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Kosmorama, Nova Cinema, movie theatre # 9, March 12, 2016.

The Art of Experiment

Rolf Hughes (UK)

This presentation seeks to ask what might be involved in creating an experimental laboratory space for the third millennium, one designed for the challenges of hyper-complexity. Against approaches based on technological determinism, I advocate those based on black sky thinking in the belief that a design task at this scale will require participants to conjure up unforeseen possibilities of fortitude from a fertile, cosmological sandpit.

Against equilibrium and entropy, I will propose disequilibrium – not to produce chaos or its inverse – God-like designers – but rather ethical, philosophical and design principles such as poise, trust and the re-centring that occurs through shared acts of fertility, fortitude, and flourishing – i.e. forms of radical love. For if the crew on an interstellar space craft are to survive their journey of generations, the ties that bond must be strong, endurable, and infinitely creative. The boundaries of categories (self, other, organic, artificial, species, technology living, technology) are each open to renegotiation on the Persephone project.

Rolf Hughes

A prose poet and disciplinary nomad, Hughes has been actively promoting innovative forms of artistic and transdisciplinary research over the past twenty years. Hughes is Head of Research and Professor of Artistic Research at Stockholm University of the Arts (inaugurated 2014). He has been expert advisor for artistic research at the Swedish Research Council, the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme, and the Austrian Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK); Guest Professor in Design Theory and Practice-Based Research at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (2006-2014); Senior Professor in Research Design at Sint-Lucas School of Architecture (KU-Leuven, Belgium), where he helped create and develop an international, design-led PhD. programme (2007-2013).

He has also served two terms as Vice President of the international Society for Artistic Research (elected by the SAR membership 2011-2013, unanimously re-elected 2013-2015). Hughes holds a First Class degree in English and Related Literature (University of York), an MA (with Distinction) in Creative Writing and the first ever PhD. in Creative and Critical Writing funded by the British Academy from the University of East Anglia, UK. He is currently exploring the potential contribution of magic and the circus arts to the conception and design of a third millennium experimental research laboratory. Writing and theatre remain central to his endeavour to link diverse forms of experience, expertise, and knowledge.

Rolf Hughes