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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Hacking Horizon 2020

In my blog last week I mentioned that I would be undertaking a hack of Horizon 2020. In case you are not aware, Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s Framework Programme of research and development. It consists of many different specific research programmes and is run by the European Commission. If you do not know what hacking is, I will just limit my explanation to a few words – creative misuse. I leave you to discover for yourself, or not (depending upon your willingness to explore strange worlds, which in this case is that of art) what hacking is about, and to learn also the importance of this concept for innovation.

As part of this hack I have appointed myself as a Horizon 2020 artist and writer in residence! I have also appointed myself as Chief Artistic Advisor to the President of the European Commission!

I will be undertaking a number of artistic studies. Last week I announced that one subject of study would be Anne Clover who is currently Chief Scientific Advisor to the (outgoing) President of the European Commission. Her term of office also comes to an end when Barroso goes, and some will say good riddance to her as well. Others will not, especially the vested interests that she represents. Why this is so I will be exploring in my study of her. This particular study, I should point out, has a long history, for I have been examining the Anne Glovers of the world for close to 30 years. I am, one might say, an expert on Anne Glovers! Scientists construct theories and probes to explore nature and the universe, while I construct theories and probes to explore scientists! There is more to a building than its facade!

Other subjects of study include: the Research Executive Agency (often called REA); the Factory of the Future Public Private Partnership; the Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) initiative; agricultural policies and research and development activities; Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI); and of course ICT & ART CONNECT. Other topics may be added later.

The results of this work will appear in various novels and other artistic outputs, and towards the end of Horizon 2020 I plan to publish a book which will be an exegesis presenting an alternative picture of Horizon 2020 to the official one that will be presented by the European Commission, which is likely to be one of a highly successful Framework Programme. Recall the story of the emperor’s new clothes – I shall be acting as the little boy in that story and asking very awkward questions about these new clothes.

My proposed book will also demonstrate why Presidents of the European Commission need to have a Chief Artistic Advisor. And by way of the final outcome, I will propose a new Framework Programme – Horizon 2027 in which artists take over science and technology research and all scientists will be expected to use their know-how and skills to communicate the marvels of art to a public that seems not to understand art and its importance – clearly a case of a deficit in their thinking!

In future blogs I will also publish updates and preliminary results. Look out for these!

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