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COOPERATING - to encourage creative participatory processes between "experts from different disciplines" and the "experts of everyday knowledge ". What can the RESEARCH ARTS community contribute to the transformation of global society towards one acting sustainably? How can we work together?
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THE PROJECT OF THE MONTH (Jan/Apr 2014): »From RAABLAB online interfaces to local offline cooperation: the interdisciplinary REVALUING MEMORY workshops at Kiblix Festival« (English)



RAABLABS interface

The Raablab interface develoved by Norton and Veciana in 2013.











REVALUING MEMORY workshop at MRFU-KIBLIX2013, 6th November 2013 (Photos: Bostjan Lah).


KIBLIX exhibit

KIBLIX exhibit 2

KIBLIX exhibit 3

KIBLIX exhibit 4

»Revaluing memory« Installation respresenting common narrative and co-designed project at MRFU-KIBLIX2013, Maribor, 2013 (Photos: Dan Norton, Stella Veciana).


»From RAABLAB online interfaces to local offline cooperation: the interdisciplinary REVALUING MEMORY workshop at MRFU-KIBLIX2013 Festival«.
Dan Norton und Stella Veciana


Digital collections and archives contain hitherto unimaginable amounts of knowledge, which is potentially easy to access and share. At the same time information becomes lost in the archive. Browsing is currently arduous in digital material. How do we invigorate the contents of archives and revalue them?  Can interaction with stored memory in archives and libraries, transform them into generative tools for production and discovery?

RAABLAB (Research arts + ablab) adresses exactly these research questions. RAABLAB is a preliminary project developed by Dan Norton and Stella Veciana which is the combination of two practices.

Norton's practice as ablab works to transform interaction with information representations into experience of audiovisual and physical space, and playful action. His practice develops audiovisual instruments from archive material.

Veciana's practice collects new approaches and research models within the intersection of art, science and technology for a research agenda in this field and explores new ways to read and process information that bridges creative and scientific means for building knowledge.

The RAABLAB interface

These two practices/methods have first been brought together in an online interface, where Norton built a tool for accessing and recombining the knowledge developed in the practice of Veciana and stored in the Research Arts online collection of new research lines.

This interface, called Raablab, was the first collaborative project from the »Synergy: Interdisciplinary Practice and Theory« workshop organized by HANGAR, a cultural centre based in Barcelona, and the online platform Grid Spinoza . The workshop was a part of the Soft Control project, an interdisciplinary project funded by the Cultural Program of the European Union.

The Raablab interface is a simple mechanism for building new compositions of sound, image, and text through playful exploration of imagery. The interface changes images into triggers that sample texts from the Research-Arts archive of essays creating new links and connections.

The unusual combinations that are generated from the RA archive offer alternate possibilities and bridges between stored content. It is the possibility of the between, which Veciana and Norton continue to explore in a series of interdisciplinary workshops they are staging.


The REVALUING MEMORY workshops are a developing project that brings together artists and scientists to explore interaction techniques that can facilitate different bridges between individual knowledge bases and skill sets. This process of building links is called connected art practice. The workshops are based around the simple creative behaviours of selecting and mixing to build connectivity. These behaviours are developed from systems for interacting with sound and music, and particularly from the way a DJ (disc jockey) works creatively with a collection of records. In the workshops a setting is created to connect and integrate personal work into a common narrative and from this process to co-design a local shared practice.

One of these workshops was conducted at the MRFU-KIBLIX2013 Art Science Technology Festival. The REVALUING MEMORY workshop focused around the events' theme on “the (co)existence of bios and techne” within the frame of the festivals "Workshopology". Workshop participants included Monika Pocrnjić, Andrej Firm, Nataša Berk, Tomaž Grušovnik, Borut Popenko, Žiga Bobek, Jerneja Rebernak and Darinka Verdonik.

Each participant brought to the workshop a work of art or research that is, or is represented by an object no bigger than a potato. During the one-day event, participants shared their knowledge and developed skills and resources to collaborate with each other for a joint sustainable network in Maribor.

The workshop process developed around questions as to how can the practitioners implicit knowledge/memory be shared? How can knowledge/memory be re-valued, and through a process of revaluation be integrated in shared practice ? The workshop generated sematic field of connections around each participant’s potatoe, and out of this web of betweeness grew a concept for a co-designed local project: "KULT I NOVACIJA".

"KULT I NOVACIJA" - Mobile Art&Science School

The co-designed local project KULT I NOVACIJA is an Art&Science school to be hosted in a mobile caravan. It will bring together art practitioners, cultural producers, scientists, and technologists from within the community, to share knowledge, teach, research, and practice in public space. KULT I NOVACIJA is conceived as a mobile unit to tour market places, and other city districts where people gather, where it will offer free drop-in workshops and presentations to enable knowledge sharing in public.

The workshops will be free, and the first ‘University on the Street Lab’ of Slovenia’s future Art&Science educational program. An important aim of KULT I NOVACIJA will be to demonstrate value for the future establishment of Slovenia’s first University based Art, Science, and Technology educational facility.

Market-goers each week will be able to learn, consider, and discuss a wide variety of research topics, and be able to share their own skills and knowledge. Artists, scientists, and engineers will place their research in completely fresh contexts, literally in the marketplace of ideas.
The project revalues and reuses materials, knowledge, tools, and practices. The Mobile Art&Science School will share creativity and enjoyment, as well as educate practitioners and the participants alike. KULT I NOVACIJA will explore the value of sharing research in the common repository of general knowledge.

The KULT I NOVACIJA project and the objects of the participants of the workshop generated the »Revaluing memory« installation for the KIBLIX Festival. The visitors could play and experiment interactively with the Raablabs audiovisual interface in the real space of the exhibition.

The following interview explains with more details the development of the whole project presented at the KIBLIX festival:

Interview, Stella Veciana about MFRU-KIBLIX2013 workshop, Maribor, November 2013.



Dr. Dan Norton - Studied Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art, and Electronic Imaging at the University of Dundee. In 2009 he co-founded WAKA Espai d'Art, an independent artist-led gallery in Palma Spain. PhD thesis entitled “Mixing the Library: Information Interaction and the DJ.” Previously Associate Lecturer at University of Dundee, College of Art and Engineering, Scotland. more

stella veciana

Dr. Stella Veciana - Studies in Experimental arts at the UdK University of Arts Berlin, Computer Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and Cultural Policy & Management at the University Barcelona. Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Barcelona and author for online master modules at the Postgraduate Institute of Madrid. PhD dissertation entiteled "Research arts: the interface between art, science and technology as a field of knowledge and action" at the University of Barcelona. more

THE THEME OF THE MONTH (Jan/Apr 2014): »KARTOFFELKONZERT AUF PIEZO-BEEPER. A reflection on artistic practice.«





»Kartoffelkonzert« by Tomaž Grušovnik. Part of the »Revaluing memory« Installation respresenting common narrative and co-designed project at MRFU-KIBLIX2013, Maribor, 2013 (Photos: Stella Veciana).



»KARTOFFELKONZERT AUF PIEZO-BEEPER. A reflection on artistic practice.«. Tomaž Grušovnik

As a philosopher I'm convinced that artistic expression has primarily something to do with 'aisthesis', or 'sensual perception' - that is to say, for one to appreciate a particular work of art it shouldn't be necessary to read a treatise, or go through a bunch of literature. In order to understand the point of my object at the workshop, for instance, you do not have to read through this comment: you can just skip to the last paragraph.

To understand problems in this, theoretical, way is namely a job of discursive sciences, or of dialectic thought. With other words: I see an art object as something that carries with it a 'paradigm shift', something that is able to deliver a 'punch line' - an object that makes the observer wonder by mere experience of it. An art object thus has to force the perceiver
to spontaneously question one's presuppositions about herself and the world she inhabits.

Now, I'm well aware that no perception unfolds in a vacuum, that all we perceive is 'cognitively loaded', that there is a certain 'framework' from which we understand and perceive things around us - and precisely this is the reason why people from different background view basically the same phenomena as different (a neoliberal politician will perceive a collapse of a production line in a different way than a marxist activist). In this sense 'theory' is always present in what we
'practice' and 'experience', and there is no such thing as 'pure experience'.

However, keeping this in mind while engaging in artistic practice doesn't mean an artist should be primarily a philosopher, or a scientist - that she should theoretically underpin the existence of her object of art: in similar fashion a poet isn't the one who can explain grammatical correctness of her poems, but the one who masters grammar in such a way that it gives her freedom to express herself.

Good artistic practice, then, leaves thinking, wondering, and contemplation to the observer. But to achieve that, the object has to, so to speak, exist right at the edge of the common paradigm,
on the fringes of a common framework from which we experience and understand our world and ourselves, so that it can offer a trans-formative experience - a punch line shaking the established perception. And this I take to be a part of what romanticists - when carried out on a grand scale - meant with their idea of 'creative genius'.

So, let's see how I wanted to play with those ideas in practice at the workshop, connected with
the term 'revaluing' - the term that I understood in analogy to the above mentioned 'punch-line':

The workshop leaders asked the participants to bring with themselves an art object of a size of a potato. Now, I thought that one way how to approach this precondition would be to take the 'potato' idea literally, precisely because I presumed it was meant metaphorically, as a comparison, as an orientation in the sense of volume, its size. I, then, wanted to be literally metaphorical.

But what could you do with a potato at the electronic arts festival? - you could use it as an energy source to power a simple oscillating circuit with a piezo beeper that uses naturally occurring electric potential in a vegetable (when you insert in it two different metals) to produce repeating sound - something like 'screams' of an individual potato. By turning it into a galvanic cell I thus tried to 'give a voice' to the potato, and produced a 'Potato concert on piezo beeper'. The 'punch-line' of this object thus wanted to be the revaluation of a potato, its transposition into a new framework. The potato stays a potato: however, it's not there to quench hunger, but to feed one's imagination.



Dr. Tomaž Grušovnik - is senior lecturer at the University of Primorska, and researcher in philosophy. He was a Fulbright visiting fellow in 2009, guest lecturer at the University of Oslo in 2011, and in 2012 he won a "Herald of Science Prize", awarded by the University of Primorska. His artistic career developed from drawings to collages and now settled in what
the author, playing with QR codes, and now with electronic circuits, calls "Technological Expressionism".

THE ARCHIVE PROJECTS and THEMES of the area of activity COOPERATING 2014


raablab exhibit
January 2014


»KIBLIX – CELEBRATE TOMORROW! The history of KIBLIX Art Science Technology Festival«. Dejan Pestotnik.
Since 2002 Association for Culture and Education (ACE) KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia is gradually transforming the international, technically oriented open code event platform KIBLIX into a domain of celebration of art & science & technology with the strong focus on education, hands-on creation, collaboration and sharing of knowledge. more

»Reflections on Kiblix-IFCA 2013 Kooperation«. Tanja Grosman.
The task how to go beyond the complexity of questions raised at Kiblix 2012 in the year of the European Capital Of Culture Maribor 2012 was not easy. How to go beyond? How to represent relevant up-to-date content raising awareness, informing, educating, developing non-formal conceptions as “Workshopology” - and in a strictly open coded way? The solution was found joining forces with the IFCA (International Festival of Computor Arts). more

»From RAABLAB online interfaces to local offline cooperation: the interdisciplinary REVALUING MEMORY workshops at MRFU-KIBLIX2013 Festival«. Dan Norton and Stella Veciana.
The REVALUING MEMORY workshops are a developing series of workshops bringing together artists and scientists to explore interaction techniques for connected art practice. The workshop at the »Kiblix Art Science Technology Festival« was based around research practices represented by objects and the simple creative behaviours of selecting and mixing to build connectivity: from object art to connected art.

»KARTOFFELKONZERT AUF PIEZO-BEEPER. A reflection on artistic practice.« Tomaž Grušovnik. more

PROJECTS and THEMES of the area of activity COOPERATING 2013

January 2013

THE THEME OF THE MONTH (Jan/Apr 2013): »Low-tech« versus »high-tech« cooperation: the politically charged potatoes of Víctor Grippo and the controversial BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin. Stella Veciana.

In the seventies, the Argentine chemist and artist Victor Grippo developed a number of »low-tech experiments« using potatoes as an energy crop. With the choice of potatoes, he questioned the underlying social, political, historical, scientific and technological contexts of his energy-related experiments. Today the issues and »low-tech models« he raised are still relevant, especially regarding how international research cooperation between industrialized, emerging and developing countries should function.

S&TApril 2013

THE PROJECT OF THE MONTH (Mai/Aug 2013): »New contents and forms of scientific communication: the Science & Theatre project«. Prof. Regine Hengge. Science & Theatre is a trans-disciplinary project at the cross-roads between natural sciences and art. Project partners are the microbiologist Prof. Regine Hengge from the Institute of Biology at the Free University of Berlin, and the theatre and artistic director of the English Theatre Berlin, Günther Grosser. Science & Theatre introduces young scientists to the social and ethical aspects of science, prepares them for their future responsibilities as science communicators, explores the theater stage as a new form of scientific communication, and develops new and current contents for the contemporary theatre in Germany within the context of ‘Science Plays’. Science & Theatre views itself as a social laboratory where the conditions and opportunities for creativity and communication are examined as a long-term transdisciplinary project. (German) more





September 2013

THE PROJECT OF THE MONTH (Sep/Dez 2013): »The Textimage ERANOS DIALOG«. Christiane ten Hoevel and Stella Veciana.

The article presents the ERANOS DIALOG as a stimulating dialogue format for the development of inter / transdisciplinary projects. Eranos in ancient Greece was originally a friends’ banquet where everyone contributed food. In a figurative sense, today Eranos is a mental feast, where the guests share, for example, a speech, a song, a drawing or their openness to improvise at joint talks and discussions. Out of the shared experience of the ERANOS DIALOGUE, Christiane ten Hoevel and Stella Veciana developed together an experimental »text image«.

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