LEAF: Transdisciplinary Visual Arts, Science & Technology Renewal Post-New Media Assimilation  Review 2011

Leonardo Education and Art Forum

Transdisciplinary Visual Arts, Science & Technology Renewal Post-New Media Assimilation workshop

Reviewed by Suzette Worden


At the ISEA 2011 conference, Istanbul (17 September), and the Rewire fourth International conference on the history of Media Art, Science and Technology, Liverpool (27 September), delegates were provided with two linked opportunities to take a close look at current practice in art education and to consider the relevance of a transdisciplinary approach to post media art assimilation. Both conferences focussed on new media theory and practice, with the Rewire conference providing a tighter focus on the histories of digital arts.

This short review is an account of the two sessions, (both titled: “Transdisciplinary Visual Arts, Science & Technology Renewal Post-New Media Assimilation Workshop”) [1] and provides an overview of the presentations, the issues raised and the questions arising that, if taken on board in future meetings, will take the discussion further. The agenda for these two sessions was similar with an overlap of speakers and some members of the audience. Everyone had the opportunity to participate in discussion sessions after the agenda was introduced through short presentations.

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The Leonardo Education and Art Forum Workshops 2011


The Leonardo Education and  Art Forum (LEAF) continues its successful international education event-initiative and correspondingly we are organising a series of international education workshop sessions scheduled at  forthcoming International Symposium of Electronic Art, Istanbul and Rewire the Fourth International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology, Liverpool 2011.

Sponsored by the National Institute for Experimental Arts (NIEA)

The Leonardo Education and Art Forum: Transdisciplinary Visual Arts, Science & Technology Renewal Post-New Media Assimilation workshop.


LEAF International Affiliate  Associate Professor Paul Thomas

College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales

Workshops Abstract

Transdisciplinarity is deemed ‘radical’, ‘provisional and opportunistic’ because it challenges traditional educational paradigms. It focuses critical and creative attention onto domain-specific problem areas of ‘chance’, ‘discontinuity’ and ‘materiality’ (Foucault, 1976) to transcend limits within established disciplinary knowledge practices. This enables (re)visioning of the role, activity and value of Art Schools in uniting the pedagogical and technological strengths of the humanities and sciences in a university context, utilising conceptual growth, experimental innovation, visual communication and flexible learning spaces to deliver a model of Transdisciplinarity.

The transdisciplinary model will be explored in the context of the trans-migratory role of ISEA and look for a different voice from the various constructed international institutional perspectives.

This workshop will address and share experiences and difficulties encountered while developing transdisciplinary art-science research, teaching, and when meshing curricula from diverse fields.

Each working group leader is selected for their experience to give a short introduction on the topic. Each topic has two presenters. Attendees will participate in one of the working group with the discussions led by the group leaders.

Parcipating workshop leaders

Andres Burbano, Edward Colless, Wendy Coones,  Petra  Gemeinboeck,  Ross Harley,  Mike Phillips, Peter Ride and  Ionat Zurr


Workshops locations


The first workshop will take place at the International Symposium of Electronic Art, Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday, 17  September, 2011 – 13:00 – 16:00  and is presented in collaboration with the ISEA2011 educational workshop and  the Australian Forum. read more>>>

The second workshop will take place on the 27th September, 2011 – 14:00 – 17:00 in collaboration with  the  fourth International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology, Liverpool UK. read more>>>


ISEA2010 RUHR Leonardo Education and Art Forum (LEAF)

Meeting: Art-Science – Curricular Models and Best Practices

August 27 · 1:00pm – 4:30pm

Meeting: Art-Science – Curricular Models and Best Practices

Facilitated by Edward Shanken
Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a)
Jill Scott
Paul Thomas

The Leonardo Education and Art Forum (LEAF) promotes the advancement of artistic research and academic scholarship at the intersections of art, science, and technology. Serving practitioners, scholars, and students who are members of the Leonardo community, we provide a forum for collaboration and exchange with other scholarly communities, including CAA, SIGGRAPH, SLSA, and ISEA. Chaired by Shanken, our workshop at ISEA2010 will address difficulties typically encountered while undertaking art-science research, teaching, and when meshing curricula from diverse fields. Following a twenty-minute introduction to various aspects of this theme, attendees will participate in one of the ninety-minute working-group discussions led by Nikolov(a), Scott, and Thomas, international experts in the field. Our aim is to identify and share ways to surmount some of the difficulties commonly encountered in interdisciplinary art/science research and curricula with the aim of publishing a guide to effective models and best practices.


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Leonardo Education and Art Forum Archive International activities 2009


Facilitated by Nina Czegledy.

The primary goal of this presentation is to introduce the Leonardo Education ArtForum’s (LEAF) aims, international activities and the contributors with a view to involve experts as well as the public to engage in a discussion in anticipation of future interaction.

LEF is an active community of over 100 members, growing annually. We have close to thirty international representatives in so many countries.

Our LEF representative in Australia is Paul Thomas and in New Zealand Ian Clothier.

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LEONARDO EDUCATION AND ART  FORUM@ISEA 2009 in Belfast, Ars Electronica in Linz and re:live Melbourne, Summary documentation.


Facilitated by Nina Czegledy in 2009, a series of nine meetings occurred in conjunction with ISEA 2009 in Belfast, Ars Electronica in Linz and re:live (Media Art Histories) in Melbourne. Three topics provided a focus for discussion: the Role of Curricula, the Role of Research, and the Role of Institutions.


This report is evidence that there exists among the electronic media community substantial knowledge of approaches to curricula, research and institutions. These topic areas are intertwined in the sector, but form a good basis to approach contemporary education.


The knowledge held is current and has developed from conventional awareness of issues through to piloted, tested and implemented innovative activity.


The systematic construction of knowledge bases and the collation of programmes and resources worldwide is a primary recommendation.


The development of networks in media arts education is also primary recommendation. This would include a process of continuing meetings to develop consensus around key terms such as media and interdisciplinarity, and related issues.

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Leonardo Education Forum

Federation Theatre
Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
Wednesday, 26th November, 2009

The LEF workshop was conducted as part of the Re:live Media Art History 09 conference held in Melbourne, Australia, from the 26th to the 29th November 2009.  The 2009 Forum was focused around three strategic themes:

1) The role of research in media art, science and technology

2) The role of curricula: Mapping the terrain.

3) The role of institutions: Institutional/Organisational capacities and benchmarks.

Three working groups discussed these items separately after focused, introductory presentations by Oliver Grau, Ross Harley and Ian Clothier respectively.   Summaries of the outcomes of these working groups, as well as the presentations, have been tabled separately.  The following summary was complied by Darren Tofts and constitutes a series of concentrations of key themes, priorities and ideas developed during the day, rather than a summary of resolutions and outcomes.  These will be addressed in the specific group summaries.


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Proposed by participants of the International Leonardo Education Forum and
Expert meetings at re:place 2007, Berlin, Mutamorphosis, Prague, ISEA2008, Singapore and ARS Electronica2008, Linz

Editors: Michael Century, Ernest Edmonds, Lynn Hughes, Daniela Reimann and
Nina Czegledy

This summary presents an initial framework for policy analysis and planning in media and new media education. It is based on Leonardo Education Forum (LEF) meetings held in 2007 and 2008 that called for a “framework for policy analysis and planning in (new) media art education intended for stakeholders in the field– practitioners, educators, researchers, theoreticians, historians, etc, as well as administers and policymakers”.  The LEF call led to four international meetings of new media experts and educators: Mutamorphosis, (Nov. 8-10, 2007, Prague), re:place 2007 (the Second International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology, Nov, 14, 2007, Berlin), ISEA 2008 (the 15h International symposium on Electronic Art, July 27, 2008, Singapore) and ARS Electronica, Linz (Sep. 2008). These consultation meetings were structured around a number of focus issues with the aim of
Identifying key issues in the field
Establishing the principal areas of concern
Providing concrete recommendations

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