Creativity / Innovation / Technology
When Art and Technology Collide: Collaboration at Melbourne Connect
Melbourne Connect is an innovation eco-system where research and industry come together to tackle some of our biggest challenges. Melbourne School of Engineering is working alongside Information Technology professionals and industry partners, to produce solutions to some of the most complex and technical questions.
Like artists, Information Technology professionals leave an aesthetic trail of ideas evolving through rough sketches, complex drawings and models. Just as art develops in a context of place, time and history – the rapid rise in capacity of computer science and information technologies also takes place in a context with a long history, both of these have become intertwined. In 1968, the first exhibition of computer-generated art, with an estimated 60,000 attendees, took place in London. Since then, the use of computers in art has become ubiquitous.
Melbourne School of Engineering warmly invites alumni and friends to a panel discussion, with researchers and industry professionals to further explore the beauty and art within the field of Information Technology.
We will explore questions like:
+ How has the use of art to contemplate the implications of information technologies been explored over time – can we see a progression from 1968?
+ Can art help the public to understand the impact of information technologies?
+ Can the opportunities and risks posed by rapid advances in technologies be better explored through art?
+ Are there lessons that can be learned from other rapid advances in information technologies?
+ Where is the intersection between art and information technology, today?
+ How can art help us to understand science better? What else can art enable?
+ How can art help science to solve some of the world’s biggest problems?
Meet The Panel:
Master of Ceremonies
Director, Museums & Collections, The University of Melbourne
Rose Hiscock is the inaugural Director of Science Gallery Melbourne and passionate advocate for science engagement. She has held significant leadership roles including CEO Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) and Executive Director Arts Development Australia Council for the Arts.
Rose is committed to building a vibrant, balanced and accessible arts sector. She is a Board member of Back to Back Theatre, Australia’s highly successful company with a full-time ensemble of actors considered to have an intellectual disability, and Chunky Move, one of Australia’s premier dance companies.
Head, Telstra Foundation
Jackie is a corporate sustainability leader, passionate about the intersection of social innovation and digital technology. As Head of Telstra Foundation and a Board Trustee of the Telstra Foundation Philippines, Jackie leads Telstra’s philanthropic investment fund with a focus on social innovation. Strategic and entrepreneurial, her work supports digital change makers in the non-profit sector, and remote and regional Australia. An advocate for the responsible and inclusive development of new technologies Jackie also encourages young people to create with, not just consume, tech. Feminist, mother, tech optimist, and grant-maker, Jackie juggles many balls and tries hard not to drop the glass ones.
Professor, Culture and Communication
Director of the Digital Studio, Faculty of Arts and a Professor of Dance and Theatre
Professor Rachel Fensham is Director of the Digital Studio, Faculty of Arts and a Professor of Dance and Theatre. She is lead CI on a ARC Linkage project investigating the impact of theatre for young people in regional Victoria, that has created CIRCUIT, a mapping tool for touring of theatre in Australia; and CI for the Humanities and Social Sciences Data-Enhanced Virtual Laboratory (HASS-DEVL) for the ARDC.
In all her research, the role and integration of methodologies from the digital humanities plays a critical role alongside other methods such as fieldwork, close analysis of embodied performance and community engagement.
Senior Research Fellow in Digital Ethics in the Melbourne School of Engineering
Dr Kobi Leins is a Senior Research Fellow in Digital Ethics in the School of Engineering and a Non-Resident Fellow of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.
Leins has managed programs and teams in the areas of administrative law & justice, humanitarian law, human rights law, and disarmament with the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. In 2006, Leins worked with the International Service for Human Rights in New York to advocate for the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, after which she worked for the United Nations Secretariat. In 2005, she liaised with States, scientists and stakeholders to raise awareness of, and compliance with, the Biological Weapons and Chemical Weapons Conventions. In 2004, Leins worked as a Legal Officer at the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva under the auspices of a Security Council Resolution analysing and presenting claims for environmental damage following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991, having escaped commercial law to do so.
Leins also prepared a matrix for review of domestic compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention, which many States adopted. Leins has submitted her PhD with the University of Melbourne on whether the use of nanotechnology enhanced or based weapons is prohibited or limited in an armed conflict.
Resident Artist at the School of Computing and Information Systems,
University of Melbourne
Lecturer In Theatre (Acting), Victorian College Of The Arts
Dr Robert Walton (Aus/UK) is a conceptual, media and performance artist whose work includes theatre, choreography, installation, writing and interactive art. He trained in theatre at Dartington College of Arts (England) and as a technologist in The University of Glasgow’s Master of Science in Information Technology (Software and Systems) programme.
His PhD from the University of Melbourne explored the creative use of mobile computing in performance events.
Before moving to Australia Robert co-founded two experimental art organisations in Scotland: Reader Performance Group and Fish & Game. These companies enabled Robert to create a wide range of experimental theatre, installation, immersive, interactive and site-specific performance works created with long-term collaborator Ivor MacAskill that toured Scotland, UK, Europe and to Australia. ‘Alma Mater’, their final work together, was credited as “the world’s first piece of iPad theatre” (The Independent, UK). Robert moved to Australia in 2011 to join the Theatre Department at the Victorian College of Arts, University of Melbourne.