Ways of Working: Experimental Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshop across the Arts and Sciences

29 October 2019

Ways of Working was a one-day workshop and evening event, hosted by The Cultural Negotiation of Science (CNoS) fine art research group, Northumbria University in collaboration with the Biochemical Society and Newcastle University’s Institute for Creative Arts Practice (NICAP).

How do we negotiate practices across disciplines?
What can we learn through building shared working practices and methods?

Image used courtesy of CNoS

The workshop presented an opportunity to address questions that are common to the arts, sciences and humanities – around ways of seeing, methods of working, and approaches towards developing interdisciplinary practice. Whilst acknowledging that both practices are creative, the workshop focused on ‘ways to practice’ that allow for time, space, error and specifically, what we can learn from questioning existing methods of working.

Image used courtesy of CNoS

With an ethos of open-ended experimentation, engaging in critical dialogue around common themes, the approach of the workshop was research-led and exploration driven rather than outcome driven. Practitioners across the arts, sciences and humanities shared their working methods and explored collaborative practice in both the studio and the lab.

Image used courtesy of CNoS

Themes explored ranged from our consumption of coffee and its impact on the landscape to the ethics of pregnancy and maternal care. Key to the event was attention to the similarities and differences in method, leading to insights around process, structure, chance, spontaneity and creative tools.

Image used courtesy of CNoS

The evening event saw the screening of a selection of short films from the recent CNoS and Institute of Genetic Medicine collaboration Black Box, an initiative established by Louise Mackenzie, to share films made by artists and researchers involved in a creative and critical engagement with scientific themes. Following the film screening, Adam Pugh, Creative Director of Artist’s Moving Image at Tyneside Cinema hosted a conversation with contributors to the Black Box programme, artists Christine Borland, Laura Harrington and Louise Mackenzie.

Film still from “Virophilia - Preface - Egg On Rice” by Pei-Ying Lin. Photo by Rob Tickell

The event was facilitated by Louise Mackenzie, PhD, artist and CNoS researcher, building on her research interests in ethical engagement with the sciences through art practice.

The event was funded by The Cultural Negotiation of Science research group, Northumbria University and the Biochemical Society. With thanks to Andrea Phillips and Rob Tickell at BxNU Experimental Studio, Newcastle University’s Institute for Creative Arts Practice and to Biomedical Science at Northumbria University for supporting this event.

Ways of Working Workshop. Video reproduced courtesy of CNoS/Louise Mackenzie

For more information about CNoS visit culturalnegotiationofscience

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