Why transdisciplinary?

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For this entry I thought I would explain a bit about my background and in so doing ... hopefully... explain why I am so interested in Art-Science transdisciplinary projects.

I am what I like to call a baby artist. I have only worked in Art for two years now. In standard 6 in response to my first art project in highschool my teacher said:"don't worry dear.. you are so good at science...stick to that" And so my box was formed. Thats unfair. I can't blame her but this is the kind of thing people would say to me and so I dutifully took on that role. When I left school I took a gap year which was supposed to help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life but lets just say soul searching took a back seat to partying and so when I returned I went straight into Electrical Engineering with no idea as to why. Hey I was good at it and I could get in so why not?

I learned so much from my engineering degree and specialised in electronics and software design but I always felt unfulfilled and stifled. I needed creativity in a different form but by my final year had no idea how I was going to achieve this. Then I heard about a masters course run by the Digital Arts department of The Wits School of Arts. This course accepted people with art or science honours and offered a masters degree in "Interactive Media Design". To tell you the truth I really didn't think I would get in or would be able to do the course but I was determined to try. Turns out I got in and loved it!! Finally I had the type of creative freedom I was craving but was still able to use my technical ability. And then I hit the next barrier. Now that I was creating "art" my engineering colleagues didn't take my work seriously anymore and some artists looked down on my use of tech in my pieces.

I was stuck in the middle between two supposedly dichotomous fields. The more I thought about this position I now found myself in the more I realised that I wouldn't have it any other way. I just was not able to be an artist or a scientist.. i was both. This sparked my curiosity about interdisciplinary work but I just didn't think that interdisciplinary truly described how I wanted to work. Then I can across the term transdisciplinary. To me this truly described how I wanted to work and opened up a whole new world to me. Working between, across and beyond disciplines!!!

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katty vandenberghe Author Profile Page said:

I really think that you are sitting at the leading edge of what we need to do next in our global society. It is where we used to be, then we specialised and categorised and basically, forgot. I have come across projects the were initiated in the 60s and 70s that are conscious of this process and involved cross-disciplinary principles to solve engineering and environmental problems. The outsider's insight is always a powerful perspective shift on any situation. It's also one of the reasons why small children come up with such insightful solutions - they have a fresh perspective and a brand new set of eyes and mind processes to look at the situation with. Doing a Visual Arts degree from first year onwards found me with exactly the same dilemma you faced doing your masters. People always feel threatened when their status quo is being challenged. Mostly the world is moving too fast for academic institution and thinking to keep up with... these days teenagers know more about the latest technological trends than any of their lecturers or teachers or parents... technology has become a fashion statement and a trend setter - it is no longer the domain of 'geeks' and 'profs'... the sooner we realise that as teachers, lecturers and parents, the better... anyway, let me get off that bandwagon... in short, you're at the cutting edge and the world is waiting for you...

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This page contains a single entry by Debbie Rogers published on September 3, 2007 1:56 PM.

transdisciplinary was the previous entry in this blog.

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