Sunday, 14 September 2008

Technology as the muse of transdisciplinarity?

DRHA08 has officially opened and Sally Jane Norman got us off to a strong start with her talk on 'Collaboration and the Dynamics of Trandisciplinary Framing', followed by a trip through a number of sonic art works from Katherine Norman including her own 'Islands of one'. For me, these two presentations - one a traditional talk, one almost entirely sound-based - encapsulate the diversity of DRHA. Katherine alluded to the difficulty of defining what kind of artist you are, when you're crossing boundaries between music and literature and using technology to mix the two in to something entirely new. Sally Jane too, focused on the nature boundaries and their definition - or the redefinition that is required when they are crossed / transcended / redrawn. Too often we are constrained by the disciplines, sectors or even social strata within which we work and play - can technology help to transcend these constraints, when much technology itself is heirarchical and protocol / rule based (often necessarily so)? Can it be the muse of disciplinary redefinition? Perhaps a conference like DRHA, where people from many different backgrounds, traditions, cultures and practices but drawn together through their interest in and use of technology can help us to find out.

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