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Future and Emerging Art and Technology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FEAT (Future and Emerging Art and Technology)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-10-31

The aim of FEAT was to stimulate take-up of FET research results and create internationally significant new forms of impact and innovation by embedding and supporting high profile international artists to develop innovative artworks through deep engagements with FET projects. The project embedded six artists within FET projects where they collaborated to develop and create new artworks that were showcased through exhibitions, participatory workshops, debates and media campaigns, concluding with a significant final exhibition and symposium.

The project enabled FET researchers to work collaboratively with leading artists to develop new artworks that critically work with and reflect on FET project research and results to enable radically new technologies to reach the widest possible audiences through international exhibitions, the global media and socially engaged participatory events including festivals, debates, workshops and discussion events.

Our high-impact outputs prompted new ways of thinking about ways in which FET results are shared by reaching out to non-traditional, diverse audiences and stakeholders in ways that are meaningful to them, through critical reflections, and both emotional and intellectual engagements. By catching the imagination of the public and the media through tangible contexts for radically new technologies we enhanced the take-up of FET research results.
Since the start of the project, a call for artists resulted in the application of 264 artists interested in collaborating with FET projects. All of them were carefully evaluated and the final choice for the five wining artists was made by an external advisory board. Furthermore, a call for FET projects was conducted and the winning artists (including FEAT artist partner Anna Dumitriu) were brought together with 20 FET projects at a matchmaking event in Amsterdam, were six collaboration teams were formed. Starting in May 2016, artists and scientists have been working closely together accompanied by the FEAT consortium and two more workshops to encourage collaborative outcomes.

All collaborations were successfully completed in February 2017 and resulted in high quality pieces of art that were exhibited at two official FEAT exhibitions: One at Life Space Dundee in April 2017 and a second one at BOZAR in Brussels in September 2017.

To assess the FEAT collaborations and in order to give recommendations, the consortium studied the art-science interaction based on interviews with artists and scientists and interactions at public and internal workshops. The resulting deliverables are available on the project's website.

The project was disseminated through a website, social media presences (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin), press releases and the production of brochures and videos.

Main results include:
• Four workshops, three of which were public, not only fostering the collaboration between the artists and the scientist but also resulting in a deeper understanding of the collaboration process and the benefits of art/science collaboration, valuable policy input and public interest in FEAT and the FET projects.
• The development of seven high quality artworks that will continue to be exhibited worldwide
• The production of two brochures, one on the FEAT artists and one on the six collaboration projects.
• The publication of 37 videos on the artists, participating FET projects and the FEAT project in general
• The production of six podcasts about the artist’s work
• The publication of 7 peer reviewed articles on the project
• The creation of a website and social media presence (facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube) for the project
• Two official FEAT exhibitions
• FEAT’s final workshop was planned in collaboration with Ars Electronica Festival, which is one of the world’s most important media art festivals with stakeholders present from not only the arts, but also form the fields of policy, science and research – a perfect venue for this FEAT workshop that was planned as a fully public event.
• Assessment of the collaborations
• Recommendations for future Art/Science collaboration projects
In the course of the project and especially during the FEAT workshops, which were attended not only by artists and scientists, but also by policy makers, deep insights were gained in the reciprocal inspiration process between artists and scientists that can be used to enhance future projects, not only at the intersection between art and science, but also in research projects in general.

Based on our observations and feedback from the artists and scientists, the FEAT project recommends future art/science collabration projects to plan longer term residencies and to facto in a FEAT-like activity at the project planning stage. Furthermore, it is important to invest in the development of trusted relationships between artists and scientists. A practical means for achieving this are dedicated one-day workshops between the artists and scientists that include presentations from both sides and extended periods of discussion. Costs for artists are very moderate, but sufficient budget for travel and transportation of artworks is important to ensure proper exploitation of follow-up opportunities such as invitations to conferences and exhibitions. It can also be recommendable to give artists a dedicated travel budget in order for them to be able to take part at more of their workshops and other activities as well as to make better use of the manifold dissemination opportunities resulting from the collaborations. Finally, in the case of the FEAT initiative, it was particularly useful to have a group of artists rather than a single individual residency. This supported the process with a sense of belonging among the artists, shared interest and also mutual recognition. We also believe that it is easier for a group of artists and/or artworks to create strong impact than just for a single piece or artist. Further recommendations can be found in the public deliverable D3.3

Art/science/technology interactions will be increasingly relevant for research policy makers and research programme managers looking for novel ways to create impact from research. Given the increasing interest from broader audiences (e.g. evidenced in growing numbers of visitors to electronic arts festivals etc.) the strong interest already existing in the arts community will persist. Increasingly, innovation managers from both industry and universities take interest in the outcomes from art/science interactions. While there may not quick wins in the form of immediate innovation there are significant impacts on public relation, on ways of collaboration, on ideation and self-reflection that are likely to also impact on research outcomes and, ultimately, technology take-up and innovation.