De Tao-Node of the Planetary Collegium opened at the De Tao Masters Academy in Shanghai in 2015. It is the only node in Asia of this acclaimed international research network that was set up by Professor Roy Ascott at Plymouth University in 2003. The doctoral and post-doctoral research of the Collegium is carried out in the field of Technoetic Arts, involving a transdisciplinary approach to art, technology and consciousness research. It addresses the challenge of creating a syncretic art that explores telematics (planetary connectivity), nanotechnology (bottom up construction), quantum computing (augmented cyberception), cognitive science and pharmacology (field consciousness), and esoterica (psychic instrumentality). The rubric "Technoetic Arts" brings together new and emergent ideas, attitudes and practices, integrating creativity, technology and the mind, in one composite term.
DeTao-Node of Planetary Collegium of Plymouth University invites you, as a creative and forward-thinking artist, designer, theorist, curator or scholar, to join in our research community, where you will be encouraged to work across disciplines, develop innovative practice, deepen your critical and theoretical understanding, and engage constructively with our team of influential research supervisors. Here you will enjoy the unique atmosphere of an art/science research culture that supports creative and critical thought and practice, expanding your mind, and extending your skills, in the pursuit new knowledge, and in preparation to shape the future.
Plymouth University is a public, world-class university ranking high in the Times Higher Education Supplement survey, whose roots go back more than 150 years. The Planetary Collegium is consistently recognized as one of the premier platforms in the world for doctoral and postdoc research in the field of art, technology and consciousness, and was the 2011 recipient of the award of the World Universities Forum for Best Practice in Higher Education.
At present, Planetary Collegium Nodes are situated in Trento, Italy (T-Node), in Lucerne, Switzerland (NGL-Node), and in Shanghai (DeTao-Node). The Nodes orbit around the CAiiA-Hub (the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in Integrative Arts) based in Plymouth, complementing and reinforcing each other in an integrated research network. Currently, the Planetary Collegium has over 80 PhD graduates, prominent figures in their field, most of whom are professors at leading universities, directors of media arts institutions, and internationally recognised practitioners and theorists.
China's unique history of Taoist thought, practical invention, artistic sensibility, and social innovation, with its currently burgeoning economy, and leadership in international affairs, provide both the need and the framework for centres of excellence that can teach, research, embody and distribute new approaches to art, to knowledge, and to technological creativity. Advanced educational institutions are needed in China today that can prepare students for leadership in this creative endeavor: rethinking how art is made, what issues art addresses, where art is seen, how art is acquired, and why art is valued. New institutions should be seen as creative organisms, incubators of new art, promoting innovation of purpose, method, structure, and output.
As nations and countries undergo change and development, whether commercial, industrial or technological, the artist is needed to give expression to the dreams, fears, anxieties, and desires of their people, just as the individual seeks the skills and opportunities to formulate their visions of the future, and of themselves. A new art education must serve these ideals. This is the mission of the Studio of De Tao Master Roy Ascott. This is the rational guiding the development of the joint SIVA•DeTao Advanced degree programme in Technoetic Arts: knowing, thinking, and building are at the poles of its construction; analysis, theory, social application, and speculation, are its orientations, with behaviour, identity, process and system, interaction and transformation guiding its objectives. Relative to the art school standard model, the methodology is radical, and responsive to cultural change and contemporary aspirations, while its principles remain true to the values and virtues of education universally. This is true also of the doctoral research programme of the Planetary Collegium's DeTao-Node, which awards the Plymouth (UK) PhD.
Art is entering a new era: its ways of making, showing, distributing, financing, collecting, and evaluating, are fluid and unfixed. The historical stream from classicism to postmodernism, and beyond, has bifurcated into a speculative pluralism of purpose, attitude and aesthetics. Computational systems mean that the techniques and processes of creation are massively extended. And the impact of social media is increasingly felt on the nature of the art experience. Search engines and data banks mean that art students become much more navigators of knowledge than simply instructed recipients. To the role of curator, museum director, display engineer, is added the web designer, professional blogger, and digital archivist. New financial models and economic strategies are required for the artist to continue to prosper, and for art in society is to have a sustainable future. The rhetoric of creative industries marketing may not be entirely adequate to address these challenges, which come from the depths of cultural and technological transformation. Students are at the cutting edge of this process, and their experience of the De Tao Master Roy Ascott Studio programme will provide them with the flexibility of mind and adaptability of attitude that will enable them to pursue a successful, and remunerative future.
De Tao Master Roy Ascott has assembled a team that is engaged in building his Technoetic Arts Studio as a creative matrix of adaptation, evolution, and dissemination, providing a model for the whole art educational spectrum in China, and abroad. In this vision, the future is now, and it is technoetic creativity that is at the cutting edge of art, incorporating advanced technology, and understandings of consciousness that are both neurological and spiritual. Technoetics frames both teaching and research, and their practical and productive applications. The Tao of Technoetic Art offers a pathway to a holistic creativity that will enhance both individual and corporate production and innovation.
New ways of understanding, experiencing and managing emergent forms of artistic and cultural expression call for new forms of critical discourse, with theory playing its part, instrumentally and intellectually. Hence, terms such as cybernetics, bio art, moistmedia, cyberception, hypercortex, telenoia, along with interactivity, distributed authorship, telematics, are entering the vocabulary of art, serving to refresh and renew art school curricula. Technoetic Arts brings together all these new and emergent ideas, attitudes and practices, by integrating the sense of creativity, technology and the mind in one composite term.
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