practice as research. As such, we welcome submissions from all artistic areas. The expectation is that while subject matters may differ, all participants will engage with the methodology of creative practice as research. Along with this, this conference will also emphasise the importance of the intersection between creativity and the creation of new knowledge. CtEO will highlight the impactful reach of practice-based research, which can engage audiences from diverse backgrounds, communities and networks, and from the general public, as well as being able to converge with non-academic creative research within alternative contexts, such as interdisciplinary art jams, underground happening and art/club events.


Drawing upon the aims of this conference, we encourage proposals that include but are not limited to:

  • The resilient potential of practice as a means of inviting change, scrambling the established order and resisting rigid structures
  • The evolving importance of practice-based research within academic contexts
  • The relationship between theoretical knowledge and creative practice, is it interchangeable/ equal/ conflicting?
  • The theoretical lense(s) of your practice and its impact on social, political, cultural contexts
  • The intensive and potentially invisible labour of creating practice
  • Methodological approaches of your practice-based research
  • The impact of different media within practice-based research (e.g spoken word, text, image, digitised technology)
  • Embodied practice as a means of exploring the self/selves
  • Practice as a tool of transformation and presence
  • Practice as a means of celebrating artistic freedom and diversity

Submissions may include:

*Exhibition Artworks/ Installations

*Performance/ performative papers

*Film screening

*Digital display

*Workshop proposal

*Discursive/participatory activities

*20-minute academic papers

Proposals adopting alternative formats will also be considered. CtEO welcomes any proposal that addresses or relates to the role of practice-based research.

Conference Keynotes

Lauren Barri Holstein, Since 2010, Lauren Barri Holstein has developed a substantial body of work (Notorious, Splat!, How to Become a Cupcake, How 2 Become 1, Lady Love, Cherry Pop etc) presented in Live Art, Dance, and Theatre contexts including The Barbican (London, UK), SPILL Festival (London, UK) FEM Fest (Girona, Spain)and Abrons Art Center (New York, U.S.), gaining respect and notoriety within the Live Art world . She has collaborated with a number of prominent UK artists, including Kira O’Reilly, Dominic Johnson, Martin O’Brien, and Manuel Vason. Her most prominent work to date, Splat!, commissioned by SPILL Festival of Performance, premiered as the opening of SPILL 2013 at The Barbican, London. It was named Time Out’s ‘Critic’s Choice in Dance’, one of Time Out’s ‘Must See Shows of 2013’, one of The Stage’s ‘Dance Picks of 2013’, and one of The Guardian’s ‘Theatre Picks’. Holstein holds a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London and is a visiting lecturer at various UK and European universities. She has authored several published articles, including: ‘A Queer Family Tree’ in The Only Way Home Is Through the Show: The Performance Work of Lois Weaver, ed. by Jen Harvie and Lois Weaver; ‘Splat!: Death, Mess, Failure and Blue-Balling’, in Performance Research; ‘The Cyclical Pleasure/Death of Symbolization in How to Become a Cupcake/The Famous’ Adaption of Frankenstein’, in On Repetition: Writing, Performance, Art, ed. by Eirini Kartsaki; and several articles.

Alexa Wright, Dr Alexa Wright is an artist and academic living in London, UK. Working at the intersection of art and medical science to explore human inter-subjectivity through qualities like vulnerability and empathy, Alexa uses a wide range of media in her work, including photography, video, sound, interactive installation, performance and book works. She has extensive experience of working with people with disabilities and mental health issues, as well as with medical scientists and other creative practitioners. From 1999-2010 Alexa worked collaboratively with Professor Alf Linney and computer scientists at UCL to create three interactive installations, Conversation Piece (2009), Alter Ego (2005), and Face Value (2001). These works have all been widely shown internationally. In 2011-12, funded by a year-long AHRC Fellowship, she created A View From Inside, a series of portrait photographs of people who experience episodes of psychosis. Since 2007 Alexa has been part of Hybrid Bodies, a unique international, interdisciplinary project based in Toronto, Canada that brings together medics, visual artists, a philosopher and social scientists to explore the emotional and psychological effects of heart transplantation from multiple, interwoven perspectives. Alexa has a 0.5FTE post at the University as Reader in Art and Visual Culture.

An edited contribution of material from CtEO will be published online, the content and format of which is to be developed at the conference.


1. Proposal
Please provide an abstract of no more than 300 words that describes what you would like to propose for the conference and what form it will take (i.e. paper, exhibition, screening, performance, workshop etc.)

2. Biography

Please give a 200-word max artistic and academic biography. This should state whether you are PhD or non-PhD, if not please tell us your background, related experience and/or qualifications. Please note that if successful, this information will be made available to conference participants and published on the conference website.

3. Documentation

Please provide a single pdf of low-res images and/or web links and/or links to video documentation of previous work and the work you would like to propose, if applicable. Please give a brief description of images or documentation provided.

4. Technical Specifications

Please provide details of the space, equipment and duration, if applicable, for the work you have proposed.

5. Funding

A limited number of bursaries are available on a first-come-first-served basis for non-funded participants to help towards travel and accommodation costs. If relevant, please provide a maximum of 100 words of why this money would benefit you. Please note, as funding is limited, only self-funded candidates or those on Living Wage or less may apply for help towards conference costs. The maximum contribution is up to £75 per person.


Applications should be sent to


Submission deadline: March 2nd 2019

Submission notification: March 16th 2019