Researching new technologies in DCA Print Studio
17 February 2016
We recently welcomed PhD student Polina Zioga to DCA Print Studio, where she'll be working as a funded intern for six months. She'll be taking some of the work we did on our Eye Can Draw project and developing it further, and we can't wait to see how the project develops.
To welcome Polina to DCA, and to get an idea of what drew her to the project in the first place, we had a chat with her about her involvement.
My background and my work combine art, technology and science.
Hi Polina! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your work.
I am an artist, educator and PhD Candidate at the Digital Design Studio of the Glasgow School of Art in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and the University of Huddersfield. I'm a very busy bee so to speak, enjoying creating art, teaching, experimenting and writing my thesis, mainly in Glasgow and Dundee! My background and my work combine art, technology and science. Over the past 10 years I have been using multimedia technologies together with brain imaging techniques and neuroscience in my artistic practice. My doctoral research focuses more specifically on the use of brain-computer interfaces in the performing arts, which provide the brain with a non-muscular channel for communicating with the external world and are also used as assistive tools for people with disabilities. One of the results of my research is the project ‘Enheduanna - A Manifesto of Falling’ Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance, which I produced and directed and was premiered at CCA in Glasgow last year.
What will you be working on in DCA Print Studio?
I am working on a project called ‘Re-mark. Enabling artists with disabilities to re-engage with their fine art practice using digital technology’, in collaboration with Annis Fitzhugh, Print Studio Director, and Robert Jackson of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. The project explores how artists with disabilities can access interactive technologies that can limit the need for human intermediaries in their fine art practice. It is based on the Eye Can Draw (ECD) research project that was previously developed at DCA and was jointly funded by Creative Scotland. The ECD project investigated the use of custom made eye-gaze tracking devices based on open source technologies. The devices were then successfully used by two artists with Multiple Sclerosis in order to develop and continue their printmaking work.
DCA and the Print Studio are internationally renowned ... for their use of contemporary digital technologies
Why did you want to work at DCA?
DCA and the Print Studio are internationally renowned not only for their open-access fine art printmaking facilities and activities, but also for their use of contemporary digital technologies, which promote access for artists with disabilities. I had the opportunity to learn more about the specific research project and meet the people involved thanks to the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities, the award and funding body of my placement, as part of a new scheme of doctoral internships and residencies. From the very first discussions with Annis and Robert, it was clear to me that working on this project would be an inspiring and fruitful experience. It combines technology and art, so it’s ideally related to my previous work. At the same time, thanks to their openness and interest in experimentation, I have been given the exciting opportunity to apply my own research findings in this new but closely relevant project!
What do you hope you'll have learned by the end of the internship?
What is unique in a doctoral internship and valuable for all the parties involved, is the research and knowledge exchange that takes place. I have already learned the basic principles and techniques of eye-gaze tracking. I hope that by the end of my placement I will have been able to further investigate the potential of these technologies in combination with the findings of my previous research. Let’s see - maybe this will lead to something new!
Thank you Polina! And good luck!
Find out more about Polina's work at www.polina-zioga.com.
Photograph of Polina: Hanan Makki