by Jaroslav Anděl
Contrary to initial expectations, social media brought about growing social fragmentation, which is further amplified by knowledge specialization and technological acceleration. This trend appears at odds with the interconnectedness and complexity of today’s world and results in a polarization of society unseen since the 1930s.
The Transdisciplinary Serendipity Research Program seeks to explore opportunities for creating transdisciplinary communities and their transformative effects. Unlike interdisciplinary research driven by the effort to streamline knowledge production and increase its output, this endeavor focuses on the transformative function of learning and knowledge in public space, i.e., on their civic dimension.
The research program seeks to connect people and organizations from different backgrounds on local and international levels while harnessing the specific cognitive capacity of art to foster imagination across disciplines. The first phase of the project consists of building and connecting networks by meeting artists, scientists, activists in different cities (Prague, New York, Chicago, Helsinki, Strasbourg, Madrid, among others). The research program benefits from an exhibition project on art and radical pedagogy which travels in Europe and the U.S., pursuing similar goals. It also takes advantage of other opportunities to meet people from different fields and organization such as conferences, workshops, and discussions (IHME Contemporary Art Festival in Helsinki; meetings of the Subcommittee for Cultural and Creative Industries of the Government Council for Economic Growth, Prague; the round table “How People and Society Can Succeed in the 21st Century”, Department of the Government Council for Sustainable Development, Prague; Amplify Arts Learning Summit: Access, Equity, Agency, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago; the round tables “Reimagining Learning for an Inclusive Economy”, The New School for Social Research in New York; Alternative Curatorial Actions: New Narratives in Museums, Museo Thyssen Bonemisza & Complutense University, Madrid).
Serendipity: The faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.
Transdisciplinarity: The research strategy that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries and seeks to integrate the humanities and the natural sciences into a broader approach.