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Confessions of an artist doing academia

It is such an amazing pleasure to be able to come to Paris two days before presenting, stay in a beautiful flat with a view and for once to not have several days or weeks of fighting and struggling to get technology working before presenting to the public. Academic life is a very different kettle of fish than being an artist!

That said the pressure is on with this presentation, it being one of the top (if not the top) Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Conferences and also for the first time being here mainly as a representative of the University of Nottingham as opposed to Active Ingredient, although partly both. ¬†Suddenly I will be representing the world of an institution and specifically ‘the world renowned’ Mixed Reality Lab, having spent most of my working life working independently. Im not completely sure how to navigate this, to the point that i’m not sure which voice to use, should i say we and us – as one of the artists in Active Ingredient – or am I talking about ‘our’ work or as researchers? Of course as normal it is something messy in between. So lets see, something to play with, as I have been throughout this PhD life.

Today after eating too much cheese at breakfast its time to get my head around the 3 academic based slides in the presentation that are slightly freaking me out – I can tell the story of A Conversation Between Trees in my sleep but putting in references to HCI literature and talk about methodology feels so completely counter to the way I would normally talk about our work that it is throwing me off kilter.

There is an exhibition of Guy Debord on in Paris at the moment so going to that will be my art treat this week and will be interesting to see the digital art sessions at the conference, to see how HCI is increasingly working with artists and hopefully some more lovely food is to be had.


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