Paul Liam Harrison
School of Fine Art
Visual Research Centre
Dundee Contemporary Arts
University of Dundee
152 Nethergate
DD1 4DY Dundee, Scotland
Telephone: (01382) 348065/348066
Fax: (01382)348105

Paper: "Cultural Exchange through Collaborative Practice"

In response to the theme of the conference this paper will address issues of culture and exchange through the experience of collaborative practice. I will discuss this as a working methodology in the context of integrated print production projects which cross the particular disciplines of art and science.

Through my role as Research Assistant at the University of Dundee Visual Research Centre I am involved with the management and production of a variety of print projects mostly through the medium of screenprint and mostly involving levels of collaborations with other artists, designers, architects and research specialists from a range practices. This presentation will focus on several recent collaborative projects in which I have been working with biomedical researchers in the fields of genetics and cell function.

These projects have involved collaborative working relationships with scientists at the University of Dundee Biocentre, the Human Genetics Unit, Medical Research Council (MRC), Edinburgh, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), New York and social scientists at the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics CESAGen) at the University of Cardiff. The print outcomes have been exhibited in galleries and at science conferences and have featured in several science journals such as Nature Reviews Genetics. I have recently been invited to present them at the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) annual conference in Kyoto, CESAGen annual conference at the Royal Society, London and the Dynamic Organization of Nuclear Function conference at CSHL, New York.

These projects form a central element of my practice but are also integral case studies in my PhD research. This study is an investigation into a print practice as a methodology for transferring raw data to the public domain. It aims to explore methodology and process involved in the visualization of knowledge production through collaborative image making practice.

As a medium that can function simultaneously as a traditional process and a partner to new technology, screenprint can be viewed as a particularly versatile medium for such integrated collaborative projects. Issues raised in this paper will cover questions as to the future role of the artist in such a process at a time when information and technology are becoming increasingly complex and the role of the scientist at a time when demands for transparency increase their responsibility to make research more easily accessible to a wider public.

PAUL HARRISON is a multi media and cross disciplinary artist with a background and prevailing interest in print, printmaking and publishing. His practice inherently combines the use of traditional methods and materials with new and developing technologies. Paul graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art with an honours degree in Fine Art, specializing in printmaking, (1994) and subsequently, after a concentrated period of study in Barcelona (1995), from Winchester School of Art with a Masters degree in European Fine Art. During 1996-98, he also played a central role as co founder and subsequent committee member of Generator, ( a now successful and fully established arts organisation based in Dundee. Paul is currently studying part time as a practice based PhD research student as part of his appointment as research assistant at the recently founded Visual Research Centre, University of Dundee. ( He is based in the School of Fine Art publishing facility where he collaborates with artists and researchers on the conception and production of a variety of print projects including artists editioned books and print folios. Projects have included the production and management of 100 artworks/artists for the "Leabhar Mor/Great Book of Gaelic," commissioned by the Gaelic Arts Agency and published in full by Cannongate (2002). Also the "Higher Still (prints for schools)" project, the "Voices of Scotland" project for the new Scottish Parliament building and book and folio projects with artists such as Richard Long and Fiona Banner. His own research and practice has focused for several years now on developments made in and around the biosciences and in particular gene research. Working relationships and collaborations with scientists at laboratories such as the Human Genetics Unit, MRC, Edinburgh and the University of Dundee Biocentre have fuelled and informed the core of this work and continue to be integral to his investigation and practice.