Thursday, 13 May 2010

Mashing Up: Practice + Research

A One-Day Public Symposium at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
Wednesday 19th May, 1.30-5.30 pm
Please book with CCA for Symposium 
Kathryn Elkin, CCA
+44 (0) 141352 4900

A Public Lecture Series
presented by UWS and CCA

This ongoing lecture series stimulates critical, transdisciplinary research communities to discuss advanced knowledge and to build networks of excellence among producer communities.

‘Mashing up’ [definition] a mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service. The term mashup implies easy, fast produce results that were not the original reason for producing the raw source data (Wikipedia, 2009).

The lecture series exhibits the values of new media culture to explore synergies between institutions, ideas and disciplines. This aspiration originates with the UWS and CCA partnership, which extends to the specific areas of inquiry that we pursue. It advances the core mission of each organization to initiate applied, international research opportunities through experimental, local dialogue to foster collaborative, bottom-up, sustainable practices of development.

#mashingup We want attendees to blog, photograph, film, tweet and do all they can to share the content of these talks to democratize access to knowledge.

At UWS, we pride ourselves on the vocational and practitioner-led focus of our curriculum. Many of our academic staff have spent years working as cultural producers, artists and entrepreneurs outside of the university sector, and bring their knowledge of practice in the arts and cultural industries to bear on their teaching and research. At the same time, universities strive to build meaningful relationships between their research and teaching activites and wider communities, in order to justify their position as ‘places of learning’ and to maximise the social, cultural and economic ‘impact’ of academic work.

As the learning landscape becomes more convergent, with collaborations of all kinds characterising modern higher education research and teaching, it is important to consider the implications of these forms of academic practice. In this symposium we bring together practitioner-academics, artists, and researchers to consider such questions.

Knowledge-based communities often seem to divide themselves into distinct tribes of either theory or practice. But whether explicitly articulated or tacit, theory is always informed by forms of practice, and practice is always informed by theory. Within the disciplines that make up the creative and cultural industries, practice-based research has become increasingly prominent, but the place of such work within higher education can be contested, because it communicates knowledge in ways that are not necessarily written traditionally or ‘theoretically’ but expressed otherwise, for example through the production of artefacts in visual art, design, performance, music or moving image. At the same time, higher education must develop critical awareness and theoretical and analytical capabilities, to produce more competent and skilled practitioners and researchers.
Creativity, invention and discovery depend upon challenging disciplinary boundaries, playing with orthodoxies, and making new connections. Creativity may also involve leaps into the unknown or experimental and unorthodox approaches. However, funding and policy imperatives often mean that researchers are under pressure to justify the’ impact’ of their work in economic and practical terms; and artists involved in research, particularly in higher education, are expected to account for their methods and approaches in externally verifiable ‘research’ terms. So terminological confusion abounds.
What can researchers learn from artistic methods?  Practitioners and theorists may have more common methodologies than they think; the media theorist and the journalist often utilize similar methods of inquiry.  Artists and scientists conduct controlled experiments which depend on deep expertise, specialised knowledge, highly skilled technical facility, and intuition. Can cultural and artistic research reveal common ground between theory and practice? And in this context, how does theory help to illuminate practice?


1.30 pm

Welcome and Introduction:
Anne Gifford, Head of School, School of Creative and Cultural Industries

1.40 pm
Mashing Up: Practice + Research: an introduction
Graham Jeffery, Reader, Creative & Cultural Industries, UWS

2.10 pm
Polymash artistic practice
Chris Dooks, Artist

2.40 pm

2.55 pm

3.15 pm
Parallel Sessions:

1.      Social Creativities? Artistic Practice with Communities
Kirsten McLeod, PhD student, UWS
Jackie Sands, arts and health coordinator, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
(Chair: Katarzyna Kosmala)

2.      Solitary Creativities? Reflections on the individual “creative process”
      David Manderson, Lecturer in Creative Writing, UWS
      Rachael Flynn, PhD student, UWS
      David Scott, Lecturer in  Music, UWS
      (Chair: Graham Jeffery)

3.      Producing creativities? Mediating the university/work divide
      Nic Jeune, Director of Artswork Media, Bath Spa University    
      Peter Broughan, Lecturer in Film-making/Producing, UWS
      Paul Tucker,  Lecturer in Broadcast Production, UWS
      (Chair: Anne Gifford)

4.15 pm

Panel/Plenary: Ecologies of learning: Research/Practice/Creativity – feedback from sessions
Chair: Katarzyna Kosmala/Graham Jeffery

4.45 pm
Closing Keynote: creative practice: research and the academy
Prof. Graeme Harper, Bangor University

5.15 pm

Please book with CCA for Symposium 
Kathryn Elkin, CCA
+44 (0) 141352 4900


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