IAST 2018 – Interactive Art, Science, and Technology in Western Canada
IAST 2018 consists of a three-day collaborative symposium at the University of Lethbridge from 25 to 27 October, 2018, and exploratory regional meetings. The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus, the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, and the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba will each host one meeting of regional participants; by regional participants, we generally refer to scholars-artists within the same province. In addition, the University of Lethbridge will host IAST 2018 in parallel with Crossing Boundaries (below).
An interest in IAST, which includes establishing a foundation for an art and technology cluster in Western Canada, has been conveyed by individual scholars and artists, public research centres, universities, and associated institutional organisations. The digital media arts, music, visual arts, aboriginal research, theatre, film, computer and applied sciences, electrical engineering, creative writing, and dance are among the general disciplines represented by interested participants. Consequently, IAST provides an opportunity for communication and increased trans-disciplinary interaction among experts in these disciplines, as well as sharing research-creation and mobilising knowledge in an effort to identify both common challenges and solutions – a broader awareness of a trans-disciplinary methodology advances research and development, which can remain isolated and potentially sluggish in a siloed environment. Central to IAST is a belief that its participants – the scholars-artists of IAST – seek new modes of human expression that broaden and deepen our abilities to communicate through art and culture creation.
In addition to these general goals (e.g., sharing of research-creation; mobilising knowledge, seeking new modes of expression), the activities of IAST 2018 will include the formation of subgroups (or regional groups) to carry out collaborative research. That is to say, we anticipate that IAST 2018 will facilitate the emergence of subgroups that focus on specific research topics and as a result, the research-creation directions of participants within subgroups will benefit from a sharing of ideas, theories and concepts, as well as an organisational and institutional sharing of facilities, labs, equipment and even collaborative research funding opportunities. This cooperation among IAST 2018 participants may even increase the number of opportunities for high quality public presentations and dissemination of research-creation outcomes (e.g., interactive/responsive musical and dance performances; indigenous media art exhibitions; augmented and virtual reality installations; etc.).
Crossing Boundaries Symposium
Crossing Boundaries is an art and technology event organized by the Art, Drama, Music, and New Media departments of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lethbridge (Alberta). Crossing Boundaries originated as a scholar and artist speakers series. However, the series was transformed into a one-day symposium, beginning in 2016, in order to assemble and integrate a critical mass of participants interested in confronting art disciplines through the lens of technology. For instance, Crossing Boundaries makes an effort to showcase the diversity and trans-disciplinary nature of technologically-informed art. Moreover, Crossing Boundaries fosters discussion about how research methodology and artistic depiction can mutually reinforce and reciprocally integrate practice and inquiry. In addition, the symposium seeks to activate cultural discourse on the relevance of current research-creation practices, while engaging new and existing audiences from around the region. Since 2016, the symposium has consisted of numerous keynote addresses by international guest scholars-artists, a regular graduate student exhibition, and town hall meetings that bring together the guest keynotes, university students and members of both the university and local communities of Lethbrdige.
Crossing Boundaries Symposium @ IAST
Crossing Boundaries will run concurrently with IAST 2018; the three-day IAST cluster will enhance and enlarge the Crossing Boundaries Symposium, which has traditionally been constrained to one day. Reciprocally, Crossing Boundaries will enhance IAST opportunities for research dissemination through exposure to regular Crossing Boundaries audiences from the university and local communities of Lethbridge.