Dr. Joanna Griffin

Transtechnology Research,
Room B312 Portland Square,
University of Plymouth,
Drake Circus,Plymouth,
PL4 8AA.
Joanna Griffin is an artist from the UK where she has held teaching posts at the University of Southampton and also at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Ireland. She has an MA in Fine Art from Edinburgh University and an MA in Hypermedia Studies from the University of Westminster. Her work has been shown internationally in galleries and film festivals including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, but has more recently taken place in public contexts such as radio, participative events, education and project leadership. Her research into the material and immaterial manifestations of satellite networks has been carried out at the University of British Columbia and during an International Arts Council England Fellowship at the Space Science Lab, UC Berkeley.

PhD research:
Changing Space: the social and experiential culture of spacecraft and the public domain.

The thesis will explore narratives of culture around the technology of satellite networks. It will look at the connections people in general have with spacecraft and the specific experiences of those in the field of developing these technologies, such as visits to launch sites and communicating with objects in outer space. These are significant determinants that shape technological form, which have not been adequately investigated or valued in this area. Revealing this seam of determination may influence future development of space technologies.

This is an interdisciplinary study that uses the compelling cultural associations and poetics of orbital space to open the imagination of Science and Engineering. Through practice-based research combining new media art practice, participative events and projects in education, as well as ethnographic research, it will examine the material and immaterial manifestations of satellite technology. In particular it will look at the mental spaces created by a technology that is out of sight – the poetic and imaginative space, the political space and social space of the orbital environment. It will explore what is meant by culture in this context, and ask whether there can be said to be a culture of space. It will also ask who has an impact on the design of this space and who does not? How can, and are, shifts being made that transfer the narratives of this technology into a discursive, conversational, imaginative public domain?

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‘Satellite Stories’ performed at Cube Cinema, Bristol for You and Your Work September 2007

Publications, presentations, exhibitions