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Our Collaboratories aim to produce transdisciplinary spaces for sharing ideas, data, artefacts, tools, techniques, media, software and concepts related to collective research interests, practices, and expertise. These live and online events aim to foster connections between scholars and practitioners in the arts, humanities, and sciences by working towards collaborative research initiatives, activities, exhibitions, and publications. Brief descriptions of our Collaboratories (past and future) are listed here. 


The Sensory Life of Babies Collaboratory

Wednesday December 9th, 2020, 12:00-4:00

This Collaboratory will focus on past and present theories regarding the sensory capacities of infants. The event will be an open forum to discuss the use of current sensor technologies in early childhood research, and an opportunity to discuss relevant data from various projects. Please contact if interested in participating remotely.

The Mixed Reality Collaboratory

Tuesday October 8th, 2019, 12:00-4:00pm

Contributors: Toby Heys, David Rousell, Liz de Freitas,  Roger McKinley, Sarah Walker, David Jackson, Nicola Ray, Marsha Courneya, Leah Greene, Geoff Walton, Christine MacRae

The Mixed Realities Collaboratory will explore the dynamic intersections between immersive media environments and sensory technologies. Bringing together members of MMU’s School of Digital Arts (SODA) and the Biosocial Lab, the Collaboratory will focus on four primary objectives: 1) developing elements of a multi-sensory tool box for constructing, modulating, and evaluating immersive environments; 2) sketching the contours of an immersive/sensory methodological framework, with wide-ranging applications across different disciplinary, ethical, and onto-epistemological orientations; 3) experiment with evaluating user experiences of current prototypes/works in progress (e.g. Forever Project VR) using sensory technologies and media; and 4) explore possibilities for future collaboration on immersive media projects (e.g. M-Care). The Collaboratory will be framed by shared readings focusing on both the practical and theoretical dimensions of immersive mixed realities and sensory technologies. 

The Suspensions Collaboratory

Friday September 6th, 2019 11am-4pm

Organisers: David Rousell (Biosocial Lab) and Catharine Cary (SenseLab/RCA),

with Agata Kik and Ania Mokrzycka (Irruptive Chora/RCA)

Suspensions can be characterised as passages, cracks, intervals, and interstices within the institutionally gridded space-times of neoliberal capitalism. Suspensions can be both physical and conceptual, extensive and intensive, embodied and incorporeal, infrastructural and atmospheric. They invite us to attend to passages of experience that are complicit with the inheritance of social ordering, and yet resistant to regimes of spatio-temporal compliance and control. “The causal independence of contemporary occasions is the ground for freedom within the Universe” (Whitehead, 1933/1967, p. 198).


We might think of intimate, everyday suspensions like daydreaming on a train, walking to work, waiting for water to boil, or for a child to fall asleep. We can also consider more widely distributed suspensions such as block parties, picnics, community gardens, mobile sound systems, street performances, ruins, free spaces, autonomous zones, meet-ups, hangouts, jams, squats, celebrations of all kinds. Suspensions may temporarily prise open some physical and conceptual elbow-room for experimenting with techniques of hanging out and hanging in.  While techniques of hanging out orientate toward the keen enjoyment of a collective event experiencing its own passage, techniques of hanging in may tend more to practices of staying with - as a readiness to give, endure, sustain, and coalesce in response to unjust and intolerable socio-ecological crises. 

The Suspensions Collaboratory invites you to join us for a series of artful, participatory experiments with hanging in and hanging out in the Lab, Brooks building, Hulme, and surrounds. The Collaboratory follows from the Suspensions (London->Manchester) event and radio broadcast from a commuter train on September 5th, as part of the SenseLab's international Minor Movements events. 

The Environmental Arts Collaboratory

Shifting Atmospheres, Pedagogies, and Temporalities

Tuesday January 22nd, 2019 from 10:00am -5:00pm, Biosocial Lab and Birley Art Gallery   


Contributors: David Rousell (MMU), Michael Gallagher (MMU), Laura Trafi-Prats (MMU), Liz de Freitas (MMU), Maggie MacLure (MMU), Gabrielle Ivinson (MMU), Ricardo Nemirovsky (MMU), Christina MacRae (MMU), Riikka Hohti (University of Helsinki), Jonas Fritsch (IT University Copenhagen), Derek McCormack (Oxford University), Sophie Hedderwick (Birmingham City University), Jamie Mcphie (University of Cumbria), Dave Clarke (University of Edinburgh)


As a time typified by climate change, biodiversity loss, toxic embodiment, and ubiquitous technological mediation, the Anthropocene calls for a renewed and expanded .mobilisation of the environmental arts under rapidly changing ontological conditions. We define the environmental arts broadly for this purpose, with an emphasis on critical and creative modes of activity that take up “environment” as both medium and milieu for generating new forms of experience. The Environmental Arts Collaboratory explored this shifting theoretical and practical topography through a one-day event at the Biosocial Research Lab and Birley Art Gallery. 

The Collaboratory emerges from the Local Alternatives project, which explores new ways of sensing and conceptualising local environments in collaboration with young people, community arts organisations, galleries, and museums. The Collaboratory included installations, performances, and creative propositions from scholars and artists currently engaging with shifting concepts of atmosphere, pedagogy, and temporality in the environmental arts, as well as collaborative work towards funding proposals and future research initiatives associated with the Local Alternatives project. 



The Sonic Collaboratory

Thursday February 15th, 2018 from 11:00am -1:00pm in the Biosocial Lab (room 2.52) 

The Sonic Collaboratory was organised to coincide with Walter Gershon’s visit to ESRI in mid-February 2018, and focused on the sharing of sonic data, artefacts, tools, techniques, media, and concepts. Participants brought one or more of these ‘sonic pieces’ along to the collaboratory for others to experience and respond to. The first part of the event involved sharing our sonic pieces, and the second part involved the development of collaborative activities, initiatives, and outputs based on our collective interests in sound.

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