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.

UTDallas to be known as a STEAM school: 6 new ATEC faculty positions announced


We have a new university President at University of Texas at Dallas: Richard Benson.

In his state of the university presentation :  XXX

“He told the audience that he wants the University to be known as a STEAM school — one that is not only focused on science, technology, engineering and math, but also on the arts.”

To my knowledge this is the first university president to stake out this STEAM terminology/territory at the top level of a university !!.

As I have mentioned before, we also have a new Dean, Anne Balsamo, in our new ATEC School of Art, Technology and Emerging Communication , and she has opened 6 new tenure track faculty positions ( as well as 6 fully funded PhD scholarships)- evidence of our President’s intentions .

Here are the first faculty announcements.

There are also several open technical staff positions. All the open  positions can be found at:

use the job search button and search using keyword ATEC or click here:  AAA

Open Rank Faculty in Critical Media Studies – Intersectionality and Emerging Media

F00069P12/09/2016Arts and TechnologyFaculty08/31/2017The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) at the University of Texas Dallas invites applications for open rank tenure stream faculty members in critical media studies. Applicants’ research and teaching interests should emphasize intersectionality and emerging media, including how social forces produce social injustice and inequality based on gender, race, class, sexualit

Open Rank Faculty in Critical Media Studies – Transnational Media Formations

F00068P12/09/2016Arts and TechnologyFaculty08/31/2017The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) at the University of Texas Dallas invites applications for open rank tenure stream faculty members in critical media studies. Applicants’ research and teaching interests should emphasize transnational media formations, including topics concerning issues of media globalization with a focus on emerging industries, labor and policies…

Open Rank Faculty in Game Production

F00067P12/09/2016Arts and TechnologyFaculty08/31/2017The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) at the University of Texas Dallas invites applications for open rank tenure stream faculty members in game production. Applicants’ research and teaching interests may include but are not limited to digital game design and development, serious games, educational games, virtual reality, augmented reality, scripting and programming,…

Open Rank Faculty in Mediated Communication

F00066P12/09/2016Arts and TechnologyFaculty08/31/2017The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at The University of Texas at Dallas invites applications for an open rank tenure-line position in mediated communication. Applicants’ research and teaching interests should embrace social science methods to engage questions of media psychology, mediated interpersonal communication, social networks, or mass media theory and research. …

Open Rank Faculty Position in Interaction Design

F00065P12/08/2016Arts and TechnologyFaculty08/31/2017The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) at The University of Texas Dallas invites applications for open rank tenure stream faculty members in interaction design. Applicants’ research and teaching interests should emphasize design research methods, contemporary production methods, usability testing, and/or design theory. Created in 2015, the School of Arts, Technology…

Open Rank Faculty in Game Studies

F00070P12/09/2016Arts and TechnologyFaculty08/31/2017The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) at the University of Texas Dallas invites applications for open rank tenure stream faculty members in game studies. Applicants’ research and teaching interests may include but are not limited to digital game studies, game development, serious games, educational and learning games, virtual and/or augmented reality, philosophy of t…

These are the first of a number of new faculty hires that will cover a number of art/sci/tech areas including art and science and stem to steam- a new plan for the school is being worked on by Balsamo – we now have BA,MA.MFA and PhD programs and over 1500 students enrolled !

As we debate what STEM to STEAM really means ( see the YASMIN discussion

Is STEM to STEAM a new idea, vapour ware or or just hot most air ?

)- it will be an exciting ride to see how the ideas take form and flesh at UTD ! I remember 50 years ago (almost) as an undergraduate student at MIT, spending time at Gyorgy Kepes’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies -CAVS  created the momentum at MIT that led to the MIT Media Lab. Who knows 50 years from now what UT Dallas will have imagined and created from the program that Tom Linehan started at UTD !

I encourage all interested PhD students  to apply

PHD Fellowships in art-science-technology: one month to deadline 

and faculty to consider applying for these positions.


–Roger Malina

6 new art technology and emerging media faculty positions


I announced last month the 6 PhD fellowships in art science tech at UTD Dallas ( see below the deadline is jan 15). This is to alert you that six ( yes SIX) new tenure track faculty positions are about to be announced by our new Dean Anne Balsamo

The school web site is 

I will announce on this blog when the new positions are advertised and how to apply.

Meanwhile there is one month left for interested PhD applications to apply for the fully funded PhD fellowships= details below

roger malina


PHD Fellowships in art-science-technology: one month to deadline

Is STEM to STEAM a new idea, vapour ware or or just hot most air ?


Announcing a YASMIN discussion on STEM TO STEAM  


( if you are not part of the YASMIN mediterranean art science tech community join the discussion list at :

Note- the lists hosted at the University of Athens include a Discussion list and an Announcement list – sign up to the discussion list only or both)

What does STEM to STEAM mean: New Ideas or Hot Moist Air ?

Moderator: Roger Malina

Discussants: Dimitris Charitos ( Prof at University of Athens , Greece), Guillermo Munoz ( Spain, currently a nanoscience postdoc in Japan),Gemma Anderson ( Artist and Lecturer in Drawing at Falmouth University). Ken Friedman ( original fluxus member  and design dean). *Julia Buntaine (Neuroscience-based art)

As you know there is an international discussion on “stem to steam”concepts and approaches for new art/sci/tech teaching and research methods.  There is much debate and discussion on whether the ideas behind STEM to STEAM are new in anyway, or whether the phrase is a repackaging of current work in a way to attract new funding ( for an understanding the social and cultural processes at work in ‘selling’ programs like stem to steam – on  a larger scale- see for instance Patrick McCray’s detailed book called The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future   )   

Note: we realise that the origin of the “STEM” terminology is a US science funding invention, and in different countries the discussion is being argued with different terms of how to find new ways to integrate Art/Design/Humanities with Science/Engineering/Medicine.

The US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine are currently conducting a two year study to address  the higher educationnpart of the question:

Integrating Higher Education in the
Arts, Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The European Union has initiated the STARTS (science technology and the arts ) funding program:

which seeks to address the innovation argument:

“”STARTS encourages synergies between the Arts and innovation for technology and society by promoting the inclusion of artists in Horizon 2020 projects.An increasing number of high-tech companies assert that scientific and technological skills alone are not sufficient anymore. In this context, the Arts are gaining prominence as catalysts for an efficient conversion of science and technology knowledge into novel products, services, and processes.””

We are proposing a discussion on the YASMIN discussion list on the STEM to STEAM  topics on Drec 19-2016-all members of the yasmin community welcome to participate

In our own School at the University of Texas at Dallas faculty members are learning how to teach science and engineering differently using STEAM
approaches: eg



Karen Doore:
Curriculum Re-Design: Computer Science for ATEC Students Karen Doore will present an overview of curriculum for CS programming-sequence courses for ATEC and will include student projects showcasing top student works. There are significant challenges and difficulties in attempting to teach complex technical material to a diverse student groups, particularly when many students question the premise that these CS courses provide value for the effort that is required to learn the course content. There are
current efforts to re-design curriculum for these courses. She is looking for feedback and suggestions that can further guide the curriculum re-design efforts.

About Karen Doore

Karen Doore is a Senior Lecturer and PhD Candidate in the Computer Science Department at UT Dallas. Her research focus is Computer Science Education, with an emphasis on curriculum design for Non-Majors. She earned her BS in Material Science and Engineering from
the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN and an MS in Computer Science with a focus on Intelligent Systems from UT Dallas. She currently teaches required CS programming-sequence courses for ATEC students, and has been working for several years as part of the
re-design effort for the curriculum of these courses. Her new curriculum has an enhanced focus on computational modeling, so that, in addition to learning fundamental programming concepts, students learn how to model dynamic, interactive systems. One goal of this modeling focus is to provide students with skills to design, communicate about, and implement dynamic interactive programs, such as games, animations, and design tools

Our school of Art Tecnology and Emerging Communication has also announced 6 full PhD scholarships including STEM to STEAM creative work and research.

For the YASMIN discusson we are interested in STEM to STEAM topics in artistic and design work, art-sci-tech research, education and personal behaviour !!

Hopefully STEM to STEAM is not just vapour ware !

Join our discussion on YASMIN

 If you just want to follow and not post the discussion is available at:

Roger Malina

PHD Fellowships in art-science-technology: one month to deadline


One month to deadline for applications for 4 year PhD scholarships in art-science-technology- humanities-, including STEM to STEAM areas.

The fellowships include two years of fellowships and two years of Teaching Assistantships to teach the teachers of STEAM….

This includes PhD applications for the ArtSciLab which is directed by Roger Malina and Cassini Nazir: 

The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

At The University of Texas at Dallas

The School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication (ATEC) at the University of Texas at Dallas invites applications for its graduate programs beginning in Fall 2017.  We seek students who appreciate the opportunities of cross-disciplinary education, who aspire to be visionary scholars, researchers, teachers and artists.

ATEC was founded in 2004 as a joint program between the School of Arts and Humanities and the Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.  In 2015, ATEC became the newest school at UT Dallas with a mission to develop transdisciplinary academic programs that span the fields of art, science, design, humanities, and social sciences. 

ATEC currently offers three graduate programs:  The Masters of Arts (MA), the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA), and the Ph.D.  Research areas for all graduate students include culture and technology studies, game studies, game development, computer animation, communication studies, critical media studies, media psychology, interaction design, and creative practice.

Current labs, studios, and research areas include:

  • ArtSci Lab

  • Cultural Science Lab

  • Creative Automata Lab

  • Fashioning Circuits Lab

  • Future Immersive Virtual Environments (FIVE) Lab

  • Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems (ANTE)

  • Narrative Systems Research Lab

  • Public Interactives Research Lab (PIRL)

  • Social Practice and Community Engagement Media (SP&CE) Lab

  • 3-D Modeling Studio

Join the ATEC Adventure!

Collaboration is the foundation of every program.  Students collaborate with faculty, with each other, and with colleagues from other schools, institutions, museums, and galleries.

Faculty have training and expertise in multiple disciplines:  digital humanities, critical race studies, cultural studies, game studies, game design, animation, virtual reality, narrative theory, art & science, computer science, interaction design, visual arts, 3-D arts.  They are leaders in developing new hybrid research projects and experimental creative practices.

ATEC is housed in the newly constructed Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building.  Opened in 2014, the 155,000 sq. ft. facility includes computer labs, fabrication and maker spaces, faculty research labs, motion capture labs, usability lab, sound design recording spaces, game and media library, and a 3D art studio. 

ATEC faculty are dedicated teachers who embrace project-based learning, collaborative creative practice, and critical analysis and social science research methods.  Students are encouraged to join lab-based projects, collaborate on experimental art and media productions, and engage in critical and social scientific research.

Funding is available for outstanding doctoral students for 4 years of study.  Funding support includes two years of fellowship (year 1 and year 4) and two years of teaching assistantships (year 2 and year 3).  Tuition is covered by the School.  Students in the MA and MFA programs may also be funded through research assistantships and teaching assistantships.

Requirements for application to the MA or MFA programs, students must have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited school in a relevant field, and submit a portfolio with a written essay of interest, and examples of creative and/or critical work.

Applicants for the Ph. D program must have earned a master’s level degree in a relevant field, and submit a portfolio that includes a written essay of interest, an example of academic writing, and evidence of creative practice or research experience. 

For details about ATEC graduate programs, visit

For further information about the doctoral program, please contact Ph.D. adviser Christine Messick

For information about the MA and MFA programs, please contact graduate adviser Ellen Curtis

General inquiries can be sent to Dr. Monica Evans, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in ATEC

Graduate admission application deadline for consideration of funding and financial aid:  January 15, 2017.  Contact for further details.

roger malina