We would like to propose a 30-minutes panel session to introduce KOKO – The Next Generation Journal, a project of the Shared Campus Group.
On the one hand KOKO was originally simply intended as an online publication platform for staff and students of the Shared Campus group and beyond to publish and disseminate their theoretical and practical research. Based on this premise however, KOKO in the meantime has developed into a much more comprehensive experiment exploring the opportunities and limitations of academic online publishing, the equitable validation of theory-led and practice-based research media/formats, issues of transparency, accessibility and participation in research, as well as the integration of active research with teaching and learning in the arts.
A prototype for KOKO was made available for testing to several summer courses of the Shared Campus providing a very unique opportunity to draw practice in research and pedagogy in the arts closer together both procedurally and creatively. It brought in diverse communities to generate speculative creative research, and immediately published it; it provided students of the summer schools opportunity for new approaches to data collection, interpretation, analysis, and deduction of creative outputs, and therefore, encouragement and space for disruption. In its results KOKO apparently could demonstrate clarity for students in opening up the relationship between research and practice.
The panel for this session will bring together three KOKO collaborators:
Speaker I will initially introduce “KOKO – A Next Generation Journal”, its background, concept, experimental setup (in his pre-recorded presentation) and demonstrate the live prototype.
Speaker II is an art historian, curator and designer who will show how successful interaction of various factors in dramaturgy and design may create stimulating visual narratives, a practice he employs in his role as “moderator“ of KOKO Journal.
The session will be chaired by Chair, Switzerland.
Each panellist will upload a pre-recorded “position presentation” prior to the conference to a location as identified by the conference hosts. The DEL audience is invited and encouraged to watch these presentations before attending the panel session.
During the panel session as such, both speakers will each briefly recount their core points embedded in a short AV presentation with focus on the KOKO prototype. After they will briefly exchange some additional thoughts based on opening questions from the Chair, to then engage with the audience on further questions and other contributions.
The entire session is timed to take approx. 30 minutes.
Attendants/participants of the panel session will take away
tools, guidelines and techniques for curating meaningful online visual narratives/exhibitions;
case studies of ways to engage students in creative research production;
insights into the underlying considerations of developing innovative academic online publishing formats.
One of the most common formats in the visual arts using images (and objects) to create an overarching narration are exhibitions; the mastermind behind those narratives is usually the curator. Exhibitions are manipulative, they may be situated somewhere between irritation and reflection; nothing is left to chance. As counterparts or companion pieces (“pendants”), the elements of an exhibition are standing in thematic or compositional connection to the main idea. In the best case, they come together as a total work of art; in the worst case the individual elements unfavourably compete with each other and produce a great sense of arbitrariness.
All elements in an exhibition are linked, and no one, not even the curator, will be able to understand the full context of all aspects. As each individual exhibition visitor will bring along their own preferences, questions and experiences, depending on his or her biography. These preconditions can only be taken into account to a limited extent. Thus, every exhibition lives of the discrepancy between the curator's intentions to manifest their own ideas and the expectations of the visitors.
As research outputs of visual artists most commonly manifest as works of arts that in themselves more often than not articulate visually rather than e.g. as traditional texts it appears plausible to consider curatorial strategies in exhibition making also as valid approaches to dramaturgies for the design of visual narratives for an academic journal that aims at focusing on non-traditional creative practice-based research outputs.
Exhibitions tell stories, so do journals. Thus, when it comes to the development of a new academic online journal how could the strategies of curating and the languages of the exhibition be transferred and applied to the processes and structures of a journal? How can dramaturgies and narratives be developed from existing visual material that disrupt the reader’s equilibrium and encourage them to react and reflect? What may an editor learn from a curator? How may such a journal reflect back and affect the actual production of (creative) research? As non-traditional research formats are still seeking their place within academia, how would such journal integrate with teaching and learning? How must such a journal look?
As part of the establishment of Shared Campus partnership of seven international tertiary art institutions, the Shared Campus’ TOOLS group decided to find out.