ESR 2 Blog February 2021: Piu-Wai Chan

Hello World

This is my first blog entry as one of the FEINART researchers. It is an absolute honour to be part of the program and I am thrilled to share my thoughts and my progress during my time in FEINART. I would like to kick off my first entry with some personal background, research experience and my plans for the program.

Personal Background and Research Experience

I initially came from a background in Painting, with 6 years of art education in Northern Ireland and North West England. Fascinated by the digital turn of artistic production, such as and new media art, I Iater studied at the Interface Cultures Master’s program in Austria, under the supervision of media artists Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau. During this period, I also enrolled at the science campus at Johannes Kepler University, where I was trained at the Department of Statistics and the Department of Computer Vision. This mixture of both art and science education truly turned my practice into a research-led, critical inquiry. Furthermore, as I was manoeuvring between independent art spaces, activist spaces, and hackerspaces in Europe, I became deeply involved with the discussion on techno-geo politics, which eventually led me to co-organise a one-day symposium and workshop, Poetics of Politics, with students from all disciplines, political scientists, philosopherts, feminist hackers and media artists. In 2018, I graduated with the thesis ‘Data-driven politics and Image Crafting’, where I investigated the construction and manipulation of a political image and its interrelationship with visual culture and digital media. It was later presented as a conference paper in the RIXC Art Science Festival in Riga.

My interest in art, technology and politics led me to hold research and teaching positions at The South China Morning Post, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. These positions offered first hand experience in both corporate and academic research methodologies, providing training in empirical and statistical research methods. However, what I am ultimately seeking is training and support in dialectical research methods, formulating a critique of mainstream, hegemonic research approach which has been shaped by dominant social systems. This formulates the quintessential foundation of my interest to join the FEINART program with the topic The Shift of the Art Studio as a Site of Production of Objects to the Studio as Research Hub or Social Forum.


(Very important. Hence, capital)


The goal of my research is to investigate how the artist-as-researcher informs emancipatory research methodologies. By understanding how the power structures between Studio, Artist, Knowledge and System are interconnected, forming a kind of iterative loop, feeding or suppressing each other, one can take back the control of knowledge production and exchange from the hegemony of traditional research methodologies.Then, we may re-balance power relations and resist the dominant system. Therefore, it is the interest of this research to investigate the artists-as-emancipated researcher model—formulating a counter hegemonic research approach, by deskilling and reskilling the researcher (Roberts 2007).

This is a crucial moment to challenge and transform the imbalance of power, as it has been revealed so brutally by the Covid-19 crisis. There is this brilliant interview of Naomi Klein on the importance of mobilising the power of the subjugated workers in the midst of the pandemic– ‘Whether it’s nurses sent to care for patients with COVID-19, without what they needed to keep themselves and their family safe, there are so many enraged workers out there right now, rightfully and righteously enraged. And there is power in that if we can mobilize it.’

Last Words

(Once the world returns to normal…) I plan to realize my research through field studies, interviews and hosting forums while working closely with the network of FEINART beneficiaries and POs( The University of Iceland, Zeppelin University and State of Concept Athens). I am excited to meet all the innovative, radical and unusual thinkers, artists, researchers and communities. And finally, I hope to perform with my band– AiDieDie ( was named after a bad joke, which is a story for another time)  during my travels too 😉


Hiu-Wai Chan

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