The research/Ph.D. workshop EXCESSIVE RESEARCH relates to the announcement of transmediale 2016, ‘Conversation Piece‘ which highlights the compulsive actions of digital culture, and how we are constantly encouraged to stay active, to make, to share and to secure. A culture of sharing, for instance, is evidently one of the most noticeable idealized activities of a networked society and how value is created. In the research/Ph.D. seminar we encourage participants to extend and nuance the discussions of closed/open, proprietary/non-proprietary, non-participatory/participatory dichotomies and delve into the nature of sharing, making, securing, acting and their limits. What happens when research is less about exchange and more about excess?
The compulsory and idealized actions of a networked society are often composite activities. They are idealized by network ‘pirates’, and at the same time the conveyors of new agile innovation strategies, and modes of economic and symbolic exchange. They are constitutive for our cultural being (e.g. ‘sharing is caring’), and at the same time they can be a threat if the logic of accumulation is challenged by focussing on excess, loss and indebtedness. In a recent article On Sharing, and referring to Bataille’s notion of excess, Wolfgang Sützl writes how we need to look beyond our existing terms of exchange to include “anti-economic, political and existential meanings” in order to expand our understanding of sharing and how we create communities of action.
Through highlighting excess, the workshop asks where the limits of exchange reside? Given how research is bound to some of these compulsory actions through open structures of exchange, we seek proposals that respond to this: both in terms of how research might go beyond itself; beyond its own systems of exchange that are ever more economised (notably in the UK where we hold this workshop), and in terms of its application to other research subjects and Ph.D. projects that study some of these compulsory actions of contemporary art and digital culture (i.e., acting, making, sharing, securing, etc.).
Since 2011, Aarhus University and transmediale have organised research workshops as part of an ongoing collaboration with shifting partner organizations: In/Compatible Research, Universität der Künste (Berlin, 2011); Researching #BWPWAP, Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Lüneburg, 2012); Post-digital Research, Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus, 2013); Datafied Research, School of Creative Media, City University Hong Kong (Hong Kong, 2014). Each of these workshops has resulted in the publication of a peer-reviewed newspaper as an experiment in new forms of scholarly publication, and an open access online academic journal, APRJA (A Peer-reviewed Journal About_).
Excessive Research will further explore new frameworks for collaborative research, presenting outcomes at transmediale 2016 as a newspaper as well as in other ways. In addition, lengthier substantial research articles, produced as a result of the workshop, are invited for submission to APRJA (www.aprja.net).
The workshop aims to provide a forum for emerging researchers to enter into speculation, critique, exchange and dialogue about their research topic. The primary focus is on the participants’ individual research projects, as well fostering networking, knowledge exchange and widening dissemination. Although the workshop is primarily aimed at international PhD researchers, it is also open to researchers such as artists and programmers who are pursuing research without institutional support.
The workshop is free but travel and other costs are expected to be met by participants or their institutions.
The workshop is organised by APRJA (A Peer-Reviewed Journal About_), Participatory IT Research Centre, Aarhus University, transmediale/art&digitalculture, Contemporary Art Lab, Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Biennial.