Transdisciplinary Research on a Greek Island: The Grounds for Art, Science and Technology Studies in the Mediterranean

By Eva Kekou, 4Humanities International Correspondent

The Planetary Collegium has organized a conference this year on the island of Cephallonia, the Ionian center. The Collegium is directed by Roy Ascott, one of the most reputable media artists worldwide. Ascott works with a wide range of media and has a very busy curriculum, with exhibitions and keynote talks at high-profile events and conferences around the globe. Because of the conference’s location, I-Node will therefore be a part of Planetary Collegium this year, welcoming students from the south Mediterannean, the Balkan countries and the Middle East for doctoral studies in art. science and technology.

As an integral part of Planetary Collegium, I-Node is concerned with advancing inquiry in the transidisciplinary space between the arts, technology and the sciences with consciousness research as an integral component of the overall work.

To this end, I-Node implements all of Planetary Collegium’s curriculum by maintaining the academic standards, values and principles of Plymouth University, providing a Ph.D. programme aligned exclusively with Plymouth University’s regulations.

This is important for Greece as Ascott has decided to ground I-Node in promoting the study of art, science and technology. Ascott works with cybernetics and telematics, and whose research focuses on the impact of digital and telecommunications networks on consciousness. He is also President of the Planetary Collegium and DeTao Master of Technoetic Arts in Beijing de Tao Academy.

The historian of art and technology Frank Popperw writes of Roy Ascott:
“Roy Ascott was among the first artists to launch an appeal for total spectator participation … At present, Ascott is one of the most outstanding artists and theoreticians in the field of telematics.”

It is true that nodes like that can only promote the synergy of art, science and technology. In Greece, digital media and digital humanities are new fields of study and we all seem to be eager for the development of transdisciplinary research in university departments and funding for scholars to study digital humanities and media. These fields, however, mainly remain unknown to most Greek universities. More initiatives like the Planetary Collegium are needed to train Greek scholars in these new interdisciplinary fields.

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