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Workshop Synergy: Interdisciplinary Practice and Theory

Overview of workshop
Interdisciplinarity and interdisciplinary research are widely acclaimed as being loci of innovation and new knowledge, and ways of solving difficult diverse problems with the capacity to bridge epistemological and ontological divides. Such practices involve many challenges, precisely because they necessarily cross disciplinary boundaries. These challenges are variously technical, methodological, philosophical, financial, institutional and interpersonal. Yet few who engage in such enterprise are prepared for such challenges. As a result, many projects become enmired and participants become disillusioned. Through a combination of presentations, working sessions and discussion/critique sessions, this workshop will equip artists, scientists, cultural operators, activists and theorists with skills and knowledge that will enhance success of such projects.

The theme of interdisciplinary synergy will structure the workshop itself, which will have two complementary and concurrent aspects, one practical and one theoretical  –
1. the development of several interdisciplinary project proposals, including formation of working teams, establishment of key resources and an ongoing development plan.
2. the development of a draft “interdisciplinary research protocol” document. This document is intended for international circulation as a guide for policy makers, government agencies and funding bodies.

These aspects will develop in parallel during and after the workshop. The theoretical deliberations will draw on the process of project development for examples etc, and those involved in project development will profit from input of theorists. Workshop participants may elect to concentrate on either or both aspects.

This interaction will be ongoing after the workshop is over. Projects and protocol will be hosted on the Grid Spinoza website. Development and cooperation will continue on this platform. Release of a first protocol document is planned for december 2013.

Simon Penny is director of the workshop and of ongoing theoretical development. He is an artist, theorist and professor in media art, interactive installation and robotic art with a long history in interdisciplinary research and teaching internationally. Previously professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon, currently professor of Art at University of California Irvine and visiting professor in the Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media master at UPF.

Roc Parés is an artist and researcher in interactive communication. Currently Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and codirector of the University Master in Digital Arts, Idec/UPF.

Mara Balestrini has a background in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities, University College London. Her work lies at the intersection of urban informatics and behavior change, an interdisciplinary approach blending cognitive sciences, technology and arts.


Copyright KIBLA 2012 and Respective Authors / All rights reserved

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.