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Unpacking Models of Practice as Research Symposium


23rd January 2014, 10:30 – 18:00

MIRIAD Open Space, Righton Building
Manchester Metropolitan University, All Saints Campus
Cavendish Street, M15 6BG Manchester, United Kingdom


NWCDTP – http://www.nwcdtp.ac.uk
MIRIAD: Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University

In response to the new AHRC directive concerning the importance of practice as research – https://www.researchprofessional.com/0/rr/news/uk/research-councils/2014/9/Practice-makes-perfect.html -this event is a post-graduate training day held at MIRIAD at Manchester Metropolitan University that explores a range of approaches to practice as research from practitioners and students in the Visual Arts, Music, and Performing Drama, Dance and Performing Arts pathways of the NWCDTP.


  • 10:30-11:00: Arrive [Coffee]
  • 11.00-11.15: Introduction – [Felicity Colman]
  • 11.15-12.00: Intro to Hexagram [Chris Salter, Gisele Trudel]
  • 12.00-13.00: Pathway 1 ->Music [Rajmil Fischman, Tony Prescott]
  • 13.00-14.00: Lunch [provided]
  • 14.00-15.00: Pathway 2 -> Dance, Drama, Performing Arts [Stephen Bottoms, Katherine Morley]
  • 15.00-16.00: Pathway 3 ->Visual Arts [Toby Heys, Lewis Sykes]
  • 16.00-16.15: Break
  • 16.15-16.45: Hexagram
  • 16.45-17.45: Plenary: [Valentine Catricala, Steve Hawley]
  • 17.45-18.00: Close. Drinks & Discussion


Plenary, Facilitators, Chair:
Valentine Catricala is at Rome’s Fondazione Mondo Digitale (www.mondodigitale.org)
Steve Hawley is Associate Dean of Research for MIRIAD Manchester School of Art, MMU
Toby Heys is Digital Technologies Research Fellow in MIRIAD, MMU
Felicity Colman [Chair] is Reader in Screen Media at Manchester School of Art, MMU

Hexagram – a research-creation based institute in Montreal, Canada with over 80 researchers from a wide range of practice-based disciplines – www.hexagram.ca/

Gisele Trudel is an artist. In 1996, she eo-founded A:lab, the artistic research unit with Stephane Claude, electronic- electroacoustic composer and audio engineer. A:lab’s commitment to collaborative enquiry and dissemination creatively engages art, technology and processual philosophies in an ecology of practices. Trudel is professor at the Ecole des arts visuels et mediatiques, Universite du Quebec aMontreal, eo-founder of Grupmuv, the research group for drawing and the moving image, arid eo-director of Hexagram, the International Network for Research-Creation in Media Arts, Design, Technology and Digital Culture.

Chris Salter is an artist, University Research Chair in New Media, Technology and the Senses at Concordia University and eo-Director of the Hexagram network for Research-Creation in Media Arts, Design, Technology and Digital Culture, in Montreal. He studied philosophy, economics, theatre and computer music at Emory and Stanford Universities. He collaborated with Peter Sellars and William Forsythe and the Frankfurt Ballet. His work has been seen all over the world at such venues as the Venice Architecture Biennale, Vitra Design Museum, BIAN 2014 (Montreal}, LABoral, Lille 3000, CTM Berlin, National Art Museum of China, Ars Electronica, Villette Numerique, Todays Art, Meta.Morf (Norway}, Mois Multi, Transmediale (Berlin), EXIT Festival (Maison des Arts, Creteii-Paris} among many others. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance (MIT Press, 2010) and the forthcoming Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making (MIT Press, 2015).

Pathway 1 -> Music:

Rajmil Fischman (Lima, Peru, 1956) is Professor of Composition at Keele University. He studied music at the National Conservatory of Lima, Tel Aviv University and York University. His composition teachers include Abel Ehrlich, John Paynter and Richard Orton. He also obtained a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the Israel Institute of Technology. His main activities focus on acoustic, electroacoustic, interactive, audiovisual and multimedia composition, gestura! interfaces, electroacoustic theory, and music software development. More information at- http://www.keele.ac.uk/music/people/rajmilfischman/.

Tom Prescott studied computer science and music technology at Keele University. He completed an MRes in music which investigated the application of genetic algorithms to the control of granular synthesis and spatialisation techniques. Currently, he is in the third year of a PhD funded by the Keele Research Institute for the Humanities, investigating approaches to composing electroacoustic music with genetic algorithms. This research focuses on conveying a sense of causality and transparency to an audience when genetic algorithms are used in live performance.

Pathway 2 -> Dance, Drama, Performing Arts:

Stephen Bottoms is Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance at the University of Manchester. His current research involves practice-based explorations of the uses of site-specific performance in relation to environmental issues, particularly around local watercourses. He is a eo-Investigator in the 3-year, AHRC Connected Communities project ‘Towards Hydro-Citizenship’. He was also a member of the REF2014 subpanel for Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts, a process during which he examined many practice-based research submissions.

Katherine Morley is a theatre director and AHRC doctoral student in Drama at University of Manchester. Her interdisciplinary research draws upon theories of ‘communicative musicality’ in infants and its significance for spectatorship in (non)participative events in the theatre. In 2014 she held posts of resident artist at Dundee Rep and Leverhulme scholar at the Egg, Theatre Royal Bath. She is Creative Director of ’16 Singers’ and has most recently taught as a visiting practitioner at University of Aberdeen.

Pathway 3 -> Visual Arts:

Toby Heys is the Research Centre leader for Media and a Digital Technologies Research Fellow at MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. He received an AHRC scholarship to undertake his doctorate concerning the utilisation of sound as a weapon at Liverpool John Moores University and a Leverhulme scholarship for his MA in Media Arts at RMIT in Melbourne. He is an affiliate member of Hexagram in Montreal and has worked with Robert Saucier from UQAM (Montreal) for 12 years on robotic sound installations that have shown at venues such as Ben Maltz Gallery (Los Angeles) and the International Digital Arts Biennial (Montreal), Heys also works with Steve Goodman as AUDINT producing sound/video performances, installations, and books for venues such as Art in General (New York), Herford Museum of Contemporary Art (Germany), Academy of Art (Berlin) and TATE Britain (London) .

Lewis Sykes is an artist, musician and digital media producer/curator based in Manchester, UK. His recently completed Ph.D. project, The Augmented Tonoscope, outlines an approach towards a deeper understanding of the interplay between sound and image in Visual Music- through an investigation into the theoretical, technical and aesthetic concerns in realising a harmonic complementarity and more intimate perceptual connection between music and moving image.


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