‘Insight Out’ – Presentation by Dr. Joana Casaca Lemos

I am very excited about my recent invitation by Atolye, Dubai’s Creative Hub, to join an online presentation by Dr. Joana Casaca Lemos. She is a designer, researcher and educator, who specialises in interdisciplinary work. Her current engagements include her involvement in an independent run consultancy that supports organisations with research and writing a book titled: ‘When Research is Mesearch.’ She has worked with organisations such as Daimler, Sustainable Oceans Alliance, Business Council for Sustainability, Forum for the Future, among others. 
Joana is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts UK and holds a PhD from Central Saint Martins College of Art in London. 


The aim of Joana’s presentation was to provide a space for creative professionals to reflect and assess their personal growth with reference to their practice. She proposed to question the value of work experiences, which are transformative? The other deliberations were concerned with looking at what makes us feel uncomfortable and, therefore, challenged our understanding of the world.

Joana started by sharing her journey and reflective practice to introduce a framework drawn from her experience as a design researcher. Subsequently,  all participants were guided through a collaborative activity, which enabled them to reflect on their practice and articulate their own ‘me-search’.

Joana’s intellectual provocation was very inspiring, as follows:

As curious creatives we often draw inspiration from the world around us – but what might happen if we look into the world within?
 
Leen Sadder, the organiser, explained the broader concept, which underpins the new series of presentations and stated in her invitation that:

Insight Out is a brand new guest series hosted by ATÖLYE Dubai, featuring creative seekers, whose inward explorations have positively impacted the work they put out into the world. Once a month, we welcome you into the inner world of a designer, artist or maker to learn about the practices and experiences that have shaped their creative output.”

Despite questioning Joana’s spiritual perspective, which may have distorted and skewed her ability to critically analyse her research findings, I found this video conference very inspiring and thought provoking. Her travel experiences have a substantial impact on her thinking and this key element is also echoed in my own creative practice and exploration.

Thank you Atolye for your invitation and another remarkable cultural and professional experience.

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‘From A Distant New York’ – International Screening and Conference

I have been invited to participate in a fascinating international interactive screening of the film “The World Before Your Feet” and conference event. It was organised by ATÖLYE, Dubai’s Creative Hub, in partnership with Palmwood, American Film Showcase and the US Consulate in Dubai.

There are 8,000 miles of roads and paths in New York City and for the past six years Matt Green has been walking them all—every street, park, cemetery, beach, and bridge.

Executive produced by Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg and directed by Jeremy Workman, “The World Before Your Feet” is a tribute to an endlessly fascinating city and the freedom to be found, wherever you live, in simply taking a walk.

The team of filmmaker experts were presents:

I am very excited to take part in this amazing venture, which was attended by filmmaker Jeremy Workman, executive producer Jesse Eisenberg and the wanderer himself Matt Green. All live conversations were moderated by Emirati filmmaker Amal Al Agroobi.

A screenshot of a thank you email is below:

MNDBAR Workshops

I have been invited by a leading design agency in Dubai called ATÖLYE to take part in 5 prestigious workshops. The aim of this venture is to explore the mind in order to develop new and innovative ideas. I am thrilled to network again with creative individuals from all-over-the-world.

June 1: INTRO TO MNDBARAn introduction to the MNDBAR mind-fitness approach and the ‘Possibilities Mindset’.

June 8: MIND CONNECTA strengthening session to understand how the mind works and how we can connect to clear thinking by setting priorities.

June 15: MIND PRESENCEAn endurance session to practice making space in our thinking for listening, responding, and engaging more effectively.

June 22: MIND SHIFTA flexibility session in which shifting perspectives can lead to new and innovative opportunities.

June 29: MIND ACTIONA mobility session where experimentation and play begin to build ideas into new realities.

About MNDBAR
MNDBAR sets out to help individuals cultivate their ’Possibilities Mindset’. Through a series of mind-fitness experiences, participants build their capacity for clear thinking & innovative problem solving. As the future accelerates, this mindset is imperative for optimised performance & greater impact in the workplace.

About ATÖLYE
ATÖLYE is a community-powered creative services organisation that brings together a strategic design studio, creative hub, and learning academy in one. With hubs in Istanbul and most recently Dubai, ATÖLYE creates a fertile environment for individuals and organisations, who want to create together, for the better. 

Reflections on the Final Show

I have researched and tested a great number of possible platforms for the final show. Unfortunately, I have found them quite disappointing. The most common concept is to based on echoing a feeling of a physical gallery. Frequently, the software is very slow and clumsy in operation. Additionally, the overall effect is more focused on the look of the space rather than the work itself. Art becomes somehow secondary to the meaningless decorations and textures of walls, ceiling and the lighting.

The most popular online gallery is artsteps.com and https://www.furioos.com/ is best for streaming 3D work.

Other options, which are worth investigating are:

https://www.capterra.com/art-gallery-software/

https://www.3dvas.com/

http://omeka.org/

http://openexhibits.org/

http://collectiveaccess.org/

http://pachyderm.nmc.org

Alternatively, I have considered using a website, which is similar in design to behance.net.

I really like the simplicity, effectiveness and freshness of the front page. There is a grid of large block images, which is inviting and very clear. This website is able to accommodate a broad range of artefacts, including gifs files and video work. Photography on display is relatively high resolution and organised with order and structure.

Our group meets in Zoom on a regular bases to discuss possibilities for arranging the exhibition. All students are very proud and would like to present their research projects to the best of the abilities. Likely, Aristotle, who is one of our students, has offered to help everyone and donated both, his time and the use of his original software.

In preparation for my exhibition, I have carefully considered a range of ideas. My main intention is to make sure that the way, in which my work is displays reinforces its meaning. I would like to avoid using any unnecessary gimmicks and distractions.

In these unprecedented times, it is quite strange for a painter to accept that the final exhibition will not have a physical dimension. Frankly, I am saddened and overwhelmed by a lack of reality it terms of the experience of true colour, texture and painterly mastery of strokes. However, an artist and creative individual needs to seek opportunities in overcoming obstacles. Therefore, my intention is to excel myself and make the online exhibition even better, more refined and sophisticated. I would like for this to be a new learning curve full of controlled happy accidents, experimentation and deep reflection of what is appropriate in term of visual communication – my chosen language of expression.

The digital approach creates a new chance to experiment with a ‘space’, which supports and reinforces my messages in cohesion to deliver a holistic poetry about my painterly and video work.

Currently, I am planing for a long wall with three parallel and simultaneous video projections. This number can be possibly extended to four. I am in the process of working on a painting titled ‘Ravens and Crows Will Peck Us to Pieces’. It is quite likely that I will make sufficient progress to video another washing cycle. This image is different to portraiture. Therefore, I was relatively hesitant to include this image. However, on reflection, it summarises my overall responses to my research findings in a time of lockdown and social isolation. We are all subjected to mortality, vulnerable and fragile. The end of our journey is the only certainty in our lives. Death is the culmination of our waiting, while being suspended in the vacuum of hypnotic repetition.

The side walls of the gallery will be dedicated to the display of the actual paintings. I should be able to exhibit between 8 and 10 canvasses.

It is all very exciting!

Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and the Art Dubai Group conclude Dubai Ideathon | ZAWYA MENA Edition

I was astonished that my comment was used in a press release of this event. The organisers have selected my words to support the value and meaning of the entire undertaking. A link to the article is below.

Running from just April 7 – 8 2020, the Dubai Ideathon brought together a selection of international experts to develop potential solutions for the impact brought on by COVID-19 to the UAE's creative and cultural sector – ZAWYA MENA Edition
— Read on www.zawya.com/mena/en/press-releases/story/Dubai_Culture__Arts_Authority_and_the_Art_Dubai_Group_conclude_Dubai_Ideathon-ZAWYA20200415095332/

Dubai Ideathon- Day 2

Inspirational experience in a difficult time!

Day 2 was also extended to most of day 3. My team – 11B got very passionate about crating a holistic and xcohesive platform. Our concept was to bring people together in a time of crisis, social distancing and isolation.

We produced a very comprehernsive proposal for a range of ideas and supporting online platforms. I was selected by the team to present our proposal to the forum of 174 observes via Zoom videoconference. Our proposal was very well received and the team and I are awaiting further news on a range of possible developments.