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Small Studies – Upgrade

Panel discussion
Thu 31.5. - 20:00

Panel DiscussionArt, Culture, Technology, Information, Tradition, Convergence
May 31, 2007 > Experimental Space NOD, Prague

Presented by the Intermedia Institute & Centre for Audio Visual Studies FAMU

A meeting and discussion forum for students and teachers addressing the current situation of disciplineary exchange within the fields of art and education.

We aim to articulate and assess the current situation within art, art education, non-art and cross-disciplinary activity (within all knowledge producing fields) from the point of view of individual perception and personal experience.

This meeting aims to enhance cooperation and facilitate the transfer of knowledge between institutions involved in new media education here in the Czech Republic and internationally.

We invite you to be a part of this.

Miloš Vojtěchovský

Centrum audiovizuálních studii
Filmová a televizní fakulta AMU
Smetanovo náb 2
11665 Praha 1



What is the current state of cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary practice within education?

Is it possible to identify and describe trans-disciplinary approaches in education, in art practice and the models and strategies used to bring this about?

How do students, technicians, artists and researchers involved with traditional and new practices share knowledge and facilitate the transfer of experience?

How do schools, teachers and students reflect their roles and positions within institutions and outside them, in the-world-at-large?

What enables us to form and reform the direction of art academies, universities, highschools and experimental educational platforms within the Czech Republic and abroad?

What concepts do we employ and confront as we challenge the growing tendency of specialization? How can we encourage collaboration and communication across discreet practices, the professions and across language barriers?

Is it possibile or even desireable to assess the complex aspirations and needs of students using current analytical, critical and creative models of knowledge?

Can we assume that the conception, production and management of new tools increasingly rely on the integration of artistic, scientific and social practices emerging from popular culture, from within everyday life, the arts, sciences and the humanities? Or, is it merely wishful thinking since the discourses of these different branches of knowledge, of the sciences, the arts and crafts, are today too rarefied and beyond our ability to converge?

The emergence of new tools and environments such as digital tools for visualisation, wireless connectivity, nanotechnology, "smart", mobile and ubiquitous devices, offer many opportunities to converge traditional or discreet practices and methodologies. Many of us apply these in the educational and academic context.

If we are to achieve balance, a harmonious relationship within the social and material realm, artists and non-artists should strive not only for technical mastery within their specialized field of enquiry, but as well, for the creative and cognitive skills necessary to comprehend, expand upon and recycle existing technologies and modes of using them. Furthermore, we may search for and bring about new contexts and broader consequences for our artifacts. Is it too much to expect or work towards a synthesis among the poetic, philosophical, social, economic, political and environmental forces that shape our research, our historical moment?

Generally, the tendencies within academic institutions are driven by economic and political priorities within society. Increasingly, we hear the call for more productive, "professional" artists, curators, directors, managers, critics and consumers. Can the arts and the arts education we are familiar with, be modeled after the production standards and economic efficiencies issuing from the technical and managerial fields? From the populous determinants of political necessity? Perhaps there is a need to change the vocabulary we use, to identify a new set of terms and aspirations. For example, what would replace, "knowledge assessment", "professionalisation", "quantifiable outcomes" and "marketability"?

The following questions were asked on the occasion of the last meeting on art and education at FAMU more than one year ago.

How do you perceive the importance of continuity among the different stages of education: primary, secondary, college, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies?

What methods of learning and teaching ’new media’ do your prefer?

What is the proportion and relationship between theory and practice in your school and program?

Does your curriculum support collaboration, interdisciplinary and project-based learning?

Do you cooperate with other departments, faculties, universities?

Do you cooperate with industry, with buisnesses or institutes in different sectors? If so, in what form?

Is international cooperation part of your program?

What are the problems and challenges facing your program or institution?

Participants in the discussion:
Roman Berka, Faculty of Computing, Technical University, Prague
Tomáš Valenta, Film and Television Faculty, AMU, Prague
Denisa Kera, Faculty of Informatics, Charles University, Prague
Jan Mladovský, Noorwich Art School, UK
Kamil Nábělek, School of Applied Arts, Prague
Pavel Mrkus, Technical University, Liberec
Prof. Miloš Klíma, Departement of Radioelectronics, Technical University, Prague
Jakub Deml, Zuzana Řezníková, independent art education researchers, Prague
Miloš Vojtěchovský, Intermedia Institute Prague
Guy van Belle, media artist, Bratislava, Brussel
Michal Klodner, Film and Television Fakulty, AMU, Prague
Dušan Barok, mediaart researcher, Bratislava, Prague
Lenka Dolanová, Film and Television Faculty, AMU, Prague
Mariana Holá, KRUH Asocciation, Prague