Yeah Jasia Reichardt you were right 50 years ago ! Announcing a major conference


It is with immense pleasure that I bring to your attention the first major art science symposium at the US National Academy of Science, with support from Leonardo/ISAST on our 50th anniversary year !

Revisiting Cybernetics Serendipity: Creativity and Collaboration

AND the opening talk will be by Marcia McNutt, President of the US National Academy of Science followed by …JASIA REICHARDT !!! whose celebrated Cybernetics Serendipity exhibition in 1968 was part of the  launch wave of art/science/technology practice in the 1960s. The exhibit was published in a special issue of Studio International who is also supporting the conference.

Registration begins Dec 1   

Our goals are modest with this conference !!

“Our ambition is to redirect the history of ideas, restoring the Leonardo-like close linkage between art/design and science/engineering/medicine.  We believe that internet-enabled collaborations can make more people more creative more of the time.”

( not sure I really want to get into creativity theory myself !! but my own input to the conference is the urgent need to redesign science itself- both the scientific method and its social embedding , as i have argued earlier in a series of blogs ,and  that we need to resign science itself to overcome the tragedy of the internet, through among other things expanding the citizen science movement to fully supported professional amateurs    )


There will be a great full day conference on the 12 of New Leonardo’s- graduate students from around the US.

AND just to add to the festivities there will be a Leonardo 50th birthday party with Jasia Reichardt at the DASER on Thursday the 15th at the National Academy of Science organised by J.D. Talasek.

Here are the details

Creativity and Collaboration:

Revisiting Cybernetic Serendipity  

March 13-14, 2018; Washington, D.C.
Organized by Ben Shneiderman, Maneesh Agrawala, Donna Cox, Alyssa Goodman, Youngmoo Kim, and Roger Malina

REGISTRATION WILL OPEN DECEMBER 1                                                                    

Our ambition is to redirect the history of ideas, restoring the Leonardo-like close linkage between art/design and science/engineering/medicine.  We believe that internet-enabled collaborations can make more people more creative more of the time.


Tuesday March 13, 2018

9:00am Opening: Marcia McNutt, President NAS

Introduction: Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland, Rock the Research: Embrace Design, Rediscover Visual, and Go Social

Opening Talk: Jasia Reichardt, Cybernetic Serendipity Exhibit Organizer, In anticipation of the sixties

10:30am BREAK


Session 1: Revisiting Cybernetic Serendipity:  A Catalyst for Research Breakthroughs

The 1968 Cybernetics Serendipity exhibit proved to be generative of art/design and research directions that were fruitful and beneficial for science/engineering/medicine.   This session provides an historical perspective while speculating about which directions and exemplars hold promise for the coming decades.  

Session Chair: Roger Malina, University of Texas, Dallas

Sara Diamond, OCAD University, Modeling New Knowledges – An Inclusive STEAM + D Imperative

Curtis Wong, Microsoft, Inc.,  Leonardo da Vinci: Art/Science as the virtuous cycle of rendering and understanding natural world

Patrick McCray, University of California, Santa Barbara, All Watched Over and Watching Machines of Loving, Sometimes Terrifying, Grace

12:20pm LUNCH


Session 2: Information Visualization, Data Art/Design, Data Journalism: Revealing Hidden Worlds

Visualization exposes surprising patterns in data, influences the direction of research, and produces unexpected insights. How does interactive, immersive, and large-data visualizations enhance exploration, discovery, and presentation of research results?  Visualization clarifies thinking for researchers and policy makers.  

Session 2a:

Maneesh Agrawala, Stanford University, Deconstructing Charts and Graphs

Jeff Heer, University of Washington, Constructing Charts and Graphs

Alyssa Goodman, Harvard, Smithsonian, The Road from Explanation to Exploration, and Back

3:00pm  BREAK


Session 2b:

Donna Cox, University of Illinois, High Impact Visualizations: The Potential of Visualization Research to Inform Science Funding and Public Opinion

Katy Borner, Indiana University, Data Visualization Literacy: Research and Tools that Advance Public Understanding of Scientific Data

Fernanda Viegas, Google, Inc.,

Jonathan Corum, New York Times, Revealing Hidden Worlds: Visualizing Science at The New York Times

5:00pm Reception

6:00pm Annual Sackler Lecture

             TO BE ANNOUNCED

Wednesday March 14, 2018


Session 3: Integrating Art & Design Education with Science, Engineering & Medicine

Breakthroughs are increasingly through collaborative efforts spanning multiple disciplines. This session explores integrations of art and design with science, engineering, and medicine. Does such integration have the potential for developing researchers and professionals better prepared to incorporate multiple perspectives, accept new ideas, with greater capacity to work with diverse team members?

David Skorton, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution, Integrating Higher Education in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine:  A consensus report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Board on Higher Education and Workforce

Panel Discussion and Reflections with Report Committee Members

  – David Skorton, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution

  – Tom Rudin, Director, NRC Board on Higher Education and Workforce

  – Pamela Jennings, Construkts

  – Youngmoo Kim (moderator), Drexel University

10:30am BREAK


Session 3b: Session Chair: Youngmoo Kim, Drexel University

Robert Root-Bernstein, Michigan State University, How Arts, Crafts and Design Training Benefit STEMM Professionals: The Evidence and It’s Limitations

John Maeda, Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion, Automattic (Invited), Design, Technology, and Inclusion for Advancing Learning

Suzanne Bonamici, Congresswoman, Oregon (Invited), The Congressional STEAM Caucus

12:20pm LUNCH


Session 4: Social Media, Citizen Science & Team Research

How to harness the power of collaboration, participation & teamwork to accelerate research?

In the past, individual “heroes” were celebrated, but today, evidence powerfully supports collaborative projects which bring together diverse talents.  This session presents effective strategies for communication and collaboration in two-person partnerships, small and large teams, and massive citizen science projects. 

Session 4a:

Jennifer Preece, University of Maryland, Citizen Science Speaks to Research: New Paradigms, New Agendas and Broader Impacts

Laura Trouille, Adler Planetarium & Zooniverse Project, Tales from the Zooniverse: Enabling Serendipity and Creativity through Citizen Science

Julia K Parrish, University of Washington, The Promise of Citizen Science: Scale, Technology, Agency and Saving the World

3:00pm BREAK


Session 4b: Session Chair: Alyssa Goodman

Niki Kittur, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Scaling Up Serendipity: Augmenting Analogical Innovation with Crowds and AI

Zeynep Tufekci, writer, academic, and self-styled “techno-sociologist”,

5:00pm END


This unique interdisciplinary experience is two distinct but related events that include the Student Symposium on March 12 and the Colloquium on March 13-14.

//// Role/Play: Collaborative Creativity and Creative Collaborations Student Fellows Symposium

March 12, 2018, Washington D.C.
Supported by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities and Google, Inc.
Organized by Liese Liann Zahabi and Molly Morin 

50 North American graduate students enrolled in masters and doctoral programs across all disciplines have been selected to participate in the Monday, March 12 Student Fellows Symposium and attend the Sackler Colloquium which follows on March 13-14, (please note that the selected students are expected to attend all three days of events).  

Scientists thinking like artists—artists thinking like scientists. When these traditionally defined roles mix together, how is the process of making work or conducting research altered? Does the play between disciplines benefit a designer’s practice, an engineer’s output, or a scientist’s data? What are the hazards and opportunities? 

Student Fellow Symposium Agenda

Awards will include registration for all three days for all awardees (includes some meals during the conference).  West coast students will receive $800 in travel subsidy, students traveling from the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast will receive $600 in travel subsidy. Local students in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia will receive registration for all three days, but no travel support.  Selections will be finalized by December 1, 2017 and all applicants notified by email.

Major support for the student symposium has been provided by the Dame Jillian and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, which also support the colloquium series; and Google, Inc.


Additional support for the colloquium has been provided by Science Sandbox – a Simons Foundation initiative, Studio International and Leonardo/ISAST.



Leonardo Awards for Excellence in Peer Reviewing: Rosemary Mountain, Asimina Kaniari, Nuno Correia,  Carol Bier


As a result of 50 years of publishing work on the cutting edge, Leonardo has become the leading international peer-reviewed journal on the use of contemporary science and technology in the arts and music and, increasingly, the application and influence of the arts, design and humanities on science and technology. In the United States, this phenomenon is sometimes called “STEM to STEAM.”

Constructive peer reviews are critical to Leonardo’s publication process. Leonardo relies on its expert peer reviewers to address work across disciplines with academic rigor and a sympathetic intelligence that provides our authors with insights that allow them to present their work as strongly and clearly as possible. This is particularly difficult in reviewing trans-disciplinary work.

This month we commence a quarterly recognition of exceptional peer reviewers in our network. We extend our gratitude and congratulations to the following for their in-depth and deeply constructive feedback on papers under consideration for publication.

Carol Bier
Carol Bier is a Research Scholar with the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley CA. A historian of Islamic art, her interdisciplinary research focuses on patterns as intersections of art and mathematics.

Nuno Correia
Nuno N. Correia is a researcher and audiovisual artist. He is interested in interactive multi-sensorial experiences. He is currently Assistant Professor at Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI).

Asimina Kaniari
Asimina Kaniari is Assistant Professor in Art History at the Athens School of Fine Arts and a Seeger Fellow for Fall 2017 at Princeton University looking at transfers from avant-garde art practice into art publishing from the late 1960s in relation to pop and the print aesthetic.

Rosemary Mountain 
Rosemary Mountain is an artist/researcher whose explorations led her to question numerous aspects of standard music training, and to develop alternate analytical strategies and methods to express different perspectives.

As part of our Leonardo activities at the UTDallas ArtSciLab  we have launched an initiative in what we call ‘experimental publishing”. Yes publication experiments are a research field and in many ways more difficult than astrophysics. The initiative is co piloted by Researchers Cassini Nazir, Chaz Lilly and myself. Chaz is doing a phd on experimental publishing – see his web site for more details  The testbed for these experiments is our new ARTECA.MIT.EDU platform.


We will be working with our exceptional peer reviewers Rosemary Mountain, Asimina Kaniari, Nuno Correia,  Carol Bier and future Leonardo Exception Peer Reviewer award winners to tap into their expertise  on how best to evolve our systems of peer reviewing so that the good stuff rises to the top, while being aware that sometimes the good stuff is only recognised years from now.


With thanks again to Rosemary Mountain, Asimina Kaniari, Nuno Correia,  Carol Bier for their contributions in helping Leonardo become the second ranked visual art journal in google scholar !

Roger Malina

ArtScience Public Engagement and Citizen Science- Professional Amateurs here we come !


Here is a great new initiative in Venice through the science gallery initiative ! 

Breaking boundaries and creating collisions in science, art, technology and innovation

As I have argued before in this blog, the emerging citizen science movement is rapidly

maturing and we can anticipate a situation with a growing number of professional

amateurs carrying out a growing amount of scientific research, not just data collection

or on line labor, but also data analysis and scientific results. I think this is one real

response to Helga Nowotny’s call for a move to ‘socially robust’ science, and as

this initiative describes this MA would lead to the training of socially robust

scientists and other professionals.

Maybe 50 years from now a significant fraction of all scientific research will  be

done by professional amateurs- changing the implicit biases in the direction

that science takes at a given moment in society.

Does anyone know of other initiatives that link the artscience movement

to the professionalisation of citizen scientists ? ( in french Levy Leblond and

Steigler talk of the ‘amatorat’)


roger malina

here are the details:

Ca’ Foscari University of Venice presents a new professional master’s
degree in public engagement on the fascinating interactions among art,
science, technology and innovation. The multifaceted world concerning
art, science and technology is enjoying unprecedented growth and an
appropriate public engagement and communication strategy is needed for
creating a responsible, responsive and ethical society.

This professional master’s, in collaboration with every Science
Gallery in  the Global Science Gallery Network, supports, promotes and
fosters the worldwide growing vibrant culture of art-science
communication and public engagement. It involves and connects renowned
national and international science communication organisations and
offers opportunities for work-based projects and future placements.

Prospective master’s students will learn how to engage the public and
raise awareness on scientific issuesby facilitating, launching and
managing dialogue and debates, how to apply the most effective
interviewing tools, to write effective press releases and policy
briefings, and will also take advantage of citizen science to foster
and engage the local community. They will also learn and practice
techniques to put the public in contact with science through a
visionary unprecedented artistic point of view.

Target applicants:
– Scientists
– Public and science engagement managers
– Event managers
– Museum managers
– Science communicators
– Public information officers
– Policy consultants
– Innovation influencers
– Creative entrepreneurs
– Graduate students

Professional profiles:
-Engagement managers in Science, Art, Technology and Innovation
– Science, Art, Technology and Innovation communicators
-Public Information officers
-Education officers
-Policy consultants
-Innovation influencers
-Knowledge brokers
-Creative entrepreneurs

Language: the course is fully taught in English
Available places: 40
Duration of the programme: one year
Period: March 2018 – March 2019
Teaching method: classroom-based lessons held by The Global Science
Gallery Network  key representatives
Location: Venice – Vega Park
Deadline for application submission: December 4th, 2017
Enrollment fees: € 15.000, accommodation costs included
Grants/scholarships: full or partial scholarships covering the
registration fee, if given, will be provided by the institution.

For information about submission of admission applications, please
contact the Coordinating Office:
Ca’ Foscari Challenge School:
tel. (+39) 041 234 6853 (9am – 1pm GMT+1)
fax (+39) 041 234 6801

For information about the course contents and calendar click HERE or contact:


Help Enable the Emerging Leonardos, both teams and inviduals !

Colleagues !

Subject: Leonardo has  fulfilled it’s original mission, now let’s shut it down ?!

Don’t worry, we’re not shutting down quite yetwe are hoping to codesign the future of our organization with you.   

My father and other kinetic artists in Paris in the 1950s wanted to show their work; they were told by museums, galleries and critics: If you have to plug it in, it can’t be Art. They wanted to write about their work and their technical innovations; the same art world told them: Artists don’t write, they have nothing to say. Artists paint, art critics do the writing. My father was American; he was told to go show his work in New York, not Paris. And why didnt artists read art theory !

Sixty years ago, a group of artists, scientists and engineers coalesced in Paris, leading to the early kinetic art and computer art movements. Similar groups met in other cities. In my parents home there were such meetings around food and wine, and the participants got themselves organized. Historian and critic Frank Popper championed their work, as did Ernst Gombrich, Buckminster Fuller, C.P. Snow and many others such as Jasia Reichardt. They succeeded.

Our world has changed:  Our community is geographically mobile; Digital culture has started to establish the new forms of art responsive to our own times; artists publish on their own on the web, with their own documentation and ideas.

Has Leonardo become unnecessary? Yes and No. Our growing academic community needs traditional peer reviewed journals. But they also need multimodal and multimedia ways of documenting their work and showing it to others. And they also need to publish in languages other than English. Next year we will publish our first Leonardo issue in Chinese.

With the community and MIT Press, we are designing a new publishing and collaboration platform. ARTECA is a gated commons that gives free open access to the content to anyone who contributes to the content (artists, authors), to the quality of the content (reviewers) and to its pertinence (editorial advisors). If you fall into any of these categories, contact me for your free access ( .

We hope this ‘gated commons’ approach to open access will help overcome the ‘Tragedy of the Internet” that is disrupting our lives.

The transdisciplinary community is growing, as is evidenced by the Leonardo LASER program now in 29 global cities. Documentation for this moment in history is being archived on ARTECA with the LASER videos and the Creative Disturbance podcasts. To respond to the influx of narrative data in all media, our next step will be to publish and archive key “gray literature,” such as the websites of the pioneers in our community, but also the kinds of new services needed by digital culture.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank the colleagues who have hosted or will host one of the 20 scheduled Leonardo Birthday parties in their communities (

We need your involvement and support  in co-designing the future organization, projects and publications.

And for those of you in a position to make donations you can add Leonardo/ISAST as an organization that benefits when you buy through Amazon (   You can also donate through Leonardo’s website ( For those of you that are US residents, these donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the law. You can also choose to make your donation for the Steve Wilson Fellowship, that has been generously endowed by Sonia Sheridan ( )

In 2019 we will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the passing of our namesake Da Vinci and see how the emerging Leonardos today, both individuals and teams, are having  the kind of social outcomes that the Renaissance had. We know this grandiose outcome cannot be designed but hopefully Leonardo, working with you, can serve as enablers for the emerging Leonardos, both teams and individuals, over the next 50 years

If you want to think aloud with us:

Respond or insert some of the comments from this feedback link.

Roger F Malina

Founder and Board Member, Leonardo, International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology

Announcing first Creative Disturbance Podcast in Kannada Language of Karnataka Gari Means Feather


We are delighted to announce the launch of the Gari podcast channel on Creative Disturbance 

The podcast is spoken in Kannada, the language of Karnataka,India- the channel is Produced by ATEC MA student working in the ArtSciLab in ATEC, UTDallas ( )- and his hosted by his father, Jayant Kaikini, in India.


One of the goals of Creative Disturbance  is to publish multilingually – this is now our 13th language including arabic, french, portuguese, mandarin  and yes english.

Ritwik has indicated that podcasts in numerous different languages spoken in India- oh yes- for the collective memory; Gari in kannada means Feather in English, hence the logo !


we look forward to developing new ways for trans-linguistic art science collaboration !


roger malina


Hosted by Jayant Kaikini , Produced by Ritwik Kaikini

ಇದೊಂದು ಕ್ರಿಯಾಶೀಲ ಮನಸ್ಸುಗಳ ಮುಕ್ತ ಮಾತುಕತೆಯ ಆವರಣ. ಕಲೆ, ಕಾವ್ಯ, ಸಂಗೀತ, ಸಿನೆಮಾ, ಕೃಷಿ, ರಂಗಭೂಮಿ, ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ…
ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ ಮಾಧ್ಯಮಗಳ ಮೂಲಕ ಹೊಸ ಮಾನವೀಯ ವಿವೇಕಕ್ಕಾಗಿ,
ಕೌಶಲಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಚಡಪಡಿಸುವ
ವಿವಿಧ ಮನಸ್ಸುಗಳ ಸಂಯುಕ್ತ ವಿಕಾಸಶೀಲ ಅಂಗಣ.
ಅವ್ಯಕ್ತವನ್ನು ಉದ್ದೀಪಿಸುವ ವ್ಯಕ್ತ,
ಅಶ್ರಾವ್ಯವನ್ನು ಉದ್ದೀಪಿಸುವ ಶ್ರಾವ್ಯ,
ಅದೃಶ್ಯವನ್ನು ಉದ್ದೀಪಿಸುವ ದೃಶ್ಯ..
ಇವೆಲ್ಲವುಗಳ ಪರಸ್ಪರ ಸಂಬಂಧದ ಪ್ರತಿಫಲನ.
ಬಿಡಿಯ ಮೂಲಕ ಇಡಿಯ ಕಡೆಗೆ
ಆಕಾರದ ಮೂಲಕ ನಿರಾಕಾರದ ಕಡೆಗೆ
ಸಹಜವಾಗಿ ಸರಳವಾಗಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಸಹಯಾನ.
ನಡೆದಷ್ಟೂ ದಾರಿ..
ನುಡಿದಷ್ಟೂ ಮೌನ…
ಜಯಂತ ಕಾಯ್ಕಿಣಿ

Gari is an audio space of multilingual sensibility and unique Indian plurality in terms of music, art, sound, poetry, cinema, writing, science methodology, folk and theater. Listen to reflections, conversations, probes and introspections to understand the creative osmosis between multiple pathways of expressing to the world. In art, the said invokes the unsaid, heard invokes the unheard and seen invokes the unseen. In ‘Gari’, we intend to evoke all the three by intimate interactions with special minds from different fields. The channel is hosted by Jayant Kaikini, a writer based in India and produced by his son Ritwik Kaikini. We will be having podcasts in many Indian languages(Kannada, Konkani and more)

here is the first podcast 


Duniya Soori, the acclaimed movie director, in conversation with Jayant Kaikini. From strokes of paint on advertisement boards to directing and producing full fledged movies that drew influence from his life experiences, Soori speaks about interesting insights and the lessons he’s learnt over the years, behind the paintbrush and the camera along with his crew and his own life. His latest venture ‘Tagaru‘ deals with urban terror and the vulnerable common man. Stay tuned for part 2 of the conversation. (The podcast is spoken in Kannada, the language of Karnataka,India)

Bumpers by Charan Raj,a blossoming music director in the Indian film Industry. Channel Artwork by Srajana Kaikini
Gari(ಗರಿ) is an Indian multilingual podcast initiative produced and directed by Ritwik Kaikini.

roger malina

Call to Art Sci Tech Graduate Students; Call for proposals for funded attendance at Sackler Conference Creativity and Collaboration: Revisiting Cybernetic Serendipity


from roger malina, member organising committee,Sackler Conference
Creativity and Collaboration: Revisiting Cybernetic Serendipity

re PhD student conference: funding available for 60 north american graduate students




Call for participation: National Academy of Sciences Sackler Student Fellows
Symposium, March 12, 2018, Washington D.C.
//// Role/Play: Collaborative Creativity and Creative Collaborations
Scientists thinking like artists—artists thinking like scientists. When these traditionally defined roles mix together, how is the process of making work or conducting research altered? Does the play between disciplines benefit a designer’s practice, an engineer’s output, or a scientist’s data? What are the hazards and opportunities?
We seek proposals from graduate students in multiple fields and disciplines including art, engineering, medicine, biology, ecology, design, computer science, human-computer interaction, and many others. Graduate students who are working with hybrid approaches to these disciplines—whether individually or as part of a collaboration—should submit a 150-word abstract to propose either a 15-minute talk, a 6-minute presentation, or a piece for a poster session/creative exhibition which will make up a large part of the content for this symposium.
big-data … wearables … ubiquitous computing … navigation … education … medical practice … health … serious games … information design … ontologies … cyborgs … actor network theory … new materialism … neuroscience … ethnography … artificial intelligence … textiles … robotics … product design … interface design … biological systems … sustainability … tactical media … cognition … mapping … genetics … bio art … sci-art … visualization … molecular modeling … quantified self … smart homes … surveillance … public policy … human-centered design … privacy … generative art/design … cybernetics … information visualization … data journalism … interaction … immersive experiences … integration … social media … citizen science
Supported by the Sackler Foundation and Google
North American graduate students enrolled in masters and doctoral programs across all disciplines
Monday, March 12, 2018: Student Fellows Symposium
Tuesday, March 13, 2018: Sackler Colloquium Day 1
Wednesday, March 14, 2018: Sackler Colloquium Day 2
November 15, 2017
– We will select 50–60 graduate students to
participate in the symposium
– Students can apply to give a 15-minute talk, a
6-minute talk, or participate in a poster session/
creative exhibition
– Selected students will be considered for travel
stipends depending on distance traveled
– All selected students will receive free registration for all three days of events, including dinners on Sunday and Monday, plus three lunches
– Selected students are expected to fully attend all three days of events
We will finalize student selections and stipends
by December 1, 2017.


The international controversies around the proliferating PhDs in Art and Design

As you will know PhDs in Art and Design are proliferating around the planet
with vary largely varying approaches- and there is much debate around
the rigor that is not always being used in the variety of programs
the editors for this 3 year Leonardo project are Ken Friedman and Jack Ox
they bring to our attention the first articles now available- with a call
for proposals for articles
within the STEAM to STEM discussion a core issue is the very different
research and teaching techniques used in STEM as compared with Arts,
Design and Humanities.
Ken and Jack also in an introductory text overview the debates that are
ongoing and the serious issues
here is their announcement
Roger Malina

Dear Colleagues:

The MIT Press journal Leonardo has just published the first three articles in its three-year symposium on the PhD in art and design.

The articles are

Friedman, Ken, & Jack Ox. 2017. “PhD in Art & Design.” LEONARDO, Vol. 50, No. 5, pp. 515–519, 2017. doi:10.1162/LEON_e_01472

Maksymowicz, Virginia, & Blaise Tobia. 2017. “An Alternative Approach to Establishing a Studio Doctorate in Fine Art.” LEONARDO, Vol. 50, No. 5, pp. 520–525, 2017. doi:10.1162/LEON_a_01189

Zeeuw, Diane. 2017. “Case Study The Development and Evolution of the Creative Arts Practice-led PhD at the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts.” LEONARDO, Vol. 50, No. 5, pp. 526–527, 2017. doi:10.1162/LEON_a_01407

You may download copies of all three from this URL:

Please let us know if you have ideas or articles to contribute.

Ken Friedman and Jack Ox

Corresponding Editor: Jack Ox <>



Humanities to the rescue in STEAM ? averting the tragedy of the internet


One of the issues that has been coming up as the stem to steam discussion
moving forward is how to avert the developing ‘tragedy of the internet’ by
analogy with the ‘tragedy of the commons”

eg see

at the commoning charrette this last summer the group proposed a number of strategies  

one of the concepts is a ‘gated commons’ by analogy to the
agricultural land ,which had shared commons would have “gates”
for instance  which would
let pedestrians into the commons, but not cattle unless accompanied
by a human…


( note the concept of patterning in commons development draws on
the work of chris alexander:  )

our new is using this pattern of commoning
to create a collaboration commons for the art science technology community

here is an area humanities scholars in stem to steam could play an active
role on how we avert the developing tragedy of the internet- steam ahead ?!

roger malina


personal comment- my mother marjorie malina grew up in Elslack Yorkshire England where there is still a gated active commons on the moor


polymathy here we come again for stem to steam ?


As i was visiting colleagues this summer i became aware of a
resurgence of an old
word : polymathy— it has an advantages over the us centric term of
“stem to steam”

eg discussed in: Experiences in Liberal Arts and Science Education
from America, Europe, and Asia
A Dialogue across Continents
Editors:William C. Kirby,  Marijk C. van der Wende
ISBN: 978-1-349-94891-8 (Print) 978-1-349-94892-5

carl gombrich in his pitch frames it in a way somilar to IDEO and
other design professionals
and companies call for “T shaped” individuals

Polymathy, New Generalism, and the Future of Work: A Little Theory and
Some Practice from UCL’s Arts and Sciences Degree
Carl Gombrich

It is a truism that we are at the beginning of a revolution, one that
is driven principally by technology but also involves other factors
such as globalization and problems of planetary scope. Graduate work,
too, is changing. More nations are becoming knowledge economies in
which services dominate and attributes such as creativity,
flexibility, and collegiality are valued in white-collar and
professional jobs at least as much as academic subject knowledge.

This chapter sketches a trajectory of higher education in its relation
to employment and argues that we see a re-emergence of polymathy and
generalism as both valued educational ambitions and central to the
future of work. Examples of University College London Arts and
Sciences student profiles are given and experiences of graduate
recruitment examined.

at our own university of texas we find this approach to polymathy:

UT Austin’s Polymathic Scholars Program:

do you know of other contemporary polymathy approaches ?


roger malina

STEAM to STEM: Open Science, Commoning, and getting help from Charles Babbage


In an earlier  discussion post ( ) I presented a provocation that we need to think of stem to steam in the other direction or STEAM to STEM- and specifically how the arts, design and humanities can work with stem to redesign science itself, both the scientific method and the way science is embedded in society.

At the risk of exciting Frieder Nake again with a meta level discussion ( thanks Frieder !)( i think there are practical things we can work on here)- i thought  i would expand or the societal contextualising of science. I referred for instance to Helga Nowotny, former President of the European Research Council called for development of a ‘socially robust science’, where the public was actively engaged in the doing and decision making of science.

When I was working at the Berkeley Space Science Lab, a colleague of mine was Dan Wertheimer  was part of the group that created the “SETI at HOME” project, which triggered the vibrant and growing citizen science and open science community- which I think is a clear response to Jean Marc Levy Leblond call for the reinvention of the ‘amateur’.( )

Levy-Leblond’s advocacy of a new amateur connects to Bernard Stiegler ( ) who argued for the term French term “amatorat’ rather than ‘amateur” to cover the whole range of new engaged citizen activities from citizen science, to hacker and maker culture, to patient and environmental monitoring groups and in the US the STEM to STEAM movement. In a very real sense the advocacy of a broadened concept of smart, STEM enabled, citizens is one element of a response to Nowotny’s call for socially robust science ( ).

What has triggered this email- on how the arts, design and humanities can contribute to the redesign of scientific culture through the growing “commons” movement ( see for instance what the city of Ghent is doing) below that is designing and implementing a commons infrastructure. I also attended a workshop co directed by David Bollier who is a leading advocate of ‘commoning”  – which rethinks the early internet euphoria about connecting everyone to everyone in a global village ( yes roy ascott, maybe the emerging planetary consciousness is more like a planetary delirium..). The peer to peer, open source, creative commons movements are alive and well but being re-imagined and could be part of a STEAM to STEM to redesign science itself ?

There is nothing new under the sun, by coincidence this summer I read the book by charles babbage entitled  ( ). Titled  Reflections on the Decline of Science in England: And on Some of Its Causes. The book was written in 1830 !!! He discusses the social and technical issues arising in  science and its context at that time ( yes he discusses at length the prevalence of data fraud, unreplicable results and more) but also how the organisation of science at that time needed to be redesigned. At that time of course a large fraction of science was conducted by amateurs…..( and he notes that p 21 “If we look at the fact, we shall find that the great inventions of the age are not, with us at least ( England) , always produced in universities” The co working world, commoning, hacking, making and open science movements would sure agree that this is as true now as it was in 1830. Mark Zuckermerg experienced this when he was student..”The site was quickly forwarded to several campus group list-servers, but was shut down a few days later by the Harvard administration. Zuckerberg faced expulsion and was charged by the administration with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy….” ( )…i guess we can discuss whether facebook was a great invention or not but it certainly has changed history of the contemporary world with the other social media which are anything excepted a trusted commons…eat grass on social media and they will monetise your mind…another subject

roger malina

here is the Ghent announcement

From: P2P Foundation
Ghent’s Quick Rise as a Sustainable, Commons-Based Sharing City

Shareable posted: “Maira Sutton: A renewable energy cooperative, a community land trust, and a former church building publicly-controlled and used by nearby residents — these are just a few examples of about 500 urban commons projects that are thriving in the Flemish city o”

New post on P2P Foundation

Ghent’s Quick Rise as a Sustainable, Commons-Based Sharing City

by Shareable

Maira Sutton: A renewable energy cooperative, a community land trust, and a former church building publicly-controlled and used by nearby residents — these are just a few examples of about 500 urban commons projects that are thriving in the Flemish city of Ghent in Belgium. A new research report shows that within the last 10 years, the city has seen a ten-fold increase in local commons initiatives. The report defines commons as any “shared resource, which is co-owned or co-governed by a community of users and stakeholders, under the rules and norms of that community.”

With a population of less than 250,000, Ghent is sizably smaller than the other, more well-known Sharing Cities such as Seoul and Barcelona. But this report shows how it is quickly becoming a hub of some of the most innovative urban commons projects that exist today.

The study was commissioned and financed by Ghent city officials who were keen to understand how they could support more commons-based initiatives in the future. It was conducted over a three-month period in the spring of 2017. The research for the report was led by the P2P Foundation’s Michel Bauwens, in collaboration with Yurek Onzia and Vasilis Niaros, and in partnership with Evi Swinnen and Timelab.

Given how self-governance is central to the success of a commons, the primary methodology employed by the researchers was to meet and talk with the members of various projects. Additionally, they conducted a series of surveys, workshops, and interviews with Ghent residents to explore how these projects came about and what could be done to encourage more commons initiatives to emerge. One result of this process is an online wiki that maps hundreds of successful such projects in the region.

These are a few notable projects mentioned in the report that embody the type of commons work currently underway in Ghent:

REScoop — Renewable energy cooperative

For a moderate sum, a resident can become a member of this green energy cooperative to co-own and co-manage the enterprise. Not only is this model more affordable for lower income residents, members can share the efficiency of solar panels. For example, many members’ roofs may not be optimally located to get enough sunlight at all times of the year. But with collective ownership, people can access and share the available energy, whether or not their own home is collecting as much solar power as other locations.

Buren van de abdij (“Neighbors of the abbey”) — Neighborhood-managed church building

A decade ago, the city gave the keys to a formerly abandoned church to neighboring residents. Since then, the space has been turned it into a thriving center for exhibitions, meetings, and other community events, and it is entirely self-governed by the residents.

CLT Gent — Community land trust

Community land trusts (CLTs) are associations that develop and manage land in order to keep housing or other types of properties affordable and accessible to lower income populations. When the city of Ghent develops housing, it dedicates a percentage of it to CLT Gent to manage and oversee it.

NEST (Newly Established State of Temporality) — Former library building turned into a temporary urban commons lab

The city made plans to renovate an old library. Instead of leaving the building empty for the eight months leading up to its reconstruction, officials decided to turn it into an experimental urban commons project. Now, the space is a thriving community center with meeting and event spaces, a music studio, children’s play area, and more. Each of the services and spaces are operated by different community organizations and enterprises. They also have a contributory rent arrangement, where organizations that are more participatory and sustainable in their practice pay less rent. That means 20 percent of the enterprises pay 60 percent of the rent, thereby subsidizing the commons activities of the other spaces.

NEST opening day. Photo courtesy of Evi Swinnen

The strength of Ghent’s commons can be traced to how the projects encourage participation by individuals and community organizations to steward the shared resource, according to lead researcher Bauwens. There are a few factors that stand out among Ghent’s various commons projects. The first is that the projects’ members invite residents to openly contribute their time, skills, money, or goods, while at the same time not requiring contributions by people to make use of the resource. Secondly, these urban commons projects rely on some aspect of their operation on “generative market forms” that can produce income to sustain them. And finally, they also require support from government agencies or nonprofits to help manage the resource.

Despite the plethora of commons projects that are there, however, the commons-based economy is still relatively small. The report concludes with a series of 23 proposals for actions the city could take to support and strengthen the urban commons in Ghent. Much of the recommendations are aimed at addressing the underlying problem that the researchers identify — that the movement is very fragmented.

The local commons initiatives do not actively collaborate or cooperate with one another. Bauwens noted that he saw members of commons projects within the same domain not know of one other’s commons initiatives. That’s why the report suggests the city set up alliances and other opportunities for cooperation between individual commoners, civil society organizations, the private sector, and agencies within the government itself.

An innovative proposal is what one of the researchers, Swinnen, refers to as a “call for commons.” The idea emerged from the way the NEST Experiment came about. Where major work is required to build a shared space or resource — such as a new library or community space — heavy institutional support is needed to carry forth the project. The idea is that instead of having potential developers individually compete to win the bid for the project to build it — as is the case in most commercial-style development contracts — the project would be rewarded to the strongest coalition of community partners and organizations. And instead of giving it to one developer of one winning proposal, this method enables several organizations to have all their winning ideas realized in tandem. The coalition would have to prove its ability to collaborate, share resources, and maximize community benefit, all the while enabling the most public participation.

Commons as a School for Democracy

Bauwens says that with any commons project, urban or otherwise, there are two major potential benefits of having people share and govern over a common resource. The first is that it can reduce the environmental and material footprint of that community. With any physical commons, people can mutually share and provision its use. Instead of having many people buy or own their own car or tools for example, they can share it, leading to less of those goods having to be produced or transported in the first place.

The second potential of the commons is that they can help build a true democracy, or what Bauwens calls a “school for democracy.” When people have to govern something together, they need to make decisions collectively and work together. The commons is where people can practice and exercise their civic muscles by talking and meeting with other members of their community face-to-face.

Hopefully, we will continue to see the people of Ghent build new urban commons projects as fervently as they have done in the last 10 years. With the additional support of their city government as proposed by this report, Ghent could become one of the leading urban commons capitals of the world.

Header image of NEST in Ghent courtesy of Evi Swinnen

Shareable | August 14, 2017 at 9:03 am | Tags: Vasilis Niaros | Categories: P2P Cultures and Politics | URL:

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Ghent’s Quick Rise as a Sustainable, Commons-Based Sharing City