Last week, Estrella Sendra joined the panel ‘Film Festival as Method – Curation, Challenges, Content’, following the themed curated films ‘Feeling Bodies’, as part of the third edition of the Queer Asia Film Festival. Seven short films from different part of Asia were screened to shed lights on different ways of embodiment of queerness across the continent.
The panel included different organisers and researchers of queer festivals and further festivals curating queer films in their programmes from the UK, China and India. Poorva Rajaram shared her experience in the Bangalore Queer Film Festival. Matthew Karen and Will Dai spoke about the case of CINEMQ in Shanghai. Theresa Heath discussed the Queer Wotever DIY Film Festival. Estrella Sendra shared her views on the queer films curated as part of the Cambridge African Film Festival, which she directed in 2014 and 2015. All members of the panel stressed the role that the festival plays as a space where to perform, embody and reflect on queerness, beyond the engagement with the curated films as art and text. They all shared the challenges of curating queerness and the political choices made in the curatorial process. The event was chaired by Daniel Luther, a SOAS graduate and one of the co-founders of Queer Asia, currently director of the film festival.
The Transforming Creativity Research Group hosted a panel at the recent Cultural Histories Creative Futures conference at Winchester School of Art. The conference is the third in an ongoing relationship between WSA and the Culture Industry Research Centre at Nanjing University. A major international conference, it brought together scholars from the UK and China to engage with the past, present and future of scholarship in culture, history and creativity.
The ‘posthuman creativity’ panel argued for the significance and applicability of theoretical debates around critical posthumanism to contemporary creative production and cultural experience. Megen de Bruin-Molé, Danielle Sands, and Matt Hayler sketched out the key aspects of critical posthumanist theory and to their own research and industry networks, focusing on the real-world impact and potential of posthuman thought today. Dan Ashton interrogated assumptions and misassumptions about the role of automation and robotics in creative industries and work today, testing predictions for automation against the material and economic relationships prevalent in creative labour. Seth Giddings argued that everyday life has been posthuman since at least 1979 with the arrival of playful AI in the form of videogames – and that existing relationships with virtual animals offer insights into an emerging human-nonhuman culture.
A public talk hosted by John Hansard Gallery. Full info here.
Professor Julian Meyrick (Flinders University, Australia) will be introduced Laboratory Adelaide, a research project based in South Australia looking at the problem of evaluating cultural organisations and events. Since 2013, the project has investigated principles-based approaches to value reporting that emphasises integrated narrative, multiple time horizons, informing context, direct experience, and meaningful language use, as against “the metric tide” of abstract, quantitative data gathering.
Following introductions from Dianna Djokey (John Hansard Gallery) and Dan Ashton (Transforming Creativity), Julian offered suggestions for principles for assessment and evaluation and explored ongoing conversations with public administration, environmentalists, and science communicators. This was followed by responses by Dr Ronda Gowland-Pryde and a group discussion.
More on Professor Julian Meyrick here. More on Laboratory Adelaide here.
The Transforming Creativity group, in association with AMT, were thrilled to host two electrifying talks on technology, sensation, shock and haptics. David Parisi (College of Charleston, SC) presented on his very recent experience of testing the Teslasuit, a full-body haptic system, setting it in the context of his ongoing research into the archaeology and current developments in imaginary and actual haptic technology. Darshana Jayemanne (Abertay) explored the conceptual distinction between mimesis or semblance and shock in scholarship on Walter Benjamin. Both speakers made (reluctant) reference to Spielberg’s Ready Player One as a recent popular example of the technological imaginary of virtuality and sensation.
Seth was asked to contribute a short article for the launch issue of ROMchip: a journal of game histories. The editors asked ‘what could the history of games be?’ to which Seth’s answer was ‘the history of games could be a history of technology.’ The article is here, with a longer version online here.
Transforming Creativity’s open programme of creative research / practice workshops was kicked off in fine, generative style at Winchester School of Art by Andy Lapham. An initially apprehensive-looking group of staff and postgraduate researchers from across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Web Science were soon tweaking RGB values and alpha channels and sending lines, circles and sine waves bouncing all round their laptop screens.
In June Seth Giddings was invited to participate in a two day workshop at RMIT Europe in Barcelona. Cities as Playgrounds: new models for urban play, civic engagement and sociality, organised by Larissa Hjorth and Clancy Wilmott, aimed to ‘consider the possibilities of action research and co-design experiments’ in and around the Superilla located next to RMIT Europe’s HQ. Superillas are urban developments in Barcelona that reroute car traffic and open up the streets for pedestrians, playgrounds and socialising. This workshop took the idea of the superilla, and some direct research engagement (i.e. games) in and with them, as a starting point for considering playful futures for the city.
Other participants included Ellis Bartholomeus, Andreas Rosales Climent, Jill Didur, Emma Fraser, Larissa Hjorth, Troy Innocent, Sybille Lammes, Colleen Macklin, Tomasz Majkowski, Roger Paez, Miguel Sicart, Bart Simon, Manuela Valtchanova, and Clancy Wilmott.