HOT STEM TO STEAM TOPIC: the PHD in Art and Design ???????????????


Ken Friedman and Jack Ox have raised a hot topic in the STEM to
STEAM discussion; how are hybrid professionals to be trained ?
(for those of you not on the YASMIN  discussion list check out
the discussion at  or join the
As Ken and Jack explain the PhD has been spreading through art and design
schools internationally – in the USA there has been a debate whether
the MFA ( master of fine arts) or the PhD is appropriate and what the
difference is in terms of methodologies and training. The US College Art
Association has issued a policy statement re affirming that both the MFA
and PhD are ‘terminal degree’ in the USA which certify the professional
to teach and conduct research including supervising students.
– can a professional with an MFA supervise phd students ?
-can a professional with a PhD supervise the work of MFA students?
how are the training methods different and overlapping ? what
are best examples of phd programs in art and design internationally !
the leonardo phd in art and design symposium organised by Ox
and Friedman solicits papers
I am currently working with Mauricio Mejia and Andres Roldan at the
University of Caldas , Manizales, Colombia on the issue of
training professionals for transdisciplinary collaboration-there will
be a panel and workshop on best practices at ISEA 2017 this june
in a private discussion with michael punt he challenged us to clarify:
– is transdisciplinarity research a method or a practice ?
does one train in particular research methods ? or does one create
the conditions for transdisciplinarity to emerge ?
one thing that is clear to me is that we seek to ‘integrate’ and not ‘unify’
approaches ( Punt referred me to Rorty)
We encourage all yasminers to contribute to this discussion
roger malina

Leonardo Three-Year Symposium on the Ph.D. in Art and Design

Ken Friedman and Jack Ox, Guest Editors

In 2017, the journal Leonardo celebrates 50 years of publishing research and
works of art at the intersection of art, science and technology. As part of the
celebrations, we initiated a 3-year symposium to address issues surrounding
the development of the Ph.D. in Art and Design. The first articles are about to

Universities around the world are now debating this issue. While the MFA is a
terminal degree for professional practice, the Ph.D. is a research degree — the
doctor of philosophy. The debate began in the U.K. when independent art and
design schools merged with universities or obtained university status in their
own right. This led to the question of the standards for appointment and
promotion to programs once located in separate institutions that are now
located within universities. Universities in Europe, Asia, Australia and North
America have joined the conversation by establishing new Ph.D. programs or
initiating serious debates on whether — and how — to build them.
The question of the Ph.D. for art and design raises many challenging issues.

First among these is the nature of research, research training, and the Ph.D.
While this issue is obvious to those who have earned a Ph.D. in the natural
sciences, social sciences, or liberal arts, it remains complicated in
understanding the Ph.D. for art and design. What is the Ph.D. in art? What is
the Ph.D. in design? What should a Ph.D. be in a field of professional practice?
Should there be several kinds of Ph.D. in art and design or one major model?
Why pursue such a degree? What is the nature of such a Ph.D. with respect to
research quality as distinct from the quality of art or design practice? Why are
so many programs struggling or going wrong? Why do universities and
accrediting authorities permit problematic programs to continue? Why, in the
past, did artists interested in research choose to take a Ph.D. in disciplines
outside art? Are there specific skills all researchers require without respect to
their discipline? These are questions to consider, and there are people who
have something to say about them, including experienced supervisors. With
this symposium, we are reaching out to those with solid experience in doctoral
education to draw on their skills and wisdom.

The fresh debate on the Ph.D. for art and design taking place in North
American universities has global implications. This debate makes it
imperative to consider the different models of doctoral education elsewhere in
the world. Is it reasonable to earn a Ph.D. for a practice-based thesis with an
artifact or an exhibition in place of the thesis, accompanied by an essay of
20,000 words? Should doctoral programs admit students to research training
programs without undergraduate experience in such key skills as analysis,
rhetoric, logic or mathematics? Can undergraduate art and design students
with a focus on studio skills hope to succeed in doctoral work when they have
had little or no experience in the kinds of information seeking or writing that
form the basis for earning a research degree? Is it possible to award Ph.D.
degrees for skills and capacities completely different from those in any
established research field? In North America, an exhibition of artifacts with a
short thesis is the basis for awarding an MFA degree; in the UK and Australia
and at some European art schools, this is the basis for awarding a Ph.D. Is it
possible to merge these two traditions?

The SEAD and STEAM Challenge

One of the specific challenges we face internationally is finding new ways to
enable collaboration between science and engineering with the arts, design
and the humanities (SEAD). The United States National Science Foundation
funded a SEAD study highlighting a number of international developments
and best practices that inevitably will influence the question of the Ph.D. in art
and design. One of the areas in this study was the emerging discussion on

Call for Papers

The Ph.D. for art and design has become a significant issue in worldwide
university education. As the world’s oldest peer-reviewed interdisciplinary
journal for the arts, sciences and technology, Leonardo has a responsibility to
serve as a forum for the conversation. This symposium is our contribution to
the emerging dialogue on this issue in North America and around the world.

We seek several kinds of contributions to a 3-year symposium on the Ph.D. in
art and design.

• First, we seek full-length peer-reviewed articles for publication in the
Leonardo addressing key issues concerning the Ph.D. in art and design.
• Second, we seek significant reports, research studies and case
studies. Since these will be longer than journal articles, we will review
them for journal publication as extended abstracts with references, and
we will publish the full documents on the Leonardo web site.
• Finally, we will welcome Letters to the Editors in response to published
articles and to the documents on the web site.

Questions and correspondence should be sent to Jack Ox at

Manuscript proposals and articles submitted for publication
consideration should be sent to:

Ken Friedman PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS, is Chair Professor of Design
Innovation Studies at Tongji University; University Distinguished Professor at
Swinburne University; and Adjunct Professor at James Cook University.

Jack Ox PhD, MFA, Research Fellow at ART/SCI Lab, ATEC, UTDallas
Research Associate with the Center for Advanced Research Computing
(CARC) University of New Mexico.

Hot STEAM research topic: The Re Invention of Public Spaces: Science ,Technology, Architecture, Design and Urban Studies


Hot STEAM research topic: The Re Invention of Public Spaces and the Commons:  Science ,Technology, Architecture, Design and Urban Studies…and Neurosciences !

Anastasia  Karandinou brings to our attention another hot topic emerging area of STEAM research. She points to the conference:

International Conference ‘Between Data and Senses; Architecture, Neuroscience and the Digital Worlds’:

23-24 March 2017, London. Venue: Arup, 8 Fitzroy Str, W1T  by the University of East London (UEL), supported by RIBA, ARUP and the Museum of Architecture

In particular: ” The cross-over between the digital and the physical is being increasingly addressed in design disciplines, architecture, arts and urban studies” .

There is indeed a hot topic area tied to this which is the redefinition of public spaces that is going on.

Ten years ago , through a collaboration with Bronac Ferran, we published as a Leonardo Book

CODE: Collaborative Ownership and the Digital Economy. Edited by Rishab Ghosh;

At the time the focus was on the open source movement and  looked at the collaborative model of creativity—with examples ranging from collective ownership in indigenous societies to free software, academic science, and the human genome project—and finding  alternatives to proprietary frameworks for creativity based on strong intellectual property rights.

The topic of the public digital ‘commons’ was a strong discussion at then that has now evolved into a much broader discussion of the redefinition of the ‘public spaces’ and how these are impacted by new technologies as well as the evolving idea of privacy, both in physical space but also the internal spaces of our bodies.

For instance Anne Balsamo, now Dean of the School of Art, Technology and Emerging Communication at UTDallas, in her book  Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work . She has been for many years been developing research on “Public Interactives”  as 

“The term Public Interactives names the broad category of mediated experiences that are now on offer in communal and public spaces. Balasamo argues that

  • Public Interactives are technological devices that serve as the stage for digitally mediated conversations with audiences members in communal spaces such as museums, theme parks,  outdoor entertainment plazas, and urban streets.

  • Public Interactives include works of public art that evoke new experiences and perceptions through experiments with scale, mobility, built space, and modes of human engagement in public spaces;

  • Public Interactives are a mode of public communication designed to engage people through the use of digital media in conversations for the purposes of information exchange, education, entertainment, and cultural reproduction;

See for instance

The Cultural Work of Public Interactive ( Christiane Paul, Anne Balsamo) Published Online: 5 MAR 2016 DOI: 10.1002/9781118475249.ch14  The conference Anastasia points us to is titled: Between Data and Senses: Architecture, Neuroscience and the Digital Worlds

So what does neuroscience have to do with public spaces ? The first area , much discussed in this conference that Anastasia points us to, is how the contemporary neuro and cognitive sciences enriches our understand how humans navigate and perceive the world, and this how architects and designers should take this into account.

This connects of course to the arts and health sciences that I brought up in the previous post, But beyond this is the impact of availability of data on the internal and external functioning of our bodies. This was not really a big issue 10 or 20 years ago. But companies now have access to data on our movements, habits, purchasing and are able to either predict, or encourage, future behaviour; valuable data and methodologies for designers of public spaces and architects.

See for instance the work of Physicist Bruno Georgini and Artist Mariateresa Sartori during an art science residency at IMERA:  in this cases addressing public spaces of Marseille, but they have also done this in Venice and other cities (including sonification of foot traffice on Venetian Bridges by Scot Gresham-Lancaster.

The mhealth movement however has also brought internal biological data into the commons and public spaces. For instance see

Sharing mHealth Data via Named Data Networking by Zhang et al (2016) 

Recently a friend of mine made available data he was collecting on himself during exercise ( heart rate etc, but also the specific exercising he was doing, how long he exercised in each activity, such as bike riding, but also self administered blood tests.) There are now very organised communities of individuals who opt to share data about their bodies that would not normally be considered public data. As I was exercising myself at a gym recently, I was made aware of my friends exercising on the same exercises as I was doing. The idea of the inside of ones body being part of a public space, that can be part of what designers and architects draw on, brings up of course many issues and that humanities scholars and sociologists are hard at work on for instance see the work of Olivia Banner , Communicative Biocapitalism: The Voice of the Patient in Digital Health and the Health Humanities (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2017),

So here I want to argue that these emerging hot topics fit intrinsically into the STEM to STEAM argumentation bringing together unlikely collaborators from Design and Architecture, Urban Studies, Humanities to Emerging Media, Health Sciences and Neurosciences  needed to understand the designing of a culture we will be living in, and the re-invention of public spaces and the concept of a ‘commons’. How do we design the commons of a world we want to live in !

Roger Malina


Emerging STEAM research hot topics: art, biology, mhealth and medecine


In the previous post I called for discussion of hot topics in research that are part of the stem to steam rationale.

I identified the emerging field of multi modal data representation as one such field , faced with the disruptive situation brought about by big data

Another area that now has 25 years lineage is the broad area of art and biology ( thanks to pioneers such as Joe Davis see the metalife initiative led by Yvan Tina for good links to resources

What is notable in recent years that some of these researchers have shifted to pursue the connection of art and biology, to m-health and more generall health care and medicine– this is a very old area ( see Eric Kandel’s books for instance) but is currently being re-energised by the steam movement and born digital artists.

Here at the university of texas for instance, bonnie pitman has been leading a program that includes partnerships between medical schools and museums ( i commented on this in a previous post)

A major conference was held at the NY MOMA: see
a report has now been posted on “the Art of Examination”: Art Museum and Medical Schools Partnerships”

In addition curricula are being developed by the O’Donnell Institute partners with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and the Dallas Museum of Art to engage medical students in observing, analyzing, and communicating about works of art to develop their diagnostic skills. A very useful bibliography is available at 
including research that shows evidence of the outcomes of such work

In our own art science lab emerging media and art student Ritwik Kaikini is working with UTD chemist Jeremiah Gassensmith to teach bacteria to sing !- some first process rough videos are up at

Last week I heard the sound of the death phase of a bacteria colony as well as young colonies-they sound very different !

The ultimate application of this art science research by Jermiah Gassensmith is drug delivery to target areas of the body of cancer patients

I also note ( see below, forwarded by  Ingeborg Reichle) a new book on BioArt: Ιnstitutional Critique to Hospitality: Bio Art Practice Now, Athens 2017 with authors that are members of Yasmin- we would welcome your comments !

we welcome comments on the emerging hot topic on art/biology/medicine as well as identification of other STEAM hot topic research areas

If you have evidence that steam approaches in arts and medicine are productive, we are interested in for examples of medical discoveries that would not have been made without such approaches. As I said this is a very old area that couples the arts and sciences, but that is seing an explosion of new activity, in part fueled by a new generation of born digital artists, but also renewed interest by the medical profession

roger malina

From: Ingeborg Reichle <>

Subject: new book on BioArt: Ιnstitutional Critique to Hospitality:
Bio Art Practice Now, Athens 2017

Institutional Critique to Hospitality: Bio Art Practice Now brings
together 13 texts by renowned art historians, art theorists and
pioneering artists considering bio art’s contemporary relevance.

The first part of the book charts a transition in contemporary bio art
practice concerned with a move away from Institutional critique into
the idea of Hospitality: Kathy High provides an endearing account of
‘Bees and Microbes’, while Suzanne Anker reflects on ‘Three Blind
Mice’. Marta de Menezes rethinks ‘Representation in Bio art’ while
Pascale Pollier considers ‘The Fabric of Life’ with regard to *Fabrica
Vitae *exhibition and Αggelos Antonopoulos makes a personal statement
with regard to his own contribution to this exhibition. Ellen K. Levy
thinks about ‘Emergence’ in the context of bio art, while Adam
Zaretsky provides a critical commentary on contemporary artists’
engagement with bio art and Ioannis Melanitis an autobiographical one.

In the second part of the book, the tension between these two notions
and contexts is examined in a historical light: Martin Kemp discusses
‘Pros and a few Cons’ for ‘Artists in Labs’, while Assimina Kaniari
considers early precedences of bio artists’ gestures in Leonardo’s
Trattato. Robert Zwijnenberg examines the affinities between
‘Xenotransfusion and Art’, Gunalan Nadarajan writes on ‘Specters of
the Animal’ and Irina Aristarkhova considers ‘the Art of Kathy High’
as a form of hospitality.

The introduction to the anthology examines Institutional critique and
Hospitality as ways of looking at and making sense of bio art today,
but also as notions charting and accounting for transitions in art
history in terms of artists’ engagement with living media – whether on
a literal or metaphorical level.

Book Contents


From Institutional Critique to Hospitality: Aspects and Contexts of Bio
Art, Assimina Kaniari

Part I.

Bio Art as Institutional Critique and Hospitality: Artists’ Statements

1.     ‘Dear Bees and Microbes’, Kathy High

2.     ‘Three Questions: A Holy Trinity or Three Blind Mice?’, Suzanne
Anker and Assimina Kaniari

3.     ‘Representation in Bio art: Movement and Change’, Marta de Menezes

4.     ‘Fabrica Vitae. The Fabric of Life’, Pascale Pollier

5.     ‘Apropos Fabrica Vitae’, Assimina Kaniari in conversation with
Αggelos Antonopoulos

6.     ‘Bioart and Conditions for Emergence’, Ellen K. Levy

7.     ‘iGMO: inherited Genetic Modification Orgiastics. Philosophy of
the Biological Bedroom, a Prelude for Transgenic Humans’, Adam Zaretsky

8.     ‘Text, Code and the Arts of Bio-age’, Ioannis Melanitis

Part II.

Critical and Historical Approaches on Bio Art

9.    ‘Artists in Labs. Pros and a few Cons’, Martin Kemp

10.  ‘Stranger Connections. On Xenotransfusion and Art’, Robert

11.  ‘Painting and the extension of life: Leonardo’s bio pictorial
tactics after 1500’, Assimina Kaniari

12.  ‘Specters of the Animal: The Transgenic Work of Eduardo Kac’,
Gunalan Nadarajan

13.  ‘Hosting the Animal: the Art of Kathy High’, Irina Aristarkhova

Εκδόσεις Γρηγόρη / Grigori Publications

What are STEAM research hot topics ? ; data representation


The STEM to STEAM discussion is active internationally- I thought i
would bring up the topic of STEAM approaches that are developing
in research areas-the following workshop at the University of Aberdeen
is typical of similar approaches in other universities ( see below)

In this case their goal is to stimulate collaboration between Univ Aberdeen
School of Natural and Computing Sciences and The School of Language,
Literature, Music and Visual Culture and focuses on the emerging areas of
developing new kinds of data respresentation- an area I am myself invoved in.

As data visualisation has grown as a hot topic over the last decade, there are

many inititiaves that draw on the STEAM arguments re creativity and innovation

to spark new approaches on how to represent large multidimensional data sets. In

the case of our ArtSciLab at UT Dallas ( ) we were able to

attrach funding for a data stethoscope that draws on data sonification techniques.

This workshop at Aberdeen was brought to my attention by geologist Brian Burnham who as a student
worked with me on how to use gaming engines and other systems that our
art,technologyand emerging program is expert at- fortunately our university
made it easy for a geology student to take art and technology courses- many
universities make this difficult. He will be attending the workshop
that will include artists and scientists

If you would like to mention targeted research initiatives
in this one that draw on the stem to steam arguments please do join our stem to steam discussion.



what are the hot topics in steam motivated research ?

If you know anyone at Aberdeen tell them about it- the contact person is
Amy Bryzgel (

the workshop description follows

Roger Malina

Visualising Practices across Art and Science
28 April 2017

This is a call for colleagues who are interested in cross-disciplinary
research, public engagement and collaboration. We invite colleagues in
The School of Natural and Computing Sciences and The School of
Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture to present their work
that may be of interest to those across College and School divides.
Colleagues can present papers or brief summaries of their research
interest, or just come for a chat. The idea is to create a research
sandpit that brings together researchers from both schools with a view
toward potential future collaboration.

The aim of the workshop is to explore what those in the humanities and
those in the sciences can understand from one another.

The School of Natural and Computing Sciences and The School of
Language, Literature, Music and Visual Cultur

– From raw data to a visual/aural output: models, images, sounds and
visualisations in the making
– Visualisation and Sonification
– Visualisation, Interpretation and Display: visualising what for whom?
– Gaps in visualisation/sonification practices: what cannot be
visualised, sonified?
– Cinema and Science: histories, frictions, dialogues
– Big data
– Symmetry
– Topology
– Art in Science, Science in Art
– Modelling of poetry and language
– …and others…


Amy Bryzgel (

VERTIGO: advocating the “sensitive” and the “intelligible”, desire and astonishments


One of the particular challenges of the STEAM argument
is that the art science work crosses many disciplinary
boundaries but not always the same ones- inter-disciplinarity is not a discipline and cannot be organised the same waythat a discipline, like physics, is organised. In our SEAD report

we drew on the network of networks idea, of horizontally organised work drawing on coordination nodes-

A new european led program has just started – VERTIGO and we are pleased that  Leonardo/OLATS is a member of this network of networks coordinated by IRCAM

with a large network

funded through STARTS in H2020,  a number of activities have been announced including a first forum at IRCAM and a call for artists residencies:

“A program of artistic residencies as part of ICT R&D projects, through 3 yearly calls for proposals which will be selected by an international jury. A total budget of 900 k€ is allocated by the project for funding the participation of artists in at least 45 residencies aiming at producing original artworks featuring innovative use-cases of the developed technologies. The first call is to be published  on March 14th

This is an ambitious and risky program, given its scale,  and given the nervousness of some in our community about the ‘instrumentalisation’ of the arts there is some
interesting language in the announcement by declaring an aim of developing work that is

“sensitive” and the “intelligible”, desire and astonishments

check out the vertigo web site at:

Vertigo, the new international art-innovation forum, presents multidisciplinary events on creation and innovation in music, art, design, and architecture in connection with digital technologies. This new rendezvous brings together the leading players in the “sensitive”
and the “intelligible”, desire and astonishment: artists, engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs who change and defy our present.

Indeed the way that over the last ten years, the stem to steam argument growing out of the work of the international art/science/technology community who worked “under the hood” for a century, has blossomed and is being adopted by policy makes is enough to give one “vertigo’, hold on for the ride !!

Roger F Malina

VIGOR making gravitational waves intimate by swimming in them


We have just submitted for publication to HCII2017 conference a first report on our work on gravitational waves in the UTD ArtSciLab – a collaboration between theoretical physicst, animators and artists, and education specialists.

The project seeks to develop forms of intuition about gravitational waves and their behaviours.

With water waves we have had experience swimming in them and interacting with them, so we can anticipate their behaviour and sensory experience of them.

With gravitational waves we are totally sensorally blind. Gravitational waves perturb space itself, so that objects shrink and grow as the wave traverses the object.

We have no sensory interaction with gravitational waves. We have no words to describe them, or metaphors that are appropriate. ( gravitational waves dont leave you wet)

I have written elsewhere at length ( ) about the idea of ‘making science intimate”, where artists and researchers can create experiences that lead us to build our intuition for parts of the world we cant access through our senses only through instruments.

So in this case prof Midori Katagawa and her students Ngoc Tran and Thulasi Venlayundam ported Mike Kesdens equations for orbiting black holes into the unity gaming engine, and then gave access to the simulation via oculus rift.

Yes some of the users got motion sickness !! but not from the gravitational waves but from known latency problems in the oculus. And the avatar is in a swimsuit- and the user can “swim” through the waves and see themselves shrink and expand as the wave goes through them.

We are intersted in other researcher and artists work on how to make gravitational waves sensible !

here is the abstract

VIGOR: Virtual Interaction with Gravitational Waves to Observe Relativity

Midori Kitagawa1, Michael Kesden2, Ngoc Tran3, Thulasi Sivampillai Venlayudam4, Mary Urquhart5, Roger Malina6

University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas, USA

{1midori, 2kesden 3nmt140230, 4txs143330, 5urquhart, 6rxl116130}

Abstract. In 2015, a century after Albert Einstein published his theory of general relativity, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves from binary black holes fully consistent with this theory. Our goal for VIGOR (Virtual-reality Interaction with Gravitational waves to Observe Relativity) is to communicate this revolutionary discovery to the public by visualizing the gravitational waves emitted by binary black holes. VIGOR has been developed using the Unity game engine and VR headsets (Oculus Rift DK2 and Samsung Gear VR). Wearing a VR headset, VIGOR users control an avatar to “fly” around binary black holes, experiment on the black holes by manipulating their total mass, mass ratio, and orbital separation, and witness how gravitational waves emitted by the black holes stretch and squeeze the avatar. We evaluated our prototype of VIGOR with high school students in 2016 and are further improving VIGOR based on our findings.


1 million $ awarded to 11 art science projects by NAS Keck Futures


Some really good news  (for a change ?) the US National Academies have just awarded a million dollars to 11 projects in art and science. Here is the listing and details

Congratulations to the award winners ! Now lets go change the world !!

Roger Malina

The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative – a project of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – announced today the recipients of 11 grants awarded to support interdisciplinary projects related to art and science, engineering, and medicine frontier collaborations, the subject of the 13th annual Futures conference, held last November.

for full details see :

taken from the Keck Futures grant announcements”

“The 2015 conference was a very intense experience during which we asked participants to explore – in three days – important global issues related to the environment and health, for example,” explained David A. Edwards, steering committee chair and Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Idea Translation, Harvard University; core member, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering; and founder and director, Le Laboratoire in Paris, France and Cambridge, Mass.  “It’s been thrilling to see how ideas have emerged with a coherence that was not clearly obvious during the conference.  We believe that the portfolio of collaborations selected will impact how we live today, and how we think about tomorrow.”

These competitive seed grants aim to fill a critical gap in funding for bold new ideas.  Major federal funding programs do not typically provide support in areas that are considered risky or unusual.  The Futures grants allow creative practitioners to start recruiting students and postdocs to the research effort, purchase new equipment, acquire preliminary data, develop prototypes of exhibits, or create new collaborative teams and modes of inquiry — all of which can position the project to compete for larger awards from other public and private sources.

Listed in alphabetical order — principal investigators (PIs) first, then co-PIs — the award recipients and their grant research topics are:

Brandon Ballengée and Prosanta Chakrabarty, Louisiana State University
Sean Miller, John Erickson Museum of Art; SOIL art collective and artist-run space; University of Florida
Rachel Mayeri, Harvey Mudd College
Lise M. Frandsen, Autogena, Sheffield Hallam University (UK)
Jöelle Bitton, Harvard University
Crude Life: A citizen art and science investigation of Gulf of Mexico biodiversity after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – $100,000
This interdisciplinary art and science project will gather data on endemic fishes affected by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The project will raise public awareness of local species, ecosystems, and regional environmental challenges through community “citizen science” surveys and a portable art-science museum of Gulf biodiversity.

Beth Cardier, Sirius-Beta Inc.
Niccolo Casas, RISD Rhode Island School of Design; The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College of    London
Harold Goranson, Sirius-Beta Inc.
Patric Lundberg, Eastern Virginia Medical School
Alessio Erioli, Università di Bologna
Richard Ciavarra and Larry Sanford, Eastern Virginia Medical School
Design in Information Flow: Using aesthetic principles to overcome computational barriers in the analysis of complex systems – $50,000
Computer systems struggle with context, producing data silos instead of holistic understanding. This project demonstrates how principles of emergent design can overcome barriers in computational logic by visualizing how information is optimized as it flows among biomedical reference frameworks. This new modeling approach will synthesize informatics, biomedicine, and art.

Mark Cohen, University of California, Los Angeles
Philip Beesley, Philip Beesley Architect Inc.
Sentient Architectural Systems: Transforming architecture by coupling human neurology to interactive responsive building environments – $100,000
This project will explore possibilities for a built, inhabited environment to be sentient by examining the mutual influence between these interactive spaces and people’s well-being and consciousness.  The team will study how a building’s communication and control systems can be developed in ways that actively respond and resonate with human consciousness.

James Crutchfield, Art and Science Laboratory
Asa Calow, Manchester Digital Laboratory (MadLab)
The Institute of Unknown Purpose – $100,000
This project aims to create an unconventional bricks-and-mortar institution that embraces playful experimentation, a sense of mystery, and an exploration of the relationship between science fiction and cutting-edge science fact. The Institute of Unknown Purpose will engage audiences in new ways to make tangible the wonders of modern science.

Genevieve Dion, Drexel University
Randall Kamien and Shu Yang, University of Pennsylvania
Diagnostic Design: Knitted passive probes – $100,000
Garment devices are complex wearable systems blending modes of communication and medical diagnostics. This team includes designers, materials scientists and engineers, and physicists who will create a garment device consisting of nanofibers that can conform to the skin and passively collect and examine sweat to reveal the wearer’s  health.

Petr Janata, University of California, Davis
Jonathan Berger, Stanford University
Kiu Lee, Case Western Reserve University
Scott Auerbach, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
André Thomas, Texas A&M
Fostering Empathy and Improving Focus Through the Groove Enhancement Machine: Facilitating sensorimotor coordination and cooperation among groups of individuals – $100,000
Rhythmic ensemble performance (clapping or drumming) is a popular form of musical interaction that can improve individual and group behavior. This team will build an assistive device to facilitate access to group music-making by reducing the initial frustration of finding a ‘common ground’ in following a pulse.

Brian Korgel, Unviersity of Texas, Austin
Rieko Yajima, Stanford University, Center for Design Research
Youngmoo Kim, Expressive & Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center of Drexel University
Jeffrey Blum, McGill University, Shared Reality Lab
Rachel Field, Vapor Communications Inc.
Empathy Mirror – $100,000
Can technology be used to foster understanding for another’s point of view?  This team will create the Empathy Mirror to immerse users into the mind and body of another, using a combination of touch, smell, sight, and sound. The experience will be designed to counteract the “echo chamber” effect linked to most digital technologies and increase empathy.

Kentaro Toyama, University of Michigan
Sophia Brueckner, Stamps School of Art and Design, University of Michigan
Global Heartbeat: Toward a planet-wide shared experience – $100,000
Digital networks connect people physically but alienate people emotionally. Even as individuals plug into a single communication platform, they fracture into virtual communities. Global Heartbeat aims to be an intermittent mobile phone signal that plants a small seed of global unity through a synchronous common experience.

Clea Waite, University of Southern California
Lise M Frandsen Autogena, Sheffield Hallam University (UK)
Ice-Time /Nuclear-Time: Micro-global perspectives of the Arctic – $75,000
Ice-Time /Nuclear-Time examines altering perceptions of geologic deep time, using Greenland as a unique window into issues of climate change. The project will explore ecological, scientific, and socio-cultural interconnections between the rapidly melting ice sheet and the long-term implications of uranium mining in Greenland.

Timothy Weaver, University of Denver
Jonathan Berger, Stanford University
ECAT — EcoAcoustic Toolkit for research and the advancement of scientific and creative literacy in ecology – $75,000
Ecoacoustics – an interdisciplinary science that investigates natural and man-made sounds and their relationship with the environment – has deepened our understanding of ecological issues and established profound visceral connections to ecological data. The EcoAcousticToolkit (ECAT) will expand the scope of this research. New software and hardware tools integrating sonification and auralization of endangered environments will be developd to enhance awareness and preservation of acoustic ecologies.

Paul Weiss, University of California, Los Angeles
Ruth West, University of North Texas
Andrea Polli, University of New Mexico
Beth Cardier, Sirius-Beta Inc.
Niccolo Cassas, RISD Rhode Island School of Design; The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College of London
Allison Kudla, Institute for Systems Biology
Towards the ‘InnerNet:’ An integrated sensor analysis of biome/microbiome systems, employing novel interactivity through acoustics and design for personalized health monitoring – $100,000
The InnerNet project considers the whole biophysical system of the body with the goal of understanding how bodily systems ‘talk’ to one another by tapping into communications between the body and the microbiome. This team will explore the development of wearable external and internal sensor arrays for this purpose.

For futher info go to: 

Training Methods for Transdisciplinary Collaboration: Manizales, for key resources


We are delighted to announce that the panel that Mauricio Mejia, Andres Roldan and I submitted for ISEA Manizales has been accepted for this June 2017. ( see isea )

The title is:  Training Methods for Transdisciplinary Collaboration: Best Practices  and Didactics for Team Work 



Here are the Panelists:

Art, science and anthropology experiments: inviting
other knowledge about mosquito-borne diseases
through transdisciplinary collaborations
Panelist: Alejandro Valencia-Tobón (Universidad
Autónoma de Occidente, Colombia)

The transdisciplinary RealLab method
Panelist: Stella Veciana (Leuphana University Lüneburg,

When a school of satellites is a school of photography
Panelist: Juan José Díaz Infante, Mexico

Laboratory of ArtScience in Ecuador: Transdisciplinary
Teaching Methods
Panelist: Paz Tornero


Developing situated and relational design competences
in transdisciplinary studio settings
Panelist: Andrea Botero

The mutualism relation within the entrepreneurial
Panelist: Viviana Molina Osorio (Universidad Autónoma
de Manizales, Colombia)

A transdisciplinary approach to research-creation
(When art is part of… everything else)
Panelist: Ricardo Dal Farra (Concordia University, Canada)

Here is the full description:

Training Methods for Transdisciplinary Collaboration: Best Practices  and Didactics for Team Work
Roger Malina, G. Mauricio Mejía, Andrés F. Roldán
a University of Texas, Dallas, USA.
b Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia.
c Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia.
Collaborative practices among different disciplines are growing everywhere. However, teamwork in different academic and professional cultures pose specific challenges for successful collaboration. This panel is a proposal to bring together diverse experiences about how to train people to work and discuss the best practices in transdisciplinary collaborations.

Collaborative work appears as a need for successful transdisciplinary
efforts and communal professional activity
among individuals with different expertise. Collaboration
frames activities in a scenario of mutual benefits, where
each participant contributes with her work to personal and
group goals. Collaboration is expected to augment individuality
because participants’ peculiarities, strengths,
knowledge, and skills may articulate and negotiate to
achieve an integrated outcome, which could be more successful
and constructive.
However, individuals have limited abilities to exploit the
personal and collective benefits of collaboration. Formal or
informal training methods need to be refined and tested to
enhance transdisciplinary work. In the Manizales Mutualism
Project, we are exploring training methods for transdisciplinary
collaboration. We are looking for multiple
perspectives of training methods, but we are also interested
in inspiration from metaphors from the natural environment.
Training methods, and pedagogics, exist for team
management training and team building in other fields such
as medicine or industry; we are interested in the specifics
for transdisciplinary training on creative projects that
bridge the design, arts, and humanities with science and
A key issue in trandisciplinary collaborations is understanding
the metaphors and terminology used in each discipline;
we seek to clarify and make visible the metaphors
and language shared in trandisciplinary practice. In nature,
some animals and plants master interspecies communal
living in some biological relationships and collaborative
work. In mutualism, for instance, individuals from different
species live together and benefit from a relationship
based on strategic alliances. There could be much to learn
from the mutualism as a metaphor in human transdisciplinary
collaboration, including training methods, while recognizing
the limits of translating from one field of application
to another.
We propose an ISEA panel where experienced transdisciplinary
collaborators present their collaboration methodologies.
A half day working group meeting would also be
held with interested participants (see workshop proposal).
An annotated critical bibliography of collaboration references
would be published as well as a report from the
ISEA panel and workshop meetings.
The following are the paper abstracts from the panelists.

Art, science and anthropology experiments: inviting
other knowledge about mosquito-borne diseases
through transdisciplinary collaborations
Panelist: Alejandro Valencia-Tobón (Universidad
Autónoma de Occidente, Colombia)
In order to investigate the effectiveness of public health
campaigns around mosquito-borne diseases, I have devised
a combination of ethnography and artistic installation to
create a series of ‘public experiments’ in which a collaborative
team –including scientists, artists and patients– create
relational art experiences using visual and sonic media
and executing performance pieces. People in these collaborations
learn to participate by attending to para-site events
in which they are gathering together as partners, subjects
and objects of the research at the same time. These events
provide means for dialogic and experimental approaches,
allowing the hybridization of ‘research outcomes’ and ‘the
research itself’. My ideas about collaborative forms of research
are aimed towards ethical and inclusive ways of
understanding people’s knowledge and understandings.
The best practices for successful collaborations are, therefore,
derived from open-ended and process-based events
that stimulate debate among the public and the intersubjective
exchange of experiences.

The transdisciplinary RealLab method
Panelist: Stella Veciana (Leuphana University Lüneburg,
The Transdisciplinary RealLab builds students capacity
for Responsible Research and Innovation RRI (current
European Commission Research Strategy) applying integrative
transdisciplinary and artistic methods within the
research field “ecovillage”: during an excursion on site
students discover stimulating social&technical innovations
created by ecovillagers. They learn e.g. anticipating the
benefits of humus formation for soil-fertility/food-supply
or how innovative community-building/decision-taking
processes solve problems of inclusion. In a world café students
gain the capacity to create with practitioners common
responsive research questions. In their follow-up research
papers students enhance these local innovations invigorating
a community-based research agenda. The RealLab is
an exciting method to engage students into RRI from a
sciart approach as it: fosters anticipation and reflection
about problems that matter; teaches communication techniques
that encourage openness and transparency for mutual
understanding in academic-practitioners collaborations,
and equips students with responsiveness and competencies
for adaptive change by introducing students into the
complexity of future risks.

When a school of satellites is a school of photography
Panelist: Juan José Díaz Infante
ESATMX is a school of satellites founded in Mexico by
Juan Jose Diaz Infante, its intent is to be a school in which
Mexicans of many backgrounds learn to make an art satellite.
The teaching experience is based in learning to understand
the concept of a space mission. Mission defined as a
process of the formality of the word. Its basic concept is
the changing of the conversation. The conversation being
the dialectical process that a country in development has.
The root of a progress gap. The conversation is a concept
of cybernetics and we apply a lot of the teachings of Fernando
Flores. The experience of building a satellite becomes
a transdisciplinary experience that allows the student
to learn about the need team work, passion and craft.
We are redefining the STEAM paradigm from the starting
point of the arts. Today we are working in collaboration
with the main universities in Mexico with a team of over
75 people.

Laboratory of ArtScience in Ecuador: Transdisciplinary
Teaching Methods
Panelist: Paz Tornero
During my stay in Ecuador working as a professor and
researcher at the University of San Francisco de Quito I
was collaborating with the Institute of Microbiology as a
visiting artist and I had the opportunity of teaching an
ArtScience class for a semester with students from art, biology,
medicine, cinema, psychology and photography
fields. One of the keys leanings in this class is they had to
assimilate how to communicate and work together on
transdisciplinary projects. In addition, we revised artworks
and theory related to this field as well as they learnt from
researchers’ talks in different disciplines that wanted to be
part of this experience and discuss about benefits of collaboration
and cross-disciplinary studies such us: microbiologists,
environmental engineers, philosophers, curators,
and artists. Students had also to develop a group work in
collaboration with the Department of Environmental
Communication and another one made by teams of two
students, one from scientific discipline and the other one
from humanities. As a brief conclusion, I could affirm that
establish a professional relationship with the scientific academic
community was a very slow and difficult challenger,
however I finally had more empathy with most of the scientific
researchers at this institution who always helped me
by using theirs labs and materials for my personal use and
with my students.

Developing situated and relational design competences
in transdisciplinary studio settings
Panelist: Andrea Botero
With the interest in encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations,
and the fuzz around concepts such as “design
thinking” and “co-creation” the amount of multidisciplinary
students taking studio based courses in art and design
schools has increased. This poses a series of challenges to
the traditional configuration of studio based education. I
have been preoccupied by two intersecting issues. The first
one, how to support students that do not have experience
with the uncertainty and demands of studio (and project)
based ways of learning, or that do not have explicitly articulated
design expertise. The second one, what changes
need to be made to the studio format to accommodate the
inclusion of more collaborative and participatory ways of
working, that include not only experts outside the design
team (notably users, stakeholders) but also increasingly
other non-human actors?

A transdisciplinary approach to research-creation
(When art is part of… everything else)
Panelist: Ricardo Dal Farra (Concordia University, Canada)
The solution to complex problems are being explored,
increasingly, from multi and/or interdisciplinary perspectives.
However, those strategies are not enough in many
cases and therefore developing a transdisciplinary approach
becomes an essential tool. The traditional academic
structure based on rigid disciplines has proven not to work
well to face problems such as climate change or poverty,
taking here only two among many multi-dimensional challenges
we are facing. Can the experience, knowledge and
vision of an architect be taken a step beyond its own disciplinary
training? And what about a biologist, a designer or
an astrophysicist? Have artists a role on that equation, in
special when considering to focus on specific problems
that require practical solutions? Can we really and effectively
develop innovative useful ways to do research and
apply our findings with a creative approach. This presentation
will show some practical strategies used in transdisciplinary
training focusing on research-creation [involving
musicians, anthropologists, interactive designers, computer
programmers, magicians, philosophers and more] explaining
the challenges faced as well as the achievements, aiming
others could benefit from the conclusions driven from
these real experiences.

The mutualism relation within the entrepreneurial
Panelist: Viviana Molina Osorio (Universidad Autónoma
de Manizales, Colombia)
Manizales has made a commitment to entrepreneurship
creating the “Manizales Más” project to foster the entrepreneurship
ecosystem that allows the city to strengthen
the six different dimensions necessary to create and grow
companies in a small size city like ours. Government, academia
and companies have found a way to do co-creation
and adjust diverse standpoints to contribute to a bigger
vision, a commitment with development and cultural
change, a movement that invites to believe, create and
grow. In this adventure, every stakeholder has made an
effort to put in the table all their abilities to help entrepreneurs.
Different multidisciplinary committees were created
to propose activities, conduct workshops, boot camps and
living labs to improve products and create new businesses.
“Manizales Más” shows how through empathy, market test
and several iterations of your product you can create and
grow a company taking advantage of everything the stakeholders
have to offer.

Practices for Transdisciplinary Research Collaboration
Panelists: G. Mauricio Mejía (Universidad de Caldas, Colombia),
Roger Malina (University of Texas at Dallas,
USA), Andrés Roldán (Universidad de Caldas, Colombia)
Interdisciplinary practices are increasing in many areas
in industry, government, academia and civil society. The
benefits of collaboration have been proven in traditional
practice areas such as health, engineering, or business.
However, in wider transdisciplinary collaborations that
expands from diverse fields such as art, science, and technology,
training practices are less clear and specific difficulties
can be anticipated. In this paper, we review best
practices and didactics for teamwork collecting sources
from different fields. Then, we study how whether and
how these practices were incorporated in three interdisciplinary
research projects as case studies: (a) The UTDallas
Data Stetho Project, a collaboration between neurobiologists
and media artists to develop multimodal tools for scientific
data exploration and also , using the same tools,
perform complex network fMRI brain data and create a
new media art performance; (b) a behavioral health design
project that aims to create innovative behavior change
strategies for obesity prevention, in which health and design
researchers from Universidad de Caldas collaborate;
and (c) our own collaboration proposing organizing this
panel and a workshop.

Pirate Intellectuals Unite: Leonardo Reviews Starts the New Year Fighting


Leonardo Reviews is pleased to announce this month’s reviews posting.

If any of you have published books they would like reviewed, or group exhibitions or
events- contact Michael Punt, Editor in Chief of Leonardo Reviews at the web site:

I would mention Gary Hall’s excellent “Pirate Philosophy” reviewed
by Rob Harle , who states:

“all has opened a can of worms with this brilliant book. It is contentious, challenging, and will help immensely develop an equitable “new world” publishing paradigm that honours and protects individual effort and creations but also allows sharing and the non multi-national control of academic research and resultant knowledge. I suggest aspects of the old world and the new are needed to work side by side. If this can be implemented, we will have the best of both worlds.

This book is essential reading for all academics and further advances and elaborates on Peter Suber’s excellent book Open Access that I reviewed for Leonardo in August 2012:  “

I also found Hall’s book thought provoking, on how we need to rethink the way we conduct our professions and not define ourselves in reaction to the current dysfunctions.

When the artists and scientists of the Rennaissance and Enlightenment  began to develop scholarly societies and publications they did this in a way appropriate to their age. Gary Hall calls us for us to be intellectual pirates and find the new fertile territories where we can document our work and show it to others.

 The ARTECA.MIT.EDU is one way that Leonardo will experiment with new modes of publishing, as has been pioneered by a number of platforms such as the Open Humanities Press, CLEO, A2RU, HASTAC, Third Canopy , Rhizome  and many others as  self publishing begin to dominate the scholarly landscape.

Roger Malina

This Month’s Reviews

January 2017

The Intermediality of Narrative Literature
by Jørgen Bruhn
Reviewed by Jan Baetens

Pirate Philosophy: For a Digital Posthumanities
by Gary Hall
Reviewed by Rob Harle

Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom
by Abigail De Kosnik
Reviewed by Jan Baetens

The Ordinary Man of Cinema
by Jean Louis Schefer; Max Cavitch, Noura Wedell and Paul Grant, Translators
Reviewed by Will Luers

Best regards,


Jane Hutchinson
Associate Editor Leonardo Reviews
Transtechnology Research
Room B312
Portland Square
Plymouth University
Drake Circus


Machine Art in the 20th Century: Broeckmann on disruption of human subjectivity

First a happy new year , but here is some interesting new thinking from colleague Andreas Broeckmann, who has just published his new book Machine Art in the 20th Century in the Leonardo Book Series. He argues that systems thinking and ecology have brought about a “fundamental shift in the meaning of technology, which has brought with it a rethinking of human subjectivity”. Indeed we are now in a transition from thinking of technology as tools to technology as organs, as Bernard Stiegler has been emphasizing in his thinking ( see for instance Ars and Organological Inventions in Societies of Hyper-Control ). Coupled to emerging complex phenomena when these organs begin to cross connect cybernitically, we do indeed need to think differently about machines and how they change human nature
good reading
roger malina


“Machine art” is neither a movement nor a genre, but encompasses diverse ways in which artists engage with technical systems. In this book, Andreas Broeckmann examines a variety of twentieth- and early twenty-first-century artworks that articulate people’s relationships with machines. In the course of his investigation, Broeckmann traces historical lineages that connect art of different periods, looking for continuities that link works from the end of the century to developments in the 1950s and 1960s and to works by avant-garde artists in the 1910s and 1920s. An art historical perspective, he argues, might change our views of recent works that seem to be driven by new media technologies but that in fact continue a century-old artistic exploration.

Broeckmann investigates critical aspects of machine aesthetics that characterized machine art until the 1960s and then turns to specific domains of artistic engagement with technology: algorithms and machine autonomy, looking in particular at the work of the Canadian artist David Rokeby; vision and image, and the advent of technical imaging; and the human body, using the work of the Australian artist Stelarc as an entry point to art that couples the machine to the body, mechanically or cybernetically. Finally, Broeckmann argues that systems thinking and ecology have brought about a fundamental shift in the meaning of technology, which has brought with it a rethinking of human subjectivity. He examines a range of artworks, including those by the Japanese artist Seiko Mikami, whose work exemplifies the shift.

About the Author

Andreas Broeckmann, an art historian and curator, directs the Leuphana Arts Program at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany.