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Parameters and Constraints as Tools for Creativity and Research: Testimony from the Art/Academy Interface

Talk by Alan O'Leary, University of Leeds

2018.12.04 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Tue 22 Jan
Time 11:00 13:00
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. SKous vej 4, Building 1483-312




Parametric approaches (variously described in terms of ‘constraint satisfaction’, ‘obstructions’, ‘oblique strategies’ etc.) to the design and performance of tasks are an attested stimulus to creativity. Research by IMC members, for example, has investigated the productive role of constraints in the design of tasks intended to develop creative skills (Dove, Biskjaer, Lundqvist, Falk Olesen & Halskov 2017). The productive role of parametric approaches in research has perhaps been less discussed. In this presentation, I discuss the importance of constraint satisfaction approaches to two activities in which I’m involved: ‘Parameters and Practice’ (https://parametersandpractice.leeds.ac.uk) is a year-long ‘meta-project’ intended to define the protocols for an equitable and collaborative mode of hybrid artistic/academic work; while ‘videographic criticism’ (the making of video essays) is an increasingly popular mode of undertaking and communicating research about film and other audiovisual media. In considering their generative capacity I will describe parametric approaches as  a form of ‘material thinking’ and I will gesture to some of their implications for the decentring of individual ‘self-expression’ in our conceptualization of creativity.​


Alan O'Leary, Guest Professor 2018/19, Aarhus University. Professor of Film and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds​

Bio University of Leeds