Radical Relevances

Radical Relevances is a conference and peer reviewed multidisciplinary journal addressing complex global phenomena of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity, income inequality, and mass migration

We invite researchers and artists straddling multiple (or within one) disciplines to submit papers and artworks that go beyond the rational and explore what is relevant to lived experience


First Global Radical Relevances Conference is slated for 25th – 27th of April, 2018. We accept submissions starting 20th of August, 2017


Radical Relevances Conference 2018

25. – 27.4 2018, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland


Please submit your long abstract (of 1000 – 1500 words) or short paper (max 3000 words) to info@radicalrelevances.com by 30th of September, 2017. Please include any images, tables, or diagrams at low resolution at this phase. Please state Title, Author(s), and Email Address. Upon acceptance to conference we ask you to submit a full paper of max 8000 words.


You may also submit works in other forms – for instance, a poster, performance, workshop, or an intervention. Tell us about the work you would like to present and we will be in touch with you to find appropriate ways to include it in the limited settings of our conference. Please submit your proposal (max 1500 words) to info@radicalrelevances.com by 30th of September, 2017. Please include images only at low resolution at this phase. If applicable, add links to online video and/or audio material. Please state Title, Author(s) and/or Artist(s), and Email Address.

ACCEPTANCE TO THE CONFERENCE notification at the latest 1st of November 2017


The world is rapidly changing through real and observable large-scale and long-term processes, such as financialization, continuing expansion of the extractive frontier, population growth, and increasing global migration, pollution, income inequality, and human alienation from nature. Yet, most such insidious developments tend to lack pragmatic relevance for most urban populations. Such phenomena cannot be directly experienced because they involve spatial and temporal dimensions incommensurate with the pragmatics of everyday life: they are slow enough to be normalized even if they increasingly impact the structures of life. For instance, it is difficult to experience a clear connection between an individual’s personal health, microbial diversity, indoor-air, building materials, and environmental pollution. Further, it is becoming increasingly clear that inundating people with information on climate change is neither enough nor adequate, for instance in order to radically decrease greenhouse gas emissions. These wide scale problematics demand focused, sustained, and transdisciplinary academic discussion. To answer to this demand we launch a novel peer reviewed journal – Radical Relevances. Launching the journal will take the form of proceedings from a conference – the First Global Radical Relevances Conference – that focuses on the above pictured processes and on the subsequent social, political, environmental, and economic reverberations.

The First Global Radical Relevances Conference asks: How do economic, social, and cultural practices reflect the global uncertainty of today with its shifting geopolitics and environmental realities? How to engage in new ways of thinking about and practicing in terms of human and nonhuman co-existence and flourishing in the midst of vast predictable and unpredictable planetary transformations? How to study the relevances of certain objective realities that nevertheless escape the sensory equipment of an individual?

We call for social and natural scientists, artists, philosophers and activists to go beyond the rational or rationalized to the actual relevances underlying human activity. Such a focus requires not only more attention to everyday life, but also novel methodologies and research designs. We call for thinking about how to mobilize objectively relevant ideas to people so that these become relevant in their everyday life – at both work and home. The conference aims at serious de-normalization of the status quo, yet even more importantly, to explore, formalize, and theorize answers and resolutions to the urgent and massive problems that humanity and the planet face.

The theme for this first conference is open. However, if possible, our interests converge towards two, seemingly unconnected topics: the Arctic region and health-beyond-human. Melting ice caps on Greenland not only dislodge natural resources to mining, drilling and damming, but NATO camps formerly buried by ice now exude toxins into the thawed flows. Inuit women – sharing a similar fate with the ice bear, another large carnivore mammal from the same region – have the largest amounts of heavy metals in their mother’s milk. In addition to the melting ice, global winds converge pollutants from the rest of the world to Greenland and the Arctic Sea. Indeed, we learn from the Inuit and the ice-bear that on this planet, there is no remoteness, no outside.

We accept submissions starting 20th of August, 2017

Accepted contributors, please note that a registration fee of 100 euros is required from affiliated scholars and artists with funding. No registration fee is expected from non-affiliated scholars and artists.

We grant a limited amount of travel stipends to non-affiliated scholars and artists coming without funding from outside Europe. To inquire more about such a grant, please contact us.


Radical Relevances Conference Team:

Pia Lindman Artist and Professor of Environmental Art, Ossi Ollinaho, Doctor of Science in Technology, Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka Coordinator and Doctoral Candidate, Tim Smith Post Doctoral Researcher, Aalto ARTS.

For more information, please email: info@radicalrelevances.com