[ISEA2014] Keynote: Sally Jane Norman – Location and Navigation: Wayfaring and Arts of Tuning


Wayfaring hones our ability to discern familiar and alien settings, reinforcing our sense of drifting or belonging. Ways of wayfaring evolve technically and cognitively: while star path steering of ancient vessels meant instrument-free navigation, the “star paths” of today’s spacecraft are largely controlled by remote apparatus. Navigation can be construed as a kind of exploratory tuning whereby we can access infinite or infinitesimal spatial and temporal scales, in contrast to location and situatedness which imply positioning, thus responsibility for the paths traced by our journeying. This paper suggests that the more we develop our wayfaring skills, the more we need to celebrate (in) specific times and places through aesthetic experience that uniquely tunes our responses in, and to, the Anthropocene.

  • Since 2010 as Professor of Performance Technologies at the University of Sussex (UK), Sally Jane Norman has directed strategic development of the Attenborough Centre for creative research, while teaching and supervising on interdisciplinary post-graduate programmes; from 2015 she will be co-investigator of the new Sussex Humanities Lab. Holder of dual nationality (Aotearoa-New Zealand/ France), and a Doctorat d’Etat and Doctorat de 3è cycle (Paris III), her research spanning art and technology focuses on liveness and performance, scenography and sound environments. Alongside academic publications, she engages in creative practice (including past initiatives at the International Institute of Puppetry, Charleville-Mézières, and the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music, Amsterdam, as artistic co-director from 1998-2000). Sally Jane participated in the first jury of the Vida Art and Artificial Life competition launched in 1999 by Telefonica Foundation, Madrid, to which she has regularly contributed since. From 2004-09 she was founding director of Culture Lab, Newcastle University’s interdisciplinary digital hub, helping secure its UK Digital Economy Centre status. Previously as Director General of the Ecole européenne supérieure de l’image, Angoulême-Poitiers, she launched a Digital Arts doctoral programme. She has been part of international cultural lobbying groups and institutional consortia since the nineties, including as EU Framework Programme researcher at the Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe). Sally Jane ensures advisory missions for the European Research Council and organisations in the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden.  sussex.ac.uk/profiles/240005