New methodological paper on art-based research is out!

My methodological paper on art-based research is now officially published!

This is one of the most important projects I’ve worked on and getting this published has meant a lot. Hoping it will inspire future work and have impact on how we conduct research. In a nutshell, this paper explores the role and value of art as a way of producing knowledge in an academic setting.

link to paper:


In the past few decades, there has been a growing amount of interest toward alternative research methods within consumer culture research. The goal of such approaches is to engage understanding in a more multisensory, bodily, and experiential manner. While aiming to transgress traditions of research, alternative approaches often end up inadvertently repeating existing structures of knowledge. To provide a perspective on how alternative methods could utilise the full power of the tools they propose to use in research, this paper introduces art-based research (ABR), a process-oriented methodology that involves taking on artistic practice as part of research. ABR is bodily, interactive, and contextualised, employing a different approach to what knowledge is, how and when knowledge is created, and who is a part of knowledge-creation. The paper suggests that ABR can become an important political tool for critiquing traditions of and discussing power structures within academia.


Väliaikaisuuden keskellä (Within Non-Permanence) – art exhibition on at Galleria 4-Kuus in Helsinki

Welcome to to Usva Seregina’s and Anni Ekström’s art exhibition “Väliaikaisuuden keskellä” [Within Non-Permanence]! The art exhibition opens on 24.11 at 5PM-7PM in Galleria 4-Kuus (Uudenmaankatu 4-6, Helsinki). The exhibition is open until 21.12.! Please see some photos from the opening night below.

Moments come and go, continuously building and developing a stream of impressions and sensory experiences. Is there an understanding of themselves and their own place in the world about these ideas, experiences and memoirs? Through her paintings, Usva Seregina explores important, colorful memories; moments that have defined her awareness and consciousness. These moments may seem ordinary and everyday but are extremely powerful and influential. How do different moments define our self? Why do some of the experiences remain with us as important pillars of understanding? How do they affect our views on society and the world? Are the memories even intact or truthful? Does it matter if their power remains?

Where does the power of senses and memories come to an end? Death is an experience that awaits us all, but also a topic that we have abandoned in modern society. Death has become a taboo subject we want to forget and avoid. Anni Ekström examines death as an everyday and earthly theme through her sculptures. She wants to understand death as part of life and bring it closer to us. Why do we live so far away from an issue that connects us all? Is death really so different from life? Is it really so scary? Could we not approach this mystical, distant subject more archaically?

The paintings and sculptures create a conversation among one another. Past and future experiences collide; both always transformative, unstable, non-permanent.

Usva Seregina is a multidisciplinary artist and a researcher who is interested in the structures and norms of society, their impact on individuals and communities, as well as the questioning of these structures. As an artist, Seregina works through paintings, installations and performance. As a researcher, she works in the fields of consumer culture research, sociology, performance studies, and art-based research. Seregina’s artistic work and research are strongly linked to each other and support one other. At present, the main themes of her work are fantasy and imagination as part of contemporary society; aesthetics and consumer culture; communities, belonging and being left out. Seregina is currently working in Helsinki and London.

Anni Ekström is a Helsinki-based sculptor born in 1988. At the moment he is working at Santala, near Hanko. Ekström is a metalsmith and visual arts artisan. Anni Ekström is fascinated by various materials, exploring them and experimenting with them. Specifically, various metals are close to her heart. The smell and feel of iron make her feel at home. As a craftsman, Ekström is accurate about her materials and their use. In her work, Ekström explores human and animal rights as well as issues of equality.


Anni ja Usva Avajaiset 140.jpgAnni ja Usva Avajaiset 142.jpgAnni ja Usva Avajaiset 077.jpgAnni ja Usva Avajaiset 042.jpgAnni ja Usva Avajaiset 045.jpgAnni ja Usva Avajaiset 021.jpgAnni ja Usva Avajaiset 009.jpgAnni ja Usva Avajaiset 003.jpg

New book is out!

I am now a published author! ”Performing Fantasy and Reality in Contemporary Culture” is out, published by Routledge Advances in Sociology.

The book explores the concept and subjective experience of fantasy in contemporary culture, mapping out its use in recent history, providing an interdisciplinary overview of terminology, and focusing on the bodily performance of fantasy in today’s Western world. The book uses performance theory and theatre as a theoretical lens, and LARP as an empirical context to explore the performance of fantasy.

More info on the book and how to get it here: 

Engaging the Audience through Videography as Performance

Consumer culture research aims to explore consumption as an element of contemporary culture that is intertwined with social life and its patterning, thus influencing our day-to-day lives and the logic of our reality on a fundamental level.1 To explore consumer culture as it is experienced by individuals, researchers have been developing a variety of so-called “alternative” research methods that allow for approaching knowledge and understanding from perspectives that have a different form and logic than the traditional academic research process and the traditional academic text that is its end-result. One of the the most popular “alternative” methods in consumer research has been videography. Simply put, videography uses the medium of video to conduct research, gather data, and present findings.

Being an avid proponent of non-textual research methods, such as art-based research,2 I have found the use of videography a thrilling aspect of consumer research!3 Yet, in engaging this method, I found that the audience is often left out in the process of creating and presenting research through video. Audiences tend to be approached as a passive entity and their experiences are largely shaped and guided by the researchers. Yet, non-textual media, such as video, have enormous potential for creating lived, co-created experiences for both researchers and their audiences, which would allow for engaging in bodily, sensory understanding of phenomena as well as activating audiences to reflect and take action.

To explore this potential, I have provided a perspective on using videography as a means of creating live performances and thus engaging the audience in active meaning-making. To do this, I first develop the notions of performance and performativity in the context of videography. Moreover, I contextualise videography historically as a recording medium, thus exploring the form of the medium through its position in contemporary Western culture and its connections to other recording media.

I suggest that videography as performance allows researchers to activate their audiences by creating video work that does not directly provide information, but rather creates a basis for interaction, meaning-making, and contemplation through open-ended stimuli. The result in a deeply contextualised, multi-sensory, co-created experience that focuses away from the video itself, and emphasises engagement, reflection, and interaction.

The approach causes both researcher and audience to step out of their comfort zone. Neither has a template to follow, but both are rather asked to make sense of things as they go. This is exactly what allows for heightened reflexivity and engagement to take place, activating individuals to make meaning. The approach is further useful for reaching wider audiences beyond limited academic contexts through foregoing delimiting aspects, such as the use of jargon, and tapping into the visual literacy individuals already possess.

The paper provides practical suggestions for creating videography as performance as well as for evaluating such work within an academic context.


To read the whole paper:
Seregina, Anastasia (2017). Engaging the Audience through Videography as Performance. Journal of Marketing Management.



For more on the subject, see e.g., Bauman, Zygmunt (2007), Consuming Life, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Slater, Don (1997), Consumer Culture and Modernity, Oxford, UK: Polity Press.

2 Seregina, Anastasia and Oscar Christensson (2017), “Art-based research of consumer culture,” Synnyt/Origins 1/2017: 74-84.

3 E.g., Seregina, Anastasia, Norah Campbell, Bernardo Figueiredo, and Hannu Uotila (2013), “A Pen”, Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 41, eds. Simona Botti and Aparna Labroo, Duluth, MN, USA: Association for Consumer Research.


Upcoming exhibitions!

Heads up! I will have two art exhibitions in the near future!
“Mielen kipinöitä” (~ Sparks of the Mind) will be held 5.8-1.9. in Galleria 4-Kuus. See the invite below.
“Here we are!” will be held from 16.9 onwards in Red Conception Gallery. This exhibition will be officially a part of Helsinki Design Week. More info on the event here.
I will provide more info closer to the dates 🙂
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“Play at Any Cost” – Our Journal of Consumer Research article is officially out!

Many years of work have finally paid off, and my research project co-authored with Henri Weijo has been officially published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The research was done in the context of cosplay and focuses on themes of ludic experiences, communal experiences, and how individuals negotiate these in the face of various emotional, material, temporal, and competence-related complications.

Find the abstract below. More info here and here.

Play at Any Cost: How Cosplayers Produce and Sustain Their Ludic Communal Consumption Experiences

Communal consumption is often described as inherently playful, with previous research mainly focusing on successful ludic communal experiences, and largely disregarding its potential pitfalls. Moreover, the marketer is usually seen as the primary facilitator of ludic experiences, which has marginalized the role of the consumer. This article explores how consumers produce and sustain ludic consumption community experiences in the face of growing instrumental costs. It assumes a practice theory lens, and is based on an ethnographic inquiry into cosplay, which is a time and resource intensive form of pop culture masquerade and craft consumption. Prolonged engagement in the cosplay community leads to growing emotional, material, temporal, and competence-related costs, which hinder playful experiences. Consumers practice modularization, reinforcement, and collaboration to overcome these costs and maintain the important ludic sensations that motivate communal engagements.