ISEA2014 CONFERENCE STREAMS
When refining the conference program, six thematic streams were developed – of Technology, Location/Space, Performance, Sensory Body, Education/Media and Public Space – providing a variety of sessions for delegates’ presentations outlining current trends, exploring established paradigms or introducing new areas of interest.
- Stream 1 – Technology
Technology, a major tenet of ISEA, is both a tool as well as an area of research for artists, scientists, technologists and other professionals. Artists and designers often deploy technology as a medium to realize an idea. This stream presented debates on virtual space, augmented reality and social network platforms. Technology also can be used to create platforms that foster interactivity as well as inter and trans disciplinary projects. What are the technological frameworks used by artists to create an object and then manipulate it? With viruality already established, what new emergent realities are being developed? How are aspects of gaming, new application and locational technologies being appropriated for art projects? Can contemporary technology interact with patterns, techniques and the aesthetics of traditional arts and crafts? If technology is culturally neutral, can it be a site where differing cultural sensibilities meet, as in the proverbial ‘East meets West?’
- Stream 2 – Location/Space
Location, the main theme of ISEA2014, is a major determinate of meaning. With increasingly multicultural communities how do spaces reflect creolization both in their configuration as well as through senses culturally evoked within those spaces? How can projects both respond to the specifics of location yet also refer to other spaces or places, particularly in this era of increasing globalization? Can cultures, places and spaces from the past be relocated and experienced in contemporary time? What ways can the geography of location be mapped and manipulated to create new ways of locating experience? How do cultural attachments to location shift over time, repositioning and redefining through new locational strategies? Do virtual spaces, spaces within networks and clouds, allow for dual subjectivities, augmented selves and aspects of bi-locationality? How can public and private spaces be activated by technologies to promote interactivity and active responses.
- Stream 3 – Performance
The beauty of performance and electronic music is its temporality, taking place at a specific time and place, involving live performers and an audience. Addressing the ISEA2014 theme of location, most artists created projects to be performed and played within an Emirati setting. Through these electronic augmentations generated by performatively interacting with elements of location, new resonances were created that will continue to reverberate and resonate, from the UAE back to artistic communities throughout the world. Papers explored relationships between musical and visual patterns, the poetics of performance, performative interactive artwork as well as presence within mixed reality works. Technology was advocated for activating the performativity of historic texts.
- Stream 4 – Sensory Body
Sound, sight, smell and touch, as well as the interactivity of theses senses, implicate bodies with experiential affects. How can projects be designed that evoke the senses through incorporating interactivity within and between human bodies? Can sensorial projects encourage and augment interaction between communities that historically remained distinct or even alien from each other? Today, technology has advanced to allow fibers and fabrics to engage our senses through optics and feedback responses. This stream included the rich history of and the future possibilities for applying digital technology to textiles and related materials. Through methods of archeophony can the sounds of historic spaces be reconstructed? Technologically recording human movement in dance, can we better understand cultural aspects of the bodies in motion? What is the relationship between smell and cultural memory? How can technology stimulate bodily interactions with installations?
- Stream 5 – Education/Media
As educators aim to create better learning platforms for students, by diversifying their subject matter while also engaging interdisciplinary themes, this stream focused on the connection between arts and media technologies in the classroom. With the world ever more connected, how can educators embrace new technologies to create new and stimulating ways to link ideas and cultures from around the world? Papers also explored ways that audiences can interact with artists as well as how 3D technologies can bring the presence of objects and architecture into the classroom.
- Stream 6 – Public Space
This stream focused on the role and influence of creative disciplines and technology on public interactions and the possibilities for enhancing urban spaces. Creative works in public space can help to generate visual identity and a sense of belonging. New media facades can augment public space, yet an overload of visual imagery on billboards can reduce public space to an ever-changing flat surface. Originating from a pearling and trading industry, the UAE has always been exposed and open to foreign cultures including the architecture and design of public spaces taken from multiple resident populations. In recent years, the country has been witness to rapid urbanization and has attracted a global multi-cultural society, factors that all impact the development of urban spaces. In this evolving reality, the role of culture in public space and of multicultural society on notions of public and private space are essential aspects of sustainable and culturally sensitive city development.