LEF Aotearoa

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Leonardo Education Forum (LEF) Aotearoa

This is a wiki forum to assist discussion of LEF issues. LEF is both an international network of people interested in education issues, and a national network.

The next LEF international meeting is in Melbourne in November 2009 at re:live. These follow meetings at ISEA2009 and ARS2009. which produced two discussion documents. The documents relate to the LEF international focus area on 3. The Role of Institutions: Institutional / Organizational Capacities and Benchmarks. The reason for the interest in this focus area, is that the Aotearoa contact person for LEF was co-chair of the Institutions focus group at ISEA and is again at re:live.

In Aoteaora, the first workshop was held at ADA digital-critical-matter, the 6th ADA symposium, Victoria University, Wellington 26th June, 2-5pm.

Leonardo Education Forum

The Leonardo Education Forum promotes the advancement of artistic research and academic scholarship at the intersections of art, science, and technology. Serving practitioners, scholars, and students who are members of the Leonardo community, LEF provides a forum for collaboration and exchange with other scholarly communities. http://forum.lefnet.org/lef

LEF Focus Areas

The below are four focus areas which will be further discussed at the three thematically linked LEF events at ISEA2009, ARS2009 and Re:live 2009. A fifth topic, is a more general discussion of what form or structure the LEF in Aotearoa should take. This fifth topic will eventually resolve itself, and not require further discussion.

1. The Role of Research in Media Art & Science & Technology
This topic is searching for a statement of the issues involved in applied research across disciplines - easy or hard here, and how important?

2. The Role of Curricula: Mapping the Terrain
Mapping Histories of digital media practice and education in New Zealand. What are the issues?

3. The Role of Institutions: Institutional / Organizational Capacities and Benchmarks
Do existing criteria for research in Aotearoa adequately meet the demands of electronic media practice and processes?

4. Network-centric and Intercultural Learning Methods and Processes
An opportunity to state the adequacy of academic institutions in addressing fundamental issues of place, awareness and knowledge. What is the contribution from Aotearoa to the international community on this subject?

LEF in Aotearoa

What is LEF in Aotearoa?
This is currently an open question that can only be answered by the discussion that occurs, and it may take some time to answer. A working notion is that it is a collection of people interested in academic issues around interdisciplinary media practises, and connecting to a world wide network of people grappling with similar issues. Nina Czegledy presented the concepts and findings of the previous international LEF forums at SCANZ in February 2009. <http://www.intercreate.org/view/leonardo-education>

LEF in Aotearoa workshop

These are a basic summary of underlying issues.

  • Intellectual discourse is today produced rapidly online, making it difficult to keep up
  • Printed peer-reviewed journals usually lag behind
  • Sharing this research online speeds progress, but 'open peer review' processes of networked spaces that allow this are not recognised
  • A lack of scholarly recognition in turn effects promotion and tenure
  • A lack of awareness of interdisciplinary genres also results, reducing how much it is taught
  • Progress of this knowledge would also be spread through curriculum sharing, though there are IP issues
  • Histories are needed in order to teach new media
  • Add yours...

In the workshop we will make a start at addressing these issues, share information, resources and ideas, and the future direction we take will be determined by those who participate. The workshop is open to anyone working within media arts education in Aotearoa; whether in studio, theory or workshop environments. Workshop chairs:

Su Ballard e-mail
Trudy Lane e-mail

National Research Network - a working group on developing a national peer review or quality assurance mechanism for a range of creative practice research outcomes

Useful Links & Research Sharing Platforms

LEF Forum

Knowledge and curriculum sharing »

Social bookmarking »

Australian research project - MASS & NOMAD »

Publishing & Recognition of online scholarship

So how can academics nourish the ecosystem for new media research?
Jon Ippolito's Take:

1. Publish early and often. The scientists are doing it (see Mitchell Waldrop's article in this month's Scientific American at http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=science-2-point-0&print=true). Some folks on this list have already published on ThoughtMesh (http://thoughtmesh.net), which will soon launch a "submesh" feature that emulates journal selections.

2. Negotiate each publication with your press. If the contract your press sends you doesn't explicitly allow you to self-archive your work, write it on the contract and fax or email it back. You'll be surprised at how flexible publishers can be.

3. Lobby your university to upgrade its promotion and tenure criteria for the 21st century. As mentioned elsewhere on this list, Leonardo has been quick to see the need to expand publication opportunities for scholars in the networked age; Leonardo magazine will soon be publishing the guidelines for new media academics produced by Still Water at the University of Maine:

"New Criteria for New Media" (white paper)

"Promotion and Tenure Guidelines" (sample redefined criteria)

I've already received a half-dozen emails from folks hoping the publication of criteria like these will force their institutions to recognize the new forms of research birthed by digital media. If you have your own guidelines or want to contribute to the conversation, please join the Leonardo Education Forum discussion at http://artsci.ucla.edu/LEF/node/104.