Fostering Hybridity

Our colleague Nina Horstmann is going to travel to London this summer. Her mission will be spreading the word about hybrid project work and transdisciplinarity at the 8th ELIA Academy. Today, she will already give you a foretaste of the topics and ideas she will present in her talk.

Inter- and transdisciplinary project and research work is gaining popularity within universities, private-public partnerships and funding schemes. It can be conducted across disciplines, across sectors or both, aiming to create some new insight and innovative results. And yet, how to deal with this “hybridity” is not always clear. Instead there is a conspicuous lack of information on how to conduct inter- and transdisciplinary work across art, science and technology as such and in particular within the institutional context of art education.

The 8th ELIA Academy in London, organised by The European League of Institutes of the Arts, is taking a closer look at exactly this situation. The theme of the conference is based on the question ”What's going on Here? Exploring Elasticity in Teaching and Learning in the Arts", with a specific focus on hybridity.

Representing the Hybrid Plattform at the conference and also drawing on my years of experience of working in this area of hybridity, my lecture argues for the provision of an infrastructure in support of hybrid project work and of a new culture of knowledge and science. Transdisciplinary project work requires specific instruments and methods that need to be developed yet. I will highlight the gaps, but also refer back to experiences made with specific methods and instruments of presentation and reflection. For the irritations and divergences specifically appearing in transdisciplinary contexts develop their creative potential only if we manage to transform the perspectivally related irritations and divergences into an innovative project work.

I will illustrate how such hybrid cooperations can be designed and conducted, drawing on practical examples and theoretical insights as mainly laid out in the context of transdisciplinary research. Some of my findings will also find their way into the first workshop offered by the Hybrid Plattform together with the Center for Technology and Society on ”Inter- and transdisciplinarity – Conducting research between science, technology, art and society” in October for researchers and artists of UdK Berlin and TU Berlin.

And I’m sure that many exciting and inspiring case studies and discussions at the 8th ELIA Academy will provide yet more ideas as how to design hybrid projects! Can’t wait.

– Nina