UTD ARTSCILAB Lab Ambassador Appointed to enable ArtSci connections Abroad

February 2020, the University of Texas at Dallas ArtSciLab appoints Jacob Hunwick as Lab Ambassador for the duration of his study abroad program in Germany. He starts at Phillips University Marburg on February the 18th and finishes on June the 12th. In addition, lab director Roger Malina appoints Jacob as an intern representative for the Leonardo Journal in Europe. 

Jacob will work to research, discover and document exemplars of art-science and well-being. Through his studies in ATEC at UT Dallas, Jacob has found a passion for technologies that prioritize the preservation and promotion of healthy habits and lifestyles. 

Through his weekly blog posts, he will report on interviews, events, and interactions with new organizations and people related to technologies that prioritize human health. 

The following is a summary of his research interests that he will pursue and write about in his weekly blog.

Research Goal for Lab Ambassador Position

Ideally, interaction designers want interfaces designed for everyday use to develop into healthy habits. Unfortunately, screen-based interfaces and modern city infrastructure trends promote sedentary habits.  

Infinitely scrolling pages and endless content tunnels enable users to over-dose on screen-time. Common use of screens for education, entertainment, and leisure time encourage people to abandon physical activity. And lastly, American city infrastructures discourage walking with a hyper focus on the automobile. 

Through my research, I seek interfaces with modern technology that improve human well-being. I seek infrastructure that empowers us to rely on our legs, not motors, to travel and navigate urban environments. I seek products that involve motion and break through the 2-dimensional touch screen barrier. I seek educational tools that encourage children to learn through active motion and participation rather than passive consumption.  

Through the theories of embodied cognition, designers know that external objects can influence our cognitive processes. Now, the field of interaction design has realized the power that designed objects and experiences has over how we understand the world. While abroad, I will search for and document exemplars of health-conscious technologies that use the theories of embodied cognition to build healthy habits. 

To those interested in my research goal contact me via email at jmh170830@utdallas.edu. I look forward to traveling all around Europe in pursuit of my mission. 

-Jacob Hunwick 

ArtSci Abroad logo created by Jacob Hunwick.

Micro ArtScience Actions (MASA)

ArtSciLab Colleagues:

I would like to draw your attention to the Recent YASMIN WWWASP discussion (the Who, what where of our artscience community of practice)- Led by Guillermo Munoz with several colleagues across the world (see at end of this post). The YASMIN list is an international list of artscience professionals and amateurs and observers.

The discussion is now open to any colleague on the Tasmin list- we look forward to your thoughts: If you aren’t on YASMIN:

I just posted this to YASMIN

“I would like to pick up on Salome Cuesta proposal for ‘micro-actions’ in our
art-science communities of practice, and Diamond Berverly’s idea of
a ‘continous conundrum (see below).

After 30 years as Executive Editor of Leonardo, for the first time I am
now deeply engaged as a practitioner in art science collaborations. I
like to joke that astrophysics was so easy ! We all agreed on the success criteria and used the same concepts, methods and terminology. Plus we were very well funded in comparison with artscience research.

Thanks to Guillermo Munoz and colleagues at the University of Valencia I received a PhD in Art, so I am now an ArtScience ‘postdoc’ with a PhD in astrophysics and a PhD in art !

As James Leach pointed out in his Leonardo article (Extending Contexts, Making Possibilities: An Introduction to Evaluating the Projects – James Leach) many many art science collaborations ‘fail’ in achieving their original objectives.

In our ArtSciLab we have been arguing that there is a very big step between inter/multi disciplinary collaborations and ‘trans’ disciplinary collaborations which bridge very very different disciplines with very very different personal and collective success criteria, and very very different often contradictory methods, concepts , terminologies-

These are in Diamond Berverly’s term ‘conundral;- see Merriam Webster

“The exact origin of conundrum isn’t known with certainty. What is known is that the word has been in use since the early 1600s, and that it had various spellings, such as conimbrum, quonundrum, conuncrum, and quadundrum, before the current spelling was finally established sometime in the mid-17th century. One theory of origin suggests that the word was coined as a parody of Latin by students at Oxford University, where it appears to have enjoyed particular popularity in its “word play” or “pun” sense. While the prevalent sense in this century is that of the seemingly unanswerable question or problem, frequently applied to heady dilemmas involving ethics, sociology, or economics, the word is sometimes so loosely applied to anything enigmatic as to be synonymous with puzzle or mystery.”

One of the strategies we have been trying is “micro-projects” in Cuesta’s terminology- we define them as short duration ( weeks), projects which require no money or cash, only gift exchange of time and access to facilities, expertise etc ( the gift exchange vocabulary comes from James Leach )

In the ArtSciLab we are approached continuously by ‘stem’ professionals who want to collaborate. Interestingly these range from physical sciences and engineering to the brain and Behavioural sciences to business and social sciences…

Often the stem professionals who reach out to us, “they” have antiquated ideas of what making art involves or results in today. Often they view art as less primary in the ‘tree of knowledge” (i.e. in a branch not in the trunk).

Often they have very different methods , concepts, terminology (we are trying to develop transdisciplinary apprenticeships as part of the approach). Mauricio Mejia at ASU, Alex Topete, colleagues, and I are currently submitting a workshop proposal on applying translation studies methods to transdisciplinary collaborations.

If a micro-project doesn’t succeed, its likely that a significant project won’t in our experience.

I am delighted that a student research in our ArtSciLab , Diamond Beverly, has proposed:
“how do we go about including diverse voices and fostering heterogeneous approaches instead unconsciously excluding people from the conversation and thus creating a continuous conundrum.” which highlights the implicit bias of the artscience community towards people in academia with its ethnic, gender, socio-economic and other implicit social biases.

Maybe the non -academic and younger members of Yasmin should weigh in, just as from Diamond Berverly:
I was very intrigued with your post last week when you emphasized
educational spaces and work shop methodologies. I would like to know
how you define micro-actions. I also find such maker spaces and
hackathons a good step into the future of collaborative educational
space. A question that persists however is how these spaces find their
audience?

And by this I mean how do we go about including diverse voices and fostering heterogeneous approaches instead unconsciously excluding people from the conversation and thus creating a continuous conundrum.

So all Latin students on Yasmin go at it :
“One theory of origin of ‘conundrum” suggests that the word was coined as a parody of Latin by students at Oxford University, where it appears to have enjoyed particular popularity in its “word play” or “pun” sense. While the prevalent sense in this century is that of the seemingly unanswerable question or problem, frequently applied to heady dilemmas involving ethics, sociology, or economics, the word is sometimes so loosely applied to anything enigmatic as to be synonymous with puzzle or mystery.”

Or maybe living in a continuous conundrum is a desirable state ? Certainly it is a state that drives our ArtScience work and is generative of desired outcomes.

Roger Malina

P.S These are the invited discussants:

Jadwiga Charzynska: I am the director of LAZNIA CCA in Gdansk since 2004 and in our program, one of the most important points is the Art + Science Meeting project, which we organize regularly from 2011. It’s really unique program in Poland presented Art / Sci projects.
Links: http://www.laznia.pl/instytucja/

Joao Silveira: Brazilian entrepreneur, choreographer and pharmacist. Was a Harvard Fellow (Le Laboratoire/ 2017-2019) and currently is a research fellow at the ArtSciLab – UT Dallas, and CienciArte Lab – Fiocruz.
Jing Chen: Associate professor of Arts and associate director of Art and Cultural Innovation and Creativity Lab of Nanjing University.
Gustavo Ariel Schwartz.: Physicist and writer. Scientist of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) at the Materials Physics Center. Founder director of the Mestizajes Program, at the Donostia International Physics Center, whose purpose is to explore and cross the borders among Art, Science, Literature and Humanities.

Call for help and ideas for Data Stethoscope Performance for Dallas MAVS ESPORTS and DALLAS CHESS club

board game businessman challenge

ArtSciLab members,

Scot Gresham Lancaster and Zura Javakhadze are pleased to announce forthcoming performances of the Data Stethoscope Project- these are performances will involve using the electronic chess board provided by the UTD Chess team (thanks Zura), software modules from the project that allow you to see things you cannot see in the big data being sonified and visualized. It is part of the ArtSciLab method to carry out art performances as a transdisciplinary research method.

The performances will be in September in Dallas at

a) the Dallas Chess Club
b) the Dallas MAVS ESPORTS facility in Deep Ellum

This is a call for interest:
a) if you would like to play chess in public with scot on the chessboard, please contact us
b) if you have ideas on how to make the performance artistically powerful and memorable, all suggestions welcome
c) we are looking for help creating podcasts around the performance, a video and video abstract and other public-ations on the performance
d) we welcome ideas for creative disruptions or disturbances in the design of the performance

One of the previous performances is described at  http://malina.diatrope.com/2016/10/28/marcel-cage-and-john-duchamp-perform-reunion-at-nine-evenings-2-in-seattle-tonight/

Please contact Scot or Roger if you are interested in being involved.

Roger Malina