Jan Schacher

Expertise and track-record vs. boundary expansion and new types of knowledge

The tensions between disciplines and the need to fulfil or answer reviewer’s expectations are always part of a cross-disciplinary writing project.

Presenting a synthesising perspective and speaking from an experience straddling value systems is a vulnerable position, one that doesn’t confer the advantages of perfect expertise and a pristine track-record.

So what does it mean to have to put a disclaimer about which disciplines are not addressed into a published article?

From my co-authored article with Anne Dubos at MoCo this year:

It is important to situate the experiences, implementations, and reflections presented in this article. Although we draw on scientific elements to argue our case, what we present is an arts-based research project, in which we explore relationships between motion and computing through the scope of practice-based research methods. Even if anthropological knowledge feeds the developments and flow of our installations, this is not an anthropological essay. Neither is our intent to fit into disciplines such as media archaeology, art history, or HCI and design theory by adopting their methodology. Ultimately, we aspire to demonstrate that by straddling disciplines, the synthesis of elements and processes, methods and experiences can provide valid insights and understanding of a different nature. (Dubos and Schacher 2019)

Jan Schacher, Zurich University of the Arts


Dubos, Anne and Jan Schacher (2019) “The Calder Effect – Embodied Knowledge Through Moving Images”. Proceedings of the Conference on Movement and Computing 2019. Tempe, Arizona, October 10-12, 2019.