…and then the world

“where nothing we’ve actually seen has been mapped or outlined…”

Ignite – Round-up

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I was going to liveblog Ignite, but time during the sessions eluded me, and then being away for most of the weekend for the Gold Coast Half Ironman (and its associated heat and sun-related headaches) have meant the delay of the round-up until now.

Rather than post the liveblogging notes, then, this post will be about a conference that was particularly exciting and rewarding, well run by Sue Carson and the postgrad committee, and full of pleasantly intriguing presentations from across the Creative Industries faculty.

Part of my stress last week when I was preparing my presentation was the knowledge that the presenters and attendees of the conference were from the various Creative Industries schools – such as visual arts, music, film, fashion, dance, journalism, and creative writing – and, from my experience last semester, most of the postgrads would probably be undertaking practice-led research. Not coming from that background, I was a little worried about how my presentation might go, particularly when in the same session as particularly creative projects. However, it all seemed to go okay (I’ll cover my presentation in a separate post).

The conference itself was opened on Wednesday evening with a series of displays, screenings, and performances, including the Robobongo All Stars (a live band accompanied by Robobongo, described as a “musical percussion robot”), HarmonyGrid (live interactive music, involving a projected grid which influences the music being played), Crash Paper Music for Robots (stop-motion animation, screencaps from games, and music), and Edge of Colour (live electronic music). I didn’t get to see all of these in action (I was co-opted to stand behind the bar) but there was a lot of interesting, dedicated work on show.

The keynote address on Thursday morning was provided by Hugh Kearns from Flinders University. Although the subject of the talk was the discussion that every postgrad hears many times, that being how to get the work done and manage time efficiently, it was handled with realistic expectations and understanding of what postgrads generally do (such as avoid work). There were some useful tips and strategies, though, and I think that is a large part of what I got out of the conference: different approaches and perspectives to work and projects that I probably wouldn’t have thought of myself.

The bulk of the next two days of conference were taken up with papers from across the faculty, divided into streams that were sometimes more related than others. The talks obviously reflect vastly different projects and approaches, but they were all fascinating and well-prepared, and just to have the opportunity to see what other postgrads are doing and the wealth of research happening in other fields is incredible.

However, despite seeing many presentations, performances, and a few games of boules, my highlights were the panel discussions as the last sessions of both Thursday and Friday. On Friday, several postgrads, again from different fields, talked about working across the borders, or ignoring them altogether, between disciplines, combining visual arts, film, music, photography, fashion, and beyond that into science, IT, and other subjects, the ability to study what they want to be doing without having to fit into one particular area, and the benefits and problems that can come about from it. Thursday, on the other hand, saw six creative writing postgrads read a brief excerpt of their own writing and talk about both it and what they read for their research or inspiration. As to be expected from what else happened at the conference, the six writers were covering very different approaches and themes in their writing, and to be able see and hear the work being created here, and its quality, is constantly astonishing. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Ignite, even after submitting an abstract and working on a paper, other than a lot of panic, but to be exposed to the work of other postgrads, and the practices and methods being used, was more rewarding than I would have even thought possible. There were some fascinating discussions generated after presentations, and the chance to speak to people I’d seen in the corridors but never spoken to, and to see what kind of work they were doing. Ultimately, it didn’t matter that my work wasn’t entirely related to the other presentations in the same session; instead, everything is different but welcome, and sitting through session after session on the same topics wouldn’t have had the same effect as watching and listening to a bit of everything.

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Written by Tim

6 October, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Posted in conference, ignite, qut

One Response

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  1. […] days: 27-29 October, QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. I presented at the previous conference in October 2008, and recommend it as a venue for presenting research or work-in-progress in a supportive […]


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