Professor dr. Michael Punt
University of Plymouth,
Transtechnology Research is a transdisciplinary research group situated in the Faculty of Arts. Its constituency is drawn from historians, philosophers, anthropologists, artists and designers and is led from a historical and theoretical perspective with the objective of understanding science and technology as a manifestation of a range of human desires and cultural imperatives. Its aim is to provide a doctoral and post-doctoral environment for researchers who need to undertake academic research informed by their own and others creative practice. Its overarching research project concerns the philosophical aspects of science and technology and the history of popular arts.
The key objective is to understand the significance of creative agency in the process of technology acquiring meaning both before, and after, it enters into the public domain. Using a range of practice and theory based methods, the group is concerned to make apparent evidence of human desire and cultural imperatives as they are manifested in the way that science and technology is practiced, innovated by entrepreneurs and interpreted by its users. Topics currently being researched concern the historical and philosophical aspects of nineteenth century media and contemporary digital technology, early cinema and the technological imaginary, the interaction between experimental, advertising and amateur film in the mid twentieth century, perceptual aspects of audio-visual media, intellectual property and creativity; cognitive issues in design, affective interaction and instrumentation, space and the representation of the sublime, software ubiquity and affect, sustainable design in Amazon communities, the political and social significance of space exploration in the Indian context.
In this context it is leading a three year research project funded under the HERA JRP call ‘Humanities as a Source of Creativity and Innovation’ in collaboration with the VU University, Amsterdam, the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, the Eye Film Institute Netherlands and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. It also currently holds doctoral and post-doctoral research grants from UK, EU, Brazilian and Portuguese Research Councils.
Transtechnology Research is a constituent member of the Cognition Institute, Plymouth University, involving a wide consortium of researchers with international recognition in the areas of cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, cognitive robotics, cognitive development and behavioural change in psychology, creative arts and humanities. It is also the UK editorial office of Leonardo and the international office of Leonardo Reviews (www.leonardo.info) and Leonardo Reviews Quarterly.