Interdisciplinary Literature Come Together in ATEC Lab’s New Online Reading Platform

From left: UT Dallas students Ritwik Kaikini, Colin Campbell, Ashton Brillante, Richard Campitelli BS'15 and Shruthy Sreepathy, Dr. Roger Malina, doctoral student Chaz Lilly BA'11, MA'15 and clinical associate professor Cassini Nazir BA’02, BA’03, MFA’11 work in the ArtSciLab, which recently launched ARTECA.

From left: UT Dallas students Ritwik Kaikini, Colin Campbell, Ashton Brillante, Richard Campitelli BS’15 and Shruthy Sreepathy, Dr. Roger Malina, doctoral student Chaz Lilly BA’11, MA’15 and clinical associate professor Cassini Nazir BA’02, BA’03, MFA’11 work in the ArtSciLab, which recently launched ARTECA.

For scholarly work that exists outside the realm of traditional peer-reviewed journals, outlets for getting research recognized and read can be few and far between.

To overcome this challenge, the ArtSciLab, UT Dallas’ transdisciplinary research lab, recently launched ARTECA. The new online reading platform will serve as a curated space for academic literature at the intersection of the arts, humanities, science and technology.

A collaborative effort between the ArtSciLab, the MIT Press and the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST), ARTECA includes an expanding collection of more than 200 books and access to three MIT Press journals.

“The ArtSciLab seeks to be a pioneer in the field of experimental publishing. We hope to probe, test and experiment with new ways for professionals to document their work and show it to others,” said Dr. Roger Malina, Arts and Technology Distinguished Chair and director of the lab. “ARTECA provides a way for us to ‘beta test’ the future for the art-science-technology community.”

Malina said the aim is for ARTECA to enable new collaborative practices within transdisciplinary social communities, an idea he embodies as a physicist and astronomer working in the arts.

Chaz Lilly BA’11, MA’15, a research assistant for the project and a doctoral candidate in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC), said the aggregator was modeled after MIT CogNet, a similar MIT Press platform that consolidates literature in the brain and cognitive sciences.

“There are a lot of issues in how we disseminate research in academia,” Lilly said. “We live in a digital world where online research and publishing is an immediate resource, but a lot of it doesn’t reach its audience without an access point.”

With CogNet, the MIT Press developed a platform that facilitates access to more than 700 books, six journals and 13 reference works, and subscriptions from more than 100 academic institutions. The hope is to re-create its success with ARTECA.

“We’re thrilled to be working with ISAST and The University of Texas at Dallas to expand the dimensions of scholarly publishing in the art, science and technology space,” said Nick Lindsay, journals director for the MIT Press. “The Press has a long-established history of bold experimentation in publishing, and ARTECA fits that tradition perfectly.”

While the site only houses books and journal issues, subsequent phases will introduce increasingly experimental resources such as podcasts, multimedia-based materials, a job board and online textbooks for massive open online courses.

The subscription-based platform has been made available at no cost to UT Dallas students and faculty linked to the campus network. Remote access is needed to use the resource off campus.

“With ARTECA, we are experimenting with a hybrid open access and paywall system,” Malina said. “Professionals who contribute to the content and quality of ARTECA will have open access.”

Malina said that authors who prefer to pay author fees and have their articles accessible via open access may do so. Other faculty and students will have access by subscribing to institutions’ libraries.

“We will also be developing functions and tools to promote and enable transdisciplinary collaboration,” Malina said.

 

Roger Malina & Paul Fishwick: Deep Personalization and Entryways

Roger Malina and Paul Fishwick talk about Deep Personalization and Entryways with Koshi Dhingra, who hosts talkstem website. Talksteam promotes conversation about the diversity of STEM and STEAM thinking in our daily lives, in our communities, and in our world.

Koshi Dhingra has a doctorate in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and has years of experience teaching at the middle and high school levels, as well as teaching in teacher education programs. Most recently, she served as a director of the Science and Engineering Education Center at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Clark Scholars Boost Research Skills Through Summer Program

Twenty-four UT Dallas students, most of them freshmen, got a head start on their undergraduate experiences by spending nine weeks this summer conducting research on campus.

The Anson L. Clark Summer Research Program, coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Education, saw projects ranging from the development of prosthetic casings to the design of “smart” agricultural systems. Students recently displayed their research results during a poster presentation and symposium. Incoming UT Dallas students who have been awarded Academic Excellence Scholarships are eligible to apply to be Clark Scholars. No previous research experience is necessary.

“Every year I’m amazed at how these students progress in nine short weeks, both socially and in their grasp of advanced research methods,” said Courtney Brecheen, associate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Education. “For many, participation in this program is their first chance to socialize with other university students and become acclimated to campus. It doesn’t take long before they really come together as a group, and by the end of the summer, they have mastered the art of articulating complex research to a general audience.”

The 2016 class of Clark Scholars collaborated with mentors in School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC), the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. Nearly all of the students intend to continue their research with their mentors’ lab groups during the upcoming year, Brecheen said.

Dr. Paul Pantano, associate professor of chemistry and past recipient of the Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring, serves as the program’s scientific adviser.

Among the participants was Joel Ewing, a first-year ATEC student, who worked with Cassini Nazir, ATEC professor and director of design and research of ArtSciLab, and Dr.Roger Malina  Distinguished Professor of Arts and Technology, to design a website. ARTECA — a collaboration between UT Dallas’ ArtSciLab, which Malina directs, and the MIT Press — will be an online curated space of essential content in an interdisciplinary field where art, science and technology meet.

2

ATEC student Joel Ewing helped design a website that aggregates scholarly content in an interdisciplinary field that combines art, science and technology. Dr. Roger Malina, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Technology, was his faculty mentor.

 

“The problem was, there was no central place to access materials related to this field,” Ewing said. “When ARTECA is launched, UT Dallas students will have free access to it, and other universities can subscribe. My role as a designer was to look for and address issues that affect user experience.”

Hannah Barber, a first-year student in biomedical engineering who led a collaborative project with ATEC students to design and produce decorative casings for lower limb prosthetics. She worked with faculty mentor Dr. Robert Gregg, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering, along with students of Andrew Scott, associate professor of arts and technology.

Computer science students Daniel Garcia and Christopher Janusa spent the summer working together to develop “smart” electronics for agriculture applications. Their faculty mentor was Dr. Subbarayan Venkatesan, professor of computer science.

“There is a need for agriculture systems that are automated, simple to use and configurable,” Garcia said. “This could include systems like automated irrigation and temperature control.”

The students envisioned a smart system that includes sensors and actuators that monitor, for example, temperature and soil moisture, and could be integrated with weather data to automatically adjust irrigation and other actions according to the forecast. Users could use a web interface to regulate the system, Garcia said.

The Clark Summer Research Program is funded by an endowment from the Clark Foundation, whose philanthropy has supported scholarly endeavors at several Texas colleges and universities, such as the Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture and the Dr. Anson L. Clark Presidential Scholarship at UT Dallas.

Yvan Tina, PhD Student publishes papers in the Technoetic Arts Journal and SciArt Magazine

Yvan Tina is a Phd Student in the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication and member of ArtSciLab. His work investigates the possible convergences of biotechnology, synthetic biology, and artificial life with the performing arts. He is a member of the international, multilingual podcast platform Creative Disturbance where he regularly contributes to Meta–Life and Virtual Africa.

His recent publications include:

1. On Complexism: Pulsion and Computation, Technoetic Arts Journal, Volume 14, Issue 1-2, June 2016

taThis article discusses a concept introduced by art theorist Philip Galanter in several publications over the past decade: complexism is a notion that looks at both past and future while aiming to reconcile (post) modern aesthetics with the cybernetic and biological paradigms. This article focuses on the re-evaluation of the performance arts within the framework of this theory, favoring the idea that every artwork necessarily resists attempts of subordination.

2. Straight Talk with Yvan Tina, SciArt Magazine, April 2016

Untitled

 

In this article Yvan’s insights provide a bridge between the sometimes disparate domains of art and science —a perspective increasingly necessary with the rapid emergence of new materials and technologies available for artistic appropriation.

Creative Disturbance at ISEA

isea-main

Director of Design and Research for the ArtSciLab Cassini Nazir recently presented at the 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), which was held in Hong Kong.

Talking on a panel titled “Creative Work and Well-Being,” Nazir discussed technical and design challenges for nurturing crowd sourced conversations on the Creative Disturbance platform. He outlined innovative methods in design, development and production for the podcast series.

isea-cd-languages

“Creative Disturbance is a platform developed in response to the need for a rupture in the arcane networks that currently connect creative people,” Nazir said. “We’re reaching an international, multilingual network and facilitating collaboration among the arts, sciences, and new technologies communities.”

Creative Disturbance celebrates its third year and at the time of the conference features 65 hours of content in ten languages, with over 270 contributors.

Creative Disturbance was one among many projects from UT Dallas faculty accepted into ISEA 2016:

  •  a robot that sleepwalks and Error as Armor. Data Obfuscation in the Yakamoto Industries Project, Dean Terry
  •  Vigil for Some Bodies, xtine burrough
  •  AIDS Quilt Touch Project, Anne Balsamo and Dale MacDonald

Founded in the Netherlands in 1990, ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) is an international non-profit organization fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and technology.

Over seven days, more than 450 speakers, workshops and presentations explored the theme of “Cultural Revolution,” investigating the borders between academia and artwork, practice and theory, systems and reality, and art and society.

Bridging the Silos: Curriculum Development as a Tool for Crossing Disciplines in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities

To be published in the Leonardo Electronic Almanac Special Issue:  The Culture of Digital Education

Abstract
A survey of current cross-disciplinary offerings in higher education is needed to understand the mechanisms that were employed to offer them and their pedagogical basis. We present here a study that analyzes a compendium of arts-science-humanities cross-disciplinary courses that was created through several Calls for Contributions from 2009 to 2013.

A web site was created and over 100 submissions were posted at utdallas.edu/atec/cdash/ . The data from the courses was analyzed as to the nature of the cross-disciplines, level of offering (graduate vs. undergraduate), geographical location, level of collaboration (number of instructors), and the department(s) offering the course.

A comprehensive re-visioning of curricular structure to encourage collaborative teaching of integrative courses and programs is needed. Suggested actions include specific ideas to enhance networking and visibility, sharing of syllabi and course materials, and a research effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of cross-disciplinary art-science-humanities courses.

This preliminary study points the way towards further efforts in curricular design and research that will be required for cross-disciplinary arts-science-humanities courses to be integrated into the college curriculum.

View the full paper here

Kathryn Evans, Senior Lecturer in Music, School of Arts and Humanities,
kcevans@utdallas.edu
website

Roger Malina, Professor and Associate Director, Arts and Technology (ATEC), and CNRS Aix-Marseille University. School of Arts and Humanities,
roger.malina@utdallas.edu
website

ArtSciLab Director serving on Editorial Board for New Open Journal On_Culture

Roger Malina, the Director of the ArtSciLab, has agreed to serve on the Editorial Board for the new journal On_Culture: Open Journal for the Study of Culture, published from the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) in Giessen, Germany.

On_Culture is an open access e-journal, with a focus on transparency and openness as well as reflexivity and processes of metaization in dealing with concepts in the study of culture.The “open” aspect of On_Culture refers to a particular publishing mode, but the goal of the journal will be to develop alternative visions of how culture can be understood, studied, and promoted using new research methodologies that draw on emerging sciences. The journal will host a wide range of formats and modes of presentation, including peer-reviewed scholarly articles and review essays as well as artistic and experimental contributions.

On_Culture is presenting a call for abstracts for the first issue, which will offer perspectives on Emergence/Emergency as concepts in the study of culture.


 

On Emergence/Emergency, from On_Culture:

Emergence is a key term in the study of culture. It is both a structuring principle of academic research and an object of study. It serves as a conceptual nucleus of knowledge cultures and academic approaches that call mono-causal, reductionist explanations and determinstic accounts of complex phenomena and practices into question. With its connotations of creative energies being set free through emergent processes and phenomena, emergence is a marker of novelty, unpredictability and irreducibility.

Emergency indicates a state, or degree of severity, requiring immediate attention and intervention. States of emergency are often emergent phenomena, and their roots can lie far into the historical, ecological, financial, social and cultural pasts. Many emerging topics in the study of culture (e.g., migration, climate change, demographic change, financial crisis, rightwing/left-wing politics, digitization, globalization, social injustice, precarious working conditions) address ‘emergent emergencies.’

We have paired the concepts of emergence/emergency to highlight the degree of urgency with which much research on the phenomenon of emergence and emergent phenomena is conducted. Both terms call for self-reflexivity and cautious intervention in the cultural analysis of processes of transformation. Instances of the interfacing of emergence and emergency are urgent tasks that scholars in the study of culture need to tackle with the help of new approaches.

Possible questions to be reflected upon:

– Why is a specific object of study an emergent phenomenon? How can it be
explained with the help of a particular theory, or theories, of emergence?

– How has emergence been theorized within a specific discipline and/or across
disciplines?

– How have concepts of emergence evolved over time? What cultural and
historical circumstances have affected their expression?

More details can be found on the On_Culture call for abstracts.

If you are interested in having a peer reviewed academic article featured in the pilot issue, please submit an abstract of 200 words with the article title and a short biographical note to content@on-culture.org no later than 30 September 2015 with the subject line “Abstract Submission.” You will be notified by 15 October 2015 whether your paper proposal has been accepted. The deadline for submitting the final paper is 15 January 2016.

Please note: On_Culture also features a section devoted to shorter, creative pieces pertaining to each issue topic. These can be interviews, essays, opinion pieces, reviews of exhibitions, analyses of cultural artifacts and events, photo galleries, videos, works of art, and more. These contributions are uploaded on a rolling basis.

Leonardo ranked #4 in 2015 Google Scholar Metrics Visual Arts Category

The 2015 Google Scholar Metrics released last Thursday, June 25 revealed Leonardo to be ranked #4 in the Visual Arts category–a great showing.

The Scholar Metrics are an easy way to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of articles in scholarly publications. The current metrics are based on article citations that were indexed in Google Scholar as of mid-June 2015, and covers articles released in 2010-2014.

The top 20 publications are ordered by their five-year h-index and h-median metrics, which are respectively based on a journal’s most cited papers and the number of citations it has received in other publications, and the median of the h-index citation counts. Leonardo shows to have an h5-index of 11 and a median of 13. The next highest journal, Studies in Art Education, has an index of 12 and a median of 15, while Art Education, ranked #1, has metrics of 16 and 21.

The article with the most citations in Leonardo turned out to be Zombie Media: Circuit Bending Media Archaeology into an Art Method by Garnet Hertz and Jussi Parikka, published in the Oct 2012 Journal, Vol. 45, No. 5.

Good work to Leonardo scholars!

DataRemix Paper Live on Leonardo Just Accepted Page

“DataRemix: Designing the Datamade,”is now on the Leonardo Just Accepted page, hosted by MIT Press. The paper was a part of the Special Section of Leonardo Transactions “Highlights from VISAP’13”, and was previously announced by the ArtSciLab as presented at the 2013 IEEE VIS Arts Program (VISAP) in Atlanta, Georgia. The authors of the paper were Ruth West, Roger Malina, John Lewis, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Alejandro Borsani, Brian Merlo, and Lifan Wang.

The full paper can be downloaded here: DataRemix: Designing The Data made Through ArtScience Collaboration

The article is forthcoming in the Leonardo print publication, and can be cited with the DOI: 10.1162/LEON_a_01060.