Wimbledon School of Art is one of the United Kingdom's leading independent specialist art and design schools with an international reputation for innovation in research and pedagogy in the creative visual arts. The School supports a broad range of research activities in fine art, theatre design and related fields including performance and audio arts, and increasingly in the emerging areas of creative practice in new technology and interactive network arts. The School was the first art institution in the UK to connect to the Internet 2-3 network. This high-speed link enables full-scale, real-time artistic experimentation, with sufficient bandwidth for the interactive transmission of television-quality images and sound to long-distance correspondents. This is the beginning of a permanent network for artistic, educational and cultural experimentation that will have a major impact on the evolution of this important new means of communication.
Wimbledon School of Art launched the first broadband, experimental interactive network in December of 2001, linking initially to Ryerson University in Toronto and Le Fresnoy post-graduate centre in Lille, France, with other international partnerships subsequently being developed. A description of the event can been seen at the site of Synth/Ops, the MARCEL partner laboratory at Ryerson University. Synth/Ops
The candle is being transmitted from Toronto to Wimbledon where the flame is being manipluted by the sound of a drummer in London. The audience in London could see in real time the effect of sound on the candle flame.
The School is actively involved in the development of the MARCEL digital interactive network to extend the concept of artistic exploration of high bandwidth networks made possible through advances in video, computer and telecommunications technology. Collaborative on-line projects are organised to bring the visual and performing arts into a new interactive network space for artistic experimentation, encouraging the synthesis of the performing arts with the plastic arts.
Wimbledon School of Art is one of the artistic partners in ALTERNE, and has a team of researchers dedicated to the development of tools for experimentation and use in the network space. Once these tools have been developed, the School also is able to provide a testing ground in a dynamic and changing creative environment with staff and students exploring new means of communication and interactivity in creative practice and research. Wimbledon School of Art is also working on the dissemination platform for the development of virtual story-telling scenarios, exploring the possibility for interactive and mediated network narratives.
It was because of the MARCEL Network and work with the hihg bandwidth network that Wimbledon was invited to be part of the ALTERNE project. The creation of the MARCEL Network was made possible by an Arts and Humanities Research Board three-year grant to Don Foresta and the WSA which started in 2000.
Don Foresta, Project Director at WSA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Don Foresta is a research artist and theoretician in art using new technologies as creative tools. He is a specialist in art and science whose principal work in the field, "Mondes Multiples", will soon be published in a second edition in English. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Wimbledon School of art in London and professor at the Ecole Nationale Supèrieure d'Arts - Paris/Cergy.
He has been working for over 20 years in developing the network as an artistic tool and is presently building a permanent high band-width network, MARCEL
Born in Buffalo, New York, Foresta graduated in 1961 from the University of Buffalo with a BA in American History and Government. The same year he entered the US Foreign Service and served in diplomatic posts in Africa, Washington, and finally Paris, France. In 1971 he received his Master's Degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and his doctorate, summa cum laude, in Communication Science from the University of Paris 2 - the Sorbonne.
He also developed the series of Souillac Conferences in that French city, bringing together artists, specialists in art and communication, industry and government to debate and develop projects in common in the field: those results can be seen at the MIT Press site at:
He created a major conference on art and science in Prague with the Council of Europe under the presidency of Vaclav Havel in 1996. That publication is available from the Council of Europe. A second such conference was organized with Benoit Mandelbrot, "father of fractal geometry", at the Rockefeller Foundation Conference Center in Bellagio in November, 2001.
Foresta was a fellow at the MIT Center for Advance Visual Studies and has received several awards, among them, the US Foreign Service Meritorious Honor Award and the Director's Award for Outstanding Creativity. He was named "Chevalier" of the Order of Arts and Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. Foresta has both US and French nationalities.
relevant website : www.mmmarcel.org
Gabriella Kardos, Project Co-ordinator at WSA
Gabriella Kardos is an artist whose work has recently moved from painting to digital photography installation. She has been directly involved in the development and inauguration of the MARCEL project over the last several years, more directly in the artistic content and cooperation since its beginning.
Kardos has been a faculty member and taught art theory in the Department of Painting and Drawing of Concordia University (Montreal) and painting in the MA Fine Arts Department of Norwich University (Vermont, USA).
Her paintings form part of private and public collections, such as the Quebec Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec, Canada) and the Czech Museum of Fine Arts (Prague). Her first digital art work (1998), "Swimming and Falling" - an installation involving parallel projections of digitally manipulated paintings set to animation was shown at High Definition, a British Council Exhibition in Hong Kong which toured in 20 countries. In 1999 her documentary CD ROM From the Village Council to the Negotiating Table - Women in Peace Building, commissioned by International Alert to launch a global campaign for peace was shown at The Hague Appeal for Peace and the United Nations General Assembly (New York).
Grzesiek Sedek, Technical Co-ordinator at WSA
Grzesiek Sedek was born in Warsaw, Poland where he studied Electronics and then Physics on the UW. An Open Source and Linux enthusiast he has prevoiusly worked on System Programming, Multimedia, Video, Animation, E-commerce, B2B Integration and Network Security. He currently maintains the Access Grid node at Wimbledon School of Art and is actively involved in the development of the MARCEL high bandwidth network. His other interests include Music, Performance and Interactive Installation. One of his collaborative works was exhibited at the 2001 London Biennial.
Briony Pope, ALTERNE website manager
Briony Pope has over 6 years of professional Internet experience in both London and Paris working as a project manager for Multinational blue-chip organisations. She was a one of a team of three who set-up the Paris subsidiary of Proxicom Inc, one of the 'Little Five' e-business consultancy firms (responsible for recruiting, setting up the production teams and structuring the delivery capability of the business plan). She is a Biochemistry graduate from Oxford University and a sculptor who works across a variety of mediums from traditional to new media, exploring scientific understanding and beliefs in a figurative context.
Allan Walker, Vice Principal, Academic
Allan Walker is the Vice Principal, Academic at Wimbledon School of Art and is responsible with the Director of Research for the development of research strategy and the School's research projects. He has a twenty year track record in art and design research and practice and in 1999 was the co-founder of EYECON, a research and publishing unit dedicated to the integration of digital media with other forms of fine art print practice. He has since left WSA to be Deputy Director and Director of Academic Development at the Glasgow School Of Art.
Naren Barfield, Director of Research
Dr Naren Barfield is the Director of Research at Wimbledon School of Art, and an artist and researcher with a history of innovation in creative practice and new technologies. He runs the Research Centre at the School, and is responsible for the strategic development of staff research and research degree programmes, in addition to promoting partnerships with major UK and international organisations. He has particular research interests in the development of new technologies, networks, and art and science collaborations. He has since left WSA to be Head of Research at the Glasgow School Of Art.