On December 5th and 6th, 2018, Audencia welcomed the event “Dysfunction Day”, funded by Audencia Foundation. This international colloquium gathered high-level researchers from the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Denmark and France. The theme was: how to expand the impact of research by drawing on art and art-based dissemination?
The initial idea behind the colloquium was that reaching out to society as a whole and to some specific audiences in particular, and demonstrating that research contributes to tackling and answering societal challenges, is a pending issue. Coping with the issue requires tackling pertinent messages, and looking for the right new medium and means. In this perspective, adopting different means for expressing, communicating, illustrating and shaping the research and its output is a question worth investigating. As powerful expression, art forms could be a means to expanding and improving the dissemination of research and its impact.
The Dysfunction Day colloquium is pioneering the field, as Philippe Mairesse and Catherine Morel the initiators of the project identified no previous initiative. Audencia Business School has for a historically strong focus on culture and art. Its partnership with the Nantes School of Design, or the new master in Management and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy are but some examples of this interest in broadening the scope of management in a sustainable perspective. The introduction of creative methods in pedagogy and programs was until now not often extended to research itself. We thus expect the colloquium to trigger initiatives and collaborations between researchers and artists.
Among the many presentations, Tatiana Chemi from Aalborg University (Denmark) presented her recent research on art-based pedagogy and led an interactive workshop based on the “cocktail-party effect”. Other researchers pointed at various uses of arts‐based methods, showing how it could expand the possibility addressing the complexities of context, and engage audience members by stimulating the senses and tapping into emotions. A dance workshop allowed the participants to experience issues of power and space, led by Brigitte Biehl Missal and the choreographer Katrin Kolo on Skype. We investigated the frontier between facts and fiction in movies and hi-tech R&D, and were introduced to creative embodied research methods for interdisciplinary research projects using the senses and the arts to think through ideas and generate innovative ways forward. Besides theoretical and political reflections about truth and the arts, the program included artistic performances at the intersection between social sciences and art, alongside researchers basing their research on their own artistic and creative skills. The debates were passionate and tackled several theoretical and practical issues about art-based dissemination of research such as: how to assess the quality of both the art form and the research output if they are mixed together.
The colloquium was based on the Dysfunction Journal, an open source academic and artistic publication launched in 2017 by Natalia Bobadilla (University of Normandy, PhD in Management), Antoine Lefebvre (Paris Panthéon Sorbonne, PhD Arts), and Philippe Mairesse (Audencia, Doctorate in Organization Theory and PhD Arts). The colloquium ended with a workshop where the participants produced their unique and personalized copy of Dysfunction by sampling and tapping into text and image excerpts from the conference.
Audencia Mediacampus was the perfect place for this event, given its interdisciplinary audience and its focus on the creative industries, with the lobby turned into an exhibition space and the Forum rooms used for the presentations.
A main output of the colloquium was the announcement of its continuation next year. The news was given by Bertrand Agostini: the 2019 colloquium will be held at the beginning of December in Nancy and funded by ICN Business School. Book the date!