Tag: inclusive practices

Human rights, equity, diversity, inclusion and justice, through art, the arts and creativity. And art is a human right, as Bob and Roberta Smith states. So is the freedom of movement- of the body and the mind, to be a free, autonomous thinker, trespassing borders/boundaries/silos ideological, disciplinary, geopolitical, cultural and more. Hence the Hyperactive Octopussy, who is insistently tentacular, and intellectually promiscuous, with no fixed abode, who can’t be fixed, and who gets her fix by seeking risks and novelty. Neurodiversity – one that is genuinely diverse and not as white/privileged/autism-centric as it frustratingly remains – would be important in a just, biodiverse, inclusive and creative ecosystem (Tan and Northey 2020). This section focuses on anti-racism, decolonisation, intersectionality and more; for practice and research around neurodiversity specifically, see https://kaisyngtan.com/artful/tag/neurodiversity/

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.

05/2024: Introducing Tentacular Pedagogy and FAB PALS in Copenhagen

I am excited to share Tentacular Pedagogy: An Embodied Strategy Towards Transforming Higher Education Culture at the First International Conference on Embodied Education: Breaking new grounds in embodied education, Aarhus University, Denmark.

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. 

JOIN ME: Come do your PhD or PostDoc with me

The last PhD I examined — and passed — involved a hike up a hill — during winter — which included performances in-situ (plus sweat, panting and cursing on the part of examiners). The hike was part of a submission which had a written component in the form of a film script, for a doctoral degree undertaken at a School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies of a Russell Group University. If this sound like your cup of bubble tea, get in touch to work with me on your doctoral research at the University of Southampton.

12/2023: Guggenheim Museum feature

There is a new feature Making the Invisible Visible: Embracing Neurodivergent Perspectives through Art on the Guggenheim Museum website by Shanley Chien Pierce, published 8th December. This story explores the ‘Model Minority Myth’ and East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) communities, where conformity is key and strict codes are adhered to.   

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.

11/2023: Installation + Speed-Dating + Podcast, Winchester Gallery

What could our future look like? Even — or especially — when the absurdity and extra-ordinariness of how things are makes this a preposterous question to raise, let alone respond to, it is imperative that we insist, persist, and resist, by making, re-making, re-imagining and re-inventing our truths, to re-write our own stories, histories and futures, to work through our pain, trauma and joys. Come ‘Have a Speed-Date With Kai – Let’s Re-Imagine our (Collective) Future Together’, at a group show Ordinary Things (02-25 November 2023), The Winchester Gallery, curated by Professor of Visual Politics Louise Siddons.

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.

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.

WORKSHOPS: Conversations about Keeping, with Manchester Art Gallery

I have been invited to co-teach on a course in partnership with Manchester Art Gallery, for second year art and design students. My creative intervention is entitled ‘Go Back to your own Home! Who owns whose culture? On repatriation, cultural ownership, decolonisation of cultural spaces. Should I stay or should I go? What can visitors, museum workers and artists do (together)?’

LEARNING: Music, Migration & Mobility

As Trustee Board Member of Hear Me Out (HMO), mobilities researcher, and failed former music child prodigy-wannabe (with audition aged 15 for a place at Royal College of Music), I am delighted to participate in a workshop as part of Music, Migration and Mobility at Royal College of Music with HMO Artistic Director on 27 January 2023.

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.

INNOVATION/INTERVENTION: Social Art Inclusion Lab (SAIL)

I am a founding member of socially-engaged international art research network, Social Art Inclusion Lab (SAIL, since 04/2022). SAIL is a legacy of Social Art for EDI (SAFEDI, 02/2021-04/2022), an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project as part of its pilot EDI Fellowship, which is led by my mentor Visual Anthropologist Professor Amanda Ravetz, and for which I was a Co-Researcher and Mentor for commissioned artists.

INNOVATION/INTERVENTION: Systemic inequity, Autonomy, ADHD and HM Prison Service

Of my involvement in this £1,397,685 NIHR project: ‘Kai visited HMP YOI Isis during the trial to understand the prison environment and what might motivate participants to engage in the trial. Following this, Kai generated images that emphasised choice, control, autonomy, self-care, self-respect, and, at the same time, was mindful of the stigma attached to ADHD.’

KEYNOTE LECTURE + FILM (5’20”): for EU-funded design futures pedagogy event + UAL design management staff & students

This new short film was created at the invitation of a design pedagogy event by European consortium FUEL4Design: Future Education and Literacy for Designers as International Respondent. A performance-lecture version was created as Keynote Lecturer for Deep Meaningful Conversations of the Design Management course, London College of Communication, University Arts London.

INNOVATION/INTERVENTION: AHRC-funded Social Art for EDI project

I was Co-Researcher and Mentor in the Social Art For Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (SAFEDI, 02/2021-04/2022), an AHRC EDI Fellowship (PI: Professor Amanda Ravetz,£100,609) led by Manchester Metropolitan University, Social Art Network, & Axis, working with social artists, marginalised communities and policy makers around the UK to rethink what inclusion in the arts means. A legacy of SAFEDI is the research network Social Art Inclusion Lab (SAIL), which I am a founding member of. 

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.

BBC RADIO 4: Black leadership 1945, BLM 2020 and Afrofuturism 28’00”

BBC Radio 4 programme on the 5th Pan African Congress in Manchester and how it relates to BLM today, covering the PAC@75 celebrations that I co-curated with the Prof Ola Uduku who is interviewed in the programme.

ART + MONEY

You can buy everything you can see on this website, and more. This includes: drawings, art objects like the tapestry above myself, and my thinking time. As I over-think, this will not come cheap. You have been warned.

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.

PODCAST: With Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage on #PAC75 48’02”

CREDIT: Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage MCPHH. October 2021 ‘The Legendary 1945 Manchester Pan African Congress: Professor Ola Uduku, Dr Kai Syng Tan, and Dr Marie…

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: MEMBERSHIPS

>17 current pro bono affiliations as founder, chair or member to UK, European and international NGOs and professional organisations and collectives across creativity, culture, health, social justice and more.

CV: ACADEMIA

Currently Associate Professor in Arts & Cultural Leadership, University of Southampton. Taught in >200 HEIs since 1998 as Examiner, Pathway Leader, Lecturer, Tutor, Visiting Lecturer, Visiting Artist, including at: UCL School of Life & Medical Studies, Royal College of Art, Australia National University, Tama Art University (Tokyo), King’s Undergraduate Medical Education Community, Goldsmiths University, SIM University in Singapore (External Examiner, Bachelor of Art Education), Silliman University (Philippines) and University of Helsinki.

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

ARTICLE: Anti-racist productive antagonisms

This article was published in Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education April 2021. It outlines three actions for the supervisor, student and examiner, to introduce a level of anti-racist consciousness in the journey of the Fine Art PhD.

Come do your PhD / PostDoc with me

I welcome new PhD and post-doctoral researchers, and/or PhD external examination opportunities, across diverse subject areas within and beyond the creative arts and humanities

WORKSHOP: ‘You’re not a good fit for the standard academic!’ 59’35”

I was invited by Donald Lush, Careers Consultant at King’s College London, to discuss academic job applications with a focus on equality (or lack thereof!), on 7th May 2021.

ACCESSING KAI

Want to work with me? Here’s how.

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.

INVITED RESPONSE: Neurodivergent reading of National Archives artefact 3’49”

I was invited to select from and respond to a range of museum artefacts through a neurodivergent prism. I selected an artefact from the National Archives, which is an extract from an Education Department draft circular on the introduction of 11+ exam, July 1945.

DISABILITY ARTS ONLINE: White supremacy in UK’s ‘liberal’ art world

We are as racist as any other sector. We have sophisticated ways of covering it up. I don’t want to resuscitate that. It remains the job of a lot of us to keep calling out on bad practices and faux liberalism’.

#PAC75: Co-curation of Pan African Congress Anniversary Celebrations: 4-days 18 events 11 collaborators

UPDATED: See here for report and reflection of #PAC75, Race Equality Activities Planning (REAP) and other legacies in collaboration with the amazing Professor Ola Uduku. #PAC75: The 75th…

#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!

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.

ART + DISABILITY

Celebrate the Extraordinary (2015) was a practice-led investigation that outlines an inclusive approach to artistic collaboration. It centred on the £4 million opening and closing ceremonies of 8th ASEAN Para Games in 2015, commissioned by the Singapore government.

#MagicCarpet: Gatecrashing the world of mind and brain sciences 07’19”

We Sat On A Mat and Had a Chat and Made Maps! #MagicCarpet (2017-2019)was an award-winning art-psychiatry commission, mentored by Professor of Psychiatry Philip Asherson.

How racist are art schools?

05/2020: Get in touch to help me learn and do better as a woman, teacher, artist, and human being.

ART + GENDER

WOMEN’S ISSUES ARE EVERYBODY’S ISSUES: Gender is a subtext in all my work. As a neurodivergent woman of colour, my presence in work (directly/indirectly) is already often political….

This is not an ally

This is a new performance-lecture created in June 2020. It will premiere on 7 July 2020 at Manchester School of Art. It was developed from a talk I gave at Live Art Developmental Agency Summer 2019, by invitation by ‘allies’.

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.

AFFILIATIONS

I am (co-)founder, (co-)leader, trustee, consultant, co-leader or member of 20 national and international networks and organisations in research, arts, health, and human rights.

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.

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.

Neurodiversity Manifesto version 2019

I. Step Up the Game II. Step into the Unknown III. Step Away from Comfort Zones IV. Embrace Errors V. Take Risks VI. Play VII. Change Culture VIII. Break Locks and Challenge Gatekeepers IX. Be Athletic X. Be a Running Post(hu)man XI. Be Promiscuous XII. Not All Dead White Men XIII. Be Ill-Disciplined XIV. Embrace Athletes of Creativity XV. Be Happy With The Unfinished

Productive Antagonisms

Productive antagonisms is an interdisciplinary mode of knowledge exchange and production (Latham and Tan 2016). Itself an artful juxtaposition of concepts and practices and co-created by an artist and a geographer, I have since extended the concept into a mode of learning and teaching, although it has come from prior framings such as ISLANDHOPPING (2002-2005).

Celebrate the Extraordinary 00’51”, 01’31”

Here are two films by two extraordinary award-winning filmmakers: Kleopatra Korai (NY/Greece) and Bertrand Lee (Singapore), commissioned for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 5th ASEAN Para…

PODCAST: Too much / not enough neurodiversity in UK academia? 17’00”

Is there too much, or not enough ‘neurodiversity’ in art & academia in the UK? Premiered at Birkbeck, Arts Week May 2019.

Diversifying ‘neurodiversity’

Disability Arts Online 2018 article. One of its top 10 editorial pieces, later presented as a performance-lecture at the Science Museum.

Brisk/Risks 06’52”

What’s the riskiest thing you have ever done? What do you dream of doing but dare not? Do you dare share something that you’ve never told anyone else before? Go on – what’s the worst that can happen?

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.

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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