Wednesday, 3 December 2014

We Are Northern Lights: University of Sussex seminar

3rd December, 4-6pm in Fulton 201, University of Sussex
MFM Research seminar series

Professor Nick Higgins
We are Northern Lights
Chair: Joanna Callaghan

Screening of film 2pm in Fulton 213

Assembling Scottish Identity: The Northern Lights Documentary Project

The Northern Lights project was a mass participation documentary film project that invited members of the public to submit footage about 'their' Scotland as a means to create a unique national self-portrait. Fifty-five filmmaking workshops were held with groups whom traditionally might not engage with large scale arts and media projects. The result was 1500 individual submissions that in turn generated over 300 hours of video footage that became a 98 minute documentary portrait of Scots at a time when the very politicalfuture of the nation is in question. The final film was the first ever Scottish documentary to be released in a commercial cinema chain.

Prof Nick Higgins, the producer and director of the project, will present clips from the feature film and explore the relationship between user-generated footage and the construction of Scottish identity in the context of the Independence referendum.

Nick Higgins is Professor of Media Practice and Director of the Creative Media Academy at the University of the West of Scotland. He is also the producer and director ofseveral award winning documentaries; including Hidden Gifts: The Mystery of Angus MacPhee, A Massacre Foretold and The New Ten Commandments. His films have been broadcast internationally on channels including German, Swedish, Dutch and Finnish television and his most recent film, We Are Northern Lights, a crowd sourced exploration of Scottish identity, was the first ever Scottish documentary to be released in the cinema multiplex chain, Cineworld.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Uprising at Video Vortex 10

Video Vortex is a travelling conference series concerned with online video. Established in 2007 by the Amsterdam based Institute for Network Cultures, the conference since then took place in Brussels, Amsterdam, Ankara, Split, Yogyakarta and Lüneburg. This year it is in Istanbul & Ankara and focuses on art, activism and archives. 

Lecturer in Filmmaking Peter Snowdon is screening his film The Uprising in Istanbul on 31st October. The Uprising shows us the Arab revolutions from the inside. It is a multi-camera, first-person account of that fragile, irreplaceable moment when life ceases to be a prison, and everything becomes possible again.

This feature-length documentary is composed entirely of videos made by citizens and long-term residents of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen. The film uses this footage, not to recount the actual chronology of events or analyse their causes, but to create an imaginary pan-Arab uprising that exists (for the moment) only on the screen.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Hanging Out in Teacher Education: Walking, Drawing and Extending Sites for Learning

Key Words:
Critical Pedagogy, Social Pedagogy, Collaboration, Partnerships, Walking, Drawing, Hanging Out, Transdisciplinarity, Integration, Extending Sites for Learning

Graham Jeffery, School of Media, Culture and Society, University of the West of Scotland
Diarmuid McAuliffe, School of Education, University of the West of Scotland  

presenting at the IJADE/NSEAD annual conference, Collaborative Practices in Arts Education, Tate Liverpool, 24th - 25th October 2014

This paper will report on how a year-long collaborative research project, funded by Creative Scotland, involving staff and students from several university departments, as well as staff from three local authorities, a museum, a contemporary art gallery and a socially engaged community studio helped to address several recurring problems in education, such as knowledge fragmentation and learning in isolation.

The methodologies of drawing, walking, extending sites for learning and simply hanging out were used extensively as heuristic tools amongst the project participants and the project strived to make visible learning in Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign Languages and English Language. The project has drawn on grounded theory to report its findings.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Incubating Soup? Elicitation, distillation and communication in/for research

IT’S LIKE INCUBATING SOUP’: ELICITATION, DISTILLATION AND COMMUNICATION IN/FOR RESEARCH Research Workshop hosted by Alison Bell5 November 2014, 10am-1pmArt Studio 1 @ Ayr campus 
A hands-on workshop on how to use collage as an innovative way of thinking through making – for researchers and anyone wanting to start research.
 As a bridge between research and researcher, collage can be seen as a path towards deepening understanding of subjective experience. One of the advantages is that collage can seem like an intuitive way of temporarily stopping time by pinning thoughts to paper: capturing a specific moment and framing it within a given context. Visual thoughts can then be repositioned, where they interconnect with reflection and within these spaces, and an intricate web of evolving experience is created and clarity emerges.

Keywords: Visual thinking, reflexivity, collage, research 
Alison F Bell is an artist and UWS PhD candidate currently exploring methods of enquiry through creative practice, that seamlessly merge the making and the textual. Her research topic is ‘Transition, identity and gender: An auto-ethnographic study through creative practice.  She is exploring a woman’s embodied subjectivity of ageing and the inherent problems of how the self as artist and subject is to be represented.

Places can be booked by emailing

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

How To Choose?

Written and performed Davey Anderson and Gary McNair
Try to visualise each of the steps which have brought you to this moment. The squirms of regret at making the wrong turn. The waves of smugness at getting it right. All of the life choices, and the imperceptible instinctive decisions, that brought you here, to this web page.
This is the story of a man who takes logical thinking too far by investing in a machine that can make his choices for him. This September as the nation is faced with a momentous decision as part of the Scottish Independence Referendum, we dig a little deeper into the question of how we choose. Can we ever know what the right decision is?

Tour Dates:
MacRobert Arts Centre
9 September 7.30pm
University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA
01786 466666
Druimfin Lodge
11 September 8pm
Tobermory, Isle of Mull PA75 6QB
01688 302211
14 September 4pm
The Bridge, Easterhouse Glasgow G34 9JW
0141 276 9696
The Gaiety
15 September 7.30pm
Carrick St, Ayr KA7 1NU
01292 288235
Traverse Theatre
16 September 2.30pm
10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh EH1 2ED
0131 228 1404
The Arches
17 September 9pm
253 Argyle St, Glasgow G2 8DL
0141 565 1000
Produced by Trigger in partnership with University of the West of Scotland
In association with University of Glasgow
Supported by Creative Scotland

Saturday, 14 June 2014

CauseWay: the story of the Alloway Suffragettes

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway, Ayr

Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th June
2pm, 3.15pm and 4.30pm

Part play and part guided tour, Causeway tells the story of two suffragettes 
who cycled from Glasgow to Alloway in 1914 intent on blowing up Burns 
Cottage. Weaving the words of Robert Burns with performance, 
storytelling and live music, the performance questions the links 
between the work of Burns and the suffragettes' cause.

This is a piece of walked theatre; performances will take place in 
and outdoors and will move between the museum and the cottage.

Written by Victoria Bianchi and directed by David Overend

Tickets £5

Friday, 9 May 2014

Rhythmic Routes: Developing a nomadic performance practice for the daily commute

The Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland warmly invites you to the first event in our new series of free lunchtime talks and displays:

On THURSDAY 22nd MAY at 1pm
Dr Laura Bissell (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) &
Dr David Overend (University of the West of Scotland)
will share their research into
A short talk, in an informal setting, with coffee and cake. FREE. All welcome.

Documentation and library materials relating to the talk will soon be on display in the Whittaker Library.

Rhythmic Routes: Developing a nomadic performance practice for the daily commute

How can the contemporary theatre practitioner maintain a deterritorialised, nomadic existence within the regulated systems of twenty-first century mobile life? Elliott and Urry (2010) argue that ‘life “on the move” appears to unfold faster and faster in the early days of the twenty-first century, as people become more reliant upon interdependent, digitised systems’. In contrast, the nomad is an aspirational figure, ‘cut free of roots, bonds and fixed identities’ (Pearson, 2010). Responding to the increasingly globalised context of mobilities and Braidottis (2011) notion of ‘becoming-nomad’, this paper asks whether nomadism can offer a credible alternative to the systemisation and repetition of everyday journeys.

The paper introduces and reflects on an ongoing collaborative research project by David Overend and Laura Bissell. Focussing on the everyday rhythms of commuting, this practice-based enquiry explores time and space together through ‘rhythmanalysis’ (Lefebvre 1992) to understand the commute as a space of creative resistance and possibility. Rejecting conventional narratives of the ‘weary and dystopian commuter’ (Edensor 2011), Overend and Bissell aim to develop a series of performative interventions that reimagine commuting as a creative and productive ‘mobile practice’ with the potential for ‘nomadic disruptions’ to the routines and rhythms of our everyday journeys.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Interstices: Performance/Art/Film

A symposium in the UWS space on Friday 28th February at CCA Glasgow with contributions from PhD students, Professor Katarzyna Kosmala and Tony Grace. Keynote presentations from Josep Zanki, Associate Professor at the University of Zadar, Croatia.
Lecture session 1030-130
Mirila: remembrance and oblivion. Mythical tradition, performance art and documenting
Over last 17 years I recorded and researched burial phenomena of Mirila in mountain Velebit (West Balkans) and its surroundings, comparing my findings with rare scientific texts and folk tradition. Together with artist Bojan Gagić l created site specific interactive installations of Mirila, recreating and deconstructing an old tradition in contemporary art in a gallery context and other spaces. The session will be focused on explanation of Mirila phenomena, audience and artist experience in performance installation and documenting.
Seminar 2.30 – 4.30
Ritual practice in Balkan contemporary art
The attitude of artists towards their own physical body has been changing over time, conditioned by various cultural frameworks. The seminar will be focused on examination of examples of contemporary art in the Balkans, which is based on the redefinition of the artist’s body or of the observer of a work of art. I will also point out the connection between ritual actions and performance and interactive installations in the works of Maja Rožman, Vladimir Dodig Trokut, Marina Abramović and Martina Mezak as well as my own practice.

Monday, 10 March 2014

17 Letters to my Brother

Wednesday 26th March, 6.30pm, UWS Ayr Campus

Senior Lecturer in Performance/Screenwriting Stuart Hepburn presents an evening of discussion and exploration as he charts the current progress of his practice-based research PhD in "17 Letters to my Brother: a Scottish Soldier writes home". 

For the last three years Stuart has been working under the supervision of Professor Willy Maley and Dr Andrew Radford of the School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow. 

"I've been exploring the creative process of found editions, epistolary narratives and feature film screenwriting. The story I've chosen to tell spans 8 years from 1938 - 46, and tells the tale of a fictitious private soldier of the 51st Highland Division. I'll be presenting my work along with my collaborators, calligrapher Meryl Lagan and artist Keith McIntyre. There will be nibbles, music, drinks and a bit of craic and you are welcome to come and share the evening."


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Media, Technology and Creative Spaces of Education


a joint symposium between doctoral researchers in the Schools of Education and Creative and Cultural Industries, UWS


Club Room
Morally high: Is Twitter being used as an online space to challenge dominant socio-political discourse around drug use? 
Kieran Hamilton and Jennifer Jones

“Staging the Museum” - Community Engagement and Strategies of Performance in Cultural Heritage Sites
Pamela Barnes

The role of learning in the subjective experience of living with chronic illness
Gemma Stevens

Praxis in Virtual Learning Communities: 3D Virtual World Collaboration in Formal Tertiary Education
Jim Scullion

Cinema Room
‘But WE saw birds at Birkenau’ – initial findings from a socio-material study of learning at Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
Susan Henderson

Widening Access and Academic writing:  Learning or Alienation?
Alison McEntee

DOING YOUR TIME:  Disaffection, schooling and the problem of suitable education
Tara Jones

Thursday, 6 February 2014

“Works In Progress”: Creative Dialogues on Research and Practice

Works In Progress”: Creative Dialogues on Research and Practice
Ayr Campus: 27th February 2014,  Room GT 27, 1pm – 3pm 

You are invited to participate in the first of an ongoing programme of informal talks and discussions relating to the research output of research students in the School of Creative and Cultural Industries. Each month will feature talks / presentations by research students in the school, focusing on elements of their research output and / or creative practice, with a view towards engaging in productive dialogue about research and practice in an informal and nurturing environment. It is our aim to help establish a stronger sense of research community within the School of Creative and Cultural Industries, to the mutual benefit of all PhD students, and believe that familiarity and engagement with each others' work is an important step in establishing this. 

This initial session will feature presentations by Iain Taylor and Alison Bell: 

Iain Taylor is a research student and Associate Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Commercial Music programme. His research is investigating the ways that we attach value to music in an increasingly digital and intangible environment of production and consumption. 

Alison Bell is a research student and Associate Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Digital Art programme. Her research is investigating the subjective experience of ageing as embodied through creative practice.

Sessions will be held on the last Thursday of every month on the Ayr Campus. Tea and coffee will be provided. If you are interested in presenting at a forthcoming session, please contact Iain Taylor or Alison Bell to register your interest: 

We hope to see you there, and look forward to hearing about your work!