Puhlkari by Kira Bhumber. Photographer: Andrew Howell. Used with permission

Ground Works is a platform for exemplary arts-inclusive research projects and reflection on the processes that drive interdisciplinary collaboration.

Latest Collection

Vibrant Ecologies of Research

Editor: Aaron D. Knochel

What are the elements necessary to create a vibrant ecology of research where art and design inquiry may flourish alongside, within, and out of social and physical science research that is so deeply embedded within the fiber of research-oriented universities? In this special collection of Ground Works, the project work and commentaries explore vibrant ecologies of research, deepening our understanding of the institutional, social, and epistemological systems that effectively weave arts-based inquiry into the scholarly fabric of research.

August 2022 · 10.48807/2022.2.0001 · CC-BY-NC

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Announcements

Vibrant Ecologies of Research Wins Award from Council of Editors of Learned Journals
January 12, 2023

a2ru Ground Works has been honored by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) with its 2022 “Best Special Issue” award for Vibrant Ecologies of Research. T...

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Featured Articles

Cultural Engagements in Nutrition, Arts and Sciences (CENAS)

Tamara Underiner, Stephani Etheridge Woodson, Robert Karimi, and Seline Szkupinski Quiroga

Borrowing the Spanish word for “dinner,” CENAS is a transdisciplinary working group of scholars and artists developing, implementing and evaluating innovative approaches to healthy eating at the individual and community level, with arts practices at its center. Since 2012, CENAS has been involved with training, workshops, curriculum development, and research into the following questions: (1) Can the arts in general, and theatre-making in particular, empower individuals and communities to take charge of their health? (2) How does theatre-making relate to individual attitudinal and behavioral change? (3) What role does culture play in health? (4) Are the arts more effective in the long term than more traditional educational practices? Our research with young people and community health workers suggests that cooking together, combined with theatre-making activities, is linked positively to “I can do this” attitudes. We believe making theatre, more than merely watching it, is the key. We link the various components involved in making theatre together to factors identified by health scientists as necessary for attitudinal and behavioral change to occur. A growing body of research suggests the importance of culturally informed interventions in health promotion, yet most definitions of “culture” are pretty narrow. We are working to develop a more robust and nuanced accounting for cultural background as health asset, initially through embodied storytelling practices and theatre-making drawn from participants’ experiences of home cooking.

January 2018 · 10.48807/2020.0004

Choreografish: an arts-based, virtual reality, anxiety intervention for autism

Eric Handman, Roger Altizer, Cheryl Wright, and Greg Bayles

Choreografish is a participatory research project leveraging virtual reality, arts engagement, and design to collaborate with young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The research team was motivated by a combination of observations: that some people with ASD experience social anxiety and attendant difficulties accessing social art forms such as dance and choreography, and that some have a predilection for developing patterns as a way of exerting control and making meaning. University of Utah faculty in engineering, dance, and social science collaborated with young adults with ASD on a virtual reality (VR) prototype to explore if synchronizing motion patterns to music may actually play well to the advantages of some on the autism spectrum and lower the barrier to a creative arts experience. Might choreographing in virtual reality help some people with ASD to self-manage anxiety?

November 2020 · 10.48807/2020.0044

Unfolding the Genome

Gupi Ranganathan, Aiden Lab, and Erez Lieberman Aiden

From 2009-2011, we worked together at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Broad Institute, n.d.), building on a study (Lieberman-Aiden & Van Berkum et al., 2009) that made it possible to explore how the human genome, the DNA contained in every cell of the body, folds in 3D. At the outset of our collaboration, our approaches seemed so different as to be, perhaps, incommensurable. The scientists used tools like mathematics, computer science, and molecular biology, whereas the artistic toolkit was focused on the construction of physical objects, with a defined shape, area, and volume. Yet over time, we came to realize that all of these tools were addressing the same goal: making invisible concepts manifest as an experience intelligible to the senses. From the beginning of the project, we worked together creating drawings. Over time, our interactions evolved to become free-flowing conversations while drawing, which became a way of seeing together. Our visual experimentations grew into a body of drawings, paintings, prints, mixed-media artworks, wood blocks, a dynamic video installation, and a suspended wire sculpture (Ranganathan, 2021), and helped advance the scientific community’s understanding of how the human genome folds.

November 2021 · 10.48807/2021.0086 · CC-BY-NC-ND

Featured Commentaries

Author commentary on Machines That Dream

A Reflection on 'Machines that Dream'

Benjamin David Robert Bogart

My aim is not merely to make use of knowledge in cognitive neuroscience, but to contribute through the generative capacity of artistic practice. However, the work remains in limbo, unpublished in disciplinary contexts and merely summarized in interdisciplinary journals.

November 2020 · 10.48807/2022.1.0001

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Delight, because Ground Works is so young, and so many risks have been taken but not all of them have proven fruitful (yet), and it’s very satisfying to see confirmed our hunch that reviewing together could be a generative thing.

July 2021 · 10.48807/2022.1.0008

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