The second year of the interdisciplinary arts MA experience at Queen’s.
Constructed of two modules that students took in their” home” discipline (which could be any of the Creative and Performing Arts subjects), and two interdisciplinary modules - Adventures in Interdisciplinarity and Further Adventures.
The Adventures and Further Adventures modules were a journey through an eclectic portfolio of intensive two-day workshops led by visiting artists of both local and international standing.
These were designed to create a catalytic collaborative experimental environment where students could challenge their thinking about making work in general and in their own practice.
ADVENTURE 1: PAUL STAPLETON/MICHAEL GUREVICH (SARC)
Stylistic interactions present a number of interesting challenges to designers: How do we balance the need to ensure successful accomplishment of a task with the desire for the user to personalize their contribution? What kinds of design constraints are necessary to achieve this? Can we design for fortuitous accidents, or even design for unintended or extended styles of use? What is the role of external observers in a stylistic interaction?
This adventure explored stylistic interactions through observation, design, prototyping and creation. First addressing some basic concepts and methods of interaction design, then specific concerns of stylistic interactions. Participants went out into the world in teams to observe and document stylistic interactions then reconvening to present their results in an open discussion session.
The second part of the adventure started with a short primer on rapid prototyping and physical sketching methods, the aim to redesign one of the interaction situations that the participants discovered in the first session, creating an interface that allowed for greater expression of style, culminating in an interactive public demonstration of the final prototypes.
ADVENTURE 2: TALKING BIRDS
Crumlin Road Gaol is a Victorian prison which has been empty since 1996. It comprises of four wings and 640 cells. The prison is linked to the courthouse (also derelict) via a tunnel under Crumlin Road itself.
Site-specific theatre specialists Talking Birds worked with the students to create a short performance in, around, and through the gaol.
Starting with an essentially theatrical methodology, the devising slipped across artforms - visual arts, music, choreography, projection - in order to interrogate the site.
Participants were encouraged to shed their own specialisms, in order to find a collaborative approach.
ADVENTURE 3: SYLVIA BORDA/SINEAD MORRISSEY
For 150 years postcards have preserved and exchanged thoughts along with images of landscapes. Created to send short messages about a place, postcards quickly became souvenirs and snapshots of writing , identifying both what was considered beautiful or literary about a location.
This Adventure presented a 'Gallery In The Sky' where photos and texts were created as complementary original works. Drawing on similar concepts found in Gutai - the Japanese movement that introduced the Western world to conceptual art, happenings, and experimental text poetry, renowned poet Sinead Morrissey and artist photographer Sylvia Grace Borda guided students in the creation of visual and textual haikus (a form of short verse poetry) to embody the Gutai spirit.
Students also had the unique opportunity to learn how different presentation methods could be applied to exhibition design.
ADVENTURE 4: NICK GILLIAN/FLORIAN HOLLERWEGER
An encounter with sound, sonic art and software. Participants explored creative uses of computer processed sound, and integrated these capabilities into their own creative practice.
This 2-day workshop offered a general introduction into digital sound processing and its creative application. Participants learned how to use various pieces of audio hardware and software to record, manipulate and assemble their work into explorative sound collages.
ADVENTURE 5: PERFORMANCE CORPORATION
The Performance Corporation is one of Irish theatre’s leading companies. Its fresh, award-winning work blends thrilling visuals, hi-tech innovation, edgy writing and strong physical intuition to create a “choreographed anarchy” that has garnered audience and critical acclaim. The Performance Corporation strives to expand the boundaries of what, where and how theatre can be, relishing the challenge of working in off-site locations, often integrating technological innovation in order to give audiences new and exciting experiences.
This 2-day exploration saw participants generate work from individual physical explorations, collaborations, and spatial investigations.
This included exploring the body as a means of dynamic and dramatic expression, investigating the relationship between the performer, the performance space and the audience, and examining methods of generating new work.
ADVENTURE 6: PAT MURPHY
Filmmaker Pat Murphy uses the theme “Framing the Precipice” to consider how the act of looking affects what is looked at.
Working with students to investigate the contingent nature of the frame, the group shoot, edit and present their own short film responses to the theme.
ARTIST'S SEMINARS AND BUSINESS SKILLS WORKSHOPS
Additionally students benefited from seminars with visiting artists Sascha Perfect, Paul Murnaghan and Justin McKeown, in addition to business skills workshops with Eamon Quinn and Jacki Doyle.