Creative research, iterative design cycles, academic research and creative communities

Fast changes in information architectures and the rapid innovation cannot be channeled anymore through old methodologies, as they are too slow. The old role of the university and text as the generator of new ideas does not longer work in isolation. The fast cycles of iteration of designers and artists (brainstorms with very different people, concepts, prototypes, scenarios of prototypes with real users) and the intuitive ideas of artists who can draw from a history of centuries of ideas, should be taken into account together with the knowledge of the technical developers and the content specialists that are masters of their fields of knowledge.

Moderator: Bronac Ferran (UK)

Bronac Ferran works part-time at the Royal College of Art in London leading research activities for the Innovation Design Engineering Department (recently renamed from Industrial Design Engineering) and is also a freelance writer, researcher and organiser.  She spent ten years previously working at Arts Council England where she led a department responsible for policies and initiatives relating to the intersection between the arts and other disciplines, particularly science, technology, law, ecology and industry. Among many initiatives she developed were the Artists in Industry Placement Programme and the Art and Science Research Fellowships programme which received much interest and attention internationally. She was also involved in numerous policy related initiatives linked to Intellectual Property and Knowledge Transfer/Research Funding Programmes, in academia and public sector in UK and in Europe more widely. She is a founder member of the bricolabs initiative and one of the co-editors of the (Un)common Ground series of publications, developed in association with the Virtueel Platform in the Netherlands. Among her current projects are development of a Lab linking the RCA with Imperial College, a major science university, in London and creating events and initiatives at the Lottolab at UCL, also in London.  She is helping SICA (an organisation responsible for international cultural development in the Netherlands) with a mapping of new media culture in Brasil and is on the jury for next year’s Transmediale Festival. Pre-summit contribution

Adam Somlai Fischer (Hungary)

Adam Somlai Fischer has a background in architecture, and most of his artistic practice has been revolving around experiments on technological space and the social body, how this is transformed today, and where poiesis can be achieved. These projects where shown at Pixelache festivals; Venice Biennale of Architecture 2004, 2006, 2008; NTT/ICC Tokyo, ISEA 2004, 2006; China New New Media Exhibition 2008 in Beijing. A second field of interest for him was the model of authorship in cultural production, namely the critique of single-ing out authors and masters in the collaborative production of culture. All projects that he does are collaborations, sharing some motivations, creating concepts, and developing projects in horizontal teams of 2 to 30, with widely ranging disciplines. A recent project that he has set up with his partners along these lines is Kitchen Budapest, a new media lab where collaboration is obligatory and various models are used to fuel sharing.Today he shares his time between doing the program direction of Kitchen Budapest, directing Aether Architecture, and venturing into the new field of tech startups with ZuiPrezi LTD.

Tapio Makëlä (Finland)

Tapio Mäkelä is a media artist, media studies researcher and an event organiser based in Helsinki, Finland and Manchester, UK. He was the Programme Chair of ISEA2004 (Helsinki-Tallinn), during which he organized the first Mini Summit on media arts and culture policy in collaboration with Arts Council Finland and IFFACA. Since early 90s he has presented papers at several international forums and been a visiting lecturer. In the years 1994-1997 Mäkelä was director of artist association Muu, where he established a medialab for artists, the MuuMediaBase. He also co-founded the Amorph performance festival and co-curated the first Nordic media art exhibition, Breaking Eyes. He has also been active in the Helsinki electronic music scene. With m-cult he has worked with new media arts and culture policy research resulting in three publications, for example, on Finnish and international media art. He has also participated to Asia-Europe Foundation events as a participant and tutor. Pre-summit contribution

Anne Nigten (The Netherlands)

Anne Nigten (PhD) is the manager of V2_Lab, the aRt&D department of V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and initiator of The Patchingzone, a trans-disciplinary praxis laboratory for students and professionals. Nigten is lecturing on research and development in the trans-disciplinary field from an art perspective. She is advisor for several media art and science initiatives in Europe and board member of art organisations such as ISEA.NL, Noorkaap (NL), and The Public Gallery (UK). She completed her PhD at the University of the Arts London (UK), and frequently publishes papers on art, engineering and (computer) science collaboration and software development. Before her current position at V2_ and The Patchingzone she has been working as an independent media artist, and simultaneously fulfilled several management jobs for the media art sector in the Netherlands. Pre-summit contribution

Debbie Esmans (Belgium)

Debbie Esmans has been working as a policy assistant in the Ministry for Culture since 2001. There she has been involved in different types of policy preparatory work, mainly in the field of the arts. Amongst advisory work and the follow-up of scientific research, she also organised conferences and debates around relevant issues in cultural policy. A permanent subject of attention has been the link between ICT and Culture which became from 2005 onwards more and more the main focus of her work. In 2006 this resulted in a publication ‘E-cultuur. Bouwstenen voor praktijk en beleid’ – ‘E-culture. Building blocks for practice and policy’, as a cooperation between the Department for Culture, Youth, Sport and Media and the Digital Platform of the now recently renamed cultural support point for the audiovisual, media- and fine arts, BAM. Recently she’s been working on broadband issues, gaming, the digitisation of cultural heritage and the possibilities of innovative ICT-research for culture. Pre-summit contribution

Isaac Mao (China)

Isaac Mao is a blogger, social entrepreneur and social media researcher in China. He is the co-founder of, and Social Brain Foundation which supports a pool of grassroots initiatives in China including Chinese Blogger Conference, Creative Commons, Wikipedia, OpenID, Open Education, Memedia and Tor Project, etc. His research interests include Sharism, Social Media and Collective Intelligence, etc. Pre-summit contribution

Hyunjin Shin (South Korea)

Hyunjin Shin’s career is deeply connected to alternative space’s practice both in the US and Korea as she studied and has been working at the alternative spaces in the last 12 years. She worked at Asian American Arts Center, NYC and SSamzie Space, Seoul as Program Manager and a Curator after she got her MA in Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute. She has organized international art projects including; 2008 Site SantaFe, Lucky Number Seven, USA; Techniques of Storytelling; as a member of the Curatorial Team; Understanding Theresa Hakyung Cha; and a workshop of Asian Residency program directors entitled, Engaging Asia, Artists’ Mobility and Residence Programs. Her interests lie in new media arts and sociology. She organized exhibitions in the area includes: (r u logged on?) Culture of Korean Internet Users; Sound Art 101, from fun, noisy to Horrible and Sound Art 102, Installation and Sound. She has been contributing for art magazines and teaching Exhibition Marketing at Kyunghee Cyber University. Pre-summit contribution

Judy Sibayan (The Philippines)

Judy Freya Sibayan is a conceptual artist, independent curator and co-founding editor and publisher of the online journal Ctrl+P Journal of Contemporary Art. She lives and works in Manila where she is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Communication, De La Salle University. She has an MFA from Otis Art Institute of Parson School of Design. She has performed and exhibited in major museums and galleries in the world such as the Hayward Gallery, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, The Photographers’ Gallery in London, Vienna Secession, capcMusée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Fukuoka Art Museum. She is currently curator of and is the Museum of Mental Objects, “a performance art museum.” She conceived and was lead curator of 600 Images/60 Artists/6 Curators/6 Cities: Bangkok/Berlin/London/Los Angeles/Manila/Saigon. An exhibition held simultaneously in 6 cities it explored the possibilities of using the Net and digital technologies in developing exhibitions in the scale of large international exhibitions but mounted with very little resources.

Awadhendra Sharan (India)

Awadhendra Sharan is an urban researcher with interests in environment, the experience of work, creative learning and pedagogical practices. He was trained as a historian at the University of Chicago and his current work speaks to both the historical transformation of cities of the South and contemporary urban experiences. In his current research on ‘Improvement’ in Delhi, he seeks to explore the practices of governmentality in colonial and postcolonial contexts, the complex entanglements of the social and the material in considerations of environmental sustainability and the relationship between technical expertise, law and democratic practices in the making of Indian urbanism. He is located at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and closely associated with the Sarai programme of the Centre. Sarai is an interdisciplinary space for research and practices on media and the city. Members of Sarai include researchers, media practitioners, designers, artists and open source software enthusiasts. Pre-summit contribution

Kamal Sabran (Malaysia)

Kamal Sabran is an independent artist-designer. His work stands at the intersection of art, science & technology where he looks into the multidisciplinary approach in finding new concept of creative journey. His painting, video, interactive, soundwork and installations have been shown at art spaces and festival internationally. Through years of creative exploration, he has collaborated with many artists, researcher and scientist. He is the founder of a group known as “Electroprimitive”, performing a combination of electronic-acoustic instruments, sound poetry, experimental-improvised music, media art and theatre. He received artist-in-residence of national space agency Malaysia 2005-2006, have won a young & contemporary new media artist from National Art Gallery Malaysia in 2004, Nokia grand prize winner for best music video director Kuala Lumpur/Singapore 2007 and ASEAN New Media Award held in National Art Gallery Jakarta, Indonesia in 2007. He is now is an academic fellowship of the university of Science, Malaysia.

Andreea Grecu (Romania)

Andreea Grecu is a cultural manager, based in Bucharest (b. 1974). She graduated in 1993 the International Economics Relations Faculty, in Bucharest, with a degree in European Integration. She has worked as a project coordinator and executive director with the independent ACT Theatre, with Proiect DCM foundation (dance), as a programme coordinator with UNITER (Romanian Theatre’s Union), as a project coordinator with Ecumest association. In 2005 Grecu co-organised the first meeting in Romania of the international production network Theorem. She is currently a lector at the Art History Faculty of the Bucharest University, teaching the Management of the Cultural Projects and Cultural Policies. Also she is the manager of the National Cultural Fund an important public financing body for cultural projects and cultural publications & books. In 2008 Andreea Grecu will publish her doctoral thesis focused on the Economic Competition in the European Union.

Sarah Gardner (Australia) – OBSERVER

Since March 2001, Sarah Gardner has been the founding Executive Director of IFACCA. She was previously the Director, Strategic Initiatives at the Australia Council, where she held various senior executive roles from 1990. She was formerly the Director of Public Affairs for the Australian Bicentennial Authority and a consultant in the private and public sectors for the leading Australian firm Issues Australia. Prior to that she was technical manager with the German company, Schering AG, and worked freelance in the tourism industry and community sector in England, Italy, Scotland and Spain. She has a BSc and Masters in Public Policy from the University of Sydney. For more detail, see Sarah’s ConnectCP profile.

Karmen Franinovic (Croatia)  – OBSERVER

Karmen Franinovic is an architect, artist, and interaction designer focused on the creative, critical and active use of technology in architecture, public space and everyday life. Currently, she focuses on tangible interaction and sonic feedback embedded in artefacts and spaces. Karmen leads interaction design research at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) supported by European Science Foundation and European Commission Sixth Framework Programme. Karmen received the Laurea degree with Honours from Istituto Universitario di Archittetura di Venezia, and Master’s degree from the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. She is the PhD candidate in School of Computing, Communications and Electronics at University of Plymouth. Karmen worked as an architect on large public buildings with AltenArchitekten, Studio ArchA, Arata Isozaki and Associates, and Arup. She has taught at Concordia University in Montreal and at Interaction Design department at ZHdK in Zuerich. Her projects have been presented / commissioned by at Ircam/Centre Pompidou (Paris), SF Camerawork (San Francisco), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Torino), Bienal Miami + Beach, Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, Far Eastern Memorial Foundation (Taipei), DEAF (Rotterdam), The Junction (Cambridge), Interstices – Hexagram (Montreal) and others. Pre-summit contribution

Group Rapporteur: Annette Wolfsberger (Austria/the Netherlands)

Born in Austria, Annette has been working in The Netherlands and Great Britain for the past decade. After her studies of political science, cultural policy and African languages in Vienna and Rotterdam, Annette worked for a broad range of performing arts festivals and venues in Austria, before she moved to Amsterdam to work at Melkweg as production manager. From 2005-2007, Annette set up and directed Enter_, a regional network in the East of England for artists, businesses and researchers working at the intersection of new technology art. Enter_ produced Enter Unknown Territories, an international conference and festival for new technology art that took place in Cambridge in April 2007. Recently, she produced Sonic Acts XII – The Cinematic Experience in Amsterdam. Currently she works as project manager for Virtueel Platform, the expertise centre for e-culture in The Netherlands, and freelances as producer and project manager within the field of media arts. Pre-summit contribution


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