Arctic Art Institute is a research and project bureau started by independent artists, curators and sociologists in Murmansk in August 2014. Having started as a grassroots group, it has organized more than 50 interdisciplinary art projects in public space and inside the institutions, established meeting places for progressive art, culture and education professionals from Euro-Arctic Russia and their colleagues in Norway, Sweden, Finland and USA.
Arctic Art Forum has been run by a group of artists and students aged 20-35 since 2016. It explores such themes as sustainable development, cultural diplomacy, knowledge exchange and peaceful coexistence in the North.
Due to the fact that the terms “contemporary art” or “creative industries” have hardly existed in Northern Russia, the group had to develop own terms and methods, starting with the research of the place, its history and its people. By its very existence, the Institute challenges the term “contemporary” and “art”, developing its own language in its human-oriented and place-oriented projects. It has crossed the borders working with the methods taken from theater, design, contemporary art, sociology and anthropology.
AAI represented Northern Russian contemporary culture scene at Garage Triennale of Contemporary Russian Art (2017), NEMOSKVA (2018-2020) and other major national art projects in Russia, as well as at Arctic Arts Summit (2019). Its experts have been involved in projects by Kunsthall Stavanger, Kunsthall 3,14, Oslo Art Academy, Bergen Art Academy, the National Gallery of Canada, VAC Foundation, Colección del Museo Ruso de San Petersburgo, Málaga among others. In 2018, the Institute has created the first-ever Database of Creative Industries of North-Western Russia. The Institute keeps on working on research and projects on culture, creative industries and innovations in the Arctic.