Between Minds And Bodies – Listening In The Dance Improvisation.

Klara Łucznik (Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)


Focusing on group dance improvisation, this installation explores how dancers’ awareness, individual choices and social interactions emerge into the complexity of shared creative practice. How do the patterns appear from simple responses, and how movement vocabulary is co-created by a group.

Using a video-stimulated recall method, I asked dancers to reflect on their creative process just after completing a group dance score, recording their individual narratives simultaneously. In the installation, I bring together videos with individual voices of dancers, exploring multiple perspectives of shared, instant creativity.

Group improvisation has highly interpersonal nature. Dancers build together a common improvisation space, negotiating inner rules and language. It is a process of co-creating, where supporting each other actions is at least as important as giving new ideas to the group. And most importantly, dance improvisation is a process of embodied creativity, where the ideas are explored through the medium of the body while dancing.

Collected material introduces the process of improvisation, allowing us to enter into a dancers’ creative process on a moment-to-moment scale, showing how individual decisions are shaped by the surrounding and shared with others. It is a journey into the depths of an embodied form of the creative process. 



This project is a video installation that combines recording of shared dance improvisation practice with dancers’ narratives of a moment-to-moment creative process. The video is projected on a big screen, while dancers’ voices are available to listen individually on four pairs of headphones, and simultaneously whispered aloud.

Materials for the installation was collected during ‘Between minds and bodies’, the research project into shared creative practice in dance. Other, qualitative results of this study were published in Łucznik (20015).

The installation brings multiple dancers’ voices, exploring complexity and interdependencies of group creative process and the embodied aspect of decision-making in dance.

The installation is a loop of 3 videos, each last approximately 4-5 minutes.

K. Łucznik (2015). Between minds and bodies – Some insights about creativity from dance improvisation. Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research. Volume 13 Number 3.


Klara Łucznik is a Marie-Curie research fellow at CogNovo, a multinational doctoral training network based at Plymouth University, offering research training in cognitive innovation. She holds MSc. in Psychology (2009, University of Warsaw) and MA in Choreography and Dance Theory (2015, The F. Chopin University of Music). Her research focuses on dance improvisation as a collaborative practice that provides an opportunity to understand how people collaborate while creating and to observe how new ideas appear from interaction with others’ bodies and the environment. In a PhD project she investigates the role of flow in group dance improvisation. Her creative practice explores improvisation as a strategy for creativity, performance and interactive, participatory events.

Turbidity Paintings

Thomas Asmuth  (University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, USA) and Sara Gevurtz (Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA USA)


In the project titled “Turbidity Paintings”, principal investigators Thomas Asmuth (UWF) and Sara Gevurtz (VCU) are artists who propose a new visualization methodology to record images and collect data on water quality. The core of this is to develop a system of image collection using do-it-yourself technology. Collected information will be used to construct a library of time specific images encoded with data metrics from a variety of domestic and international locations.

“Turbidity Paintings” explores and challenges the divide between the arts and the sciences and directly questions the role of the artist when dealing with science and scientific data. Art and science are not so vastly different in their approaches. The role of the artist and the art in this project is to create an experimental model by which to develop new ways to create a dialogue around, in our example, water quality.


Communication of environmental science research presents a problem of abstraction in which “one cannot see the forest for the data.” This problem is particularly acute in developing consensus regarding highly controversial and politicized topics, such as human impact on the environment and climate change, in which traditional methods of data presentation and visualization can distance and confuse the general public. This is further illustrated when major religious or political leaders decide to weigh in. For this project titled, “Turbidity Paintings”, artists Thomas Asmuth (UWF) and Sara Gevurtz (VCU) propose a new visualization methodology to record images and collect data on water quality for presentation in a manner that is understandable and undeniable to either a general audience or experts in the field.

In this investigation, the artists will utilize data collected from a do-it-yourself (DIY) underwater rig or submersible.  The rig will have a color card set and a camera that will allow for the taking of photographs at a series of prescribed distances (e.g. 1m, 2m, 4m) below the surface of the water. The artists hypothesize that they will be able to demonstrate the relative clarity by how much of the colored card is visible in the image. For example, if the water has low turbidity, then the expectation would be to see a chromatically more vibrant card, and the reverse if the water has more turbidity, the colored card should be less visible due to more debris in suspension.

The collaborators will not alter the media for any aesthetic, following the traditions of ‘procedural art’ and chance operation in art found in 20th Century artwork such as those in the work of Sol Lewitt or Brian Eno. Adhering to the automatic methodologies of the described art practices will also preserve the documents as a historical scientific record, essentially creating a database, allowing for the ability to conduct comparisons in future environmental studies. The images are to be printed on an archival medium such as specially coated aluminum sheets for exhibition. Image and reading files will also be stored digitally in a repository for future study.

Along with the images that would be obtained, other data would be gathered. This data would come from sensors added to the rig. Examples of other types of data that we have gathered include dissolved oxygen, temperature, Nitrate, Nitrite, among others. These would then be encoded into the label for each image. The idea for “encoding” the title with the data is a nod to On Kawara’s methods of titling his work in the “Today” series.


Thomas Asmuth is an Assistant Professor at the University of West Florida where he teaches courses in digital media. He received a bachelor’s of arts degree from San Francisco Art Institute and a master’s degree in digital media at San Jose State University.

An advocate of transdisciplinary collaboration, he often involves other artists, engineers and scientists in his work. He is collaborating with artists and environmental scientists on “Turbidity Paintings,” a project funded by the Florida Research Fellowship. Asmuth and his team presented their work at the International Symposium on Electronic Art 2016 in Hong Kong.


Sara Gevurtz is an Instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Gevurtz received a MFA in Digital Media Art from San Jose State University.  She received her bachelor’s degree in biology. Her artistic research focuses on ecological and environmental issues.

Gevurtz has shown work and published nationally and internationally, including an article in the journal Plastik Art & Science by the Pantheon-Sorbonne University, “Paris 1” in 2013. Currently, she is working with both artists and scientists on a project using submersibles to collect images and data on water quality. This project was presented at an artist talk at ISEA2016 in Hong Kong.

Lichen in Love

Karolina Ferenc (Amsterdam, Netherlands)


The urgency behind this project comes from the problems contextualized in the Anthropocene. Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen claims, that the Anthropocene is a period when ‘humans are becoming dominant force for change on Earth’, and where ‘we are taking control of Nature’s realm, from climate to DNA’. However, thanks to the science and technology it becomes evident, that this profound impact on the Earth put the lives of many species, including our own, under a great threat and humans’ ability to control these actions is rather fragile. Strangely enough, the Anthropocene become an evidence of humans’ limitations and weaknesses. To move beyond the anthropocentrism, societies must recognize the creative agency of the nonhuman other – a tree, a plastic bag or a weather, and that the systems of humans and nonhumans are inseparable. Design as a human-oriented practise is an actor which belongs to the Anthropocene. In order to address complex issues of the Anthropocene, design has to include the agencies of nonhumans. To connect with nonhumans, people need emotional and empathetic openness towards all beings. Love in this project means to go beyond utilitarian and exploitative discourse around the nonhumans. Love becomes a gesture of sincerity in recognizing oneself as one amongst many intimately attached species and objects, which are far beyond our control.


Lichen in Love is a speculative scenario about a new relationship between a human and a nonhuman other. Project consists of a set of quasi-scientific objects, animations, visuals and love letters reflecting the growing intimacy, affection and friendship between woman and lichen.

Lichen is a plant-like symbiotic partnership between alga and fungus. As a pioneer organism lichen colonises areas uninhabitable for other live forms. Lichen is one amongst many organisms affected by the Anthropocene. Lichen in this project represents a nonhuman other excluded from human-centred and masculinist worldview of Western modernity.

In a view of Donna Haraway we’ve always been lichens – multiplication of symbiotic organisms with porous border between one organism and another, therefore our separation from other than human forms of live and non-life seem impossible.

Lichen in Love offers a glimpse of possible transition towards the Post-anthropocene era characterises by interspecies engagement, empathy and inclusiveness. To enter this world one needs emotional intimacy with nonhuman beings. Lichens are extensively studied and adored by a part of scientific community, their knowledge about lichens served as a frame for this emotional and sensual love story.


Karolina Ferenc is a Polish interdisciplinary artist interested in all aspects of anthropocentrism and the Anthropocene known as the Era of Man. She uses design as a tool to question and speculate about contemporary relationship between human and the Other, in its social and emotional dimension. Her projects question our uniqueness as a specie and explore connections in human/nonhuman relationships.Currently Karolina graduates from Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven with nomination to Gijs Bakker Award. She works and live in Amsterdam.

The Northern Polar Studies

Gavin Baily and Tom Corby (Tracemedia/University of Westminster, London, UK)


The Northern Polar Studies is a video installation depicting the retreat of Arctic sea ice as tracked by satellite data from 1984 up to the present day. The project employs binary numeric information from a number of satellites, drifting buoys and other environmental resources to develop pictorial animations showing the Arctic region waxing and waning through time and ultimately shrinking to its current denuded state. This conversation of numeric data produces a pulsating and melancholy image of the arctic region, reminiscent of a living organ or lung breaking down under enormous environmental pressures.

While photography/film can capture an image of landscape within the ‘here and now’, The Northern Polar Studies develops an approach we term ‘deep time landscape’ that shows how historic and contemporary climate data can drive artworks. This ‘deep time’ approach recasts climate data as an artistic medium by exploiting its potential to track, pattern and show environmental changes over extended periods. By employing this record to drive screen-based installations we seek to create a mediated experience of landscape re-modelled by the Earth’s changing energy signature.


The Northern Polar Studies (2015), animates a time-series of climate data from the arctic between 1984 – 2012 derived from drifting buoys and satellite measurements of sea ice age to drive a looped animation of 3.12-minutes duration showing ice retreat during the period. By presenting this data in visual form, an uncanny vision of phantasmagoric shapes, figures and tendrils of environmental ruination is presented that is in equal part disturbing and fascinating with the brightest tones in the work indicating the oldest ice formations of 10-years or more and darkest the most recent, i.e. each year of the 3.12-minute animation lasts 7 seconds.

Northern Polar Studies is part of a research project supported by and in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey seeking to explore how climate data can be used to develop artistic representations of climate change. The data originates in climate simulations developed by the University of Colorado Boulder, NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. The method used to estimate sea ice age is one that involves tracking the sea ice from year-to-year using gridded ice motion vectors; this is called Lagrangian tracking. The original data can be found at:

The visualization of large-scale environmental data sets provides opportunities for artists to develop new ways of representing landscapes and sites impacted by climate change. The project shows the yearly summer-winter fluctuations of arctic sea ice age (minima-maxima) over an extended period of time as ice coverage becomes increasingly denuded. As artistic explorations these visualizations enable us to think about landscapes, sites and environments as extended temporal forms that rather than being static or unchanging, are re-made and re-shaped via the effects of global warming and ultimately our own behaviours. When data develops a cultural life through visualization, it has the potential to produce both cognitive insights, but also subjective experiences. The approaches explored in the Northern Polar Studies make concrete complex environmental phenomena as a time-based visual patterning that functions to produce affective, immersive and aesthetic encounters. Work of this nature has the potential to both transform scientific data practices – by showing how they can have a public life outside the lab, and artistic disciplines by providing access to new ways of imaging the world; in effect new mediums of expression.


The Northern Polar Studies has benefitted from the wisdom and generosity of Dr Beatrix Schlarb- Ridley,

Professor Mike Meredith from the British Antarctic Survey and Nathan Cunningham from the UK Data Archive. Ongoing support for this project is provided by Arts Council England, the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and the UK Natural Environment Research Council, and the University of Westminster.



Tom Corby and Gavin Baily collaborating since the 1990’s on artworks, texts and research that broadly explore intersections of environmental, technological and social processes. Recent work includes the use of information from the climate, meteorological and geological record to visually condense the aleatory and hidden aspects of environmental sites and landscape, and the employment of social media platforms to produce speculative geographies and experimental maps. At the heart of much of this work is an interest in data, employed as a medium beyond a conventional analytics approach, but which stresses its critical, experiential and affective potential.


Non-Sense of Place. Three interventions.

Michael Straeubig (Cognovo, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)


“Non-Sense of Place” assembles for the first time my three public interventions about the relationship between systems and their environments. Two of the projects were specifically developed for Plymouth and Cornwall.

CO2rnwall CO2 Challenge (2014) re-visits ongoing debates about global warming by correctly interpreting scientific data and by drawing the wrong conclusions from them.

PFIP: Pedestrian Fitness Initiative for Plymouth (2015) takes a satirical look at the decisions made in urban street architecture with regards to motorists and pedestrians in Plymouth.

Speed Gardening Guerrilla (2012) is a Guerrilla Gardening game in which teams of players compete by planting plants in the city space.

The three projects re-contextualise familiar public discourses, playing with issues around private / public space, environment, ecological debate, and traffic planning. They make sense through non-sense.

The interventions will run alongside the conference in public space. Locations are around the University campus, street crossings throughout the city, and the Plymouth waterfront. They are open invitations to participate for conference attendees and for the general public.


Non-Sense of Place: three interventions / participatory performances that deal with questions of ecology, public/private space, environmental discourse, and priorities of city planning. All three interventions run continuously during the conference.

CO2rnwall CO2 Challenge consists of three rituals derived from empirical data about CO2 production (IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Participants are encouraged to combat CO2 production a) by covering soil with a napkin, b) by reducing the amount of ocean, and c) by practicing to breathe more slowly. CO2rnwall CO2 Challenge has a website, videos and scientific facts and presets itself as a serious initiative. The project satirically re-visits ongoing debates about global warming and the anthropocene.

Previous exhibitions: Fascinate Conference, Falmouth (2014)

Pedestrian Fitness Initiative for Plymouth (“PFIP”) is a participatory intervention that plays satirically with the topic of fitness and self-improvement related to patterns of motorized and pedestrian traffic in Plymouth.

During of the conference, participants will be asked to document examples of difficult to walk locations in Plymouth, re-imaging them as “fitness challenges” for pedestrians. They are invited to submit photos and descriptions that will be collected and displayed online. I will provide material and handouts for the participants.

The work is site-specific and consists of the intervention of the participants and the documentation „Pedestrian Fitness Initiative for Plymouth“ in form of diagrams, photos and descriptions. The project challenges the perception of our ordinary surroundings and aims to foster a discourse about urban planning, traffic and political priorities.

Previous exhibitions: MediaCity 5, Plymouth (2015)

Speed Gardening Guerrilla (SGG) is a Guerrilla Gardening game. Players are handed out plants or bring their own. They score by planting plants in the urban space and by stealing and re-planting plants from their opponents. Players may drop in and out of the game at any time, thus the game can run alongside an event.

Previous exhibitions: Malta Festival, Poznań (2014), Playful Arts Festival ‘sHertogenbosch (2014), Medialab Prado Madrid, prototyping a mixed-reality version of the game (2013), w00t, Kopenhagen (2013), Playpublik, Berlin (2012).

Detailed information about the game and rules are published at ludocity.

Non-Sense of Place. Making sense through non-sense.


Michael Straeubig (@crcdng) is a play theorist, game designer and creative coder, exploring games and playful experiences in various media with a focus on mixed reality and posthuman play. Published games include “Secret City – Missing Max”, “Speed Gardening Guerrilla”, “Tidy City”, “Eine gegen Eine”, and a number of events and theatrical / experimental interactions. In 2014 Michael became a Marie Curie Fellow / PhD candidate in the Cognovo project at Plymouth University, researching and creating playful systems (

Years of Growth: Transmuted cores #1A – #6A, 2017


Roslyn Taplin and Jeffrey Tighe


This installation is a chronological response to pollution found in six sediment cores collected by British Geological Survey scientists from the River Clyde’s estuary with the aim of tracking the Anthropocene. The laser cut acrylic, digitally fabricated “cores” reflect changed levels of pollution from pre-Industrial Revolution, early 1700s, to recent time, early 2000s. The acrylic core layers correspond to years of growth, and more recent Clydeside industrial decline from the 1980s. Pollutants found by scientists were from iron smelting, coal burning and petroleum. They included elevated levels in total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs), PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons) and lead (Pb).


Years of Growth: Transmuted cores #1A – #6A, Installation, 2017 Years of Growth, Installation detail

Digital fabrication – laser cut acrylic, cast iron tripods, perlons, hooks, screws, nuts & cable ties


Roslyn Taplin is an environmental artist and scientist who works at both St Peters, Sydney, Australia and Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Scotland. Her creative 1 outputs include drawing, digital photography, video and installation. In many of her works, she explores the use of glyph or textual information in speeches and documents about the environment and climate change. Her qualifications include both a PhD focusing on the use of science in environmental policymaking and a Doctor of Visual Art (Queensland College of Art). She is a Visiting Scholar at University of Strathclyde and an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Art at University of New South Wales (UNSW) Art & Design where she previously undertook Master’s studies. Ros’s art research focus is on environment, sustainability and climate change. This flows from her longer-term environmental research career. She has held academic positions at UNSW Sydney, Bond University and Macquarie University, Australia.

Jeffrey Tighe, BDes Arch UTS, is currently a Master of Architecture student at University of Technology Sydney. He is an Architectural Assistant in the @Stukel_Stone Architectural and Design practice, Sydney. He was joint recipient Australian Institute of Architects Undergraduate Design, and Structural Innovation Awards 2015.

The Grid Project

Ori Elisar (Isreal)


In this new project, I aim to search and discover the visual aspects of the tension created between computer generated patterns and the reaction of a live organism to it. This Live organism, a super Specie called Physarum polycephalum is used to creating patterns of its own.

Examining the distance and void gaped between these two opposite themes of “computer science” and “life science” within the faculty of natural sciences, attracts me greatly.

This ongoing experiment will include two mechanisms in use for creating generative designs. The Organism’s nutrients, would be placed in shape of randomly computer generated patterns created by code.

Then, this new layered data system would be incubated to encourage growth of the organism, and result with a reaction in shape of a conversation between the two.

In this installation, I plan on printing the computer generated patterns on rice papers, using an inkjet printer and a “biological ink” made from the Organism’s nutrients. On these images I would then place the Live organism, allowing it to react and generate a pattern of it’s own.

This microscopic process of battel for liquid life and static form, would be embodied on paper and water.
This acquaintance between the “computer science” and “life science” is intended to create some exciting significant moments and meaningful thoughts of how these couple could work together, when conducting a visual research.