Creative Innovation through Cross-Fertilisation Symposium (8-10 July 2013) – Program and Abstracts

Creative Innovation through Cross-fertilisation – a symposium to share, discuss and celebrate creative and innovative research that has a multi-disciplinary approach

Monday 8th July – Wednesday 10th July, 2013

Queensland College of Art, Southbank Campus
Lecture Theatre, S07_1.23, ground floor, Griffith South Bank Graduate Centre.


Michelle Roberts, Memoryscape 1 2012, mixed media on paper, 2400 x 1500cm, photograph by Carl Warner, 2013

Learning never exhausts the mind

– Leonardo da Vinci

The great polymaths of history such as Aristotle, Hypatia, Hildegard of Bingen, da Vinci, Gallileo, Isaac Newton, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Goethe, Bertrand Russell, Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Steve Jobs, Mae C. Jemison, and Marilyn vos Savant (just to name a tiny handful) demonstrate the value of a wide-ranging and diverse knowledge base. A multi-disciplinary approach to scholarship for each of these individuals promoted creative and innovative ideas. We can’t all be polymaths but we can elevate our creativity and innovation through cross-fertilisation of ideas with other Griffith University researchers. This symposium will provide a platform for creative and innovative researchers who are taking a multi-disciplinary approach to their studies, to share and discuss their ideas and research



Day One: Monday 8th July 2013


08:25   Registration and complimentary refreshments

08:50   Welcome and Introduction – Lynden Stone


09:00   Opening Address – Dr Stephen Hobson   

Who’s a Pretty Polly? – Reflections on Being a Polymath, Animateur and Jack-of-all-Trades


Theme 1 –       Art and the Sciences – A Multi-Disciplinary Approach


09:30   Lynden Stone

‘Misrepresenting’ Science – An Artist’s Perspective

10:00   Fiona Fell

Inter·vention·al densities & Extraneous Spaces




11:00   Julie-Anne Milinski

The Botanical within the Built: A Studio Enquiry


Theme 2 –       Nature, Environment, Ecology, Urban/Nature Divide


11:30   Sara Manser

Urban Nature, Ecology and Art: A Visual Art/Urban Ecology Collaboration

12:00   Merri Randell



12:30   LUNCH


14:00   Renee Chapman

The Social Dimensions of Feeding Wildlife in Australia and the United Kingdom

14:30   Jude Roberts

Deep Water: Collisions of Knowledge.

15:00   Dr Samantha J. Capon

Sowing the Seeds: Integrative Concepts in Natural Resource Management and Conservation




16:00  Key Note Address – Professor William MacNeil

Machiavellian Fantasy and the Game of Laws: Rex, Sex and Lex in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire




Day Two: Tuesday 9th July 2013


08:30   Registration and complimentary refreshments

08:55   Welcome and Introduction


Theme 3 –       Body, Gender, Identity – Stories of Humanity


09:00   Kay S Lawrence

The Body Involved

09:30   Lucy Baker

John/Joan: What Fans Can Tell Us About Gender Performance.

10:00   Darren Fisher

Creating Identity within Sequential Art Narratives




11:00   Kim Ball

‘Who you know?’ Female Engineers and Informal Networks in Australia


Theme 4 –       Sense of Place/Identity/Making or understanding our place in the world/The Stories We Tell About Ourselves


11:30   Antonia Posada

Creative Taxonomies and the Construction of a Sense of Place

12:00   Denise Bolland

Finding Hope: Using Art Groups as a Starting Point for Conversations with Older Women Who are at Housing Risk.


12:30   LUNCH


14:00   Urska Arnautovska

Active Ageing: How can Environmental Design and Psychology Work Hand in Hand? 


Theme 5 –       Expanded and External Cognition – Systems, Methodologies and Environments


14:30   Michelle Roberts

Studio Practice as ‘Extended Mind’

15:00   Libby Sander

Space to Create:  Socio-Environmental Antecedents of Creative Performance




16:00   Gabrielle O’Ryan

Big, Swinging Data

16:30   Omer Yezdani

The Complexity of Everyday Life and the Science of Reductionism


Day Three: Wednesday 10th July 2013


08:30   Registration and complimentary refreshments

08:55   Welcome and Introduction


Theme 6 –       Music and Cognition – The Philosophy, Language and Psychology of Music


09:00   Ali Bezer

Exploring a Visual Approach to Musique Concrete

09:30   Toby Wren

Cognitive Psychology of Music Improvisation: How Improvisers Choose Materials.

10:00    Kristine Holland

The Musical – Language Score Australia 2013901421




11:00   Sandra Kirkwood

Can Bloogle Resonators Enhance Representation of Time, Space and Culture Through a Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) lens?

11:30   Joanne Ruksenas

Measuring music: The 123s of Do Re Mi


Theme 7 –       Transmedia Storytelling


12:00   Marianna Shek

Untitled (Transmedia Storytelling).


12:30   LUNCH


14:00   William Zuber

Virtual Warrane 2 as a Framework for Educational Games

14:30   Tyson Foster

Engineering Aesthetics: From Points to Emotions


Theme 8 –       Film and Storytelling


15:00   Narges Shokohi-Tehrani

How Does Participatory Video Influence Immigrant Women and Empower Them in Relation to Their New Identities?




16:00   Dr Margaret McVeigh, Hugh Burton & Professor Herman Van Eyken, 

Griffith Film School, paper presented by Hugh Burton 

Creative Collaboration and the Processes of Filmmaking



Abstracts and Speaker Biographies


Urska Arnautovska

PhD Candidate, School of Applied Psychology

Urska Arnautovska is working part-time as a Senior Research Assistant at the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention, and had previously worked as a psychologist in various settings. She commenced her PhD in September 2012, aiming to explore the key determinants of physical activity in older adults. The research will be grounded in a sound theoretical framework of a social ecological model, integrating individual, social and environmental factors, while adopting a mixed methodological design. The outcomes of this study will have important implications for the development of active life-style type programs for older adults, which is imperative in sustaining the physical and mental health of this cohort.
Research Areas/Interests: The role of physical activity for quality of life in older adults, the relationship between the environment and well-being, and Suicide prevention

Active ageing: How Can Environmental Design and Psychology Work Hand in Hand?

World population, including that of Australia, is rapidly ageing. In light of this global ageing, it is important to understand the potential buffers against age-related illness and disease. There is substantial evidence for the
protective effects of regular physical activity on all-cause mortality and overall quality of life. However, there has been limited research into the determinants of physical activity, with physical environment being particularly an under-researched area. This is concerning, since the physical environment has been considered a key component in achieving a physically active lifestyle in all age groups, including older adults. Studies have shown that physical activity engagement in older adults is influenced by the availability of and access to exercise equipment in both home and the neighbourhood, perceptions of neighbourhood safety and aesthetics, presence of neighbourhood issues such as excessive traffic, noise and lighting, as well as the density of places of work, households and commercial facilities. The social ecological model of health promotion provides a solid theoretical framework that integrates environmental factors with individual and social factors. Implications of taking such an integrative multidisciplinary approach to explore and guide health behaviour decision-making, specifically physical activity engagement in older adults will be discussed.


Lucy Baker

PhD Candidate, Arts Education Law Group.

Lucy Baker is a new PhD candidate studying fandom and gender. She is interested particularly in remade works that comment on femininity, feminism and queerness.
Research Areas/Interests: Fan studies, gender studies, netnography, literary studies.

John/Joan: What Fans Can Tell Us About Gender Performance.

In her research Lucy Baker is investigating fan-created works that genderbend existing characters (‘Rule 63’). A recent example of mainstream genderbending, Elementary, offers a site of conflict between the fan-created works, fandom ideals and mainstream understanding of the media; my comparison of the fan created genderbent materials to the mainstream version of John/Joan Watson shows an interesting divergence between the
mainstream notions of femininity and femaleness versus that of the fannish equivalent. Using popular fan texts, fanart and fantasy casting photosets, and meta-textual analysis from fans, a matrix for the fan reaction to the canonical John/Joan can be created illustrating their understanding of gender performance in the media.


Kim Ball

PhD Candidate, Griffith Business School (Department of Employment Relations and Human Resources).

Kim Ball is a mature age student, who commenced a Bachelor of Business in July, 2006. She continued study with a First Class Honours degree in human resource management at Griffith (2010-2011), and was awarded a Griffith University Medal for Academic Excellence. Her Honours’ research focused on the impact of international assignments on women engineers’ careers and as a source of interesting and challenging work for engineers. This research lead to her current interest and PhD focus on the critical qualitative study of informal networks and their impact on issues of diversity and equity in engineering consultancies.
Research Areas/Interests: Human Resource management and Equity and Diversity in the engineering profession.

‘Who You Know?’: Female Engineers and Informal Networks in Australia

Professional engineering has one of the lowest participation rates of women across all professions in Australia. A contributing factor to low retention rates is women engineers’ isolation from key informal networks (INs), which are pivotal in developing professional careers. There is limited research examining the composition and role of INs in engineering professions and firms. There is no research on gender differences in INs. To gain a deep, rich understanding of how female and male engineers in Australia network, a network ethnography combining ethnography and Social Network Analysis (SNA) methods, guided through a critical social science approach, is being conducted in the Brisbane office of a large, global engineering consultancy. As a team member observer, data is collected via a research diary, field notes from observations of networking interactions, semi-structured interviews, and a qualitative/quantitative survey, to gain understanding of and compare male and female engineers’ co-worker, friendship, career and technical advice networks. Quantitative data analysis will be achieved through a variety of SNA techniques. The thesis will report the resource flows in professional engineer’s INs; benefits professional engineers gain from their INs; and a comparison of men and women engineers’ INs.


Ali Bezer

PhD Candidate, Queensland College of Art.

I am interest in how visual art can communicate sound related ideas and how sound composting methods can be applied to a visual studio methodology for exploring ‘matter’. Interests include Musique Concrete and
contemporary film music, as well as contemporary art.
Research Areas/Interests: Musique Concrete, film music, graphic notation, visual expressions of sound.

Exploring a Visual Approach to Musique Concrete

Ali Bezer’s art practice is focused on visually expressing sound concepts, or sensations experienced when listening to sound compositions. Her research has explored how techniques and concepts surrounding experimental sound composing discourses could offer a framework for visually expressing sound qualities. She has concentrated on Musique Concrete, which was a French experimental sound school established by Pierre Schaeffer in 1948. This discourse experimented, transformed and composed with recorded sounds in a way that ‘theoretically’ isolated these sounds from all contextual references. She gravitated towards Musique Concrete’s philosophy and composing processes as a close relation to my studio research, which involves abstracting sound qualities though visual translations.

Bezer considers that bringing together the disciplines of visual art and sound could be explained as a form of resonance. Often resonance is associated with sound vibrations that are heard and felt through the body. The
primary focus of the research is to question how resonance is experienced in a visual art context. Through her research over the course of the last year she has developed an understanding of resonance as a more a complex phenomenon than just sound vibrations. She has discovered that resonance is not something that occurs through one quality alone, or through one sense alone. Ali defines resonance as a relational and comparative understanding of cross-sensory experiences, which can linger through memories and be prolonged through visual traces.


Denise Bolland

PhD candidate, School of Human Services and Social Work.

Denise Dillon Bolland is a PhD candidate in the School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University, Brisbane, a practicing artist, story teller, art and narrative therapist, and award winning project coordinator. She brings to her research many years of experience gained while teaching and consulting in the community and government sector and skills gained from professional development in the areas of social justice, the creative arts neuroscience, psychology, business, community development, wellbeing and mindfulness. Her special interest is using art as a starting point for conversations about social justice issues.
Research Areas/Interests: Social justice, psychology, neuroscience and using the creative arts for healing, mindfulness.

Finding Hope: Using Art Groups as a Starting Point for Conversations with Older Women Who are at Housing Risk.

“Where do women go when there’s nowhere to go? An inquiry into the journey from hopelessness to hope of a group of older women (45-80yo) who have become unexpectedly homeless or who are at housing risk”
The latest trend in homelessness is older women aged 45-70 who became unexpectedly homeless (2012 Census). Current research indicates that there is a “silent” or “hidden” group of women who are reluctant to seek help. Denise Bolland is curious about what part shame and guilt plays in this reluctance. How was she, the researcher, going to find these women, and would they willingly share their stories? In 2012 I created two art groups for women, one in a women’s refuge and the other within an inner city organisation. Using a mixed method action research framework Bolland became a participatory observer using a heuristic process to understand their lived experiences. Within these groups she was accepted as a fellow artist who shared artistic skills and stories with them. During the process of art making many personal stories emerged and were validated by group members. This research will contribute new knowledge about the lived experiences of these “hidden” women and demonstrate markers for early intervention. Using art and narrative to validate these women’s lived experiences will contribute new knowledge to the international Art in Health and Wellbeing field.


Dr Samantha J. Capon

Research Fellow in Australian Rivers Institute and Coordinator of NCCARF Water Resources and Freshwater Biodiversity Adaptation Research Network, SEET.

I am an ecologist whose research focuses on informing decision-making regarding water resources management and the conservation of wetland and riverine ecosystems. Recently, this has led to involvement in climate change adaptation research. I have worked as an academic, a consultant, a government scientist and a science communicator. I am currently newsletter Editor for the Australian Society of Limnology and Vice-President of the Oceania chapter of the Society of Wetlands Scientists. I am married with two children.
Research Areas/Interests: Ecology, Water resources management and conservation of freshwater ecosystems and
climate change adaptation.

Sowing the Seeds: integrative Concepts in Natural Resource Management and Conservation

Conservation and natural resource management are inherently interdisciplinary and involve the integration of a diverse range of knowledge and values. Evidence-based decision-making in these fields requires input from physical, biological and social sciences, all of which utilise contrasting methods, operate on different spatial and temporal scales and are often underpinned by divergent paradigms and objectives. Terminological and linguistic differences between disciplines add to this complexity. Numerous concepts have been proposed which attempt to bridge the gaps between various fields of research in the context of environmental decision-making, particularly with respect to integrating our understanding of human systems with that of the natural world. Here, Samantha Capon will review some of these key concepts, including the triple-bottom line approach, resilience thinking and the ecosystem services model, and assess their efficacy and potential in addressing environmental problems. She will also consider emerging methodological approaches which aim to integrate diverse forms of knowledge including those of traditional and ‘lay’ communities. Ultimately, Capon will argue that, for the most part, such concepts and approaches lack an integrated vision for ‘socio-ecological systems’ and therefore remain incapable of adequately informing the complex issues currently faced.


Renee Chapman

PhD Candidate, Griffith School of Environment.

As an undergraduate I studied a Bachelor of Science with a major in Ecology and Conservation Biology. During honours I undertook an urban ecology project concerned with the feeding behaviour of ducks being fed in urban parks of SEQ. This project led me to my PhD project which is exploring the social aspects of wildlife feeding as this form of human-wildlife interaction is very popular and this research will investigate motivations to feed wildlife and what implications this has for an individual’s connection to nature and their conservation values.
Research Areas/Interests: Urban Ecology/Ecopsychology

The Social Dimensions of Feeding Wildlife in Australia and the United Kingdom

Bird feeding is very common and widespread throughout the world. Despite this fact there has been very little research into this phenomenon. The feeding of birds has raised many negative assumptions for both the birds and people involved. Studies have concentrated on the impacts of dependency, malnutrition, behavioural changes and disease for the species involved. Initial research has shown that the feeding public is conscious of these negative assumptions and the opposition to the practice and despite this still desire to engage in the activity. A survey has been distributed to investigate the attitudes and motivation behind bird feeding in Australia and the United Kingdom and what it means for those involved. This research will also examine the implications of this interaction for an individual’s personal connection with nature and the subsequent environmental values that may be associated with it. An international comparison is made with the United Kingdom as there is an extensive history of bird feeding and an opposing view to the practice when compared to Australia, where feeding is encouraged in the United Kingdom particularly during winter.


Fiona Fell

PHD candidate, Queensland College of Art.
Lecturer, Visual Arts, Southern Cross University.

Fiona Fell has a commitment to the material of clay and has for many years addressed issues integral to the genre of figuration in Ceramics. Her recent work and research engages collaborative practices of an inter-disciplinary nature concentrating on continuous materiality in dialogue with media based art forms such as film, sound and photography. Professional artist for over 15 years and educator at Tertiary institutions for over 10 years, Fiona has received several international grants and exhibits both Nationally and Internationally. Fiona is represented by Watters Gallery in Sydney, NSW and is currently Head of Department in 3D studies, sculpture/ceramics, School of Art and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia

Inter·vention·al Densities & Extraneous Spaces 

This paper has been developed from investigations into X-ray modalities, image intensifiers and C.T. scanners of vitrified clay. The material of clay has a similar density to bone; when X- rayed an internal landscape is revealed, traces of fingerprints, imperfections exposed. These processes show a direct relationship between image and object, external and internal gestures. It is this direct interplay that informs Fiona fell’s current practice and research. Fell uses collaboration to extend the possibilities of these new findings to explore the rich inner dialogue of the lived body in a state of flux. In collaboration the dynamics of rupture and flow is transpired remembering internal dialogues that have shaped both us and our bodies, focusing on intimacy and the uncanny, deliberately corrupting the usual practices of both artists while investigating domestic and industrial spaces.


Tyson Foster

DVS Candidate, Griffith Film School.
Sessional lecturer in games programming at Queensland College of Art.

Tyson Foster is interested in understanding the phenomenology of human and animal kinetics and how this can be applied when creating hyper realistic anatomical structures of the fantastic.
Research Areas/Interests: Anatomy of the fantastic, creature performance, beauty in the grotesque and horrific

Engineering Aesthetics: From Points to Emotions

Tyson Foster’s research practice focuses on how we develop and create anatomy for the fantastic in video games and how this anatomy affects in-game character performance. Working with computer generated real-time
characters is inherently multi-disciplinary, as it requires skill in animation, anatomy studies and programming. This has led me to consider how we can create rigorous research and studio frameworks that reach across these disciplines. How can we ensure multi-methodological research projects are conducted rigorously? How can this be achieved when some disciplines—such as fine art theory and design—are at odds or incompatible with each other when attempting to satisfy existing research requirements? Most importantly, how can all of this be achieved without compromising the aim of the research project or causing the researcher to become lost into the ether? In this presentation Foster will share the evolution and development of his own process as a new researcher in a practice-led project that conducts research across aesthetics, animation performance, psychology, art, design, biology and computer science. The goal is to begin a discussion on how using this outward-looking attitude can help strengthen our practice, and how we can create a shared language to facilitate merging of knowledge between scientific and artist fields in order to explore emerging ideas and concepts.


Darren Fisher

DVA Candidate, Queensland College of Art.
After completing a Bachelor in Animation as a mature age student I went on to Honours focusing on the storytelling possibilities within sequential art. My DVA study furthers this research, narrowing the scope of genre to
autobiography. I am interested in the ongoing process of personal evolution and persistent self-reflection and how we may reach a shared understanding, within ourselves, and with an audience.

Creating Identity within Sequential Art Narratives

As part of Darren Fisher’s DVA research he aims to show how elements within the format of sequential art narratives (SAN) may be manipulated in order to dictate the reading of narrative and to represent an author’s sense of identity. Of interest are evolving modes of gender, social and personal identity. Existing work within the medium of SAN encompasses an overwhelmingly broad spectrum of genre and target demographic, therefore Fisher will confine his comparison of texts to the introspective autobiography such as Craig Thompson’s Blankets (theology and personal identity within a tale of first love) and Goodbye Chunky Rice (fate, loneliness and metaphor), Chester Brown’s I Never Liked You (social identity, interpersonal relations), Ariel Schrag’s Potential (gender identity) and Eddie Campbell’s Alec: The King Canute Crowd (a version of the author’s life told through alter-ego). Via analysis of the texts’ architecture, formal qualities and content Fisher aims to clarify shared parallels across narratives with a view to better understanding ways in which an author’s representation of ‘self’ may be communicated and understood.


Dr Stephen Hobson

Sessional Tutor, Queensland College of Art.

As well as teaching at Queensland College of Art, Stephen Hobson is an artist, curator and writer. His studio practice centres on emotional relationships, the home, and notions of identity and masculinities. Diane Arbus is a major focus of his current research. He received a PhD from Griffith University in 2007.

Who’s a Pretty Polly? : Reflections on Being a Polymath, Animateur and Jack-of-all-Trades

The paper engages with Stephen Hobson’s career in the arts since the 1970s. He is a theorist, artist, educator and arts administrator. In 2013 he will supervise post-graduate students, give lectures and gallery talks, curate
exhibitions, be an artist in residence, exhibit his own work and more. He has directed two regional art galleries, managed nationally recognised training schemes and been a funding officer under the Arts Council of England. Hobson is a playwright, editor, reviewer, a theorist on art and intimacy, and a specialist on the late American photographer, Diane Arbus.

In 1987, at the first UK National Photography Conference, the other organisers of the conference referred to Hobson as an ‘animateur’ – “a person who enlivens or encourages something, especially a promoter of artistic
projects”1 – it was an apt description, but seemed pretentious, a special term for activities outside the norm. For him the epithets ‘animateur’, (budding) ‘polymath’ and ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ are who he is, not what he has chosen. The paper explores the blessing and curse of this diverse knowledge base, placing it within a historical context and positioning the benefits of cross-fertilisation and the challenges wrought by a multi-disciplinary mind-set (Renaissance person), in due measure with the modern expectation of a single-minded approach to the arts.
1 New Oxford American Dictionary.


Kristine Holland

Masters in Applied Linguistics – Honours, Arts, Language, Law.
Language and culture, music and words, layered meaning and interpretation encompass all of humanity. Decoding and understanding those who have gone before enlightens for today and benefits for humanities hopes for
tomorrow. I wish to part of the dream, the logic, the answer.
Research Areas/Interests: Language and Music, Patent Application Patents.

‘The Musical – Language Score’ Australia 2013901421

A theoretic model of ‘seven strands of layered language’ through cross fertilisation of knowledge, understanding and experience in music, linguistics and education. A unique and insightful paradigm for the global community. This innovative model is visually synonymous with the layout of a musical score. Through this ‘two dimensional – vertical expansion of a ‘string, sequence or sentence of linguistic text’, the Musical – Language Score has fresh potential to rewrite many disciplines of human insight, cognitive understanding and create new fields of 21st century market application. The model has its foundation upon the musical components of melody, pitch and rhythm. Through observations throughout life, motherhood, education, academic research, multilingual language studies, intercultural experiences and a life of Christian faith, the ‘seven strands of layered language’ have emerged through numerous cross fertilised epiphanies. Anticipated applications for this model exist within education, literature, psychology, human relationships, intercultural relations and the business world.


Sandra Kirkwood and Professor Glenn Finger

PhD Candidate, School of Education and Professional Studies, Arts Education & Law Group, Griffith University.
ITAS Tutor, Gumurrii Student Support Unit. Member of Indigenous Research Network, Griffith University.

This presentation is creative practice as research for my PhD study on “Understanding the use of digital technologies to enhance musical occupations of young Indigenous Australians.”

Professor Glenn Finger, Dip.T., B.Ed.St.(Qld), M.Ed.(UNE), Ph.D.(Griffith), F.A.C.E., F.A.C.E.L., ACCE Associate.
Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching), Arts, Education and Law Group, Griffith University

Can Bloogle Resonators Enhance Representation of Time, Space and Culture through a Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) lens?

The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework, developed by Punya Mishra and Matthew Koehler (2006) has been the catalyst for increasing research, including the design of various TPACK survey instruments for pre-service teachers. While the TPACK framework is a useful conceptualisation, it is limited in being able to represent change over time when shown as a 2-dimensional Venn diagram (see It is proposed that a 3-dimensional visual representation may add further value to the TPACK framework by incorporating a temporal dimension. In this presentation, it will be physically demonstrated how modelling of TPACK through musical performance on bloogle resonators which can be used in teaching and learning in multifarious material and virtual worlds. The issue of socio-cultural representation is raised through considering the sensitivities and the need for negotiation of music heritage and culture when it is used in educational contexts. Musical performance thereby demonstrates through sonic means, a new performative physical construction of the temporal dimensions of modelling for the TPACK framework that can be used with respect for cultural diversity on the Earth, and even in extra-terrestrial musical encounters of a teaching and learning kind.


Kay S. Lawrence

PhD Candidate, Queensland College of Art.

My research concerns the metaphoric use of textiles and digital media to address social issues of the 21st Century, particularly how relationships between culture and nature are being renegotiated.
Research Areas/Interests: The use of textiles in contemporary art, digital media, dislocations in the time/space continuum, environmental and social justice issues of the twenty-first century and contemporary cultural

The Body Involved

In a studio practice that addresses the boundaries of nature and culture, and the fragile and ephemeral nature of both life and time; the body is used as medium and subject to explore social, cultural and environmental issues. These are mostly documented performative/ephemeral works. Works utilising the body have both an implicit and emphatic connection to virtually every viewer due to the body’s fundamental role in our existence. Parallels emerge between the vulnerability of the landscape and the human body due to human intervention. Artisanal knowledge and human presence is manifest in Kay Lawrence’s work, particularly using textiles. Due to our anthropomorphic viewpoint, the body can also be implied in non-figurative works. Sally Reilly1 believes that figurative work resides only in the optical realm whereas works concerning the body involves other senses and sensations. Lawrence is using the female body as the site of regenerative power and renewal of life. This use of the body is validated by the
tenets of feminism particularly ecofeminism.
1. Reilly, Sally. The Body in Contemporary Art. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2009, p.10.


Professor William MacNeil – B Arts, M Arts (Toronto), LLB (Dalhousie), LLM (London), JSD (Columbia)

Dean and Head of School, Griffith Law School.

Prof William MacNeil is Dean of Law and Head of School of the Griffith Law School in Queensland, Australia. Trained n both law and literature, MacNeil has written widely on cultural legal studies and jurisprudence. He was a founding editor of the journal, Law Culture and the Humanities; and was president, for many years, of the Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australia and New Zealand. Prof MacNeil’s most recent book, Novel Judgements: Legal Theory as Fiction, was published in 2011 by Routledge, London. At present, MacNeil is at work on a manuscript entitled, tentatively, Speculative Legalism: The Philosophy of Law in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

Machiavellian Fantasy and the Game of Laws: Rex, Sex and Lex in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

How are we, as interdisciplinary scholars, to understand the runaway success of HBO’s recent televisual tour de force A Game of Thrones, a dramatization of George R.R. Martin’s dazzling fantasy cycle, A Song of Ice and Fire. One could argue that ‘rex’ accounts for the series’ tremendous drawing power, with audiences hungry for more tales of ‘the return of the King’, given the surcease of Jackson’s Tolkien trilogy and the Harry Potter sequence. Others might well suggest that ‘sex’ sells, particularly to a viewership insatiable in their desire, aroused by the recent spate of pornified history romps like Rome or The Tudors, for representations of past desire, like those of the series’ many mediaeval ‘money shots’. While recognising the plausibility of both these accounts, I would like to stake a claim for ‘lex’ here, arguing that, if A Game of Thrones fascinates me as a scholar committed to the emerging (inter)discipline of cultural legal studies, then it is because it stages a society which is absolutely law-full, ceremonialised in its binding oaths and dispositive judgments. Paradoxical then is the lawlessness which obtains here; for, if ever there was a world in which rules were made to be broken, then it is Westeros: a realm in which realpolitik trumps law to such an extent that many commentators have hailed Martin’s cycle as ‘Machiavellian’–albeit in a rather loose, journalistic sense of that term of politics-as-machination. I want to take up and explore, in a more sustained fashion, the law/politics nexus of this singular ‘Machiavellian fantasy’, investigating how A Song of Ice and Fire problematises notions of ‘the prince’ (Robert Baratheon), civic republicanism (the city-states of the East), and Pocockian ‘virtue, trade and commerce’ (the Lannisters). For the ‘Machiavellian moment’ that Martin’s text really longs may very well reside in an intervention—Daenerys and her dragons-as-WMDs?–which will break with the repetitive deadlock of
the ‘game of thrones’, substituting instead a ‘game of laws’ capable of engaging the narrative’s central allegory: of global climate change in which ‘winter is coming’.


Sara Manser

PhD Candidate, Queensland College of Art.

I am a confirmed PhD candidate at QCA. My studio practice is based on the inspiration I find in the marks, or traces, left on the built environment through natural processes. Materials sourced from nature and industry are as disparate as the scraps of nature I am drawn to, informing my research on a shifting aesthetic appreciation for nature in the city-urban nature- an overlooked and often marginal yet diverse synthesis of urbanity.
Research Areas/Interests: Urban nature, ecology and art.

Urban Nature, Ecology and Art: A Visual Art/Urban Ecology Collaboration

With greater awareness of human influences on ecology and greater numbers of humans living in cities, a potentially profound change is occurring in how nature is being defined and valued, how it challenges and confronts humanistic perspectives, how it is appreciated aesthetically.
Cities – rich in culture, skills, history, and varying experiences and attitudes toward nature. This synthesis is not only a global mix of humanity but in ecological terms it creates a diverse changing nature; it gives us urban nature.
Urban ecology, a sub-field of traditional ecology, bases its interest in the reality of the infinite number of relationships and connections that exist between the myriad of species that make up ecosystems. To think of a city
as an ecosystem, as urban wildlife as having “natural” lives, was once a difficult concept for traditional science.
Urban ecology and ‘urban art’ may be a way of approaching this challenging idea.
We need to “see” these connections if we are to manage our influence. We can no longer assume that humans – us – are separate from nature. The evidence of human activities is ubiquitous. Meanwhile, the evidence of natural processes on the human world is similarly everywhere, though somewhat more subtle. Traces rather than tracts. Through the cross fertilization of her studio research with that of urban ecologist, Darryl Jones, Sara Manser is developing ways to elevate perceptions of urban nature, to represent the unexpected interface between the built and the natural realm, and the connections coexisting out of disparate conditions and materials.


Hugh Burton, Dr Margaret McVeigh, Charlie Strachan & Professor Herman Van Eyken

Hugh Burton, Dr Margaret McVeigh, Charlie Strachan

– Lecturers, Scriptwriting – Griffith Film School

Professor Herman Van Eyken

– Head of School – Griffith Film School

Research Areas/Interests: Creativity and the creation of innovative, powerful and cinematic stories that transcend
cultural barriers

Creative Collaboration and the Processes of Filmmaking

Albert Einstein once said “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them”. This idea is no better illustrated than in the collaborative art of filmmaking where the original blueprint that impels the filmic vision – the script – is enriched by the thinking of “different” art forms that contribute to what becomes the final work of art – the film. The key creatives involved in the filmmaking process – the scriptwriter, the director, the producer, the cinematographer, the production designer, the editor and the sound designer – collaborate by bringing the different processes and knowledge of their own craft to the project. Together they work across disciplines on the vision of the script as the single blueprint for a finished film.

This paper will discuss the creative innovations that are part of the collaborative filmmaking process by reference to the creative problem solving involved in developing the first vision of a film – the script itself. In particular it will refer to Griffith Film School’s scriptwriting courses including the innovative cross cultural online script writing course, Cinematic Storytelling Across Cultures, and the multi-disciplinary approaches and perspectives involved in the realisation of a First Draft Script, the artistic blueprint.


Julie-Anne Milinski

PhD Candidate, Queensland College of Art.

My art practice engages with our connection to botanical environments, and how increasing urbanisation affects this connection. Through sculpture and installation, I seek out interstices between the built and botanical to explore conflict in our relationship with nature in contemporary, consumer society.
Research Areas/Interests: Contemporary art, installation, biophilia/biophobia, the interstice of the botanical and
the built.

The Botanical within the Built: A Studio Enquiry

Julie-Anne Milinski ‘s PhD research focuses on botanical environments within the context of densely populated, built spaces. Examining the environments of green-spaces we come into contact with every day, she questions how these spaces offer the potential to perceive nature as intrinsic to oneself. The consideration of flora as a personal, tactile, co-habitant in urban areas is also key to the research. By collapsing the distance between our immediate habitat and a distant, out-dated notion of exterior wilderness, Miliniski is investigating the relevance of engendering interest in domesticated botany and what that might mean in relationship to attitudes towards the wider natural world.
Her theoretical research to date has considered environmental aesthetics, environmental psychology (relating to visual cues for biophilia and biophobia) and environmental ethics. A more practical aspect to Miliniski’s research is traditional botanical drawing and painting classes with the Queensland Botanical Artists Society at Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens. The techniques in this field with a focus on scientifically accurate representation differ dramatically from the contemporary drawing and painting classes undertaken as part of her undergraduate Fine Art degree.

 This paper examines how research from these two perspectives, one theoretical and one practical (acquisition of technique), manifests in the studio.

Gabrielle O’Ryan

Tutor in creative and professional writing at GU Open University, Gold Coast.

I am interested in applying the tools of the social sciences such as grammar and semiotics to other disciplines such as Information Technology, to see whether they can be used to make sense of ideas such as Big Data since Big Data is a system of knowledge.

Big, Swinging Data

Across the disciplines, scholars are interrogating the assumptions and limitations of Big Data. Big Data is being defined as the amount of data that is just beyond technology’s capabilities to store, manage and process efficiently. Certain features are needed for big data analysis including intraquery fault tolerance, straggler handling, modelling and algorithms, and a more effective declarative language. Some of the new systems for analysing the data are already running into trouble because they don’t have a declarative language, or only a very naive one. The declarative sentence or the indicative sentence, subject verb object, should not be difficult but as Big Data changes systems of knowledge, does it change ‘entire social theory that goes with them’ as the sociologist Bruno Latour has suggested? It is possible to get beneath the text. Big Data has been compared to Fordism, a new system of thinking that has the capacity to change everything at a cellular level. Big Data is replete with biases and mixed messages but it is not abstract, rather something intricately linked with human culture. The issue usually advanced is ‘What Big Data can do for the cultural sector’ but I want to look at ‘what the cultural sector can do for Big Data.’ Rich data sets come from speculation, from what ifs, the subjunctive mood. I propose that Big, Swinging Data will stay just that unless the instruments of cultural studies, grammar, semiotics and tools of social sciences such as ethnographies, semi structured interviews are used to analyse the data and bring it out of the shadows.


Antonia Posada

PhD Candidate, Queensland College of Art.

I am in the final stages of my PhD candidature in Fine Arts at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. For many years I have worked both as an artist and as a biologist, and so my everyday has oscillated between the art studio and the laboratory. Lately, the disciplines of specimen collection and their arrangement in some sort of creative taxonomy have become a means to bring science and art together. Moreover, they are allowing me to reflect on my own processes of adaptation to a new country, and the development of a sense of place.
Research Areas/Interests: The construction of a sense of place through collections and taxonomies.

Creative Taxonomies and the Construction of a Sense of Place

Antonia Posada asks how artists can build a sense of place or a sense of belonging to a particular place through their art-making process. She is interested in surveying how collections or taxonomies can assist artists to reconcile their sense of belonging in the face of an increasingly dislocated and hybridised world. This happens through the collection, cataloguing and reconfigurations of objects that are brought to the private space of the artist’s studio and transformed into artworks. In Posada’s case, after moving from Colombia to Australia in 2007, she started gathering objects (mostly plants and other natural materials) as a means to familiarise herself with her new territory. The collection started to evidence the hybridity of the urban landscape and, as such, aided the process of building a sense of place. Posada argues that the hybridity generated by globalisation can allow for the emergence of unique ecological and cultural interactions and allow displaced people to build a new sense of home. Thus, if collections open the possibility to find patterns, to build connections, to discover or invent narratives, she argues that they also play a role in the fixation of memories, and can enhance people’s emotional bond with the places they inhabit.


Merri Randell

DVA candidate, Queensland College of Art.

I am interested in provoking challenging discussion around the creation and interpretation of reality using a range of digital visual mediums.
Research area/interests: Transgressive visual media, photography and visual storytelling, creative practice as research methodologies, persuasive media trends, contemporary graphic design practice and business models, contemporary teaching and learning theory and implementation for visual mediums.


Merri Randell’s current artwork draws on Kristeva’s notions of Abjection – that which ‘does not respect borders, positions, rules… that which disturbs identity, system and order’ (Kristeva, 1982), and explores Creed’s application of these semiotic notions in our culture. Ultimately these artworks seek to redirect traditional civilised readings of nature.


Jude Roberts

DVA candidate, Queensland College of Art.

Jude Roberts is an artist and tutor of drawing and printmaking. Drawing and documenting on water sites through inland Australia has allowed the artist to investigate issues such as groundwater and ephemeral river systems on the Great Artesian Basin. This further study and recent arts projects has developed her interest toward the interface of science and art where collaborations and shared knowledge across these boundaries strengthen the understanding of land and water and their histories across the Basin.

Deep Water: Collisions of Knowledge

Drawing on-site and engaging directly with the land through processes such as soaking/burying papers in areas of the Great Artesian Basin focuses Jude Robert’s investigative project on the interconnected water and land systems of the Basin. It seeks to make visible the myriad ways people interact with and perceive this constantly changing phenomenon. In his essay ‘Land Art; Art of the Anthropocene’ (2009) William L.Fox1 describes some contemporary land artists deriving their position from Earth systems science. This system was acknowledged far back as Aristotle and was focused on in the 18th century with Immanuel Kant identifying the system with the laws of nature colliding with human ethics. This field analysis encompases interactions and connections between atmosphere, water, land,
biospheres and societies (Fox 2009).
Searching for these connections by sourcing information from the sciences of geography, hydrology, and geology and fusing with a haptic process of making becomes the basis of Roberts’ studio research. She is interested where geography and arts collide. There are possibilities of new fields evolving to identify the nature and extent of these various interactions with water systems such as the Great Artesian Basin. Currently she is involved in common goal projects in related environmental, aesthetic and social issues that makes a more holistic proposition to portray these ideas.
1. Fox, William L. 2009 “Land Art: The art of the Anthropocene” In Land/Art New Mexico, Shields, K & Gilbert, B. (ed.), 72-79.Santa Fe: Radius Books


Michelle Roberts

PhD Candidate, Queensland College of Art.

My current research interests combine an investigation of the symbiotic relationship between memory and imagination, particularly as part of a foresight mechanism evolved to predict the future, with an examination of the role art plays as a material extension of that process as a form of extended cognition.
Research Areas/Interests: How episodic memory and imagination enable Mental time travel, consciousness, extended cognition and morphogenesis.

Studio Practice as ‘Extended Mind’

Memory’s malleability and anomalous memories are indicative of the imaginal facility of memory and its unreliability as a mechanism for information storage and retrieval. What then is memory’s function if it is not truly
an archive? The answer might lie in hypotheses like those of memory theorist Alison Landsberg who suggests that memory is a ‘generative force’1 with which we imagine and construct our future and psychologists Thomas Suddendorf and Michael Corballis’s research in which they assert that episodic memory is primarily a survival mechanism, part of a ‘general toolbox’2 of mental time-travel functions needed to envision, plan and construct potential futures3. This paper questions the symbiotic roles played by episodic memory and imagination in predicting the future and examines the role art plays as a material extension of that process through the practice of ‘active externalism’ as proposed by Andy Clark and David Chalmers in their ‘extended mind’ hypothesis.4
1. Alison Landsberg, “Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner,” Body & Society 1, no. 3-4 (1995): 176.
2. Suddendorf and Corballis, “The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel, and is it unique to humans?”, 302-03.
3. Ibid., 209-302.
4. Clark and Chalmers, “The Extended Mind.”


Joanne Ruksenas

PhD candidate, QCM and School of Public Health.

I am interested in cognitive and neural development across the lifespan. In particular, elements that make a positive contribution and enhance learning and development. My research is guided by a belief in the importance of people and strong social connections in all aspects learning and cognitive development, and the unique contribution that the study of music makes to all of these processes.
Research area: How engagement in music lessons effects development in preschool children, music, developmental psychology, cognition, neurosciences and education.

Measuring Music: the 123s of Do Re Mi

When she was 11, Joanne Ruksenas decided that when she grew up she would invent a therapy based on music – and would call it music therapy. When she finally lobbed in to uni, someone else had completely stolen her
thunder. Music therapy as it stands is not really what Ruksenas imagined it to be. She loves it, but it tends to be prescriptive dealing largely with individual cases in specific areas. Not that everyone should or would want to be a professional musician, but there is something about music that is essential to development that makes it as important as studying literacy or maths. Her research examines how active engagement in music effects typical children on a typical day. Her supervision is divided between the Conservatorium of Music and the School of Public Health. Ruksenas is a musician with degrees in cognitive psychology, neurosciences, and education. This combination has allowed her to understand the issues from a number of competing perspectives and develop an age appropriate mixed measures design that shows strong internal and external validity. It also allows her to communicate across these areas with musicians, teachers, and health professionals. It is a juggling act, but one that she is very excited by.


Libby Sander

PhD candidate, Griffith Business School (Department of International Business and Asian Studies).

My research examines the interaction of physical workspace design and social architecture and its effect on individual innovation. I am interested in the effectiveness of different types of emergent workspaces in the
exchange and development of ideas, serendipity, innovation and collaboration.
Research Areas: Creativity, innovation, workplace design and economic sociology.

Space to Create: Socio-Environmental Antecedents of Creative Performance

In response to the need for creativity to ensure organizational success, organizations are exploring diverse means of supporting employees’ creative performance. At Google, not only can employees unicycle, take their dogs to work and move around the office via slippery dips, they can utilize up to 20% of their work time to work on projects of personal interest to them (Von Jan, 2011). Creativity has often been studied as a function of individual differences (Amabile, 1988; Tierney & Farmer, 2002), teamwork or interaction (Hagadon & Bechky, 2006) or organizational support in the form of incentives (Eisenberger & Cameron, 1998), supervisor support (Shalley et al., 2004) or social process (Shalley, Zhou & Oldham, 2004). Increasingly, however, attention is turning to where creative work occurs (Backhouse & Drew, 1992). The way we work, and the physical workplace’s role in it, is undergoing a fundamental shift, with creativity being viewed in part as a function of place and space (Csikszentmihalyi, 2002), with firms like IDEO stating that their working
environment and infrastructure improves their creative performance (Kelley & Littman, 2001). This research extends our understanding of workplace creativity by developing a model of the role of place –
including social and physical factors – in increasing creative self-efficacy and creative performance.


Lynden Stone

PhD Candidate, Queensland College of Art.

Lynden Stone is a full time artist and PhD candidate in Fine Art at the Queensland College of Art. Her research project investigates how visual art can assist in the re-evaluation of conventional reality demanded by quantum physics

‘Misrepresenting’ Science: An Artist’s Perspective

Visual artists strive for innovation and creativity. But when they engage with scientific concepts, they can be criticised for representations that are erroneous or misleading. This begs the questions: what is true or accurate science; who decides this, and how should scientific concepts be represented? Lynden Stone argues that both an understanding of, as well as innovation in, scientific concepts can be aided by artistic representations.


Marianna Shek

PhD Candidate, Griffith Film School.

Sessional lecturer in Animation Producing at Griffith Film School.

With a background in animation and creative writing, my interest lies in exploring transmedia as an innovative storytelling platform outside commercial and marketing constraints. In particular, my research explores how a courtship or marriage plot can be deconstructed within the transmedia space.

Untitled (Transmedia Storytelling)

The term ‘transmedia storytelling’ was coined by Henry Jenkins (2007) as a process where integral elements of fiction are dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels to create a unified entertainment experience. Given that transmedia is an emergent field as well as a convergence of various art forms, it is difficult to critique its practice. Once the novelty of the new technology has faded, what will be the artistic features that define a ‘meritorious’ work? In exploring solutions, Marianna Shek analysed key transmedial works, focusing on texts with the following elements; romance genre, linear/ non-linear narrative and story innovation based on intrinsic properties of platform. Her literature review comprises Kaz Brecher’s The Art of Wooing (a ‘mixed media art and poetry book with a story told through email exchange’), Hank Green and Bernie Su’s The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (an online adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), Steve Tomasula’s TOC: A New Media Novel and Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph’s Inanimate Alice. By critically analysing these texts, Shek will show how her praxis is a balance between drawing on technical and aesthetic principles of past practices, critical reflection and observation of audience engagement.


Narges Shokohi-Tehrani

PhD candidate, School of Humanities.

My background is in radio production and I am passionate about media studies. As a woman I like to help other women by my experiences. Immigrant women and the way have to deal with the difficulties of immigration are my centre of attention.
Research Areas/Interests: Immigrant women and participatory video and media literacy.

How does Participatory Video Influence Immigrant Women and Empower Them in Relation to their New Identities?

This presentation will outline a project Narges Shokohi-Tehrani is undertaking to investigate the role of participatory video in the empowerment of participants. Despite a common misconception that most migrants are men, in mid-2012 women made up 49% of immigrants globally, according to the UN. In Australia, 51.4% of migrants are women. Although female migrants have often been “invisible”, increasing numbers of female immigrants have to be taken into consideration by settlement agencies. In the last couple of decades, many feminist scholars have studied the different prospects faced by male and female immigrants, and Shokohi-Tehrani’s project will contribute to this field by exploring the role of participatory video in the empowerment of NESB immigrant women in Australia. Her idea is to introduce video production workshops for immigrant women and then examine outcomes during and after the workshops. The parameters of empowerment will be checked through observation, video recording and participants’ evaluation. The hypothesis to be tested is that participatory video has the potential to help immigrant women in Australia. This project will help to connect theoretical ideas with on-the-ground experiences which should allow policymakers to better understand the role of media literacy in multicultural Australian multicultural society.


Toby Wren

PhD candidate, Conservatorium.

My research is based around my practice as a jazz and intercultural musician using methodologies based on music composition, improvisation, and ethnomusicology but frequently contextualised by investigations into other disciplines particularly sciences. My current PhD examines choice making in musical improvisation and cognitive psychology, linguistics and network theory.
Research Areas/Interests: Ethnomusicology, autoethnography, composition/improvisation, cultural theory and
cognitive psychology.

Cognitive Psychology of Music Improvisation: How Improvisers Choose Materials.

How do we make choices during musical improvisation? The literature that illuminates aspects of the creative processes of improvising musicians (Berliner, Bailey, Zorn) generally acknowledges that musicians develop an individual sound or style through musical training and exposure to influences. How the musicians actually make choices at the moment of improvisation is less clear. Pressing (1988) proposes a cognitive model for improvisation based on his own experiences, but stops short of the question of how choices are made. This presentation gives an insight into a research project that uses an interdisciplinary approach to answer this question.
The research question inhabits a territory at the borders of several disciplines including cognitive psychology, ethnomusicology, and network theory, triangulated with interviews with prominent improvisers from the jazz and Carnatic music traditions. At the heart is an attempt to understand cognition during improvisation and develop a cognitive model that will have implications for cognitive psychology and ethnomusicology. This presentation reveals preliminary findings of the investigation for discussion and feedback.


Omer Yezdani

PhD Candidate, Griffith Business School (Department of International Business and Asian Studies).

Omer Yezdani is currently undertaking his PhD with the Department of International Business and Asian Studies at Griffith University. His research interests include innovation diffusion, complexity and emergence in knowledge intensive services. He also holds an MBA and BBus from Queensland University of Technology.
Research Areas/Interests: Complexity and emergence in knowledge intensive business services.

The Complexity of Everyday Life and the Science of Reductionism.

A central thrust for the Age of Enlightenment, of the 16th and 17th Centuries, is that all phenomena within our spectrum of observation can be rationally explained by reason, cause and effect. In the three centuries since,
making sense of complex phenomena has often involved breaking systems down into their component parts and investigating the elements or processes of which they are composed. Several authors have described reductionism as the primary and essential activity of science – breaking apart nature into its constituents. However, if we consider most everyday problems, it is at the intersection of numerous branches of learning where we are ultimately led.

Complexity theory is an example of a multidisciplinary field of such diverse origins as mathematics, physics and chemistry that has more recently paved its way into the social sciences and creative arts. Upon the backdrop of a brief reflection of its origins, this paper explores how this relatively new science is helping to explain complex patterns of social behaviours, networks, cities, crowds, musical improvisation and modern organisations. The implications of this new understanding and its many avenues yet to be explored are discussed.


William Zuber

Master of Digital Design, Queensland College of Art.

Research Areas/Interests: Digital technology in education, video feedback for students and its appropriate
application and educational frameworks for digital learning and assessment.

Virtual Warrane 2 as a Framework for Educational Games

The methodologies produced from the development of VW2 are an important aspect to providing users with an accurate experience and establishes fundamental principles for virtual learning and educational games. Research and working with experts is a key component to how VW2 has been produced and the process used should be utilised by future projects of similar educational games and virtual learning environments to ensure the student is learning the correct information and skills. This paper will focus on Virtual Warrane 2 and its development process and design model as an educational framework for virtual learning environments or educational gaming.