Dr. Hannah Drayson [BA (Hons), MSc, Ph.D]
Co-convenor Transtechnology Research and Lecturer in Digital Art and Technology/Immersive Media Design at the University of Plymouth
I am an intermedia artist and researcher based in the School of Art and Media at Plymouth University. I co-convene the Transtechnology Research group, and supervise Doctoral Research within Transtechnology Research and as part of the Marie Curie funded CogNovo ITN. I am an associate editor of Leonardo Reviews, part of Leonardo, Journal of the Arts Sciences, and Technology.
My current research is informed by a combination of transdisciplinary theoretical and practice-based research focusing on the theme of the imagination, materiality and the body. My work is particularly focussed on the techniques that are used to mobilise or support the imagination to productive effects, in particularly in therapeutic and medical settings, but also in the contemporary arts. In addition to reflecting on the methodological concerns and affordances of working with the imagination as a medium, I am currently pursuing a number of research themes around this concept, in particular concepts in philosophy and turn-of-the-century psychology such as ideo-plasticity and the material imagination.
Drayson, H., (2017) “Bootstrapping, creativity and neologism; academic writing and the cybernetic investigator” AVANT, 8, 35–43. doi: 10.26913/80s02017.0111.0004
–(2017) “Design(ing) and the placebo effect; a productive idea”. Design Issues. [In press] https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/handle/10026.1/10095
Chapters in edited books
–2009. “Constructed Bodies; can biomedical instruments become tools of self-perception?” in New Realities, Being Syncretic, 2009, Ascott et al. (eds), Springer: Wein/New York.
–2017. “Debunking the Self; Jastrow, Münsterberg and the Automatograph In: Rüdiger Steinmetz (ed.) Munsterberg Life, Universitätsverlag/Leipzig University Press. [In press].
–2018 “Staring into the Dark”, In: Punt and Drayson (eds.) The Double Existence of Light. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. [Contracted for June 2018].
Books and Special Issues
–With Punt, M. (eds.) The Double Existence of Light. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press (contract signed for 2018).
–2017. With Denham et. al. (eds) Off the Lip. Special Issue for Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies. [In press]
–2017. “All kinds of magic; instrumental representations of mind-body medicine as a way to make things happen”. (2017) At Creative Encounters with Science and Technology. Legacies, Imaginaries and Futures, at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016. February 18-19th 2017.
–2017. “Cognitive innovation, bootstrapping and neology.” Off the Lip 3; Cogntive Innovation. Plymouth University, UK.
–2017. “Being fooled on purpose; historical reflections on the voluntary and involuntary in experimental manipulations of embodiment and agency”. Understanding Social Cognition, Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies, 3rd Avant Conference, Centre for the Meeting of Cultures. Lublin. (20-22 October 2017).
–2016. “Debunking the Self; Jastrow, Münsterberg and the Automatograph”. A hundred Years of Film Theory. Münsterberg and Beyond: Concepts, Applications, Perspectives, Leipzig University, Leipzig, 29th June 2016 – 2nd July 2016.
–2016. Induction Ritual as Creative Practice. Conference Paper. Performance of the Real; Ritual and Cultural Performance Hui and Symposium. University of Otago. April 14th & 15th 2016
–2008. Tahiroglu, K., Drayson, H., and Erkut, C., “An Interactive Bio-Music Improvisation System”. ICMC 2008 (International Computer Music Conference) Belfast, Ireland.
Invited Talks and Papers Read
–2017. “All kinds of magic; instrumental representations of mind-body medicine as a way to make things happen”. At Creative Encounters with Science and Technology: Legacies, Imaginaries and Futures conference at Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kerala, India.
–2017. Hypnosis as critical artistic practice, at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, India.
–2017. “We can remember it for you wholesale; Discipline and Reward”, Arts Institute Digital Memory Symposium. University of Plymouth. 16th January 2017.
–2017. “The experience of spontaneity: Authenticity and process suggestions;”. Unconscious Memory Network Seminar Series; TORCH, Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.
–2015. Morning coffee telling and imagination games. Interactive artist’s talk. 18th April 2015. At NIMAC (Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre) http://nimac.org.cy/archives/
–2012. Keynote, International Symposium of Innovation in Interactive Media. Hosted by Media Lab/UFG, Goiânia, Brazil.
–2017. “Rituals by Vincent Moon”, Leonardo. 50:1, 100-101.
–2016. “Delete: A Design History of Computer Vapourware” Leonardo 49:1, 94-94
–2014. “Doctored: The Medicine of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America by Tanya Sheehan.” Leonardo 47:2, 187-188.
–2013. “When Biometrics Fail: Gender, Race, and the Technology of Identity by Shoshana Amielle Magnet.” Leonardo, 46:2, 187-189.
–2012. “Players Unleashed! Modding The Sims and the Culture of Gaming by Tanja Sihvonen.” Leonardo 45:5, 491-493.
–2013. The Rhetoric of Instrumentation: Objectivity, Instrumental Rationality and Affect. Transtechnology Research Reader 2012/13; Deep History, Contingency and the Sublime.
–2011. “‘Imagine Being Slapped’, Physiological Instrumentation, Ontology, and the Placebo Effect”. Transtechnology Research Reader 2011-12.
–2011. Gestalt Biometrics; Instrumentation, Objectivity and Poetics. Ph. D. Thesis, University of Plymouth.
External Engagement/Enterprise Activity
–2006-ongoing: Associate Editor Leonardo Reviews.
–2014-17: External Examiner BA Constellation, Cardiff Metropolitan University.
–2014-17: External Examiner MA Art and Design, Cardiff Metropolitan University
–2015-: Reader/Referee for Leonardo: Journal of the Arts, Sciences and Technology.
–2016: Reviewer for FWT Austria PEEK (Programme for Arts based Research) .
–2017: Reviewer for FWT Austria PEEK Awards.
Research Degree Completions
Dr. Joanna Griffin, (Transtechnology Research). Changing Space: The Social and Experiential Culture of Spacecraft and the Public Domain (2014).
Edith Doove, (Transtechnology Research). Exploring the Curatorial as Creative Act. (2017)
Current PhD Supervision;
Eugenia Stamboliev, (CogNovo). Intimacy Issues. Towards a Media Archaeology of Intimacy (2014-)
Amani Alsaad, Art Therapy in a non-western context. (2015-
Edith Doove, Exploring the Curatorial as Creative Act. (2011-)
Guy Edmonds, (CogNovo). The Flicker Effect. (2014-)
Jane Hutchinson, (Trantechnology Research). Not me – not not me: concerning the mediation of dissolving actualities and performing self. (2014-)
Abigail Jackson, (Transtechnology Research). Technology and Human Interaction in Autism Movement Therapy (AHRC funded). (2014-)
Jacqui Knight, (CogNovo). The ‘frisson event’ a unified experience of simultaneity (2014-)
James Sweeting, (Transtechnology Research). The impact of technological constructivism on representation in videogames (2015-)
Rupert Allen: Geomapping and Crisis Response 2015-
Agatha Haines. (CogNovo). Ideas exchange: understanding the human object. (2015-)
Nicholas Peres. (Transtechnology Research). Immersive cinematics in medical simulation: interfaces for the patient voice (2014-)
Building on previous work creating instruction-based sound works and audio-visual performance, my current practice involves the exploration of tools such as hypnosis, suggestion and visualisation for the production of imagined experiences. I am currently in the process of building a practice exploring the use of hypnosis as an artistic medium (see Pascal Rousseau’s 2012 essay Under the Influence for an excellent discussion of hypnosis as a medium). I’m particularly interested in understanding in how different technologies are used (intentionally or not) to support or stimulate their user’s imagination: placebo treatments, lie detector tests, visualisations, images, and through that influence the anatomy, physiology or experience of embodiment.
Selected Performances – Portfolio http://cargocollective.com/hannahdrayson/
–2015. Take Me on a Trip to Cyprus and You Could Win a Dream Holiday, one-to-one performance presented at A+E Happenings, The Island, Bristol. 28th February 2015.
–2015. The Island of Nova Santos. Group visualisation performance. At Phaneromeris 70, Old City Nicosia. 9th-11th April, 2015, SuperNormal festival, Oxfordshire UK. 9th August, 2015.
EVETNEH || NEHEVET Nicosia Old City Tarot, presented at Phaneromeris 70, Old City Nicosia. 16th April, 2015.
–2015. I will buy your dreams. One-to-one performance. Port Eliot Festival, (as part of Ways With Weirds) Cornwall, July 30th – Aug 2nd 2015. SuperNormal festival (with A+E), Oxfordshire UK. 7th and 8th August, 2015.
–2012. Shokku A/V. Live visual performance. FAQ festival, Holland- http://www.faqfestival.nl/concerts.html
–2010. Shokku A/V. Live visual performance in collaboration sound designer Ben Hudson. BFI Stage at Big Chill Festival (2010) and BFI London.
2007-2011 Doctoral Research; Gestalt Biometrics and their Applications; Instrumentation, Objectivity and Poetics. Funded by the European Science Research Council (EPSRC).
Gestalt Biometrics combined transdisciplinary literature reviews with a computer science and engineering design approach, informed by perspectives from both arts and humanities and computer science. The research focus was upon biofeedback technologies, a group of sensors and methodologies which include a range of physiological instruments and the problem of holism and experimentation.
The intention of the project is to elucidate a critical and practice based response to the paradigms which surround contemporary sensing technologies as they are applied to the body. Rather than approach these instruments at face value, as objective devices, the project surveyed disciplines such as philosophy, science and technology studies, health psychology, parapsychophysiology and medical anthropology to look for alternative models of the human body that might be compatible with these technologies.
This project drew upon a combination of theoretical and practice-based research into the relationship between scientific instrumentation and the human body. Drawing on a range of literature from medicine and the medical humanities, anthropology, history, philosophy of science and technology the thesis contributed a practice-led and theoretically engaged account of human body sensing which argued that practice of human body sensing might be recalibrated, re-imagined and validated as a practice that is not inherently and specifically understood as one of objectively revealing, but as productive, active and poetic.