Research Workshops


The i-DAT Research Workshops build on the heritage of practice based production workshops, seminars, symposia and international conferences. These include: Scale ElectricFar Away So CloseAHO+Bartlett=i-DAT, etc, and critically and playfully engage with themes, technologies and behaviours which form the symptoms manifest in the individual and collective practices of the i-DAT research community. This Community overlaps with the activities of the Cognition Institute, The Planetary Collegium and external partners such as FulldomeUK and Tate Exchange. These research sessions run alongside i-DAT’s R&D, production, PGR and teaching activities.

These sessions generally take the form of:

Research Update: Research updates from i-DAT researchers.

Workshop: Practice based engagement with the session theme

Evening Presentation with an invited speaker to address the session theme.

These sessions are closely woven into the research activities of staff and researchers in i-DAT and are subject to change so please check http://i-dat.org/i-dat-research-workshops/ for updates.

October 2016:

#1: i-DAT Research State of the Nation.

Date: Wednesday 21 September – Portland Sq B315.

Time: 14.00-16.00

Location: TBC

Research Plan for 2016-17.

#2: i-DAT + Creative School + Tate Exchange.

Date: Week of the 17-21 October.

Specific meeting time TBC


R&D Workshop running throughout the week.

i-DAT Research Session: Wednesday 19, 15.00-17.00 Creative School.

Location: Plymouth School of Creative Arts (www.plymouthschoolofcreativearts.co.uk)

Creative Data Lab#1:

The first Data Lab in Collaboration with the Plymouth School of Creative Arts and Tate Exchange to develop a range of digital interventions into the learning ecosystem.

Draft Schedule

November 2016:

#3: FDUK16:

Date: 04-05/11/16

Time: All day.

Location: Leicester National Space Centre


The 5th International Fulldome Festival, partnered by i-DAT in collaboration with Gaianova and NSC Creative and hosted in the National Space Centre Leicester.

December 2016:

#4: Inscriptiones vel Tituli Theatri Amplissimi.

Date: Wednesday 14 December

Time: 14.00-20.00 (schedule TBC)


The research will consider this original notion of the universal museum and consider whether a Planetarium, or Immersive Vision Theatre, can be repurposed from a vehicle for the diffusion of scientific knowledge to a space in which to realise the original mission of the universal museum and thereby consider the nature of museum representation itself. A space not only to study and display extraordinary objects, but to map and explore human systems for understanding objects.

Research Update / Workshop /Evening Presentation.

Session coordinated by Coral Manton.

Invited speaker: TBC.

January 2017:

#5 Data Daemons:

Date: Wednesday 18 January

Time: 14.00-20.00 (schedule TBC)

Location: TBC


Prototyping intimate data-driven experiences, as augmentations of the ‘stream of consciousness’ to question the use of predictive algorithms and personal data for human enhancement and commercial gain. The Data Daemons Workshop will explore the analytical techniques which focus on enhanced cultural engagement through the use of Artificial Neural Networks, Self Organising Maps and Deep Learning Networks to innovatively integrate subjective and objective data, considering its temporal and predictive aspects, variety and quality and correlations.

Research Update / Workshop /Evening Presentation.

Session coordinated by B Aga.

Invited speaker: TBC.

February 2017:

#6: Thingbook: The Society of All Things (Humans, Animals, Things and Data)

Date: Wednesday 22 February

Time: 14.00-20.00 (schedule TBC)

Location: TBC

Research Update / Workshop /Evening Presentation.

In considering the origin of Things, it is quite conceivable that a designer, reflecting on the mutual affinities of organic and inorganic beings, on their morphological relations, their geographical distribution, cultural succession, social function and other such facts, might come to the conclusion that things had not been independently created, but had descended, like varieties, from other Things. Nevertheless, such a conclusion, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory, until it could be shown how the innumerable Things, inhabiting this world have been modified, so as to acquire that perfection of structure and coadaptation which justly excites our imagination. In seeking out the future of the origin of Things the authors take a Beaglesque voyage to identify the social, cultural and technological forces which drive the emergence of a Thingbook – a place where all Things converge to define a new phylogenetic tree of networked relationships. With this homage to the Origin of Species (Darwin, 1859), this paper explores the emergence of a society of all Things (Humans, Animals, Things and Data), by mapping the circumstances that have enabled this emergence and identifying the new relationships and behaviours that are developing between Things. It moves beyond morphic and linguistic relationships to the behavioural, performative and predictive qualities of algorithms that provide a DNA for future modification. The Thingbook is both a taxonomy of things, an algorithm for their form and behaviour, which in turn is a generative meshwork of relationships.


Session coordinated by Gianni Corino.

Invited speaker: TBC.

March 2017:

#7: Invisible Architectures…

Date: Wednesday 15 March.

Time: 14.00-20.00 (schedule TBC).

Location: TBC.

Research Update / Workshop /Evening Presentation.

‘‘Electronic aids, particularly domestic computers, will help the inner migration, the opting out of reality. Reality is no longer going to be the stuff out there, but the stuff inside your head. It’s going to be commercial and nasty at the same time.’’

(JG Ballard).

Session organised in collaboration with MRes Digital Art and Technology Programme: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/mres-digital-art-and-technology

Invited speaker: TBC.

May 2017:

#8: Ubiquity

Date: 10 May

Time: 14.00-20.00 (schedule TBC)

Location: TBC

Research Update / Workshop / Evening Presentation.

This publishing workshop addresses digital dissemination and is supported by Ubiquity, the Journal of Pervasive Media.



‘Ubiquity’, the ability to be everywhere at the same time, a potential historically attributed to the occult is now a common feature of the average mobile phone. This journal anticipates the consequences for design and research in a culture where everyone and everything is connected, and offers a context for visual artists, designers, scientists and writers to consider how ubiquity is transforming our relationship with the world.

Ubiquity is a peer reviewed journal for creative and transdisciplinary practitioners interested in technologies, practices and behaviours that have the potential to radically transform human perspectives on the world. The title refers explicitly to the advent of ubiquitous computing that has been hastened through the consumption of networked digital devices. The journal anticipates the consequences for design and research in a culture where everyone and everything is connected, and will offer a context for visual artists, designers, scientists and writers to consider how ubiquity is transforming our relationship with the world.

In embracing these aspirations Ubiquity recognizes the transgressions and trauma that are implicit in the inevitable cultural shifts that will follow. As well as providing opportunities for enriching human experience these technologies and entangled practices bring with them neurosis and paranoia.

Ubiquity focuses on contemporary practices that engage with these technologies and behaviours within the creative arts (design, architecture and art) but more importantly explores the impact these technologies are having on synergies between disciplines and the broader cultural context. We envisage the journal as an instrument that seeks to establish critical and creative frameworks and methodologies that effectively articulate and nurture innovation in this field.

Ubiquity adopts a networked publishing strategy that is underpinned by creative practice and the reflexive application of these technologies through workshops, collaborations, commissions, seminars, field work, documents, conversations, interviews, media archaeology and data streams. Built around heavily illustrated articles, Ubiquity adopts a pragmatic and open approach to the dissemination of practice within this emergent field. The journal offers a context for experimentation through interdisciplinary collaboration and access to ‘instruments’ that encourage a reflexive reinterpretation of disciplinary practices.

Session coordinated by Mike Phillips.

Invited speaker: Professor Chris Speed, Edinburgh University.


August 2017:

#9: Balance Unbalance 2017

Date: 21-23 August

Time: All day.

Location: Roland Levinsky/Eden/North Devon Biosphere.

Research Update / Workshop /Evening Presentation.

In collaboration with the Sustainable Earth Institute, Eden Project, North Devon Biosphere, Beaford Arts and Fulldome UK.

ref: www.balance-unbalance2017.org

Balance-Unbalance 2017: A Sense of Place.

The 6th edition of the BunB conference will be held from June 23 to 25 of 2017 in Plymouth, UK. Produced by i-DAT in collaboration with the Sustainable Earth Institute and Art and Sound at Plymouth University, BunB17 is being produced in collaboration with the North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Beaford Arts and Fulldome UK.

The theme for BunB 2017 is “A Sense of Place”.

Our increasingly mediated relationship with the environment brings new insights to the invisible forces that affect complex ecologies. From meteorological data flows to temporal climate change models, our relationship with our environment is becoming more abstract, simulated and remote – tempering our desire to act. Could it be that we know more and experience less? BunB17 maps the coordinates of our Sense of Place – the horizontal landscape to the vertical transcalar spaces of the macro/micro.

How can we appreciate a Sense of Place in the space between the local and the global? Do our GIS technologies enhance or supress the psychology of distance that distinguishes between them and us in times of environmental crisis? Are we making sense of our remote sensors in our telematic umwelt? Virtual simulations create powerful immersive experiences, but are they just distracting us from the complexities of feeling the volatile environment? Do we have the mental dexterity and visual literacy to comprehend these trasnscalar networked ecologies? From the overview to the nanoscape, BunB 2017 will critically explore our (missing) Sense of Place.

A Sense of Place aims to provoke discussion, reflection and action to address the imminent social, economic and cultural impact of climate change. Balance-Unbalance cultivates transdisciplinary relationships and initiatives which seek to provide insights, awareness, innovation, behaviour change and resolutions. To achieve these ambitions Balance-Unbalance explores innovative art and technology practices that provide new models which enhance participation, public engagement, information literacy and ecological action.

NB: Space and Time maybe subject to change…

For further information contact Mike Phillips on: mike.phillips@plymouth.ac.uk