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Commonwealth Intercultural Arts Network

CIAN Forum 3: Re-framing Interdisciplinary perspectives

Convenor:  Andrew Blackburn & Jean Penny


Sam Aaron (The Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge)

Sam Aaron is a live coder who, through considering programming as performance, focusses on enhancing the productivity and power of modern programming languages and environments. This exploration draws from academia, industry and also the arts, a combination Sam now believes to be essential for the development of well-researched, creative, innovative and practical ideas in this field.

Alan Blackwell (The Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge)

Alan Blackwell is Reader in Interdisciplinary Design at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. Originally trained as a professional engineer, and with extensive professional experience in the private sector, he returned to academic life for a masters degree in Computer Science and doctorate in Psychology. He developed and teaches a design curriculum for computer science students in Cambridge, and supervises design research students in architecture, engineering, psychology and music. He is a Fellow of Darwin College, Vice President of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, a Director of Cambridge Enterprise, and co-Director of the Crucible Network for Research in Interdisciplinary Design.

Diana Blom (University of Western Sydney)

Diana Blom is of Australian/New Zealand heritage and has lived in Hong Kong and Malaysia for 9 years. These intercultural environments have informed her research interests, her composing and her performance projects. She is Associate Professor in Music at the University of Western Sydney, Australia.  More ...

Elena Cologni 

Dr Elena Cologni is an artist who works with site specific installations and performance grounded in conceptual art, and its tangible translations/manifestations. Cologni studied at the Academy of Art Brera in Milan, Università Statale in Milan, Leeds University (Bretton Hall), and has a PhD from the University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, with the thesis: The Artist’s Performative Practice within the Anti-Ocularcentric Discourse. Her post doc project ‘Present Memory and Liveness in delivery and reception of video documentation during performance art events’, received an AHRC Grant (2004-2006). In the outcome Mnemonic Present, Un-Folding series of 2005-2006, the use of ‘live-recording’ and ‘prerecording’ opened up questions on the involvement of the audience and their perception of what is present and represented, generating a form of ‘mnemonic present’. More ...

Tony Booth (Centre for Commonwealth Education, University of Cambridge)

Tony Booth is concerned with understanding and promoting values led educational development. Among the sixteen values headings that are the points in an interconnecting universe of meanings offered for dialogue as a possible framework for development are: beauty, joy, respect for diversity and wisdom. The framework contributes to an answer to a modification of an age old philosophical question: how should we live together? (The old question was something like 'how should an Athenian man live'?) He has offered a redesigned curriculum for the 21st Century which tries to answer a complementary question: What do we need to know in order to live together well? More ...

Alana Jelinek (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge)

Alana Jelinek is an artist who is currently in the final stages of a 5 year research fellowship funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council investigating the relationship between collections, collectors and the collected with the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Her work includes exhibitions, interventions and live art. Her most recent publication, 'This is Not Art: activism and other not-art' (IB Tauris 2013), explores the role of art within the neoliberalisation of culture, which builds on and refutes her PhD research into 'Art as a democratic act: the interplay of content and context'.

Idit Nathan (University of the Arts, London)

Idit Nathan is an artist and (practice led) PhD candidate at Central St Martin’s College at the University of the Arts London. Her visual arts practice is often playful and interactive and her artworks have been exhibited in the UK, Europe and Israel Palestine.

Her works create a provocative space in which the viewer is challenged to respond to the unsettling contemporary dilemmas derived from our identity as both actors of free will and actors in an historical context focusing on coexistence and tensions between past and present, the gallery and ‘non gallery’ space and the activity and interactivity of the audiences that inhabit these spaces. Her research project titled Art of Play in Zones of Conflict, explores playful and interactive artworks in the context of Israel Palestine. She has been nominated an Arts Council England escalator artist and has been awarded funding from Arts Council England for the Seven Walks in a Holy City project as well as the Contested Sites/Sights project (both ongoing). More...

Sandy O'Sullivan is an Aboriginal Australian (Wiradjuri Nation) academic in the Research Division of Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. She is a current Australian Research Council Senior Indigenous Researcher, an enduring Office for Learning and Teaching Australian Teaching Fellow, and holds a PhD in Fine Art and Performance. Her current international research work focuses on representation of First Peoples in major national museum spaces in the US, UK and Australia. Sandy is the National Indigenous representative for Interpretation Australia and the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching (in Higher Education), where her work focuses on alternative and creative dissemination as a culturally appropriate research outcome for Indigenous research candidates. PhD, MEd, BMus. (Hons), DRSAMD, specialises in cross cultural compositions. A recipient of awards from the Rockefellar, Japan and Commonwealth Foundations, her works are performed internationally. Valerie has various publications and holds interdisciplinary research grants from the Malaysian Government.  Currently based in University Technology MARA, Malaysia, Professor Ross is also Director of the Centre for Intercultural Musicology at Churchill College, University of Cambridge (

Anna Vignoles, University of Cambridge Faculty of Education

Anna Vignoles is Professor of Education (1938) at the University of Cambridge. She has published widely on the impact of school resources on pupil achievement and on the socio-economic gap in pupil achievement. Her research interests include issues pertaining to equity in education, school choice, school efficiency and finance and the economic value of schooling. Anna is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education. She is also Deputy Director of the Centre for the Economics of Education and the Centre for the Analysis of Youth Transitions (funded by DfE).

Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge)

Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (MFA, PhD) runs an ongoing British Academy research project at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University and is currently a Humboldt Fellow in Berlin. She did a PhD on indigenous Australian art history at Harvard University which will appear as the monograph Art in the Time of Colony in 2014 in Ashgate’s series on Empires and the Making of the Modern World, 1650-2000. Her visual art practice focuses on intercultural performances and is represented internationally.


Abdul Abdullah

Abdul Abdullah was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1986, and graduated in 2008 from Curtin University. He is a seventh generation Australian with a direct paternal link to a convict who arrived in NSW in 1815. In 2009 he received a Highly Commended in the NYSPP at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra and was named a Perth Rising Star by Insite Magazine. In 2010 Abdul was included in the inaugural Triple J list of 25 Under 25 + Smashin' It. In 2011 he was a recipient of Kickstart funding for the 2012 Next Wave Festival, was selected as a finalist in the 2011 Archibald prize and won the Blake Prize for Human Justice. His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the University of Western Australia, Murdoch University, The Islamic Museum of Australia and The Bendigo Art Gallery. Most recently his painting 'The Man' of boxer Anthony Mundine was selected as a finalist in the 2013 Archibald Prize. More ...

Lettering by Ariadne Radi Cor: (