This hybrid, on & offline event took place from 22 to 24. September 2020, exploring In what way can the imagination of artists and their creativity tools bring about true novums at the crossings of technology and science, tackling the most complex challenges of the future, both for society at large, and the industries in particular?

At this concluding event of the MAST project, participants from a variety of disciplines have jointly explored and identified the vectors of possible policy impacts and priorities for the future of Europe as well as created alliances for forward-thinking future actions. The event itself presented the pinnacle of the MAST project, supported by Creative Europe, dedicated to developing an applied study module at the intersections of Art, Science and Technology, combining methodologies and practices that intertwine the academic sphere closely with the Culture and Creative Sectors.

The range of events included a cutting-edge symposium with four acclaimed speakers. The Hybrid Interfacing Academy also featured a speculative situation to stimulate new pivotal points of innovation processes with a radical approach. Different stakeholders were brought together to ideate primarily with(in) the artistic realm by adopting the methods and formats of a “challenge lab” — which is also the core of the recently accredited master study module of MAST! In addition, an overview of best practices and experiments on how “art thinking” could empower future “catalysts of innovation” were provided in an exhibition, presented (live at the event) by MAST students and mentors. Moreover, two policy-making workshops have been organised with strategically architectured lists of participants — one pivoting around burning matters of education, the other in the realm of industry:

Challenge Lab Discussion

The Challenge Lab discussion presented a setting similar to the Situation Room – within which an interdisciplinary group, interested in taking part in an innovation process is put in front of a challenge – to provide a technological innovation, an application of a technological innovation in the society, or a social innovation. The four participants represented each an aspect of the MAST mix — art production and facilitation, pedagogy, innovation management, and science (incl. technology). Such process is to be facilitated by an “innovation catalyst”, a professional profile which is being built through AST study modules, such as MAST, herein presented as the facilitator (J. Krpan). The discussion gives a deeper insight of the terms such as: challenge lab, innovation catalyst, and art thinking, and presents the entire “Challenge Lab” 10-step innovation cycle as the core of the MAST module syllabus. Participating were:

Simon Mokorel – Project Designer and Design Engineer, Innovation Manager | Jurij Krpan – Art Director at Kersnikova Institute, as Facilitator (innovation catalyst position) | Sergi Bermudez i Badia – Professor at Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute | Peter Purg – Assoc. Prof. PhD, University of Nova Gorica School of Arts (also MAST project lead)

MAST Hybrid IA Showcase

An exhibition of student works was presented in the real space of a gallery. The video linked above takes you on a tour through the minimalist “Hybrid IA” exhibition at Kersnikova Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia (September 22-23, 2020), touching upon some key events and ideas of the MASTmodule-eu project; presented by dr. pETER Purg, University of Nova Gorica, MAST project lead; and Simon Gmajner, Kersnikova Institute, including narratives of MAST alumni and students caught on video along several “Intensive Learning Events” as pilot workshops for the MAST module.

MAST and Industry Collaboration Workshop

The aim of the workshop was to present the guidelines, mechanisms and opportunities for collaborations between the creative sector and industry, where the aims are the establishment of a sustainable and ethical economy and collaboration between the artistic sphere and various communities at social innovations. The workshop addressed the interests of artists, researchers, engineers, producers and other stakeholders within the creative sector, and the role of the arts within a contemporary society at researching future technological and societal phenomena.
The workshop consisted of two parts. At the beginning of the workshop, the representatives of creative sectors and the industry presented policies, mechanisms and activities of implementing the creative sector within processes of innovation and into the economy. This was followed by a practical part where the potential of specific artworks for innovation through an “art thinking” (based on “art-driven innovation” methodology by In4art) was evaluated. The workshop concluded with a short evaluation of the methodology and its potential modification. Participating speakers:

Žiga Lampe (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia – CCIS): Presentation of CCIS’s various mechanisms of including creative sector into processes of innovation | Natalija Medica (Ministry of Economic Development and Technology): Presentation of Ministry’s activities of connecting the creative sector with the industry | Jurij Krpan (Kersnikova Institute): Introduction into policies that encourage the introduction of arts into processes of innovation (&workshop moderator)

MAST SYMPOSIUM 2020 | Exploring Innovation Challenges through Arts, Science and Technologies

The goal of this cutting edge panel discussion with individual keynotes was to bring together policy makers, artists and academics, in a debate about the interdisciplinary challenges of open innovation in the interface of the Arts, Sciences and Technologies. Artists and designers shape an importantly different relationship between science, technology, and human beings, and this dialogue stimulates innovation centred on transversal competencies and unconventional thinking. The combination of artistic research and participatory design strategies is key to find divergent approaches to sustainable development of science and technology, and to transform their social and economic impact. It is necessary to create a context of possibility for the development of skills, knowledge and tools from experimental and collaborative environments, as well as research methods in art, social sciences, sciences and technology, and cultural studies. The discussion thus focussed on critical, ethical and sustainable ways of cross-collaboration between art-science-technology and the available (as well as speculating about the much-needed) policy instruments to develop collaboration between artists, academia and industry. Participating speakers were:

Viviane Hoffman – Deputy Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission | Barbara Stacher – European Commission, DG EAC, Cultural Policy Unit | Michela Magas – Innovation catalyst who bridges the worlds of science and art, design and technology | Marko Peljhan – Media artist, professor and entrepreneur; new media arts and technology | Peter Purg – Assoc. Prof. PhD, University of Nova Gorica School of Arts, MAST project lead | Moderated by: Tere Badia, Culture Action Europe

MAST Education and Policy Workshop

The key aim was to discuss the potentials of the Art-Science-Technology blend in higher education for pedagogy, research and especially radical innovation. The workshop identified assets among the participants, apply them to discerned needs and opportunities, in order to prototype both formal and non-formal implementation formats for a common European future in A-S-T education. The workshop included primarily academics and policy-makers, but also reflected the student view, not least it sought to represent the employers’ view from a broad range of CCIs including the NGO sector and the tech industry. The policy makers on EU and national scale were invited in order to explore the viability of policy support and potential changes, with a final aim to instigate a positive integration of the A-S-T innovation methodology into the education systems at large. Participating were:

Peter Friess – Future Media, Social Network Innovation, Science-Technology-Arts / Media Policy, European Commission, DG Connect, Brussels, Belgium | Sanja M. Bojanič – University of Rijeka, Academy of Applied Arts, professor and vice-dean, executive director of CAS SEE, Croatia | Christophe De Jaeger – Director GLUON, BOZAR Programme Manager BOZAR Art & Research, Brussels, Belgium | Jana Javornik – Director at the Higher Education Directorate, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Slovenia | Robert Manchin – Culture Action Europe president, Belgium | Milena Dragićević Šešić – Head of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, professor of Cultural Policy & Cultural Management, Cultural Studies and Media Studies, University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia | Sašo Sedlaček – Vice-dean for R&D at Academy of Fine Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia | Peter Purg – MAST project lead, University of Nova Gorica School of Arts, Slovenia (workshop moderator)

UNICULT @ MAST Roundtable

The UNICULT @ MAST took place at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka. The topic of the 6th Edition of Unicult2020 was “Culture in Transition – heading towards a more innovative and equal society”. The subtopic focussed on “Professional and Personal Development in AST” where the MAST Career Development Guide was discussed, and is to be presented eventually along with the shared experiences and perspectives from artists, scientists and curators, focussing also on the emerging MAST alumni profiles. The online speakers and pre-recorded lectures addressed students, policy makers and leadership structures in arts and culture, alongside with the general public. Speakers were:

Milena Dragićević Šešić – Head of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, professor of Cultural Policy & Cultural Management, Cultural Studies and Media Studies, Serbia | Jan Fabre – Multidisciplinary artist, playwright, stage director, choreographer and designer, Belgium | Luk Van den Dries – Dramaturg and full Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium | Ivana Jozic – Dancer and actress at Troubleyn, Belgium | Phil Griffin – Artist, photographer and director | Facilitated by Daniela Urem, producer and founding president of the Doors Art Foundation, New York (USA), and the Croatian Cultural Alliance – CCACroatian Cultural Alliance (MAST)

Results of MAST Intensive Learning Events | Roundtable

The roundtable discussion addressed the methodologies, good practices and outputs of  “Intensive Learning Events” as pilot workshops for the MAST module.  In an in-depth conversation with facilitators and students, involved in the activities, the event presented the best experiences and provided vivid examples upon which future educational approaches within art, science and technology studies may model or even directly build their programmes. Programme:

Keynote speech by Lev Manovichintroduced by Daniela Urem and Nayari Castillo-Rutz.
Open discussion with Lev Manovich – with Hanns Holger Rutz, Nayari Castillo-Rutz, and Franziska Hederer (Graz University of Technology, MAST mentors) | Duarte Luis de Sousa, Carolina Silveira, Helene Thümmel – MAST Students from University of Madeira, University of Nova Gorica School of Arts, Graz University of Technology, respectively). | Facilitated by: Nayari Castillo-Rutz, and Franziska Hederer, assoc. professor, Institute for Spatial Design @ Graz University of Technology

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