Tag Archives: Art & Technology

Call for Projects – Hybrid Practices Conference

Rockne Krebs  Sun Cage for "Atlantis", 1973
Rockne Krebs
Sun Cage for “Atlantis”, 1973

Hybrid practices in the arts, sciences, and technology from the 1960s to today

Arts Research Collaboration initiative (ARC)
Spencer Museum of Art
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS, USA

Submission deadline: Nov. 1, 2014

In partnership with the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Spencer Museum of Art (SMA) at the University of Kansas (KU) is organizing a conference on hybrid research practices in the arts, sciences, and technology from the 1960s to today. Distinguished scholars involved in the conference include D. Graham Burnett (Cabinet magazine) and Anne Collins Goodyear (Bowdoin College Museum of Art). Together with papers, roundtables, and keynote presentations, the conference will incorporate performative and event-based creative projects grounded in hybrid art-science-technology research. Selected conference presenters will be invited to a follow-up colloquium, led by David Cateforis (KU) and Shepherd Steiner (Emily Carr University) in May 2015. We anticipate publishing selected papers and projects in an edited volume that serves as both conference proceedings and guide for researchers undertaking work in this field.

To date only a small group of scholars has focused attention on collaborative projects between artists and practitioners in technological and scientific fields during the 1960s and 1970s. Hybrid Practices seeks to broaden our understanding of this pivotal period in U.S. history and in American art by investigating the cultural, political, and social factors that enabled and encouraged such projects to emerge. Although the conference will focus on the United States, we intend to include international perspectives and welcome applications from scholars and practitioners based in other countries. By thoroughly examining early research collaborations among artists, scientists, and technologists, we will establish a context through which to explore the resurgence in hybrid research practices today.

We are seeking proposals for papers and practice-based projects that explore one or more of the following aspects of hybrid artistic research:
1. Key hybrid projects from the past 50 years, including but not limited to Experiments in Art & Technology (Bell Laboratories), Art & Technology (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), and the Artist Placement Group (U.K.)
2. Shared vocabularies among the arts, sciences, and technology, and the role of language in cross-disciplinary collaboration
3. The impact of interdisciplinary work on the identity of the hybrid practitioner

Papers may be organized as case studies or theoretical approaches to the topic. Case studies should focus on one or two projects; they may interrogate the historical moment of the project’s existence, the hybrid methodology involved, and/or the impact of the work as it was assessed both at the time the project took place and in the present. Participants are encouraged to use archival material in these case studies. Theoretical papers may address multiple projects across a broad geographical or historical range. While the conference’s theoretical framework will draw on the work of French philosopher and science historian Michel Serres, participants are not limited to examining his ideas in their papers.

Practice-based projects should explore the same themes as papers while keeping in mind the physical and temporal conference setting. Hybrid Practices will be held at The Commons (www.thecommons.ku.edu), a space dedicated to fostering closer relationships among the sciences, humanities, and arts. It is a fully mediated event space rather than an exhibition space, so practice-based projects should not require sustained display. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for projects that could reasonably be produced in this setting. Logistical arrangements for selected projects will be developed in consultation with SMA staff.


Please submit abstracts of 150–200 words in English, along with a bio of approximately 100 words, to smahybrid@ku.edu. Up to five images may be included to support your proposal.



November 1: Deadline for submission of abstracts

November 21: Notification of acceptance


February 9: Deadline for submission of accepted papers

March 10–13: Conference in Lawrence, Kansas

May 29: Follow-up colloquium in Lawrence, Kansas


January: Proceedings published

James Lee Byars & The Hudson Institute


ARC is currently developing a project that will aim to reassess collaborative projects of the past under a new framework. One of the projects that we are interested in seeing a reassessment of is James Lee Byars residency at the Hudson Institute, a think-tank in New York state, for the Art and Technology exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Byars began working at the Hudson Institute in May 1969 up until the end of the year. He would often speak with the Director and co-founder of the Institute Herman Kahn. Those conversations and being in residence  led Byars to four ambiguous points – 1)”The exultation of being in the proximity of extraordinary people. “ 2) “The one hundred most interesting questions in America at this time.”3) “The next step after E=MC2.” 4)”One hundred superlatives about the Hudson Institute.”  Of the four points Byars reduced his project aims to the one hundred most important questions at this moment saying that “there is a terrific prejudice against asking questions.” The artist then wanted Gallup to do a nationwide poll for him determining what those questions might be but the costs proved prohibative. What eventually became one of the outcomes of this line of thinking was a television program called The World Question Center in Belgium where Byars asked viewers to send in their important questions. For ARC one of the most important outcomes was a small work where Byars has teletext tape repeating the mantra “Putting Byars in the Hudson Institute is the artistic product”.  Here the artist exclaims the importance of his engagement with non-artists and reveals that no other outcome is neccesary. This is not to say that product is not important but that the focus on product over communication is often counter intuitive to the collaborative process. Thank you Mr. Byars and the Hudson Institute.