[ISEA2011] Panel: Anne Bal­samo (moderator) – The Madness of Methods: Emerging Arts Research Practices

Panel Statement

Chair Per­son: Anne Bal­samo
Pre­sen­ters: Rose­mary Comella, Jeanne Jo, Amanda Tasse, Gabriel Pe­ters-Lazaro, Diego Costa & Joshua McVeigh-Schultz

Com­mon among the cre­ative fields–the arts, sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy and de­sign–is a com­mit­ment to the pro­duc­tion of new knowl­edge based on orig­i­nal re­search.  Re­search is the praxis of sys­tem­atic crit­i­cal re­flec­tion that fo­cuses on com­pelling do­main-de­fined ques­tions.  The “ques­tion of method” is often used to dis­tin­guish art and de­sign from sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy: where the lat­ter are de­fined by rei­fied method­olog­i­cal par­a­digms, and the for­mer by the re­pu­di­a­tion of such par­a­digms.  In prac­tice we know this to be a false op­po­si­tion: artists and de­sign­ers sys­tem­at­i­cally en­gage the em­pir­i­cal in many ways in their cre­ative work; sci­en­tists and tech­nol­o­gists cre­atively im­pro­vise to form ra­tio­nal ac­counts of their tech­ni­cal pro­jects. The par­tic­i­pants on this panel are each en­gaged in de­vel­op­ing in­no­v­a­tive meth­ods that demon­strates the no­tion of art prac­tice as trans­for­ma­tive re­search.  For some of them this takes the form of per­for­mance and real-time video mix­ing, for oth­ers it is the cre­ation of loca­tive media ex­pe­ri­ences that probe cul­tural dis­po­si­tions and habits. Key areas to be dis­cussed in­clude:  the ten­sions be­tween em­pir­i­cal, in­ter­pre­tive and crit­i­cal re­search tech­niques in the per­for­mance and pro­duc­tion of art prac­tice; the con­tri­bu­tion of psy­cho­analy­sis and cog­ni­tive sci­ence to arts re­search; mul­ti­me­dia tech­niques for the cre­ation of real-time knowl­edge pro­duc­tion; mak­ing re­search vis­i­ble to trans­dis­ci­pli­nary (aca­d­e­mic) au­di­ences; and com­mu­ni­cat­ing arts prac­tice re­search in dy­namic ver­nac­u­lars. This panel will de­scribe, ex­plore, and demon­strate a range of new meth­ods of emerg­ing arts re­search.

  • Prof. Anne Bal­samo‘s work fo­cuses on the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the cul­ture and tech­nol­ogy.  This focus in­forms her prac­tice as a scholar, re­searcher, new media de­signer, and en­tre­pre­neur.  She is cur­rently a Full Pro­fes­sor of In­ter­ac­tive Media in the School of Cin­e­matic Arts, and of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions in the An­nen­berg School of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.  Her first book, Tech­nolo­gies of the Gen­dered Body: Read­ing Cy­borg Women (Duke UP, 1996) in­ves­ti­gated the so­cial and cul­tural im­pli­ca­tions of emer­gent bio-tech­nolo­gies.  Her most re­cent book De­sign­ing Cul­ture: The Tech­no­log­i­cal Imag­i­na­tion at Work (Duke UP, 2011) ex­am­ines the re­la­tion­ship be­tween de­sign­ing praxis, cul­tural re­pro­duc­tion and the tech­no­log­i­cal imag­i­na­tion.  Designingculture.net