Spaces for Sharing
K n o w l e d g e

How do we connect through cross-disciplinary research in the future?

For researchers, artists and creative practitioners, working with collaborators outside of the discipline you’re trained in can be among the most constructive experiences of your career. It sparks our humility and curiosity, it forces us to ask questions, and it allows us to communicate our own strengths clear terms. The resulting projects from cross-disciplinary research and practice are invariably imbued with the multidisciplinary strengths of the participants. But getting to that point, having the opportunity to meet and work with people outside your area of expertise – people you don’t ‘share a corridor with’ - is sometimes difficult to manage.

Dr Suzie Fraser - Coordinator, CoVA
Prof Su Baker - Pro Vice-Chancellor, Community and Cultural Partnerships, University of Melbourne
Prof Aaron Corn - Director, Indigenous Knowledge Institute Science, University of Melbourne
Rose Hiscock - Director Museums and Collections, University of Melbourne
Prof Jackie Peel - Director, Melbourne Climate Futures

In dialogue with this presentation, we have included a link to an interview between CoVA Fellow Prof Nikos Papastergiadis and Indonesian art collective ruangrupa, directors of documenta fifteen. In the following extract from the article, ruangrupa expands on creating spaces for discussion, speculation and inclusion ‘without time limits’, highlighting the value of creating spaces for new modes of knowledge and resource sharing. This ties in well with this week's CoVA Dialogue, where the panel reflected on the need for new ideas around not only shared spaces of collaboration but also open timeframes for undertaking collaborative research, practice and, most importantly, conversation.

ruangrupa: The term “majelis” refers to a space where people sit side by side, sharing, discussing, speculating, solving problems, sharing food and humor without time limits. In Jakartan slang, the word “nongkrong” is used to describe this activity. It can even mean doing nothing collectively. Within aimless conversations between friends is a sense of mutually taking care of each other.

Another phrase is “musyawarah-mufakat,” an assembly that humbly gathers to make decisions for the sake of the common interest. The group doesn’t cast votes and go with the majority, but reaches consensus by talking things over. A musyawarah-mufakat can be held without a set time frame and is very open in nature. Another phrase, “gotong royong,” refers to a form of mutual cooperation among a number of people to carry out a task deemed useful for the common good. This phrase emphasizes the active participation of individuals in the community.
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Image: Thapar University Learning Laboratory / Mccullough Mulvin Architects + Designplus Associates Services. Photograph: Christian Richters