Tag: artful leadership

Here are my sketches since 2019 of the creative paradigm of ‘artful leadership’: artful ways forward led by (neurodivergent) artists embedded within socio-political structures and multidisciplinary teams to catalyse change. This is also a call for a more inclusive and imaginative ecosystem.

May we become FAB PALS?

Love and leadership meets ethics meet counter-mapping meets finding /forming new alliances meets a re-imagination of my new home. FAB PALS is a new project I am leading, commissioned by Social Practice Lab by invitation, and funded by the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.

JOIN ME: Love-led Masters to Dismantle the ‘Master’s’ Story of Leadership

The following is a version of what I first published on Valentines Day on Instagram. It is a further example from my call for those in Higher Education and beyond to centre love in what / how we do, as shared in my recent op-eds.

02/2024: Looking for Love

In this op-ed published for the Valentine’s season on the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) blog, I am looking for and locating concepts and actions around a four-letter word – love. 

10/2023: Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Juror + Film Director

I was juror for the prestigious Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF)’s New Asian Currents in Japan. There will also be a showcase for my films, during which I will show How to Thrive in 2050 (2021, commissioned for BBC Culture in Quarantine) and Chlorine Addiction (2000, which was at the NAC in 2001 too, as well as multiple international showcases including Transmediale 2001).

10/2023: BBC World Service ‘The Conversation’ guest

When I was asked to appear on BBC World Service to discuss women and ADHD with Kim Chakanetsa, I said yes. After all, the show’s good enough for Olympian & powerhouse (and ADHD-er) Simone Biles. When asked whom I’d like to chat with, I named my friend Dr. Jane Sedgwick-Müller. Listen in on our lively discussion 2nd October 2023.

3 BOOKS: Springer Nature (2024), Taylor and Francis (2025), World Scientific (2027)

I enjoy playing with words and the written language as creative material. However, certain ‘standard’ approaches can present difficulty. Being dyslexic, academic writing and reading aren’t my mother tongue. I am thus delighted to have signed not one but three book contracts recently. The books are distinct in their tone, case studies and reach, but also, interrelated. They will reach the world from 2024.

07/2023: Joining University of Southampton + Goodby Manchester

I’ve migrated back down south — quiet south. I’m thrilled to share that since July 2023, I’ve become Associate Professor in Arts and Cultural Leadership at University of Southampton’s Winchester School of Art.

GALLERY (CLIENTS)

Gallery of commissioners, clients, groups, media & organisations in & beyond research, HE, creative & cultural sectors, governmental departments & more that I’ve worked with, in Iceland, Ireland, Tokyo, NY, London, Dumaguete, Singapore & more.

HI I’M KAI

Introducing the Ill-Disciplined Hyperactive Tentacular Productive Antagonist Octopussy Dr Kai Syng Tan FRSA SFHEA.

2026: Catalysing Change through Artful Agitation monograph (World Scientific)

I am delighted to have signed a contract in February 2023 with World Scientific (a leading academic publisher of scientific, technical, and medical books and journals with partnerships with Nobel Foundation and Imperial College Press) to publish a full-length monograph (70,000 words, 12 chapters, 14 colour plates) of the same title as this website, for circulation circa Q1 2025.

2024: A Handbook of Neurodiversity and Creative Research (Taylor and Francis)

I am delighted to have signed a contract with Taylor and Francis in January 2023 as Co-Editor for a new edited collection, A Handbook of Neurodiversity and Creative Research (circa Q1 2025), after being approached by the commissioning editors of Routledge.

NEWS: Principal Fellowship, Advance HE

I have been awarded the Principal Fellowship of Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) by Advance HE in December 2022. The highest of the HEA fellowships, PFHEAs are awarded to professionals with sustained records of effective strategic leadership in academic practice and academic development as a key contribution to high quality student learning

OP-ED: Using Tentacular Pedagogy to change the HE culture

This op-ed for The Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE, 16 Nov 2022) outlines an inclusive and heuristic (co-) creative teaching/learning praxis that I term ‘tentacular pedagogy’ (TP), that aims to make creative arts in Higher Education more inclusive and socially-engaged, and for CA-HE to play a more (pro-)active leadership role within HE and beyond in nurturing a more creative and compassionate future, amid the perma- and omni-crises within UK HE and beyond.

PROGRAMME LEADERSHIP: Creative Arts Leadership MA

The new Creative Arts Leadership MA course, for which I am Programme Lead, is an innovative, radical trans-disciplinary programme that creatively interrogates and explores new, diversified models of ‘leadership’. Curated by UK’s oldest comprehensive art school, and co-delivered with the triple-accredited Business School, the MA scopes, maps, and enacts the possibilities of a more equitable creative leadership praxis.

NEWS: Paying forward, onward and upwards

The success of others is both a duty and reflection of my own progress. Through co-creative engagement with diverse stakeholders and ‘students’ from within and beyond HE, via inclusive scholarly projects and communities, the potential for culture change and necessary attitudinal shifts to improve HE can grow exponentially. 03/2022 saw several positive outcomes.

ARTICLE: The Artful Agile Atypical Octopussy

My new, not very good article ‘The Artful Agile Atypical Octopussy’ is live in the peer-reviewed Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, On (Un)Knowns, 03 March 2022. This was one of 30 selected articles out of 160 proposals, and one of two that are in full colour.

RESIGNED: Fermynwoods Contemporary Art as Trustee

UPDATE: As of 08 March 2022, I have resigned from the board, although my support for the Director and Fermynwoods remain. Another role I have previously resigned from was as Research Fellow from Leeds Arts University. Watch this space for a future post on walking out (why, when, where to draw the line, and what some of the lines are).

BJPSYCH COMMENTARY: Beyond inspiration porn

Click here to read my invited commentary, ‘Art and psychiatry in the 21st century: here’s to more messy – and magical – entanglements’ on the British Journal of Psychiatry Bulletin (Cambridge University, open access), in its new the new culture section, Cultural Reflections.

KEYNOTE: A ‘Tentacular Pedagogy’ to Lead 2050 for ELIA Academy

What should art schools change, so that we can lead change and thrive in, with and for the next generation? Since you asked me, I’ll recommend growing tentacles. This is my new keynote for Network for higher arts education with >300,000 members in 282 institutions in Europe, N and S Americas, and AustralAsia.

INNOVATION/INTERVENTION: Theorising ‘Neurodivergent Leadership’ (2022-2023 project)

What can ‘Neurodivergent Leadership’ look like? A 15-month creative practice-led research project. Get in touch now to support/collaborate!

COMMISSION: Let’s Imagine A Neuro-Futuristic 2050 together at Attenborough Arts Centre

What would a neurodiversity-led reality look like? My installation and performance at the Attenborough Arts Centre in the exhibition The World is A Work In Progress (curated by Rachel Graves, 25 September 2021 – 16 January 2022) in Leicester, UK proposes that art and neuro-inclusion are key in creating bold visions of how things can be better, and that each of us can play an active part in that process.

INNOVATION/INTERVENTION: Culture change through EDI + culture: #PAC75 and REAP

Summary some of my ongoing efforts in anti-racism and Black Lives Matter in collaboration with the outstanding Professor Ola Uduku (University of Liverpool Head of Architecture) in Manchester and the Northwest region and beyond.

EDI through culture + changing culture: The Common Room and more

Summary of some of my ongoing EDI efforts through art and performance at and beyond MMU as a Senior Lecturer there.

CV: AWARDS

Highlights of career since aged 4; list of 10 fully-funded international artist-in-residency awards and artworks in 13 permanent/public collections.

CV: KEYNOTES

>100 invited / curated keynotes and conferences, including at Sao Paulo, Association of American Geographers Annual Conference in Chicago, University of Oxford and Museum of Sydney.

CV: DIRECTORSHIPS

Since 2003, worked in >10 roles as curator / creative research lead, with budget £0 – £4m, in Napidaw (Myanmar), Tokyo, Paris, Cardiff, Leeds, Kuopio (Finland), Israel and Singapore.

COMMISSION: How To Thrive In 2050! BBC film press kit

How To Thrive In 2050: 8 Tentacular Workouts For A Tantalising Future! is a new short film I made in Spring 2021. This is an art manifesto calling for a creative, equitable and ‘neuro-fantastic’ future by an Octopussy. The World Premiere is on BBC Culture in Quarantine Autumn 2021

PROFILE: Research

Artfully disrupting of hierarchies of knowledge and knowledge-creation.

ARTICLE: Covid-19 and Mental Health: Could Visual Art Exposure Help? in Frontiers

This is an op-ed published in Frontiers in Psychology. It is led by Laura Gallo (formerly King’s College London neuroscience MSc student), in collaboration with myself, Dr Vincent Giampietro and Dr Patricia Zunszain (King’s College London).

INNOVATION: 7 hours of Running Artfully

RAN reframes running as an artistic intervention to unpick our time of multiple global crises. At the 26 February Friday launch 10:00-17:00GMT, we presented 22 new insights into climate change, mental health, tech, inequality through running + art, poetry, theatre, sound and more by artists, poets, academics and more from UK and Europe.

FFS WEAR A MASK. OR FIVE.

I was commissioned by Fermynwoods Contemporary Arts to create a mask. So here is my set of 5, which are masks for the 21st Century Artful Agitator series.

#PAC75: Youtube channel

Here are just 3 of several films on the #PAC75: The 75th Anniversary Celebrations of the 5th Pan African Congress in Manchester, Viewing the Past and Looking to the Future channel. Do watch, and use them for learning, teaching and research. More videos to be uploaded during the Black History Month 2020!

Drawing with words: mapping creative, neurodivergent leadership 66’08”

Leadership: What is it? What could it be? Power posing: How is power performed? Why pose questions for those in power? Neurodiversity or neurodivergence? Being/becoming ill-disciplined: How to…

What could a neurodiversity-led 2050 look like? Re-run at Reading University 20’57”

This is a recording of a performance lecture I delivered on 6 August 2020 for University of Reading, a repeat of a keynote-lecture that premiered for Royal Society of Arts on 9 July 2020 which was attended by up to 130 people.

What could a neurodiversity-led 2050 look like? RSA premiere

Instead of OBE/MBE/CBE, we’ll have NDE (NeuroDiversity medal of Excellence). Universities will finally stop failing or boring people, offering interdisciplinary MASc and PhDs. ‘Neurodiversity’ will also become truly diversified. We’ll then run around with tentacles on our heads. New performance-lecture at Royal Society of Arts attended by 130 people.

Make art make shows make change

The etymologies of curating include healing and care. So, make change. Don’t waste your time, don’t waste my time. Created in mid-June 2020, this new slideshow was for a session in the MA/MFA Contemporary Curating, Manchester School of Art.

ART + COVID19

03/2020: The COVID-19 pandemic will fundamentally change what/how/who we are forever. Or will it? What is the role of art, creativity and neurodiversity?

ART + LEADERSHIP

Since 2019, I have been thinking about ‘Artful Leadership’: thinking, making, organising and being in ways that are artful, agile and atypical. This is about leading within, as well as beyond the arts/cultural realms, by which I refer to being embedded within the socio-political structures, to effect cultural, social and systemic change.

Artful leadership against an artful virus

As we move from the immediate crisis towards new ones, we need atypical thinkers, agile doers and creative problem-solvers who thrive in unknowns. A call for a more inclusive and creative socio-political ecosystem.

Executive Creative Arts Leadership MA/MFA (draft May 2020)

It’s not business as usual anymore. Instead, it’s time to lead, creatively. Redacted sketch of how I envisage a new creative arts leadership MA/MFA programme, which proposes ‘creative arts leadership’ as an interdisciplinary creative research and practice paradigm is curated through an art school ethos, and situated as extension of art intervention, social practice, seeking to catalyse and make change, in an Industry 4.0 and VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) contexts.

BUNKER TALKS: Being ‘artful’ and ‘ill-disciplined’ amid/beyond a pandemic 40′ 00″

04/2020: Watch this interview (40 minutes) on ‘artful leadership’. With Dr Michael Pinchbeck.

Novel Viruses Demand Artful Solutions

05/2020: Germany and France have enlisted the help of humanities scholars, but we’ll need atypical thinkers and agile makers for artful ways forward.

Cat(suit)s & Caring In The Time of Covid-19

03/2020: Struggling with social distancing and self-isolation? Here, put on my Catsuit. Meow.

Hijacking neuronormativity & complacency with ‘artful leadership’ as creative strategy

04/2020: An early outline of ARTFUL LEADERSHIP artful, sly ways forward, led by artists, in productively antagonistic dialogues with members of other species, through artistic processes and outcomes, exploiting art’s power to provoke, confuse/amuse/bemuse.

Single Octopussy Seeks Artful Atypical Agile date to co-create hopeful 2050

Amid times of distress. we must give birth to hope. Let’s build new visions together and live happily ever after. Speed-date me. You will ask for more.

Matchmaking: What could a neurodiversity-led 2050 look like?

Seeking collaborators/sponsors: I aim to curate a residency-cum-collaboration programme that will lead to an exhibition asking, ‘What Could A Neurodiversity-led 2050 Look Like?’ I want to matchmake unlikely pairs of neurodiverse artists and designers with scientists and technologists, and choreograph ways for them to work collaboratively towards the co-creation of new pilots and prototypes of apps, objects or experiences.

Are you in tech, policy, banking, transport, energy or science? Work with me to co-create systemic change

Tweet/Email to collaborate on new ‘Artful Leadership’ project from 2021. I promise to be nice. It will be fun.

10 Reasons Scientists must work with Neurodiverse & Creative Allies Now

1) WE MUST STEP UP OUR GAME 2) LET’S BECOME CRITICAL FRIENDS 3) LET’S CREATE PRODUCTIVE ANTAGONISMS 4) LET’S PLAY 5) LET’S BE ILL-DISCIPLINED 6) LET’S STEP OUT OF SILOS & EMBRACE A 360-DEGREE VANTAGE POINT 7) LET’S STEP OUT OF COMFORT ZONES 8) LET’S STEP INTO UNKNOWN TOGETHER 9) LET’S EMBRACE ERRORS 10) WE’RE STRONGER TOGETHER

PODCAST: Where are neurodivergent leaders in the cultural and academic sectors? 17’00”

Where are neurodivergent leaders in the Cultural and Academic Sectors? Premiered at Birkbeck, Arts Week May 2019.

Other efforts during the pandemic

04/2020: Other efforts during the pandemic in local and professional contexts and beyond.

UK Adult ADHD Network

04/2020: As UKAAN Creative and Cultural Consultant, I put together a few creative resources for mental health professionals and service users.

JOIN NOW! Neurodiversity In/& Creative Research Network #NeurodiversityCreativeResearch

03/2020: Keen to explore the messy and magical entanglements between neurodiversity, creativity and research, and all the possibilities and intersections in between? Join the Neurodiversity In/And Creative Research Network, a new international hub.

Cabinet & Parliament expert databases

04/2020: I responded to UK Parliament’s call for COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database, as well as a separate call by the UK Government Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Team for a similar database.

Craft and Design Solo Exhibition

03/2020: My show at the Craft and Design Centre was shut, but I redistributed some of my fee and have begun to think more about the importance of being ‘crafty’ and ‘artful’.

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