We are proud to announce the beginning of the Ars Electronica Futurelab Academy’s intensive collaboration with Japan’s University of Tsukuba – a leading research university with a visionary focus in human-centred cybernetics. There, a new PhD programme in Empowerment Informatics (EMP) has been founded, with Device Art pioneer Hiroo Iwata as programme leader and highly talented researchers from all over the world as students.
EMP’s mission is research in the areas of supplementing, harmonizing and extending the human faculties and abilites. Its practice is by necessity experimental, and artistic research might play a role in it. This practical, experimental aspect is framed in the “Empowerment Studio”, a space for projects to be developed and exhibited, and for the first students of this new programme, this has already been complemented with “labX” – an extension of this studio by a collaboration with the Futurelab Academy.
In this first “labX” edition in Summer 2015, four PhD students are developing projects that will be exhibited at the Ars Electronica Festival in September 2015. They are connected with mentors from the Futurelab, who, with their expertise in public-facing media art, give them feedback, conduct workshops and help them develop their ideas into prototypes that can be shown to the public.
“labX” 2015 has already started: The first major event was a visit of Futurelab Artist/Researcher Hideaki Ogawa to Tsukuba, where a programme of talks and face-to-face creative sessions helped forge a personal connection between the mentor and the students.
This page will be updated as the programme progresses. And the results, of course, will be visible at the festival – don’t miss them!
Photos: Chihiro Masuda, EMP, University of Tsukuba.
Hideaki Ogawa conducting the creative workshop at the University of Tsukuba…
… and giving an inspiration talk.