Are you Hot Under the Collar about Art and Technology


As part of the run up to the 50th anniversary of the Leonardo Journal
we are organizing some community discussions on topics which
‘make us hot under the collar’. There seems to be much frustration and even

vitriol in our community related to the problems we face working in and

with institutions in the growing field of art science technology practice

We hope you will be part of these discussions

a) Is your New Media Art Broken
On the occasion of the publication of a new Leonardo book :

We are organising a public discussion on the issues involved in restauration
and conservation of new media art. Why are museums failing to put in place the

necessary programs.

The discussion is on the YASMIN list for art, science and technology
around the mediterranean. To subscribe to the discussion list go to:

b) Leonardo Symposium on the PhD in Art and Design

Over the last ten years we have seen the proliferation of new PhD
programs in art and design. These degrees, as research degrees,
are common in the art,science,technology field. There is much debate

as whether a PhD or a MFA are the best degrees for artists, and

in the case of the PhD what makes a rigorous research training.

Ken Friedman and Jack Ox are leading a three year Leonardo
Symposium on the issues, best practices and strategies

The discussion is taking place on the LEOCAAPHD google group
if you wish to participate in this discussion send an email to

A call for papers has just been issued :
if you would like to submit a paper to the project.


C)  Why is it so difficult to establish and run Trans-disciplinary programs in Universities

We have published an article by Lewis Pyenson.

entitled: Realization in Arts and Sciences

Lewis Pyenson is Professor of History at Western Michigan University, and was Graduate Dean from 2006-2010.  Before then he served as Graduate Dean at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Professor of History at Université de Montréal.

After many years of experience dealing with disciplinary disputes, his conclusion is that embracing the liberal arts might best succeed under guidance from administrators who are themselves accomplished across a wide range of the humanities and the natural sciences.

This conclusion re-enforces one of the observations of the SEAD study on enabling new forms of collaboration between the sciences/engineering and arts/design/humanities, namely the growing cohort of individuals who have one higher education degree in science or engineering and another one in arts, design or humanities (or hybrid careers). The SEAD study found 20% of the contributors to the study were hybrids:

We solicit letters to the Editor of the Leonardo Journal from Deans, Administrators, and Program Founders and Directors of Inter and Trans-disciplinary programs in the art/sci/tech field. We are not interested in diatribes and polemics, but recommendations and lessons learned.

If your are interested in submitting a letter to the editor, and have or currently hold a management position overseeing an inter/trans-disciplinary program in art/art/science/technology email to and I will send you a copy of Lewis Pyenson’s full text in case your university library doesn’t currently subscribe !)

These three issues are indicative of the maturation and growth of our art/sci/tech field of practice- and involve how new art practices are integrated into the programs of institutions.

If you are hot under the collar about any other issues in our field, and would like or organise and moderate a discussion please contact me at

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