INNOVATION ON ARTISTIC TERMS – DEVELOPING A TOOLBOX TO TEACH AND INSPIRE FOR SOCIAL PROGRESS THROUGH INTERACTIONS OF ART, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYPeter Purg
, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract
This conference contribution shall discuss a specific process of curriculum development that seeks to teach (across) artistic disciplines for future-oriented innovation, and on artistic terms. On the background of the Social Europe agenda, MAST project is developing such a master module that would offer to all stakeholders in the educational model, including both industrial and social enterprises, an eye-level and deep engagement with one another.
In the case of MAST, the applied function of artistic practice in the currently trendy model of blending Art, Science and Technology for Innovation, is not only critically reflected, but also positively articulated to improve the quality of life and offer sustainable yet still techno-optimistic models for both the industry, and the everyday.
Surpassing the 'Silicon-Valley‘ modelled technical culture that in its deep structures principally opposes the social cohesion in both the national and local, as well as a global sense, MAST promotes a clear European vision as well as academic practice that aims to succeed in integrating the values of social equity and fair labour into the entire chain of technology creation, including its everyday use and education. Studies agree  that Europe is hamstrung by the tension between regressive technological ideology and what this project considers to be essential European social values of its creative media (incl. ICT) practitioners and their communities. If the world is to develop positively, it needs such media and applied arts or design creators that will be able to consider the social costs, as well as implications of humanity, within a design as readily as they can do that with power, efficiency or the ergonomic aspects of a design or prototype!
Thus the MAST module  will attempt to develop an academic profile of an 'innovation catalyst', a graduate who should not only be able and empowered to switch between, but also meaningfully translate different languages that currently hamper the Babylonian collaborative practices in the fields of applied arts, especially when crossing with science. The MAST project thus also develops a toolbox along with a coherent methodology that this new profile will not only liberally browse through – but also be fit to innovate within, develop new, (as if) ad-hoc combinations of artistic and design thinking approaches and custom-made tools, or creative concepts alike.
Mostly in a descriptive way, the present contribution shall discuss the ideological backgrround ranging from euphoric to pessimistic (if not phobic) relationship of the arts (including design) with the ('hard') sciences, and the ('high') technologies. It shall also not circumvent the issues around teaching and learning methodology to be applied in the much hyped cross sector among art, science and (high) technology.
More critically, the discussion shall then delve into the paradox of how progressive Social Europe agenda values can be coded into innovations, as well as how social groups and movements may use media and (high) technology to forward these values promoted by the current progressive political discourse – and against some openly regressive tendencies of the current moment.
In a practice-based yet critically moderated master study curriculum that is currently being piloted, MAST seeks to bring together experts from different fields of science and technology to learn how to understand artists (i.e. their poetical, metaphysical, philosophical and ethical premises) and translate these divergent ideas into possible solutions that may reach all the way from industry-oriented innovative technologies to social innovation.
Along the way of developing efficient solutions to meaningful challenges in the realm of technological innovation, the growing MAST community continues to explore how key choices in art, design, and technology can help or harm a virtuous circle of progressive European social values. Among many other policies, documents, proclamations and practices on both European and national as well as local and non-governmental levels, these values are perhaps best reflected in the current European Pillar of Social Rights  that is about delivering new and more effective work-related rights for citizens, built upon 20 key principles along the chapter of Equal opportunities and access to the labour market; Fair working conditions; as well as Social protection and inclusion.
The contribution will present the interim results of the MAST project that will have arrived half way (2018 – 2020) at the point of the Conference event, attempting at a first holistic assessment of its impacts and potentials. This may be particularly necessary after a full academic cycle will have been finished: it included a challenge to the topic of 'The Future of Work“  as well as a series of six intensive workshops at different locations and institutions across Europe. The creative concepts that were brought to the Nova Gorica, Slovenia 'FUTURE.HUMAN@WORK' event from the November 2018 workshop on 'Progressive Product Prototyping' in Funchal, Portugal were further iterated at the events in Graz ('Algorithmic Spatial Studies'), Austria, and then in Ljubljana, Slovenia ('Work Without Humans'), to be eventually evaluated, jointly reflected and prepared for the next academic year in the Rijeka, Croatia “Interfacing Academy” event due in July 2019.
The underlying assumption so far is that the future of (electronically supported, digitally dominated) work should belong to (or at least be championed by) profiles who are able to think about future independently and freely, in trans-disciplinary manner, inserting and transforming existing solutions and products into new scenarios. These should then be transferred to industry realms, ranging from Cultural and Creative Sectors to high technologies, and not least social services. As an innovation catalyst, the MAST graduate should act as coordinator and integrator in these realms, remaining in positive (if not utterly creative) control over her or his (our common!) digital tools and electronic platforms, both virtual and analogue. This multi-skilled and cross-knowledgeable person competently switches among different professional realms, interconnects and develops new paradigms, finds unconventional, art-thinking based solutions, as well as provides necessary translations among essentially different realms.
Innovation shall be considered in its transformative potential in both social and technical realms, preferably combining both – and yet foremost technological progress is to be applied in the interest of a truly future-oriented, ecologically and culturally balanced  social reform.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ... MAST project is developing such a master module that would offer to all stakeholders...
Keywords: innovation, art thinking, curriculum, master, interdisciplinary, social
Published: 08.10.2020; Views: 1352; Downloads: 0
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