Art Labs centre



Research within the Centre


Director: Professor John Hyatt

ART LABS Centre supports research through:

  • Steering committee
  • Collaborative partners co-ordination
  • Research induction
  • Early career researchers group
  • Learning Lab
  • Research mentoring
  • Personal research planning
  • Practice as research workshops
  • Quality evaluation
  • Progress review
  • Mechanisms of exchange
  • Impact development
  • Fab Lab
  • Master lecture series
  • Monthly ART LABS research events
  • Public relations management
  • Summer Lab

ART LABS Centre develops transdisciplinary projects under a meta-project umbrella:

The Heterosis Project

In the 21st Century, digital and new technologies have super-charged the Twentieth Century’s impetus towards hybridity. The world gets smaller every day. Cultures rub up against each other and inevitably mix. Liverpool has always been a city of cultural hybridity. The Beatles would not have emerged without the Black music clubs of Toxteth and Elvis’s latest 45s.

Heterosis was coined by another George Harrison: American plant geneticist George Harrison Shull. Heterosis is the result of combining animals or plants of different breeds to make an improvement on the parents. Shull bred new vigorous wheat from pure bred weak plants, thereby improving the world’s food supply. He received the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal in 1948.

The challenge today is to embrace hybridity to ensure heterosis.

Fear of hybridity leads to missing the opportunities of reaping the rewards of heterosis.

The Heterosis Project embraces hybridity and promotes heterosis across and between cultures, disciplines and forms of knowledge. It grows ART LABS’ transdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary projects within it. The Heterosis Project highlights and creates successful examples of heterosis in and between art and science. In partnership with Fab Lab within the School and FACTLab, based at FACT, it creates a proactive environment where required trans-disciplinary dialogue can take place across all subjects and with colleagues around the world.

Projects within The Heterosis Project exhibit these trans and interdisciplinary features:

  • Ammemorium
  • Heartfield
  • Tapestry
  • Sensorium
  • Rock Art
  • Pop Goes the Technosphere
  • The Beefheart Weekend

Image by Chris Payne: Nathan Jones performing at Club BIG in John Hyatt's ROCK ART.