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Technologies of Imaging in Communication, Art, and Social Sciences

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TICASS (Technologies of Imaging in Communication, Art, and Social Sciences)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2021-10-31

Visual communication is an important component of everyday social life around the globe that we want to function as a kind of 'universal' language. The TICASS project investigated visual communication in various urban contexts (in Poland, Kenya, United Kingdom, Italy, and Czech Republic) in an intercultural perspective, looking for similarities and differences in visual imagery, aesthetics, relevance to social and economic structures, communicative and educative values, perception, interpretation, and functioning. This was researched from two viewpoints:
- through images in the cities which are collected, described, and analysed by TICASS researchers;
- from the view of people living in these cities, with whom TICASS researchers conduct deep interviews on perception and interpretation of images, in reference to photographs collected in the exhibition ”RAPPROACHMENT with public space” and various workshops on visual literacy.

The overall objective of research activities was to lead us to the construction of Educational Recommendations for Studies in Media, Art, and Design, containing the set of good practices for courses in visual literacy for school children (published as a monograph: Deluigi Rosita, Machova Adela, & Stara Flavia (eds.). (2021). Media, Art and Design. Intercultural Education Strategies in Media, Art and Design. Intercultural Education Strategies. Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Usti nad Labem & University of Macerata). Such recommendations and examples of good practices are necessary in order to effectively implement visual literacy in public education.

Research realized within the TICASS project is important to European society, helping achieve better intercultural communication, which is of vital importance in contemporary political and social framework, also relating to public environment in urban spaces and to visual communication for public transportations.
(1) On the beginning of the project TICASS researchers representing various fields in humanities during the first secondment agreed on the main research tools for empirical research, which are:

(I) Lasswell’s Cards containing photos from 5 categories identified in public space in cities: (1) parks, streets, and squares (2) public facilities (3) public transport (4) public transportation stops (5) railway/metro/airport/other stations),
(II) Analysis of Lasswell’s Cards in six perspectives of visual analysis proposed by Paul Martin Lester: (1) personal (2) historical (3) aesthetic/technical (4) cultural (5) ethical (6) critical.

Empirical material collected from Poland and from Kenya was described and analysed, and formed the monograph: Perzycka Elzbieta, Lukaszewicz Alcaraz Aleksandra (eds) (2019). Technologies of Imaging in Urban Communication. Report 1 from Poland/ Szczecin, edited by Elżbieta Perzycka and Aleksandra Łukaszewicz Alcaraz, Wydawnictwo Kolegium Sztuk Wizualnych Akademii Sztuki w Szczecinie, Szczecin 2019; and Perzycka Elzbieta, Lukaszewicz Alcaraz Aleksandra (eds) (2019). Technologies of Imaging in Urban Communication. Report 2 from Kenya/Kilifi. Szczecin: Wydawnictwo Kolegium Sztuk Wizualnych Akademii Sztuki w Szczecinie. The materiał collected from the United Kingdom, Italy and Czech Republic is kept ton file and prepared for publication in the next year.

Theoretical considerations and analysis are contained in three monographs published in the TICASS project:
Fleming Michael, Lukaszewicz Alcaraz Aleksandra (eds.) (2018). Visuality from Intercultural Perspectives. Technology of Images in Communication, Art and Social Sciences". Szczecin: PUNO Press.
Stara Flavia, Lukaszewicz Alcaraz Aleksandra (eds) (2020). Urban Visuality, Mobility, Information and Technology of Images, edited by Aleksandra Łukaszewicz Alcaraz and Flavia Stara, Szczecin: Wydawnictwo Akademii Sztuki w Szczecinie.
Stara Flavia, Lukaszewicz Alcaraz Aleksandra (eds). (2021). Spaces of Transfers and Visual Management of Human Mobility. Szczecin: Academy of Art in Szczecin.

(2) TICASS team have created the photographic exhibition, which is both an artistic production and a research tool for investigating modes and specificity of perception and interpretation of the same images in various countries.The first exhibition at Academy of Art in Poland in June 2017 "RAPPROACHMENT" was curated by Karolina Zawislak. The next exhibitions curated by Adela Machova “RAPPROACHMENT with public space“ were held at Pwani Main Library in Kilifi, 16 November-12 December 2018; at POSK Gallery, 11-19 May 2019 at PUNO in London, UK; at Palazzo Buonaccorsi in Macerata, Italy, 13-26 November 2019; at the Ústí nad Labem House of Arts in the Czech Republic, 28 April-11 May 2020.

(3) Educational focus of the research overlapped with the artistic focus through workshops, trainings, laboratories, realized projects, and interviews, and it was realized throughout the whole time of the project, but especially during mobilities and during exhibition, when there are conducted interviews (managed by Rosita Deluigi from UNIMC). Perspective of visual sociology proposed as a metod for deep interviews on the basis of general predispositions with the presentation of photograms appeared to be the method better suited to the research aim then the previous one, adopted in Poland, basing on interviews realized in the form of a survey.
The TICASS project is innovatory in connecting theoretic, educational, and artistic perspectives on visuality in urban settings: it contributes to the development of description of the field of visual literacy and sharpens the tools to be used in it. In order to teach visual literacy – the competence to understand, interpret, use, produce, and transform visual communicates – in intercultural perspective, there are necessary structural and methodological advices about modes of their conduction. The TICASS team is responding to this necessity by the Educational Recommendations for Studies in Media, Art, and Design containing good practices in teaching of visual literacy in intercultural perspective.

The work on the Educational Recommendations for Studies in Media, Art, and Design has led UNIMC to start two new projects in 2017, as a growth from TICASS: “Visual TICASS” oriented towards kindergarteners 3-6 years old; “Urban TICASS” oriented towards primary school children 8 to 10 years old, along with university students in Macerata, Italy; and “Visual TICASS: the colours of intercultural dialogue” directed to primary school kids 7 to 12 years old in Kilifi County, Kenya.

The Educational Recommendations for Studies in Media, Art, and Design were submitted to regional, national, and European educational authorities. They form the theoretical background for the new progammes in Art&Design at Diploma and BA level at the Pwani University in Kenya, which are realized in the another MSCA-RISSE Horizon2020 project Transcultural Perspectives in Art and Art Education" (TPAAE, GA no: 872718). They will also support orientation of the artistic education at AASZ and at UJEP.

An important lasting effect of the project is fostering cooperation between partnering institutions and signing agreements within the Erasmus programme between AASZ, UNIMC, UJEP, and between AASZ and Pwani University and Kenyatta University in Kenya within the Erasmus+ programme.
ex. worshop, 2nd mobility, Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya, April 2018
Opening of RAPPROACHMENT with public space, 2nd mobility, Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya, Nov 2018
2nd TICASS conference, 2nd mobility, Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya, Dec 2018
2nd TICASS conference, 2nd mobility, Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya, Dec 2018
ex. workshop, 1st mobility, Academy of Art in Szczecin, Poland, May 2017
1st TICASS conference, 1st mobility, Academy of Art in Szczecin, Poland, June 2017
Meeting with chancellor, 2nd mobility, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, Nov 2018
Official, 2nd mobility, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, Nov 2018
ex. worshop, 2nd mobility, Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya, April 2018
Official 1st mobility, Academy of Art in Szczecin, Poland, May 2017
Official 2nd mobility, Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya, March 2018
First meeting, 1st mobility, Academy of Art in Szczecin, Poland, May 2017
Press conference, 2nd mobility, Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya, Nov 2018
ex. drawing class, 2nd mobility, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, Nov 2018
Opening of RAPPROACHMENT with public space, 2nd mobility, Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya, Nov 2018