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The Australian National University

Driving Forces: The Role of Artists and Designers in Interdisciplinary Research

Erica Seccombe - Grow: visualising nature at nanoscale (work in progress) 2013

Duration: Thursday, March 27, 2014 (All day) - Friday, March 28, 2014 (All day)
Location: ANU School of Art - Lecture Theatre

Convenors: Professor Anthea Callen and Anne Brennan

Supported by the College of Arts & Social Sciences.

This two-day conference will focus on the significant role that artists and designers take in driving interdisciplinary research projects through practice-led PhD and postdoctoral programs. Bringing together artists, designers, academics, project partners and stakeholders from the ANU and external universities and organisations, this conference will examine how interdisciplinary artistic and creative practice is now understood as research, and how this research contributes to knowledge production in the broader cultural and social field.

The program will be designed around two keynote speakers and five chaired panels in order to generate informed discussion.


All welcome. Entry to this event will be free of charge. Please note, there is no catering included. 

To be listed as a registered participant your booking must be taken through the Eventbrite event below:

All ANU School of Art HDR and undergraduate students are encouraged to attend.

Program at a glance. A full program of speakers bio's and abstracts will be available as a pdf.

(as of 24 March 2014)

Day one Thursday 27 March 2014 - ANU School of Art Lecture Theatre

8.30am - Registration

9:00 am - Welcome | Associate Professor Denise Ferris

9:30 am – 10.30am - Opening Plenary Speaker | Dr Lorrae Van Kerkhoff, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University

10:30am – 11:00am - Morning tea

11:00am – 12:45pm - Session One | Art, Design & Media: Art, Design & Media: The future of interdisciplinary research

Professor Ross Harley, Dean and Director Faculty of Art, Design & Media, COFA, Sydney
Dr Angela Philp, Senior Lecturer, Strand Convenor, Art History and Theory, School of Creative Arts The University of Newcastle
Vicki Sowry, Director, ANAT, Australian Network for Art and Technology, Adelaide

12:45pm – 2:00pm - Lunch

2:00pm – 3:40pm - Session Two | Diversity in process and outcomes through interdisciplinary practice and research

Associate Professor Mitchell Whitelaw, Digital Design & Media Arts Faculty of Arts and Design, Canberra, and,
Dr Geoff Hinchcliffe, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.
Dr Nola Farman, artist and recipient of the Synapse 7 2012 Artist in residency. 
Leah Heiss, Interdisciplinary artist & designer and Lecturer, RMIT University

3.40pm – 5pm- The School of Art Workshops will be operating their normal semester program but visitors are most welcome to wonder around the school and inspect the studios.

6.30 pm – Meeting for drinks and dinner Fellows Cafe and Bar, University House, ANU, all welcome 

Day two Friday 28 March 2014

9:15 am – Welcome | Professor Anthea Callen, Professor of Art (Practice-led Research), School of Art, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University

9:30 am – 10.30am -Opening Plenary Speaker | Dr Cόilίn Ó Dubhghaill, Senior Research Fellow, Art and Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

10:30am – 11:00am - Morning tea

11:00am – 12:45pm - Session Three | The experience of exchange through Post-graduate research and the ANU Vice Chancellor's College Visiting Artists Fellowship Scheme (VCCAFS)

Dr Vanessa Barbay, 2013 Inaugural recipient of the ANU VCCAFS
Dr Amanda Stuart, 2013 Inaugural recipient of the ANU VCCAFS
Professor Tim Senden, Head of Department of Applied Mathematics, RSPE and a host of the 2013 Inaugural recipients and 2014 ANU VCCAFS

12:45pm – 1:45pm - Lunch

1:45pm – 3:30pm - Session Four | Creating questions through interdisciplinary practice and research

Professor Ian Gibbins, Professor of Anatomy & Histology, Flinders University
Catherine Truman, artist and recipient of the 2011 Synapse Residency Program
Associate Professor Philip Samartzis, Sculpture, Sound and Spatial Practice, RMIT University

3:30pm – 4:00pm - Afternoon tea

4:00pm – 5:00pm - Session Five | Collaborative practices 

Dr Nina Sellars, Research Fellow, School of Design & Art, Curtin University , Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University
Professor Stelarc, Distinguished Research Fellow, School of Design & Art, Curtin University

6 – 8pm - Please join us at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery for an exhibition, launch and reception.ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery

Work in progress from the inaugural recipients of the 2013 ANU Vice Chancellor's College Visiting Artists Fellowship Scheme (VCCVAFS)
To be opened by Professor Ian Young, ANU Vice Chancellor

This is a bold new initiative that places a visiting artist fellow in ANU Colleges for up to one academic year. It is the first of its kind in an Australian University and demonstrates the high regard in which the visual arts and practice-led research is held at the ANU. It aims to promote collaborative research between different disciplines in the university and provides visual artists with new opportunities to exhibit and publish their work.
Six artists have been selected for the first year of the program. Details of their collaborations are:

  • Vanessa Barbay and the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Michael Edwards and the Australian Centre for Economic Policy Research in the College of Business and Economics
  • Kirsten Farrell and the College of Asia Pacific
  • Erica Seccombe and the Department of Applied Mathematics, Research School of Physics and Engineering, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
  • Jay Kochel and the College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Amanda Stuart and a collaboration with the Fenner School and the National Museum of Australia


SPECTRA: the currency in the studio and the laboratory
Papers published from the SPECTRA 2012 conference held at the 2012 CSIRO Discovery Centre, Black Mountain, Canberra.
Edited by Dr Mary Rosengren and Cris Kennedy
Foreword by Vicki Sowry, Director ANAT
Published by the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT)

Updated: 11 June 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Office / Page Contact:  Web Publisher