Grid Spinoza is a project that explores the artistic and scientific research processes, methodologies and dynamics. The project is built around an online platform that contains an open archive of articles and audiovisual interviews with artists and scientists while it develops a programme of experiments, residencies and workshops related to different national and international networks. Read more.




The open online archive is an essential tool for the project Grid Spinoza. The archive has been developed in Drupal and it contains articles and audiovisual interviews with scientists and artists.


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Synergy: Interdisciplinary Theory and Practice workshop

Interdisciplinarity and interdisciplinary research are widely acclaimed as being loci of innovation and new knowledge and ways of solving difficult diverse problems, with the capacity to bridge epistemological and ontological divides. Such practices involve many challenges, precisely because they necessarily cross disciplinary boundaries. Read more about the workshop.

About the workshop

"Synergies: Interdisciplinary Practice and Theory" is a workshop lead by  Simon Penny, Roc Parés and Mara Balestrini. It is an initiative by Grid Spinoza  and Hangar and it is developed in the context of the European project  Soft Control.

"Synergies: Interdisciplinary Practice and Theory" will take place the 28th, the 29th and the 30th of June 2013 at Hangar.

Overview of workshop
Interdisciplinarity and interdisciplinary research are widely acclaimed as being loci of innovation and new knowledge, and ways of solving difficult diverse problems with the capacity to bridge epistemological and ontological divides. Such practices involve many challenges, precisely because they necessarily cross disciplinary boundaries. These challenges are variously technical, methodological, philosophical, financial, institutional and interpersonal. Yet few who engage in such enterprise are prepared for such challenges. As a result, many projects become enmired and participants become disillusioned. Through a combination of presentations, working sessions and discussion/critique sessions, this workshop will equip artists, scientists, cultural operators, activists and theorists with skills and knowledge that will enhance success of such projects.
The theme of interdisciplinary synergy will structure the workshop itself, which will have two complementary and concurrent aspects, one practical and one theoretical  –
1. the development of several interdisciplinary project proposals, including formation of working teams, establishment of key resources and an ongoing development plan.
2. the development of a draft “interdisciplinary research protocol” document. This document is intended for international circulation as a guide for policy makers, government agencies and funding bodies.
These aspects will develop in parallel during and after the workshop. The theoretical deliberations will draw on the process of project development for examples etc, and those involved in project development will profit from input of theorists. Workshop participants may elect to concentrate on either or both aspects.
This interaction will be ongoing after the workshop is over. Projects and protocol will be hosted on the Grid Spinoza website. Development and cooperation will continue on this platform. Release of a first protocol document is planned for december 2013.
Simon Penny is director of the workshop and of ongoing theoretical development. He is an artist, theorist and professor in media art, interactive installation and robotic art with a long history in interdisciplinary research and teaching internationally. Previously professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon, currently professor of Art at University of California Irvine and visiting professor in the Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media master at UPF.
Roc Parés is an artist and researcher in interactive communication. Currently Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and codirector of the University Master in Digital Arts, Idec/UPF.
Mara Balestrini has a background in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities, University College London. Her work lies at the intersection of urban informatics and behavior change, an interdisciplinary approach blending cognitive sciences, technology and arts.

List of attendees

-. Christian Cherene, Intercult (Suècia), Arts Council of Northern Ireland (UK), Drugo More (Croàcia)
-. Dan Norton, University of Dundee, UK
-. Dimosthenis Karatzas, Computer Vision Center, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
-. Fernando Vilaraño, Computer Vision Center, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
-. Irene Lapuente, Sofia Menezes-Cabral & Ramon Sangüesa, La Mandarina de Newton
-. Irma Vilà, Estudis d’Informàtica, Multimèdia i Telecomunicació, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
-. Itziar Zorita, doctorat Arts Escèniques (UAB), mediadora cultural en el projecte d’art social Mobiolak
-. Josep Perelló, Departament de Física Fonamental, Universitat de Barcelona
-. Laura Llaneli, artista resident a Hangar, Màster d’Art Sonor, Universitat de Barcelona
-. Martin Hug, artista i programador
-. Mocksim, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
-. Pau Alsina, Professor i director del Postgrau en Art i cultura digital UOC-LABoral, Grup d’investigació GRECS – Grup d’Estudis en Cultura i Societat
-. Paz Tornero, Investigadora, artista i professora independent
-. Peter Pfeiffer, Enginyer químic
-. Ramon Guardans , investigador
-. Reimund Fickert, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona
-. Stella Veciana, Research Arts Platform
-. Philippe Bertrand, Be Another Lab

-. Swen Seebach, Grup d’Investigació Cultura i Societat, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Full programme

Day 1 Friday 28th
1700 – 1730 Introduction to workshop (Simon Penny). Introductions of Roc Pares and Mara Balestrini
1730 – 1930 Participant introduction Pecha Kucha ( 21@ 5 min each)
1930-2000 Interdisciplinarity – What and Why? (Simon Penny)
2000-2015 The Protocol  project– outline (Simon Penny)
2015-2100 Discussion
2100 – 2300 Barbacoa DIY

Day 2 Saturday 29th
1200-1400 Interdisciplinary project case studies, presented by Simon, Roc, Mara, Dan Norton and Peter Pfieffer
1400-1500 Critical Issues in Interdisciplinary Research and Production (Simon Penny)
1500-1600 – Lunch break
1600-2000 Project development session. In this session, project ideas will be discussed and developed with reference to the examples presented the previous evening and with respect to the issues discussed in the morning session, addressing key aspects such as: research, funding strategies, experimentation, production, dissemination, social reception.

Day 3 Sunday 30th
1200-1500 Group work session – development of presentations and uploading to Grid Spinoza website
1500-1600 Lunch break
1600-1700 presentation prep/setup
1700-1900 Presentation of Projects  – open to public. You also can follow it at:
1900-2000 Presentation of draft Protocol document and closing discussion.

Practical info

With the support of:

European Commission - Culture Programme 2007 - 2013