The first staff training meeting of the Digital Mythologies - Mythological Digitalities (DIMYMYDI) project was hosted by the Department of Graphic Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, part of Artesis Plantijn (AP) Hogeschool (October 26th-27th).
The first day introduced the participants to the structure of the Graphic Design programme - led by Gina Poortman - and also the Academy’s famous Fashion Department, where Creative Director, Brandon Wen, kindly provided a guided tour of the workshops and studios. This activity encouraged a stimulating discussion of the different pedagogical approaches across the DIMYMYDI partnership, a conversation that continued over the course of the two-day visit. The participants also visited the impressive Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) for wonderful views of the city and the Unesco World Heritage museum, Museum Plantin-Moretus, which provided a rich overview of the city’s printing history and legacy.
The second day provided an impressive introduction to the activities and outputs of both the MAXlab and the Immersive Lab, facilitated by Janna Beck and Kristof Timmerman. MAXlab is a research platform within the Royal Academy that focuses on the interaction between art and digital technology and examines how digital techniques can expand the toolbox of the artist. Whereas the Immersive Lab – a research center of AP Hogeschool – centralises expertise around immersive technologies including virtual, augmented and mixed reality, omnidirectional video and holograms. The work of both labs clearly demonstrated the huge potential of merging artistic and technological research, particularly in relation to public engagement.
The implementation of this research within the Graphic Design department was made visible by presenting the Bachelor 3rd-year students' assignment for the Interactive Design course (tutored by Janna Beck) where stable diffusion AI-image generating was used as a graphic tool to create large scale projected spatial atmospheres. The day ended with a tour of the Royal Academy campus followed by the launch of the concert Arial, a dissemination of the MAXlab research projects FRAMED and &CO, where live collaborative drawing combined with the music of John Cage - as performed by the Royal Conservatoire - merged to provide an immersive experience.
ARIA! Concert with live animation drawing by Frank Agsteribbe, Janna Beck, Wouter Steel and their students Charlotte Niemann, Yuki Bevers, Floris Robbroeckx, Sophia Van Beethoven, Westhaus Rosa, Charlotte Bary, Lenneke Nijst, Kristien Doumen, Herlinde Van de Straete and Anais Simon. With interventions of Martino Morandi and Kris Meeusen. Mapping projection set-up by Tom Dietvorst. For Articulate Research Days 2022. Video: Tarja Nieminen