Art-making, Machines and Creative Learning Seminar – May 22 at Kelvin Grove Campus

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Hosted by Associate Professor Sandra Gattenhof and the QUT Creative Lab this research seminar will look at how machine learning and digital tools are remaking the way in which arts engagement and arts learning is taking place in contexts as diverse as schools, workplaces and cultural organisations. It will investigate how arts and machine learning can challenge notions of delivery around art-making and art for social or health outcomes.

Presentations by Bridgette Van Leuven, Michael Dezuanni, Ellen Marie Saethre-McGuirk, Manuela Taboada and team, Greg Jenkins and Steph Hutchison. The seminar celebrates UNESCO Arts Education Week at QUT Creative Industries.

 WHEN: Tuesday 22nd May 2.00pm – 6.30pm

WHERE: Level 6, Building Z9, QUT Creative Industries Precinct, cr Musk Avenue and Gona Parade, Kelvin Grove

REGISTER: at the Eventbrite site by Friday 18 May. Please advise any special dietary requirements (health and/or religious grounds).


2.00pm – 2.15pm start
2.15pm – 2.30pm: Welcome, and introduction by Associate Professor Sandra Gattenhof
Bridgette van Leuven
Bridgette van Leuven
2.30pm – 3.30pm: Keynote lecture

In the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children are entitled to engage and express opinions in matters affecting their social, economic, religious, cultural and political life. Cultural institutions, such as Sydney Opera House are public buildings whose remit is to provide rich and meaningful cultural experiences to the community.  In this session Bridgette discusses the challenges of how a world heritage, international, 24/7 performing arts centre remains relevant to young learners and offers a quality arts education programs to 21st Century students onsite and online. Creativity and collaboration with people from different cultures have been identified as two key capacities that young people must develop to be competent in a globalized world as shown in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)’s Global Competencies research. Bridgette will share how Sydney Opera House has reinvented its creative learning philosophy and programming approach by offering new pathways for intercultural learning utilizing interactive digital technologies to schools in Australia and beyond.

Bridgette Van Leuven began her arts career at the Australian Theatre for Young People where she discovered the important role creativity plays in a child’s development and education.  A graduate of Wollongong University (Australia), with post graduate studies from City University, (United Kingdom) she has worked in various roles for Sydney Festival and the Sydney Theatre Company.  In her time at Arts NSW, Bridgette worked in positions such as Program Manager for Theatre & Dance responsible for sector funding, strategy and policy.  Since 2010 Bridgette has been the Head of Children, Families & Creative Learning at Sydney Opera House where she and her team are passionate about making the ‘House’ accessible onsite, offsite and online.  Bridgette is a Board Member of the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and a representative on the Consumer & Carer Council for the Nepean Mental Health District. She is also an Advisory Committee Member of the Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust and was recently appointed the Deputy Chair of the Robert Helpmann Children’s Committee for 2018.

3.30pm – 4.00pm Afternoon Tea
Michael Dezuanni
Michael Dezuanni
4.00pm – 4.30pm: Minecraft for Type 1 Diabetes Education

The Minecraft for Type 1 Diabetes project (MCT1) aims to assist children with Type 1 diabetes to understand their condition through the highly innovative approach of using one of the world’s most popular digital games, Minecraft. The project is in partnership with Tech Startup Magikcraft and aims to use the game to immerse children in purposeful play, leading to greater awareness of the need to carefully manage blood glaucous levels and food intake. The project also involves partnerships with Diabetes Queensland and The Mater Hospital and enables the design and production of a Minecraft modification and conducting a trial of MCT1 in community settings with children.  The project includes the development of an educational plan for the use of the game and training for health professionals and parents. The MCT1 modification adds two characteristics to the player: Blood Glucose Level (BGL) and Insulin.  In addition to managing their food and health, players are introduced to the interaction of carbohydrates, insulin, activity, and blood glucose. They have a visual representation of their current BGL and insulin onboard provided by a heads-up display in the game.  This provides a new layer of challenge in the game when compared to the standard version of Minecraft and provides many options for introducing concepts around Type 1 Diabetes management.

Associate Professor Michael Dezuanni undertakes research about digital media, literacies and learning in home, school and community contexts. He is the Associate Director of QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre which produces world-leading research for a creative, inclusive and fair digital media environment. Michael has been a chief investigator on five ARC Linkage projects with a focus on digital literacy and learning at school, the use of digital games in the classroom, digital inclusion in regional and rural Australia, and the use of screen content in formal and informal learning.

Marie Saethre-McGuirk
Ellen Marie Saethre-McGuirk
 4.30pm – 5.00pm: Processes of Making and Becoming Digitally: On-line continuing education for in-service teachers in digital art and design 

Assoc. Prof. Saethre-McGuirk will look at models for teaching digital art and design on-line to in-service teachers as a part of continuing education initiatives. While on-line learning in higher education demands looking at higher education teaching and research afresh through the lens of new professional digital competencies, the possibilities that these digital interfaces offer also change the ways in which universities engage with students and fields of study. Working in digital art and design, Assoc. Prof. Saethre-McGuirk has emphasized the social aspect of both the higher education learning process and the creative process by design thinking and design-based learning. Assoc. Prof. Saethre-McGuirk has developed and leads a highly sought after combination of on-line courses in continuing education for art and design in-service primary school teachers in Norway. The courses are a part of the national initiative Competency for Quality, funded by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training and the Ministry of Education and Research.

Ellen Marie Saethre-McGuirk is Associate Professor at Nord University, Norway, and is currently visiting researcher at the Design Lab, Queensland University of Technology. Ellen’s research interests are at the crossing points between philosophical aesthetics, modern and contemporary art and design, and cultural pedagogy within the digital sphere. Her work explores areas of learning, creativity, and making things on and through the digital interface. Her academic background includes Art History and Mass Communication/Photography, as well as European Studies with emphasis on law, cultural history, and ethno-cultural diversity. Ellen defended her PhD in philosophical aesthetics at the Katholieke Universiteit – Leuven, Belgium in 2003. In years prior to her appointment at Nord University, Ellen was Head of Research and Director of the Norwegian Centre for Arts and Culture in Education, Director of the Stavanger Art Museum and Assoc. Prof. in the creative industries at the Norwegian Business School in Oslo.

 5.00pm – 5.15pm: Break
Manuela, Hannah, Winnie, Thomas project team
Manuela, Hannah, Winnie, Thomas project team
5.15pm – 5.45pm: Zipping Out Plastic: re-thinking plastic habit one piece at a time

Recent news and studies point to the peak plastic waste worldwide and to the failure of the recycling systems (Emgin 2012; Strasser 2000). While there are numerous bottom-up awareness raising campaigns and initiatives (Henderson 2016; Plastic Oceans Foundation 2017; 5 Gyres Science Solutions 2017) and some significant top-down global industry and government initiatives (World Economic Forum 2016), few of them focus on sustainable behavioural change that the general public can actively integrate to their daily routines (Terry 2012). This paper showcases the creation of an interactive experience that helps make plastic visible in our daily lives, and in so doing, offer alternatives to consumption and waste. This experience the form of a mobile app that, similarly to a calorie-count app, counts how much plastic users throw away everyday.

Dr Manuela Taboada holds a PhD in design for sustainable behaviours and is a Lecturer Visual Communication Design at QUT. Manuela has contributions in the areas of collaborative design, place identity, design activism, design thinking, knowledge sharing, community development and community engagement using design as a tool to facilitate change through the emergence of social identities. Her research interests are in the social aspects of design practice and how it can trigger self-organisation and systemic change. Through her work participants (designers and non-designers) are able to share and combine their diverse sets of knowledges towards innovative interventions to achieve collective social and environmental goals.

Hannah Sherlock is currently completing a Bachelor of Business, supported by a minor in Interactive and Visual Design at QUT. Research areas of interest include design in waste management and co-design approaches to community sustainability. These are facilitated through interdisciplinary knowledge in design thinking, collaborative design practices, consumer behaviours and data collection. Hannah’s experience includes a position in the QUT Urban Informatics Lab as a research intern on the ‘Urban Death Project’, investigating connection and agency in death, alongside VRES project ‘Designing-out Plastic’, focusing on influencing user behaviour to reduce consumption patterns of single use plastics.

Winnie Tran is studying Bachelor of Business/Creative Industries with majors in Management and Interactive and Visual Design, Winnie contributes interdisciplinary knowledge in design thinking along with practical skills in designing for media technologies and screen displays as well as collaborative practices. Her research interests encompass social enterprise, innovation for change and user experience (UX) design. In the past, Winnie has participated in a collaborative project at QUT, using design and social media to create engagement for the Fleet Store and is currently assisting in the project ‘Designing Out Plastic’ aimed at reducing plastic consumption and waste through behavioural change as part of the Vacation Research Experience Scheme.

Thomas Beckerton is undertaking a Bachelor of Urban Development (Urban and Regional Planning), with supporting studies in Economics and Graphic Design. Thomas makes interdisciplinary contributions linking rational economic theory, spatial awareness and design thinking to facilitate social change. His research interests are grounded in built environment theories, behavioural economics, stakeholder engagement and design thinking. Whilst this its Thomas’ first research project, working in a multi-faceted approach through course subjects ingrains co-design and co-research processes.

Greg Jenkins and Steph Hutchison
Greg Jenkins and Steph Hutchison
5.45pm – 6.15pm: Post-digital transdisciplinarity: inside the experimental creative practice of the Ars Electronica Futurelab Academy at QUT

The Ars Electronica Futurelab Academy at QUT operates as a participant-led transdisciplinary project for collaborators from undergraduate students to industry professionals. Participants are drawn from across creative practice and design to engage in rich practices of knowledge exchange through the ideation, experimentation, prototyping and production of media art works.

As a transdisciplinary collaborative laboratory, the Academy hosts a weekly workshop where participants engage in a shared practice of post-digital calibration that attunes their attention and opens them to experiences and ideas via embodied practice.  This provides participants with a means to present and communicate their emergent project concepts via diverse modalities, increasing the effectiveness of the exchange of ideas and skills.

Between workshops, the momentum of the Academy is sustained through the application of digital communication platforms. These digital communication tools augment the lab culture of the Academy by enabling participants to share and exchange ideas and references between workshops. The use of web-based publishing platforms and teleconferencing further enable the collaboration between QUT (Brisbane, Australia) and the Futurelab (Linz, Austria).

Greg Jenkins is an experimental musician and academic at QUT. Greg has led innovation in curriculum design, including the design, construction and implementation of Stage 2 of the QUT Creative Industries Precinct at Kelvin Grove.  In this role, Greg was responsible for ensuring the $80 million music, dance, drama, and visual arts facility incorporated world leading practices, to enable transdisciplinary teaching and research for the creative arts. Greg is the academic coordinator of the Ars Electronica Futurelab Academy at QUT, a joint venture with the Ars Electronica Futurelab (Linz, Austria) that seeks to create new layers of knowledge creation through transdisciplinary practice.  His research is focused on the benefits of an approach to curriculum design and delivery that encourages students to build, maintain and modify their own personal knowledge networks.

Dr Steph Hutchison is a choreographer, performer and artist-researcher. At QUT, Steph is a dance academic and leader of the Experimental Creative Practice research theme of the Creative Lab, and research-leader for the Ars Electronica Futurelab Academy. Her practice is driven by dance with a focus on endurance, extreme physicality and improvisation, and collaborations with motion capture, animation, robotics, haptics, and artificially intelligent performance agents. She has collaborated extensively on art, research, and industry projects with Deakin Motion.lab and John McCormick. Steph completed her PhD research at Deakin University’s Motion.Lab – meta: discourses from dancers inside action machines 

6.15pm – 6.30pm: Wrap up