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Research

At the School of Creative Arts and Media, our research aims to promote creative arts practice within real world environments. We work across discipline boundaries to establish new creative paradigms at the frontier of practice-led research.

Our research interests broadly identify with the unique qualities, strengths and opportunities of our Tasmanian island context. We are passionate about engaging with Tasmania’s diverse economic, social and environmental challenges through interdisciplinary, collaborative and socially aware research – as significant to Tasmanian-based agendas as it is to world-class innovation.

At the core of our research approach is practice, creativity and connectivity. Through these frameworks we are committed to making deep and lasting relationships with our community and industry-based partners.

Current projects

Art, Music, Theatre and Media

This research project examines the implications of new and emerging biotechnologies through speculative arts practice across tissue engineering, synthetic biology, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Initiated in 2015 through a Creative Sparks grant from the Brisbane City Council, the research engages with new approaches to biofabrication – the use of additive manufacturing processes in the development of biological products – and involves the continued refinement of an interactive bioreactor capable of sustaining 3D printed sculptures incorporating living human cells.

Linked to range of public outputs including exhibitions, seminars and workshops, this research aims to promote dialogue regarding the ethical, legal and creative potentials of new technologies.

School of Creative Arts and Media Researchers:
Dr Svenja Kratz: Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Creative Practice

Partners:
This research encompasses the BioSynthetic Systems project developed in partnership with the Regenerative Medicine Group (Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation), School of Creative Arts (University of Tasmania) and the Creative Industries Interactive Visual Design Discipline (Queensland University of Technology).

Using music on prescription.

An interdisciplinary research team led by Associate Professor Anne-Marie Forbes sought to find well-tolerated and cost-effective ways to measure whether an eight-week singing programme for people with dementia had an effect on wellbeing and respiratory function.

This research was conducted in collaboration with Aged Care Deloraine in northern Tasmania, and the research team included Associate Professor Anthea Vreugdenhil (Social Sciences), Associate Professor Lynette Goldberg (Wicking), Clinical Professor Richard Wood-Baker (Medicine) and a registered music therapist, Alexandra Morse.  The participants filled in questionnaires to measure wellbeing and lung function tests were performed before and after the singing programme. We also used kazoos as a fun part of the singing programme and had the idea to also use them as a non-invasive measure of breath control. We found that with the usual medical measures of respiratory function, such as spirometry, it was extremely difficult to get reliable data from these participants due to the symptoms of dementia.  However, the residents enjoyed the kazoos and became quite competitive, and we were able to obtain surprisingly consistent measures using these.  The kazoos were very cost-effective as a rough indicator of respiratory function and the questionnaires were well tolerated.

Over the eight weeks of the singing programme the wellbeing of participants and their respiratory function (as measured by kazoos) remained steady, with some participants showing a significant improvement, when a decline in these measures might be expected for people with dementia. Along with showing some benefits of singing, the team was able to identify novel and cost-effective ways to evaluate the impact of singing on physical and mental wellbeing of people with dementia. Aspects of this research have been presented at national and international conferences and the findings are underpinning plans for a larger singing-based program for older adults.

This project, led by Associate Professor Anne-Marie Forbes, is described in the following short video:

WATCH NOW

School of Creative Arts and Media Researchers:
Associate Professor Anne-Marie Forbes (Arts and Health)

Research team included Associate Professor Anthea Vreugdenhil (Social Sciences), Associate Professor Lynette Goldberg (Wicking), Clinical Professor Richard Wood-Baker (Medicine) and a registered music therapist, Alexandra Morse.

Partners:
A partnership between Aged Care Deloraine and the College of Arts, Law, and Education's (CALE) School of Creative Arts and Media (CAM) assessing the effects of singing on the respiratory function and wellbeing in people with living dementia.

Living Room Musicals is a community engaged research project that harnesses the passion across Tasmanian for musical theatre, by developing a do-it-yourself toolkit to encourage enthusiasts across the state to tell their own, place-based stories, engaging with the social and cultural wealth of Tasmania and providing a platform to showcase the resourcefulness and creativity of community participants.

The first phrase of this project has worked with schools and community theatre groups to research the key features that draw participants and audiences to musical theatre, informing the development of a suite of songs, composed by Mia Palencia, Jackson Simpson and Rhys Gray, as the basis of the toolkit for community participation. These musical numbers will be distributed free of charge as sheet music and as recordings, both online and in hard copy, and participants will use the provided guide and tips in the toolkit to complete these songs by drawing on their personal and collective experiences to write their own lyrics.

Then, inspired by the traditions of private theatre and childhood play, the toolkit encourages the staging of these stories as small scale productions by individuals, groups or families within their homes (for an intimate audience if desired) and recorded, with recordings sent into an online archive of local stories.

This project intends to build meaningful relationships between the Theatre program at the University of Tasmania, community theatre groups, and enthusiasts in and beyond the Northern hub of Launceston, and facilitate authentic expressions of locally relevant stories. The archive will be a valuable expression of culture, and a productive resource for further study, and may lead to an expanded future project to develop larger scale regional productions that bring together participants and stories in collaborative musical productions.

School of Creative Arts and Media Researchers:

Chief Investigator
: Dr Asher Warren, Lecturer in Theatre and Performance

Co-Investigators: Dr Jane Woollard, Lecturer in Theatre and Performance and Ms. Mia Palencia, Associate Lecturer in Songwriting.

Partners:

  • Stage Right Youth Theatre
  • Encore Theatre
  • Kentish Council
  • Launceston College
  • Hellyer College
  • The Australian Musical Theatre Festival
  • The project is also funded by the Tasmanian Community Fund and UTAS, through the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Community, Partnerships and Regional)

Resulting from Dr Martin Walch’s Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship (2017/18), this project aims to create compelling visual representations of human activity and environmental change in the Antarctic. It employs time-lapse and still photography, real-time video, animation, and data visualisation to investigate human and naturally driven processes operating across a range of temporal scales in this remote and sensitive region.

Australian Network for Art and Technology and Spectra 2018

School of Creative Arts and Media Researchers:
Dr Martin Walch, Head of Studio, Photography

Stills from Terra-Antarctica_Time-panorama_Mawson_Station_60_days_20171208-20180205 2018 HD 1080/25P Video Duration 1 hour 07 minutes 48 seconds

Stills from Terra-Antarctica_Time-panorama_Mawson_Station_60_days_20171208-20180205 2018 HD 1080/25P Video Duration 1 hour 07 minutes 48 seconds

Image credit:

Stills from
Terra-Antarctica_Time-panorama_Mawson_Station_60_days_20171208-20180205 2018

HD 1080/25P Video
Duration 1 hour 07 minutes 48 seconds

The OktoLab project interrogates the octopus from a range of perspectives in Animal Studies, contemporary art, biological sciences, and literature through exhibitions and symposia. The project was initiated in 2017 as an international collaboration between Dr Yvette Watt (UTAS), and Dr Andre Krebber and Maike Riedinger (University of Kassel, Germany), with the team was expanded to include Dr Toby Juliff (UTAS) and independent curator Anne Hölck.

The project proposes the octopus as a powerful global subject for modelling interdisciplinary research across the arts, humanities, and the sciences. The OktoLab19 exhibition, which took place 13 December 2019 – 25 January 2020, is the first major outcome of the project, with a second iteration of the exhibition to take place in Cologne in September 2020. The octopus’ intelligence, adaptability, and resilience were examined and tested across a broad range of creative and speculative processes, including symposia in both Hobart and Germany, presenting a model for global research that is collaborative and interdisciplinary.

Discover more about the OktoLab Project

School of Creative Arts and Media Researchers:

Dr Yvette Watt

Dr Toby Juliff

Partners

OktoLab has been funded by successful applications to Universities Australia/DAAD (German Australian Academic Exchange Program), the Australia Council for the Arts, the Regional Arts Fund (Tasmania) and the North-Rhine Westfalia Arts Foundation.

Co-curators Dr Andre Krebber and Maike Riedinger (University of Kassel, Germany), and independent curator Anne Hölck.

The National Sonic Research Facility (NSRF) aims to put Australia at the forefront of international research into sonic ecology, a discipline seeking to understand how we interrelate aurally with our environment, and how the sonic environment triggers our actions and reactions. The NSRF offers research possibilities across a range of key multidisciplinary areas including sonic ecology, medicine (well-being, dementia and aged care), design and built environment, music performance practice, digital media/immersive sound and information/communication technologies.

The NSRF is located in Hobart’s newest major infrastructure development, the Hedberg.

School of Creative Arts and Media Researchers:
Associate Professor Andrew Legg

Design by Liminal Architecture with WOHA. Renders by Doug & Wolf

Image credit:
Design by Liminal Architecture with WOHA. Renders by Doug & Wolf

Image credit:
Installation of the API recording console into the Recording Suite, Hedberg. Rob Long (UTAS Associate Lecturer, Music Technology) and Radovan Maricic, Head Engineer/Installation, with API, USA.

Research Degrees

The University of Tasmania was the first to offer studio-based art PhDs and Masters degrees by research and has a reputation as one of the premier research training institutions. A strong research degree culture attracts significant scholarship support and high-quality national and international candidates, guided by regular supervisor contact, research methods training, weekly critiques and twice-yearly research symposia.

To discuss our research program further, please contact our Associate Head Research, Dr Carolyn Philpott.

To find out about application procedures, entry requirements, and scholarships, refer to College of Arts, Law and Education Research Degrees.

Affiliated research centres and units