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Beyond Productivity

Elli <image: Eli Pollad>

Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity
National Research Council of the National Academies


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government.  Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the national Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine.  Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) began in the mid 1990’s to examine opportunities at the intersection of computing and the humanities and the arts.  In 1997 it organized a workshop that eventually led to the project described in this report.   This report is by design a record of the project intended to motivate and sustain interest and activity in the intersection of IT and the arts and design.  The Statement of Task is as follows,

“A series of discussions among a cross section of the arts community and experts in computing and communications will be organized.  These discussions will crystallize new ways of conceptualizing joint opportunities and new approaches to the arts (and/or IT).  They will explore what would make the most conductive environment for IT-arts exchange on an ongoing basis, considering physical and virtual options.  They will address possible mechanisms to sustain the discussion, such as funding and institutional support.  Finally, they will culminate in both a coherent description of potential futures and an agenda for action, action that bridges the different communities as well as action most appropriate for one or another.”(viii)

Information Technology, Productivity, and Creativity
Inventive and Creative Practices

Intellectual production can be distinguished from the performance of routine intellectual tasks and creativity can be distinguished from innovation.  Creative production claims value, and it has an edge.  Furthermore, it challenges our assumptions, forces us to frame our issues in fresh ways, and allows us to see new intellectual and cultural possibilities.  Ambitions in creative production tend to differentiate it from routine production in the following ways: it focuses on unexpected questions, it goes for high payoffs and is undeterred by accompanying high risks, it seeks big questions, it looks for fundamental change, it is not bothered by rule breaking, and is characteristically reflexive.  Although creative production is not always positive and widely valued, its products can bring immense benefits to society.  Finally, “the committee tends to believe that it is possible to identify and establish the conditions necessary for creativity, and conversely, that we risk stifling creativity of we get those conditions wrong.”(18)

Domains and Benefits of Creativity

No one has a monopoly on creativity.  It manifests itself in multiple fields and contexts.  The manifestations vary in the types of benefits that result.  In science and mathematics, the most fundamental outcome of creative effort is important new knowledge.  In engineering, and technology-based industry, creativity gives us technological inventions.  Economic creativity manifests itself into entrepreneurship, ultimately making products and services available.  Cultural creativity offers the production of art design, and scholarship, as well as providing the foundation of creative industries.

The Creative Industries

According to an estimate developed by Singapore’s governmental Workgroup on Creative Industries, the United States led the way in creative industries in 2001.  The US has some important, major creative industry clusters including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and smaller areas such as Boston, Austin, and Nashville.  There has been growing worldwide interest in the regional development strategy of encouraging creative industry clusters.  These clusters include not only large firms, but independent artists and designers, small businesses, cultural institutions, and educational institutions.  Strong creative industries are a strategic asset to a nation.  The reach and robustness of a nation’s creative practices can constitute a form of global leadership, and provide valuable visibility and branding.

Interactions Among Domains of Creative Activity

It should be stressed that not only is it important to distinguish different forms of creativity, but that these domains are also often tightly coupled and often depend on one another.  These various interrelationships suggest the importance not only of specialized loci of creativity, but also of creativity clusters.  Planners analyze creative cities and creative regions that attract and retain talent, and that provide environments in which creative practices flourish.  The idea of a creative class has become popular, and the possibility of shifting from the information economy to the creative economy has become a hot topic. 

The Roles of Information Technology

The committee suggests that increasingly information technology constitutes the glue that holds clusters of creative activity together.  This is enhanced by its extraordinary capacity to apply the same concepts and techniques across many different fields.  Furthermore, IT can support the formation of non-geographic clusters of creative activity.  The growing integration of digital storage and processing technology with networking technology and sensor technology further strengthens the role of IT as glue.  Finally, many argue that IT is a powerful amplifier of creative practices.

The Race for Creativity in a Networked World

The committee feels that there is an emerging, global race to establish effective, sustainable, clusters of IT-enabled creative activity at local, regional, and national scales – and at larger scales.  The rewards are high.  This report provides more detailed analysis of the conditions needed for creativity in a networked world.  It asks the following questions:

1. How can information technology open up new domains of art and design practice and enable new types of works?
2. How can art and design raise important new questions for information technology and help to push forward research and product development agendas in computer science and information technology?
3. How can successful collaborations of artists, designers, and information technologists be established?
4. How can universities, research laboratories, corporations, museums, art groups, and other organizations best encourage and support work at the intersections of the arts, design, and information technology?
5. What are the effects on information technology and creative practices work of institutional constraints and incentives, such as intellectual property arrangements, funding policies and strategies, archiving, preservation and access systems, and validation and recognition systems? (28-29)

Creative Practices

Research points to a tendency for creative people to be independent, nonconformist, unconventional, to have wide interests, openness to new experiences, cognitive flexibility, and risk-taking boldness.  Creativity can be linked to tools; however, there is a difference between basic functional know-how, and higher-level skill.  Relatively few artists may pursue true IT fluency, but some movement in that direction appears important for ITCP (information technology and creative practices).  One concern is that early ITCP has been associated with artists’ frustration with IT.  However, the challenges presented by IT have helped to stimulate some kinds of art and design, and artists’ responses to those challenges should help the development of new forms of IT.  “When people or groups are fluent in IT and arts and design disciplines, they may work at either of two intersections of information technology and creative practices.”(33)  The first involves the use of computational technologies as a medium for cultural practices.  The second stresses art as a form of research or knowledge production that is interwoven with the practice of research in IT.  In seeking to understand the people who do ITCP work, the committee found it useful to examine the details of how the work is organized.  Their observations correspond closely with the social model of creativity proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  Here, creativity is a three part social system made up of individuals, knowledge domains, and institutional structures.  Individuals (or groups) produce new variations on inherited conventions stored in domains.  These novelties are promoted or filtered in the field of social institutions.  Creativity results from the interaction of these three systems.

How Creativity Works

The integration of the arts and design fields and IT depends on who is doing what and how.  The human resources can be obtained through the broadening of individual skills and through collaborations.  Collaborations are frequently the preferred approach because they demand far less individual investment in learning and therefore accelerate the process of experimentation.

Successful Collaborations

Collaborations in ITCP may differ from other kinds of collaborations in that they well not be symmetrical.  Some of the more structured and better-funded ITCP collaborations are those found in commercial endeavors, such as segments of the architecture, movie production, and computer game industries.


Architecture is inherently collaborative.  As supporting technologies have developed, forms of collaboration have evolved.  Digital technology has been transforming design and construction collaboration since the 1960’s.  The shift to digital modeling and fabrication based on computer-aided design and manufacturing also provides significantly greater design freedom. 

Movie Production

“The movie industry exemplifies cooperative creative practices, relying on collaborative processes involving artists and technicians to make its magic.”(46)  Hollywood production demands this vast array of talent and skill.  Virtually every part of movie making has been transformed by IT.  Computer-generated imagery (CGI) has made virtually anything possible.  Smaller studios and independent film markets have been affected by digital video, and animated work is now being digitized.

Computer Games

Today’s game industry is an increasingly important force in youth culture and the economy – video games make more money than the Hollywood box office.  More so than film, computer games require a close marriage between the practical aspects of code and art, and between programmers and artists.  The three groups of people involved in the production of a game are the designers, programmers, and artists.  These three groups have to work to achieve an almost spousal level of understanding throughout the course of production.  If the game is played online, these groups have to work with a fourth technical group.  “This level of collaboration exists in part because game technology is a moving target.  The medium is evolving so rapidly that many games solve problems that did not even exist a year before, because the tools were not there to solve them.”(49)

Cultural Challenges in Cross-Disciplinary Collaborations

Potential collaborators from different disciplines can encounter a number of obstacles, which include: difficulties in accessing appropriate funding sources, differences in vocabulary, the absence of frameworks for evaluation, and the long time periods required for projects to gel.  However, when adequate resources are available, people can be formally taught skills that are conducive to collaboration.  If specialized training is not an option, general awareness of key issues that arise in collaborations may help projects to succeed.

Overcoming Preconceived Notions about Computer Scientists and Artists and Designers

The challenge of overcoming stereotypes permeated the personal accounts of those who briefed the committee and of the committee members themselves.  Some scientists and engineers exhibit a sense of superiority, even hostility toward those in the arts and design.  Similarly, the arts establishment sometimes regards technology suspiciously, as if it lacks a worthy lineage or is too practical to be creative.  The challenge of maintaining respect across disparate fields is an extension of the frequent differences in attitude encountered in a field between people in the more theoretical and the more applied areas.  Establishing strong common goals and ensuring individual work satisfaction is one strategy for cross-generational disciplinary communication.

Minimizing Communications Clashes

Recognizing the barriers posed by jargon, terms of art, and localized practices goes a long way toward bridging gaps.  Education and training shape expectations for communication; collaborators can also factor into receptivity to the vocabulary and styles of others.  Obviously, scientists and artists have widely differing community standards with regard to language and modes of expression and the types of questions to explore, however, successful collaborations involve mutual respect and friendship.

Resources that Support Creative Practices

IT can be exploited both to help technologists and artists learn skills and methods and gain access to tools, and to motivate and educate others.  There seem to be more resources offering IT skills training and tools than offering arts education, and in general, there is a belief that artists can learn IT faster than technologists can learn art.  An important resource in the mid-to late-1990’s was Open Studio: The Arts Online, a national initiative of the Benton Foundation and the NEA.  At Eyebeam Atelier the goal is to expose broad and diverse audiences to new technologies and the media arts while establishing and articulating new media as a significant medium of artistic expression.  This is done through education, exhibition, and an artist–in-residence program.

Work Spaces

Appropriate work spaces are an essential ingredient in creative production.  “Contemporary work spaces are in flux.  “During this time of change (or evolution), ITCP practitioners might be best served by flexible and open designs that allow for new configurations to alter the flow of work and communication.”(59)  Virtual spaces can be systems for collaborations that allow multiple users to talk and share work and work space across geographical territories.  These capabilities are changing the nature of collaborative work as well as the markets and audiences for it.

Advancing Creative Practices Through Information Technology Strange Bedfellows?

Artists and other creative practitioners within a wide array of contexts can immediately apply new tools developed by computer scientists, however, there are further important implications of information technology and creative practices (ITCP) for computer science research and development.  Some are engaging in IT research as a form of art and design practice itself.  The intended outcomes go beyond making new tools for art and design practice, to arrive at a fundamentally new way to do research.  “The naïve response for computer science researchers would be to generate as many new-media forms as possible for art and design practice.”(63)  The push and pull of new technologies focus on the new possibilities created by those technologies, rather than on the needs and perspectives of art and design practices using “old” media.  What tends to be overlooked are the subtle processes of change occurring in the traditional art and design forms as they adjust to information technologies.  But these subtle developments are no less important for the long-term ecology of digital culture, suggesting limitations of, and possibilities for, the development of technology as a medium.

Tools Needed to Support Creative Work: Hardware and Software

Computer and communications hardware and software are the tools of ITCP and the means by which almost all digital media are created and manipulated.  These tools can do many things.  A simple list of capabilities would include:

∑ Automation of processes such as drawing, composing, editing, and so on;
∑ Handling, representing, and displaying or performing information;
∑ Analysis of information and phenomena;
∑ Connection to the physical world; and
∑ Communications

Human-computer interaction specialist Ben Shneiderman argues that IT for creativity falls into eight categories: searching, visualizing, consulting, thinking, exploring, composing, reviewing, and disseminating.  However, like other tools, IT tools have shortcomings.  As stated in  a leading computer science journal, “A discontinuity exists between technology tools and our ability to interact with them in natural, beneficial, and most importantly, for this discussion, creative ways”(67)

Hardware and Software Tools: A Mixed Blessing

The committee has found that it takes a long time to integrate a new technology into the making of non-trivial art or design work.  Developers of software tools that can support creative practices have a number of variables to consider, all of which may affect the ways in which users interact with the tools – and through the tools, their own work – and the ease with which users can produce original or even groundbreaking works with those tools.  Creating a good tool requires an understanding of the problem area and often experience at the cutting edges of artistic and design and technical disciplines.  More could be accomplished with tools designed to suit a range of different tasks, however, because creativity is associated with novelty, comprehensive tools for creative work will neither be possible nor necessary to develop.  Design choices related to tool extensibility may be particularly important for broadening participation in ITCP and tool development.  One way to customize tools is with a plug-in, which extends an application by implementing a new function.  Decisions about what to expose will still influence the ways in which users can extend a tool.  “New software tools could be developed that would enable users to build their own software tools – collaboration between artists and designers and computer scientists could aim at  a meta-toolkit that would offer ease of use plus flexible, extensible results, and an Internet-accessible repository of available software and hardware tools as well as guidance of what it takes to use them would broaden access and experimentation.”(73) 

Support for Flexibility, Experimentation, and Play

Tool designers vary the kinds of structures imposed on the work process and product in their tools, often to facilitate experimentation, improvisation, and flexibility.  Tools support improvisation when they offer interactive design, revision, and elaboration of partial specifications.

Internet and the Web

The Internet is particularly useful in ITCP work because of several unique features that set it apart from traditional communications systems.  The Internet’s design encourages innovation at the edges by users, allowing a relatively unrestricted set of applications to run over it.  Furthermore, connection, interconnection, and innovation in facilities and services are relatively easy with the Internet.  Not only are computer systems connected to the Internet, but also are televisions, telephones, personal digital assistants, and other devices.  These possibilities and more open up many intriguing possibilities for ITCP work. 

Recent experience with Napster and other peer-to-peer systems has motivated experimentation among researchers and other creative communities in uses of the Internet.  Technologies such as peer-to-per networking also can challenge basic notions of exhibition or participation.  Given their roles as content-generators, artists and designers have a special interest in the Internet as a vehicle for content.  The Web offers ready access to stored documents, access to which has often required a physical presence.  Ultimately, technologists need to be receptive to the  input from artists and designers, and artists and designers must take the initiative to become engaged with technologists.

Economic Realities

A key factor that shapes the development of tools for creative work is the economics of software.  Software is expensive to develop and inexpensive to distribute.  Therefore, is most profitable when it appeals to many people.  Non-profit organizations develop some of the best tools for creative use – both in computer science and in artistic and design contexts.  Subsidies are another way to encourage the development of creative tools.


Standards can both limit and support creativity.  They do establish some constraints, but they also can allow various programs to interoperate in new and creative ways.  “With standard representations for digital images, many programs and devices can interoperate, including cameras, digital editors, Web browsers, optical character reading (or other scanning) software, and graphical interface tools.”(85)  According to the committee, a consensus statement would carry more weight with standards setters than would input from lone individuals or representatives of small groups.

Selected Areas for the Development of Hardware and Software That Would Promote Creative Work

The capabilities available for work in ITCP will become far more powerful and diverse in the coming years.  There are many opportunities for improvement.  The committee identified a handful of areas that could exert considerable leverage in promoting ITCP.

Distributed Control

One area in need of support is distributed control.  Distributed control has taken center stage as a way to handle the difficult task of coordinating computation across multiple computing units.

Sensors and Actuators

The committee sees sensors and actuators as another area deserving attention.  Advanced sensing technologies and actuators exist, but without tools to simplify their use, these technologies remain out of reach of most individuals who are not specialists.  “In addition to the challenge of using sensor and actuator technologies, there is the problem of interfacing them to computers, especially if they are non-standard.”(88)

Video and Audio

The tools that exist for time-based media (including video and audio) assume a particular style of working – the product will be a linear video or audio recording.  In addition, most tools do not support real-time processing.  Standards emerge and compete in this arena, but a common difficulty for all of these standards is to maintain compatibility.  These inconsistencies are rarely addressed, and content creators must simply work around these known problems.

Generative Processes

An attractive feature of computers is that they enable generative processes.  An artist or designer can design a process that generates material automatically.  A couple of reasons that are interesting to contemplate are that the first associated computer models depended on assumptions, and some of the earliest explorations of ITCP were generative processes.  The idea that forms can emerge from programming echoes complex processes in the physical world where the result is something you cannot expect.  For ITCP to advance, a fundamental shift is needed from computation to that based on symbols.

Reliable, Low-latency Communication over the Internet

Artists, designers, and a wide range of users have an interest in reliable, low-latency communication over the Internet.  “Higher bandwidth and/or quality-of-service guarantees could enable new levels of interaction, distributed concerts, two-way video, and other creative activities that necessitate specific levels of network performance.”(93)  As in other communities, opinions in the arts world about the value of broadband differ.  To some, a benefit of ever-increasing processor speeds has been the development of media-rich simulations and other works.  Others find such digital spectacles less compelling than new social models for peer-to-peer cultural production.

Programming Languages

Some areas of great interest to artists are not well served by programming languages.  However, because a great deal of creative activity involves combining existing concepts in new ways, and because programming languages provide the glue for assembling software tools and libraries into applications, languages are critical to innovation.

The Influence of Art and Design on Computer Science Research and Development
Beyond Tools

The information arts range across the life and space sciences, nanotechnology, robotics, and other new materials, as well as IT.  This style of practice uses artistic practice to manage and interpret information at the cusp of technological and scientific research.  This new kind of art and design practice looks more and more like technical research but it is done from an artistic or design point of view.  Artistic and design work tends to focus on the social and cultural meaning of the technology.  The committee believes that artists’ questioning can be powerful and constructive.  ITCP makes apparent the value of the artist as mediator.  The reach of the information artist extends beyond product design to process design.

Modeling Disciplines: From Multidisciplinary to Transdisciplinary

In discussions around the relationship between IT and the arts and design using a multidisciplinary model, each discipline is represented as a circle.  Overlap areas are the areas of intersection.  This conveys how IT can be applied in the arts and design areas.  “In transdisciplinary research, the point is not just application of given methodologies but also implication  - a result of imagining entirely new possibilities for what disciplines can do.”(99)  Also, in a transdisciplinary situation, artists and designers are not clients of computer scientists but instead interact with them as peers.

Implications for Computer Science

There are potentially large advantages for computer science work in being open to the perspectives of the arts and design.  Responding to disciplines from the arts and design worlds opens the possibility of discovering new methodologies for and solutions to problems that, until now, have been out of reach of the computer science field to solve or possibly even articulate.  “The perspectives of the information arts are particularly interesting in cases where CS research itself is already moving toward the perspective embodied by art and design practices.”(102)  One example of such a shift is in the field of human computer interaction (HCI).  Similar shifts are occurring in other areas of computer science.  Inartificial intelligence (AI), there has recently been a focus on lifelike computer characters or believable agents, with quite a bit of interest in incorporating elements of drama and the arts into agent design.

Promising Areas

The committee identified a number of promising areas of transdisciplinary work.  “The areas involve the social context or politics of computing; they raise difficult ethical issues that need to be addressed in the context of technical research; they have high public or social impact; and or they suggest fundamental rethinking of computer science.”(105)

Mixed Reality

Mixed reality is a new, interactive medium in which computing is taken off the desktop or head-mounted display and linked with real-world objects and places to become part of everyday, physical lives.  Here, IT development and other creative practices are synergistic.  Approaches to mixed reality include tangible media and augmented reality.  Technical issues in mixed reality include the maintenance of correspondence between real-world and virtual objects, standards for interobject communication, perception, spatial reasoning, and learning and adaption.

Computer Games

Computer games are emerging as a contemporary topic of CS research.  Computer games offer a unique arena for serious research, not only because of the underlying allure of fun and competition, but also because important new questions arise.  These questions are beginning to be addressed by CS.

Narrative Intelligence

In the 1990’s a group of students formed a new reading group, which they called narrative intelligence (NI).  The group explored issues at the intersection of narrative and both human intelligence and AI.  The group came to an understanding of, and the desire to reconcile the contradictions and incompatibilities between these two worldviews.  AI technology focused in formal, logical representation and objectivity, whereas the analytical tools provided by new literary theories focused on subjectivity, multiplicity, and the limitations of formalism.  NI research incorporates influences from a variety of fields such as; AI, psychology, art research, cultural studies, literary studies, and drama.  Research in NI is flourishing, with applications in a variety of areas.

Non-utilitarian Evaluation

Traditionally, artists use evaluation techniques that differ radically from those of computer scientists.  They seek to provoke as well as understand the user.  The committee feels that there is an opportunity to develop hybrid evaluation methodologies to combine the broader concerns of artists with the narrower and more structured methods of HCI.  “Evaluation techniques drawing on both HCI and arts traditions could rigorously examine not only the usability and utility of software and electronic products, but also the meanings they may take on in users’ everyday lives, the background cultural assumptions that underlie them, and their potential impact on current cultural issues and debates such as intellectual property issues.”(112)

Experimental Consumer Product Design

Experimental designers explore a range of issues and ideas that often differ from those of individuals working in specific product fields who are more constrained by the demands of the market.  Often, their work explores issues at the intersection of product design and social issues.

Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing

IT is being embedded into more and more physical devices, linked together through (often wireless) networks.  Networked systems of embedded computers (Emnets) will be largely invisible but extremely powerful, allowing information to be collected, shared, and processed in new ways.  However, resulting products are technically new, but do not take full advantage of the broad conceptual design space opened up by mobile and ubiquitous technologies.


A vigorous debate has been taking place in recent years about whether knowledge production is shifting from discipline-bound, strongly bounded, and relatively stable models to transdisciplinary, loosely coupled, and transient ones.  There is little to be gained by preferring either multidisciplinary or transdisciplinary exchanges.  Both have their place, and both make clear that there is a continuing need to maintain the integrity of the traditional disciplines, both in arts and sciences.  The committee has found strong evidence of the need for the sustained bridging of disciplines, involving the development of both individual practices and a community of researchers in the cross-disciplinary area with correspondingly innovative institutional structures.

Venues for Information Technology and Creative Practices
Historical Perspective
“An accurate history of the 20th-century developments related to ITCP would counter the widespread but false impression that there has been a renaissance of creativity enabled uniquely by the computer, and would make clear that a gradual development of new institutions, especially the studio-laboratory, has also played a central role.”(119)  The term “renaissance,” though, may in fact be appropriate, because the role of institutions in the last century parallels the role that they played in the Renaissance.  If the current era is a period of hybridity and interdisciplinarity, then it can also be described as a period where, in many different, local places, experts of different kinds, interested in many things, meet and learn from one another.  One can look for the complex dynamics that arise when specific ideas come into contact with each other at a variety of places.  The studio-laboratory can be viewed as a hybrid institution where such interaction can occur.

Three Classes of Studio-Laboratories

There are three classes in the development of modern studio-laboratories: art/design-driven technology development, public diffusion and critical debate, and industrially sponsored applied research.  The three classes came into being at different times and are rarely in close productive cooperation.  The three phases in which studio-laboratories were founded are:
1. Research and production were oriented principally toward the creation of singular, visionary works.
2. Toward the end of the 1970’s specialized institutions were planned and established to focus on the presentation of new technological art in public areas.
3. Beginning in the 1980’s it was oriented toward applied research and development.

Schools, Colleges, and Universities

Schools of art and design, colleges, and universities are fertile ground for fostering work in ITCP.  They facilitate the acquisition of new and different skills and insights, they bridge old and new knowledge and techniques and ways of thinking and doing, and they provide a ready source of talent and motivated labor to support work in ITCP.   However, how academic environments embrace change caries enormously.  Still, ITCP activities have begun to proliferate in academia.

Institutional Issues and Public Policy

There are four relevant global issues on which committee members have informed commentary to offer here: digital copyright, digital archiving and preservation, validation and recognition structures, and the geography of ITCP.  In these four areas, ITCP work could benefit from some type of concerted action by several interested groups.  “First, the ongoing copyright debates on the use and re-use of digital information have important immediate and future consequences for the conduct of ITCP work.  Second, the archiving and preservation of digital content for the benefit of future generations – to support both future enjoyment and to serve as a baseline for future ITCP work – requires action now before many digital works become lost.  Third, new recognition and validation structures may be needed to evaluate and reward ITCP work that is notably different from mainstream information technology (IT) or arts and design work.  And fourth, regional development policies and practices can encourage or discourage the evolution of environments conducive to ITCP work.”(176-177)

Supporting Work in Information Technology and Creative Practices

Support for ITCP comes from many sources and is difficult to measure.  Also, many questions complicate a full understanding of ITCP funding.  Because commercial activity spans only a portion of ITCP, commercial resources are not sufficient to sustain ITCP.  Further, commercial activity is not evenly distributed.  Here the focus is on non-commercial – government and philanthropic – funding for ITCP because: it is linked to the most exploratory activity, it is linked to education and human capacity building, it is most likely to sustain the non-and pre-institutionalized activities that have been significant in early ITCP, and it is associated with a broad set of public-interest objectives.  “Although government and philanthropic funding for ITCP has a broader scope than funding linked to creating and distributing commercial products, it comes with a range of conditions.”(198)  The funding challenge lies in ensuring that practitioners and funders have enough common interests to nurture a vigorous spectrum of ITCP activities via their combination of creative effort and wherewithal.


This book is highly valuable in that it is not only a promotion of ITCP through education, but it is also a great resource to a great number of related web-links.  I was also excited to find one of my “dream galleries” mentioned (Mixed Greens).

Some work that I have done that may relate here was a project I took on about 6 years ago through the Arts in Education program in Buffalo.  This project involved going into urban and suburban schools and teaching the art students basic web design.  The students were highly encouraged to exhibit their artwork on these sites.  The overall concept was to tie it into the Pan-America event that took place in Buffalo in the 1800’s.  The final result culminated in an exhibit at the Burchfied Penney Gallery on the anniversary of the Pan-Am.  The exhibit consisted of both physical and web-based interactive work.

Also, briefly, I would like to mention that my own artwork has been highly influenced by computer technology.  In one body of work, I create color-separated, half-tone images and create “pixel stencils” through which I paint.  Not only do I hope to open discussions related to “the media”, but am also interested in the space between the material and immaterial. 

Submitted by Eli Pollard   


References/ Recommended Reading

No references for this section.