5
Venues for Information Technology and Creative Practices

Individuals and groups involved with information technology and creative practices (ITCP) benefit from participating in venues that support, motivate, and display this type of work. Such venues may occupy physical or virtual spaces, vary widely in scale and scope, range from loosely organized collectives to formal programs, and be either free-standing or connected to established institutions. They can offer important benefits such as access to tools, information resources, work spaces, funding,1 and opportunities for communication among practitioners, those who fund and display ITCP work, and audiences. This chapter describes and analyzes the evolution and characteristics of these venues for the purpose of providing guidance for the design of future ones.

The first section provides a historical perspective on studio-laboratories, which bring together different domains of knowledge, research, and practice—thus combining the artist’s (or designer’s) studio with the scientist’s (or engineer’s) laboratory. This section also introduces the three classes of modern studio-laboratories: multifaceted new-media art and design2 organizations (typically non-profit), mechanisms for public display, and applied research activities in corporations. The remainder of the chapter discusses examples of these types of organizations and activities and draws distinctions between patterns in the United States and those abroad. Programs associated with academic institutions are an important special case and are discussed in Chapter 6.

1  

Funding issues are discussed primarily in Chapter 8.

2  

New-media art (and design) can be loosely characterized as art (and design) that uses IT in a significant way. Internet art (Net art) is a subset of new-media art, because the Internet is a subset of IT. Digital art is also a subset of new-media art, because new media could incorporate non-digital technologies or content.



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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity 5 Venues for Information Technology and Creative Practices Individuals and groups involved with information technology and creative practices (ITCP) benefit from participating in venues that support, motivate, and display this type of work. Such venues may occupy physical or virtual spaces, vary widely in scale and scope, range from loosely organized collectives to formal programs, and be either free-standing or connected to established institutions. They can offer important benefits such as access to tools, information resources, work spaces, funding,1 and opportunities for communication among practitioners, those who fund and display ITCP work, and audiences. This chapter describes and analyzes the evolution and characteristics of these venues for the purpose of providing guidance for the design of future ones. The first section provides a historical perspective on studio-laboratories, which bring together different domains of knowledge, research, and practice—thus combining the artist’s (or designer’s) studio with the scientist’s (or engineer’s) laboratory. This section also introduces the three classes of modern studio-laboratories: multifaceted new-media art and design2 organizations (typically non-profit), mechanisms for public display, and applied research activities in corporations. The remainder of the chapter discusses examples of these types of organizations and activities and draws distinctions between patterns in the United States and those abroad. Programs associated with academic institutions are an important special case and are discussed in Chapter 6. 1   Funding issues are discussed primarily in Chapter 8. 2   New-media art (and design) can be loosely characterized as art (and design) that uses IT in a significant way. Internet art (Net art) is a subset of new-media art, because the Internet is a subset of IT. Digital art is also a subset of new-media art, because new media could incorporate non-digital technologies or content.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity STUDIO-LABORATORIES HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE In the evolution of creative work, the role of individuals in creating new practices and of disciplines in providing tools and methodologies to be reworked is well understood. But the essential role that institutions play in making it possible for individuals and disciplines to come into contact and flourish can be more difficult to recognize. An accurate history of 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. The term “renaissance,” though, may in fact be appropriate, because the role of institutions in the last century parallels the central, often unrecognized role that they played in the Renaissance. In 1950, art historian Erwin Panofsky pointed out that the age of Leonardo and Durer was one of turbulence, decompartmentalization, and in particular great social mobility after the cloistered separation of the Medieval worlds of theory and practice. The great advances, he added, were indeed made by the instrument makers, artists, and engineers, not the professors. But what made this possible were new institutions, like the academies, that served as “transmission belts” between previously separated domains of knowledge and practice. Perhaps blinded by the brilliance of the rare figure of the da Vincian creator, one may lose sight of the importance of the dilettanti who frequented the academies—people who were “interested in many things.”3 Today’s studio-laboratories are similarly populated. If the current era is, like Panofsky’s Renaissance, a period of hybridity and interdisciplinarity, then it can also be described as a period where, in many different, local places, experts of diverse kinds, interested in “many things,” meet and learn from one another. The late 20th century has generally been described as a period of postmodernism, in which the stable values of the past were no longer pertinent and were being replaced by a medley of ideas from different sources. Instead of taking the general view that sees ideas as hopelessly jumbled together, one can look for the complex dynamics that arise when specific ideas come into contact with each other at a variety of local, concrete places. This perspective corresponds with recent trends in social theory, in which there is less focus on the individual 3   Erwin Panofsky, 1952, “Artist, Scientist, Genius. Notes on the Renaissance Dammerung,” The Renaissance: A Symposium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. An accurate history of the 20th century would counter the widespread but false impression that there has been a renaissance of creativity enabled uniquely by the computer.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity units of society and more on the complexity that results when they interact with each other. This allows us to move from thinking about art/design and science/technology as two distinct, separate spheres, and to look instead at how they interact with each other.4 From this perspective, the studio-laboratory can be viewed as a hybrid institution where such interaction can occur. A useful demarcation point can be found in the famous Bauhaus slogan “art and technology, a new unity,” in the early 1920s. It is here that a cursory genealogy of the studio-laboratory can begin. See Box 5.1. THREE CLASSES OF MODERN STUDIO-LABORATORIES There are three classes (or phases) in the development of modern studio-laboratories: art/design-driven technology development, public diffusion and critical debate, and industrially sponsored applied research. Taken together, the three classes theoretically form a continuum involving upstream experimentation, public diffusion of results, and downstream development. These classes can easily be merged into a single concern for more innovation and creativity in the art-design-technology-science intersection. However, the reality is that the three classes came into being at different times and are rarely in close productive cooperation. Thus, it is not surprising that some aspects of the continuum have been more successful than others, leaving an overall impression of unevenness and some significant gaps. Figure 5.1 conveys in broad outline the increasing frequency with which studio-laboratories were founded, especially after the 1960s. In the first phase, research and production were oriented principally toward the creation of singular, visionary artworks using technology and little concerned with, or constrained by, wider application (or usability) outside the immediate aesthetic context. In the second phase, toward the end of the 1970s, specialized institutions were planned and established to focus on the presentation of new technological art in public arenas, and critical analysis and recognition of such work. The third phase, beginning in the 1980s alongside the opening up of mass markets for personal computers, packaged end-user applications, and cultural commodities like musical instruments and video games, was oriented toward applied research and development. Among the most oft-cited examples from the first phase was Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), founded by artist Robert 4   Karen Knorr-Cetina, 1999, Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. “I also reject the notion that there is a sharp distinction between technical (instrumental, productive, rational) activities and symbolic processes. It is the exclusionary definition of the two that poses the problem.”

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity BOX 5.1 The Bauhaus Influenced by the 19th-century British arts and crafts movement, the Bauhaus is commonly thought of primarily in terms of the Modern design style with which it is usually associated, or in terms of its formative influence in design education. But aside from its aesthetics, one of the basic issues the Bauhaus worked on was the tension between commitments to research on basic artistic principles and to making saleable, machine-reproducible objects. This tension dogged it through its brief but highly influential 14-year existence. Constantly in turmoil, from its founding in the disastrous wake of World War I to suppression by the Nazis, the Bauhaus was never a “stable, communal, harmonious ensemble.”1 An important example of the research made possible in the Bauhaus context was the work of the “pure” artists who were employed to bring “exact experimental” methods to the realm of art.2 The painter Paul Klee, for instance, created a substantial body of theoretical and pedagogical work at the Bauhaus, much of it concerned with the problem of visual notation of dynamic form. This research-production was to a large degree out of sync with the immediate problems of mass production and housing. However, Klee’s sustained investigation of visual form in terms of dynamics proved to have enormous influence on other fields outside art, such as music composition and film animation, and on computer graphics decades later. All this work was carried out using traditional means of drawing and painting, and was concerned not with directly representing the Machine Age of the Bauhaus, but, more deeply, with the logical primitives needed for visually representing dynamic relationships. Klee’s work was deeply reflective of broader cultural issues of its time, including the intoxication with speed, transportation, and new models of time. But it was also beyond its time, in that it opened up a rich vein of “exact intuitions” (as Klee himself might have put it) whose implications were directly applicable to later practitioners working with newer technologies. The Bauhaus ideal of an “experimental mini-cosmos” mutually shaped by art, engineering, science, and philosophical concepts3 served as inspiration and template for subsequent organizations crossing the boundaries between technology and culture. This occurred partly through people, as many of the Bauhaus leaders immigrated to the United States. But, more generally, the idea of an institutional site for research to which master artists would attach themselves, if provisionally, has been influential, continuously invoked in the foundation of subsequent art/design and technology research centers since the 1960s. There were other important influences from the early 20th-century avant-garde on more recent art-technology movements. But the Bauhaus developed what sociologist Henri Lefebvre has called a “specific rationality,” which was new to the cultural sphere.4 This specific rationality—characteristic of the studio-laboratory— was inclusive, refusing a sharp distinction between the techno-scientific and the symbolic-expressive realms. For the modernist master composer Pierre Boulez in the 1970s, or the architectural theorist Heinrich Klotz in the 1980s, or computer scientist Pelle Ehn in the 1990s, the Bauhaus model inspired a holistic approach to co-development of new art and new technologies, both informed by theoretical research.5 1   Elaine S. Hochman, 1997, Bauhaus: Crucible of Modernism, Fromm International, New York. 2   Paul Klee, 1928, “Exact Experiments in the Realm of Art,” Paul Klee: The Thinking Eye, Notebooks of Paul Klee, Jürg Spiller, ed., Lund Humphires, London. 3   Peter Galison, 1990, “Aufbau/Bauhaus: Logical Positivism and Architectural Modernism,” Critical Inquiry 16 (Summer): 709-752. 4   Henri Lefebvre, 1991 [1974], The Production of Space, Blackwell, Oxford. 5   Heinrich Klotz, 1990, The Center for Art and Media Technology Karlsruhe. An Architecture Competition, Okotogon, Stuttgart-München; Pierre Boulez, 1985, Le modèle du Bauhaus. Points de repère, Editions Seuil, Paris.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity FIGURE 5.1 Studio-laboratories in the 20th century. AE Center—Ars Electronica, Austria ATR—ATR Media Integration and Communications Systems Laboratories, Japan E.A.T.— Experiments in Art and Technology EVL–Chicago—Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois, Chicago GMD—German Research Center for Information Technology I3 networks—Intelligent Information Interfaces, program of European Commission Fifth Framework for Research IRCAM—Institut de Recherche et Coordination en Acoustique et Musique (Institute of Research and Coordination in Acoustics and Music), Paris MIT–CAVS—Massachusetts Institute of Technology–Center for Advanced Visual Studies NRC–NFB—National Research Council Canada–National Film Board NTT–ICC—Nippon Telegraph and Telephone InterCommunication Center, Tokyo PARC–PAIR—Xerox Palo Alto Research Center–Artist in Residence Program V2—V2_Organisation, Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam WDR—West German Broadcasting Network WNET—WNET Television Workshop Artist-in-Residence Program ZKM—Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (Center for Art and Media), Karlsruhe, Germany Rauschenberg and Bell Labs physicist Billy Klüver in New York in 1966. The goal of E.A.T. was to establish “an international network of experimental services and activities designed to catalyze the physical, economic and social conditions necessary for cooperation between artists, engineers and scientists.” The research role of the contemporary artist was understood by E.A.T. as providing “a unique source of experimentation and exploration for developing human environments

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity of the future.”5 At the same time, other Bell Labs scientists were also engaged in collaborative research, in computer graphics and vision, music, and acoustics.6 Also during the late 1960s, at MIT, the Hungarian artist and Bauhaus affiliate Gyorgy Kepes founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, providing a stable location for collaboration between artists in residence and university-based scientists and engineers. In the second phase, the earliest self-standing art-technology centers appeared—notably the Institut de Recherche et Coordination en Acoustique et Musique (IRCAM) in Paris—with a focus on the artistic rather than the industrial potential of information technology (IT) and electronics. Composer Pierre Boulez launched the IRCAM based on a conception of research/invention as the central activity of contemporary musical creation; Boulez invoked the “model of the Bauhaus” as cross-disciplinary inspiration for what he considered the necessary and inevitable collaboration between musicians and scientists.7 The modernist autonomy of the computer music research at IRCAM did not prevent it from also orienting its program toward a wider cultural public, aiming to put an otherwise forbidding musical language in the context of the history of 20th-century music and intellectual life. The second phase, which incorporated festivals, exhibitions, commissions, and competitions of electronic art, marked an increased commitment of both public administrations and private corporations toward exposing the most radical media-based creativity to a wider public. As festivals such as Ars Electronica became global in scope beginning in the 1980s, so also plans were drawn up in most advanced industrial countries to establish permanent centers able to incorporate a dual research/development and public education mandate. Among the most conspicuous were the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM) in Germany and the NTT InterCommunication Center in Japan. In the United States, there has been no investment at a comparable scale in active commissioning, exhibition, and public programming of ITCP. Some smaller efforts have been made at a consistent level of quality and commitment, notably in science museums, such as the Exploratorium in San Francisco. New-media artists and techno-art engineers speak with a common voice in lamenting the lack of well-developed circuits for public exhibition, review, and systematic documentation. This was often expressed to the committee as the absence of European-style institutions in the United States that combine re 5   Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), 1969, Experiments in Art and Technology Proceedings, E.A.T., New York. 6   Bell-Telephone, 1967, “Art and Science: Two Worlds Merge,” Bell Telephone Magazine, November/December. Also see Box 6.3 in Chapter 6. 7   Pierre Boulez, 1985, Le modèle du Bauhaus. Points de repère, Editions Seuil, Paris. In terms of computer expertise, IRCAM depended heavily on the U.S. academic computer music community, initially duplicating the computer system and software in use at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity search in contemporary media arts with large collections and public displays. Artists worry about a lack of contact with the American public, and, more specifically, seek intelligent and informed responses to created installations and wider professional and disciplinary associations. Not that ZKM and other such centers are without critics. The German philosopher and critic Florian Roetzer analyzed the media-center bandwagon of the late 1980s, when he commented sardonically that “everywhere there are plans to inaugurate media centres, in order not to lose the technological ‘connection.’ . . . This new attention is supported by the diffuse intention to get on with ‘it’ now, the contents remaining rather arbitrary, so long as art, technology and science are somehow joined in some more or less apparent affiliation with business and commerce.”8 Roetzer was then not alone among critical intellectuals in harboring a deep ambivalence about these institutional developments, fearing that they would serve only to accelerate the public acceptance of automation in everyday life, on the one hand, and to co-opt artists—“with their purported creativity”—into becoming commercial application designers, on the other. As it turned out, explicitly designed linkages between art, research, and industrial innovation developed a good deal beyond Roetzer’s cynical prognostications, and rather quickly became the basis for the third phase of the contemporary studio-laboratory. The third phase was marked by the establishment of the MIT Media Laboratory. Many observers would probably count the MIT Media Lab as the most successful, as well as widely imitated, model for industrially sponsored research on art, design, and new-media technologies. (Because of its connection to an academic institution, the lab is discussed in Chapter 6.) The Media Lab’s large-scale, precompetitive industrial consortia are global in scope and have inspired a number of institutional responses in other countries. For instance, the Swedish initiative of a network of six interactive institutes, loosely interacting but also differentiated according to technology and artistic focus, grew in large measure out of a national initiative to attract and retain a critical mass of researchers while still decentralizing the activity to both large and small cities.9 During the third phase, a number of technology companies attempted to harness artistic expertise to further corporate goals. For example, Interval Research Corporation assembled an unusually diverse research staff, including artists and filmmakers as well as computer and social scientists. Throughout the 1990s, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) supported an in-house artist-in-residence 8   Florian Roetzer, 1989, “Aesthetics of the Immaterial? Reflections on the Relation Between the Fine Arts and the New Technologies,” Artware, catalog for the “Kunst und Elektronik” exhibition, Hannover, Germany. 9   See <http://www.interactiveinstitute.se>. Also see the discussion in the section “Hybrid Networks,” below. There is an absence of European-style institutions in the United States that combine research in contemporary media arts with large collections and public displays.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity program, whose intent, according to PARC director John Seely Brown, was to serve as “one of the ways that PARC seeks to maintain itself as an innovator, to keep its ground fertile and to stay relevant to the needs to Xerox.”10 Some of these efforts have had positive aspects, but few, if any, last very long. Much of the difficulty seems to be how to justify them in the corporate context, especially in difficult economic times. Interval Research is closed and PARC’s work is increasingly outside the ITCP domain.11 MULTIFACETED NEW-MEDIA ART AND DESIGN ORGANIZATIONS This section reviews a few of the best-known examples of new-media art and design organizations, based mostly in Europe (given the lack of such organizations in the United States), in two categories: standalone centers and hybrid networks.12 Some of these examples might serve as learning experiences for the future establishment of similar U.S.-based organizations. STANDALONE CENTERS Among the most prominent standalone centers is the ZKM13 (a collection of commonly housed institutions involved in new-media art), which encompasses research and development institutes, a media art library, a media art museum, and a modern art museum. The ZKM regularly hosts talks, workshops, and conferences on issues in art history, technology policy, and cultural criticism of technology. A North American version of this model is the Banff Centre in Canada, although the scope of the Banff Centre extends beyond new-media work and its exhibition programs are limited. Other centers include Ars Electronica in Austria, the Center for Culture and Communication (C3) Foundation in Hungary, and the Waag Society in the Netherlands. Established in 1988, the ZKM (Center for Art and Media) is an influential institution that plays an important role in the German cultural scene (ZKM has hosted the Bambis, for example, the German equivalent of the Emmy awards). Founded on the idea that giving 10   John Seely Brown, 1999, “Introduction,” p. xi in Art and Innovation: The Xerox PARC Artist-in-Residence Program, Craig Harris, ed., MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 11   See the section “Corporate Experiences with Information Technology and Creative Practices” below in this chapter for further discussion of corporate initiatives. 12   Also see the discussion of funding organizations within the international context in Chapter 8. 13   See <http://www.zkm.de/>.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity artists access to all of the hardware and software tools and programmers they need to realize their creative vision, ZKM’s research institutes maintain cutting-edge hardware and software and a staff of programmers and designers. Because of the depth of resources available to individuals who have a commission or residence at ZKM, artists are encouraged to experiment. The rarity of a (relatively) non-resource-constrained environment being offered by such an organization has resulted in ZKM attracting many established and well-known new-media artists. In addition to supporting art-oriented work, ZKM established two institutes with other foci—one institute with a focus on basic research and another with a focus on socioeconomic research. Located within the mountains of Alberta, Canada, the Banff Centre hosts work that ranges from the visual arts to theater to music to media. An elaborate resource to facilitate creative thinking and production, the center provides artists with access to studios, technical resources, and trained and skilled production interns. When supporting a project, the center has sometimes been able to supply an artist with a highly trained collaborative team, which includes programmers and designers, to work with the artist until his/her project is completed.14 Using repeat invitations, Banff has a policy of developing relationships with people over time, and this has become a positive and even essential component of the center’s atmosphere. The environment is intense and intimate; in the mountains, people tend to hang out together, working, eating, and socializing. The downside of the residency experience tends to be stretched resources, both human and economic, that make it difficult to create continuous work flow. Technical team members are often working on multiple projects, sometimes making it very difficult to move a project forward and keep it coherent. In addition, the time limits on residencies mean that work must fit within the allotted time rather than developing and resolving at its own rate. How credit is given in teams has also become an issue, as there can be an unfortunate tendency to treat technical collaborators as a kind of service crew. Like ZKM, the Banff Centre has a history of intellectually stimulating seminars and conferences that bring together a broad variety of people from both the non-profit and commercial sectors of new media. At Banff these are often the top people in the field, and the center has become known for the cross-pollination among disciplines that it offers. Ars Electronica,15 which is located in Austria, has a rich history of promoting collaborations involving art, technology, and society. 14   The Art and Virtual Environments seminar, for instance, included eight projects experimenting with virtual reality tools. As an example, one virtual reality installation was a murder mystery entitled “Archeology of a Mother Tongue” that involved a collaboration between Michael Mackenzie, a playwright and director working in Montréal, and Toni Dove, an artist based in New York (and a committee member). See Mary Anne Moser and Douglas MacLeod, eds., 1996, Immersed in Technology: Art and Virtual Environments, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 15   For more information, see <http://www.aec.at/>.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Through a series of ventures dating back as far as 1979, it has established itself as a model for other organizations to follow. Ars Electronica consists of four major activities: the Ars Electronica Center, a media center showcasing art and technology projects; Futurelab, the center’s research and development arm; Festival, an annual festival focusing on the convergence of art and technology; and Prix, an international competition for “cyberarts.” The Center for Culture and Communication (C3) Foundation16 in Budapest bills itself as an institution whose main focus is fostering cooperation among the spheres of art, science, and technology, as well as providing a space for innovative experiments and developments related to communication, culture, and open society. Begun in 1996 as a 3-year pilot project, C3 is the result of a cooperative effort of the Soros Foundation Hungary, Silicon Graphics Hungary, and Matáv (a Hungarian telecommunications company). In November 1999, C3— with the cooperation of its founders—became an independent, nonprofit institution. One of C3’s goals has been to assist with the integration of new technologies into Hungary’s social and cultural tradition. Along those lines, C3 has been involved in efforts to provide Internet access to many individuals and non-government organizations, as well as operating a free Internet café and offering free courses regarding how to use the Internet. The Waag Society17 was established in 1994 in Amsterdam as a foundation whose research program is focused on the ways in which people express themselves through new and old media. The society has four distinct programs: creative learning, interfacing access, public research, and sensing presence. In addition, the society is also cooperating with partners from industry on several projects. Among these is PILOOT, a communications environment for people with mental disabilities. Standalone new-media arts and design centers possess unique strengths and face special challenges. Among their strengths, they can offer both stability and freedom to creative people who need work space and technical support. But most such centers are small and resource-constrained. Many centers are based on artist-in-residence programs or colonies with a short-term orientation, and the accumulation of discrete projects with targeted, limited-time funding forms the research agenda. As people and money come and go, organizations may have difficulty sustaining long-term intellectual agendas and pursuing topics iteratively in a way that leads to new insights; therefore, they seldom are viewed as knowledge-building entities like corporations or university departments. They also may have difficultly in acquiring innovative (often expensive, at least for the budgets of many non-profits) technological capabilities. It is possible and desirable, but difficult, for centers to have real research programs with multiyear 16   For more information, see <http://www.c3.hu/>. 17   For more information, see <http://www.waag.org/>. Standalone new-media arts and design centers possess unique strengths and face special challenges.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity funding. One approach is to obtain sponsorship from the IT industry; another is to develop durable research partnerships with universities and corporations. Short-term partnerships (on a project basis) sometimes have been successful, as when corporations provide significant resources in a co-development project. The optimal research strategy is not clear. Short-term programs can be valuable. Artists’ residencies are important as a way of democratizing access to technologies and networks of expertise that many artists might not otherwise be able to acquire.18 But an agenda dominated by discrete projects does not encourage the development of work with depth and richness. The other extreme of very rigid, long-term research agendas is likely no better, because such agendas presume that ITCP work can be clearly defined years in advance—a problematic assumption. At the level of the individual, as noted in Chapter 2, there is a tension between the time needed for playful exploration and conceptualization and the pressure for production. If standalone centers can strike the right balance among these competing pressures, they can fill unique ecological niches where ideas and new art forms are incubated successfully. Moreover, standalone centers assume greater importance in the overall scheme of studio-laboratories in light of the difficulties faced by applied ITCP activities in corporations, which are discussed in the last section of this chapter.19 HYBRID NETWORKS The term “hybrid networks,” which has become popular in some parts of the ITCP community, refers to consortia of diverse organizations. These networks are a means of supporting cooperation and collaboration across disciplines and communities—if they can overcome the communication problems, varying criteria for success, and other difficulties inherent in ITCP collaborations (as outlined in Chapter 2). In Europe, as well as in Canada, hybrid networks have sought to assemble a critical mass of ITCP workers, coupled to industrial sponsors and public policy usually aiming to develop regional innovation 18   Despite the lack of multifaceted new-media arts organizations in the United States, there are artists’ residency programs within academia, such as at Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico, and smaller organizations such as Harvestworks in New York City. There are also local programs in many cities that provide access on a more limited basis to computers, skilled teachers, and other resources. 19   New investments in physical infrastructures have recently been announced, though it is by no means certain how far some of them will be curtailed by economic cycles. In New York City, the Eyebeam Atelier (<www.eyebeam.org>) proposes a venue like the Ars Electronica Center. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a $150-million-scale Experimental Media and Performing Art Center has been announced. The Presidio development in San Francisco is negotiating a transfer of space to LucasFilm for mixed-use “high tech cultural development.” See “Open Letter” to create an Arts Lab—a hybrid art center and research facility—at the San Francisco Presidio, available online at <http://www.naimark.net/writing/artslab.html>.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity ITCP work creates new demands, because the work is often experimental and non-standard, and because the nexus of IT and creativity involves at least a limited breakdown of the separation between audience and performer. BOX 5.4 Mixed Greens The for-profit organization Mixed Greens does not deal with new-media art specifically, but it has an interesting business model that might be extended to other contexts. Describing itself as an organization that discovers, supports, and promotes artists, this multimedia production company uses its Web site to facilitate communication between artists and collectors. This model allows collectors to get to know artists through a multimedia, personality-based approach to exhibiting art. There are artist documentitos (short videos about the artists), questions that users can answer to match them up with artists, and ways for users to contact artists and learn more about their work or perhaps start a discussion about anything from artistic influences to commissioning a work.1 One result is The Mix, a Web-based tool for constructing a personal environment for site members to get to know the artists and their work that Mixed Greens supports. 1   See <http://www.mixedgreens.com>. It is important to recognize that ITCP work creates new demands, because the work is often experimental and non-standard, and because the nexus of IT and creativity involves at least a limited breakdown of the separation between audience and performer. Traditional museums and galleries are often poor choices for the display of interactive and/or time-based work (e.g., narratives) because visitors stroll in and out and are not prepared for an experience of duration, nor are these spaces set up for specific start times. The rigidity of theaters with seats bolted to the floor does not work well, either. As a result, gallery spaces and performance and theater spaces need to be rethought to accommodate a less defined and more flexible practice. Theaters with flexible seating, movable partitions, projection systems with scalable, reconfigurable screen systems, and other innovations along these lines are making new work possible. Examples include the new-cinema theater of the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology (DLF) in Montréal, where seats can be fixed or folded under to alter the more conventional cinema setup for special presentations and which has a state-of-the-art digital projection system. The Schaubuehne Theater in Berlin showcases another innovative design and is based on flexibility of scale, audience organization, and media tools for presentation. However, to a large degree, such innovations are not visible to the general public when they visit movie theaters, playhouses or opera houses, symphony halls, or other arts venues, which appear much as they have for the past decades. There would seem to be a rich set of opportunities for new approaches in these traditional venues. However, such new approaches do not replace traditional venues, which

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity BOX 5.5 Burning Man In contrast to much of the work done within research laboratories, academic departments, and arts organizations, Burning Man1 is an intriguing example of art and technology hybridized outside an institutional framework. In many ways, this event, held annually in the desolate environs of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, is a counterpoint to what happens in the formal context of grants and research budgets, committees, and disciplines. The festival population, which in recent years has numbered almost 30,000 (mostly from the San Francisco Bay Area), includes thousands of engineers from Silicon Valley, from Cisco programmers to old-school hardware hackers. It is also a homing beacon for the West Coast’s ITCP community. It is a large-scale undertaking, all coordinated through electronic mail by a self-organizing web of techies, artists, lightning rods, and logistical magicians. The free-spiritedness of the event is belied by an impressive degree of networked organization. In a matter of weeks, this group of visionaries, tinkerers, and geeks erects not only a small city, with its own roads, sanitation, medical facilities, and electrical grid (all of which are dismantled in a matter of days—these libertarians run their show like a military operation), but also an eye-popping assortment of heavily technological artworks: towering amalgamations of metal and screens and sound feedback devices running artificial-life code, huge and programmable lighting arrays, explosive spectacles, and laser contraptions. Many of these art projects present unprecedented technical challenges, often requiring on-the-spot, midstream innovation (somehow, there are always enough soldering irons, duct tape, fuses, and volunteer laborers to go around—many of the larger installations combine the community effort of barn raising with the specialized expertise of Mission Impossible). In a sense, Burning Man embodies the “gift” economy that drives open-source software, with regard to atoms as well as bits. Burning Man also serves as a combination laboratory/audience for a grand techno-artistic experiment. Perhaps the most salient aspect of Burning Man, for technologists and artists within institutions, is the extent to which social capital can be leveraged at the intersection of technology and creative practices. What Burning Man has in abundance is not financial resources or institutional support or even human capital, in the sense that corporations do (i.e., salaried employees and administrative support). What it has, in abundance, is social capital—the relationships among people that give the event a reason to exist. Burning Man is a phenomenon that emerges from that network, a physical manifestation of the social and creative ties that go back years, sometimes decades. As a way of manifesting the human relationships that bind art and technology, and leveraging those relationships on a large scale, Burning Man is an object lesson for more formal organizations, both in vision and implementation. 1   Detailed information about Burning Man can be found at <http://www.burningman.com>. may well remain valuable places to experience ITCP work. For an example of a distinctive non-traditional venue, see Box 5.5. Performance art is also going online. Franklin Furnace,60 a non-profit arts organization that has long supported performance art and other alternative practices in the downtown New York art scene, went digital in the late 1990s and began supporting digital art through commissions and residencies. Also in New York, as part of an exhibit 60   See <http://www.franklinfurnace.org>.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity associated with the New Museum, the Surveillance Camera Players performed in front of a Webcam; the audience could view the performance in person at various locations, including the New Museum window on Broadway, or online. The Brooklyn Academy of Music,61 which gave its first performance in 1861 and has a reputation for changing with the times, has hosted online interactive documentaries that explore and offer insights into the ideological foundation and creation of work presented on stage. For example, “Under_score: Net Art, Sound and Essays from Australia” exhibits the works of nine artists with portals to sonic experimentation. Thematically centered on the body, these projects confront what it means to be sexed up, desired, gendered, and identified under electronic conditions. Another documentary chronicles the development of the work Love Songs by choreographer David Roussève and his company REALITY, and presented as part of BAM’s 1999 Next Wave Festival. Users have access to rehearsal footage, interviews with Roussève, company information, and discussions about the work.62 Some experiments with art presentation provide venues for Internet-based research that push the envelope in terms of how technology can be used to augment social environments. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)63 in New York City has supported a number of new-media artists through commissions and has used the Internet to engage artists to overcome obstacles linked to space and time. For instance, its Conversations with Contemporary Artists program, originally presented offline, recently was replicated online. Projects constrained by time such as Time Capsule have been migrated online as well. Similarly, the Walker Art Center is focusing not on how virtual space enables the display of content, but rather on how it facilitates information sharing and collaboration in the creation of art—a kind of Internet-based creative research and development.64 Built in 1971, the center concentrates on supporting the development and exhibition of modern art. By supporting film/video, performing, and visual arts, the center takes a global, cross-disciplinary, and diverse approach to the creation, presentation, interpretation, collection, and preservation of art.65 The new-media initiatives of the center seek to achieve two goals: Its Gallery 9 project promotes project-driven exploration through digital-based media, whereas the SmArt project concentrates on information architecture and the role that it might play in facilitating access to the collections and activities of the center. 61   See <http://www.bam.org>. 62   One reviewer, however, suggested that BAM is pulling back from such digital initiatives. 63   See <http://www.moma.org/>. 64   See <http://www.walkerart.org/jsindex.html>. 65   See <http://www.walkerart.org/generalinfo/>.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity It is important to note that efforts to collect and display ITCP work run into the formidable challenges posed by digital technology. (See Chapter 7.) For instance, the likely inability to distinguish between an original and a copy will have a profound effect on museums, one rivaling the effect that photographic reproduction had on art.66 This will cause a paradigm shift in how a museum views its holdings (as pimarily unique original objects) and how it certifies their authenticity. Conservationists will also have to shift from the paradigm of repairing and saving a physical object to that of maintaining a set of disembodied artistic content over time. Indeed, it has been said that new-media art questions the most fundamental assumptions of museums: What is a work? How do you collect? What is preservation? What is ownership?67 CORPORATE EXPERIENCES WITH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND CREATIVE PRACTICES A number of industries depend heavily on, and derive substantial profits from, ITCP activities. This may be most obvious in entertainment, or “content-based” corporations. For example, filmmaking has driven and adopted advances in both technical and creative achievement, and computer games would not exist at all without ITCP (the collaborative nature of these industries is discussed in Chapter 2). Yet technology companies seem to be less successful in importing and applying art and design knowledge to their activities. Some companies have experimented with specialized arts centers, artist-in-residence programs, or short-term arts projects, with mixed results. Two less than successful initiatives were mentioned earlier in this chapter: Interval Research and Xerox PARC’s Artist-in-Residence program. Lucent’s one-of-a-kind collaboration with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which produced the acclaimed Listening Post (described in Chapter 2), is now defunct, a victim of the company’s financial woes. Tough economic times in 2001 and 2002 have led to the downsizing of the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone InterCommuni 66   Walter Benjamin, 1969, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Illuminations, Hannah Arendt, ed., Schochen Books, New York; Howard Besser, 1987, “Digital Images for Museums,” Museum Studies Journal 3(1): 74-78; Howard Besser, 1997, “The Changing Role of Photographic Collections with the Advent of Digitization,” The Wired Museum, Katherine Jones-Garmil, ed., American Association of Museums, Washington, D.C., pp. 115-127. 67   As characterized by Jeremy Strike, director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in Museums and New Media Art by Susan Morris, a research report commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation (mimeo), October 2001.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity cation Center (ICC)68 and folding of the Canon ArtLab,69 both in Tokyo. But some IT companies have experienced ventures into art and design that generate qualitative and tangible benefits. The Philips Vision of the Future is one example of a large-scale, successful project that integrated technology development with design practices and human-centered disciplines such as anthropology.70 (See Box 5.6.) Another example is IBM Corporation’s Computer Music Center (CMC), which from 1993 to 2001 focused on the intersection of computer science and music as a research testbed, beginning with an effort to develop the underlying technology for KidRiffs, a consumer software product that was eventually marketed and sold. Over time, the center grew to focus on interactive music composition tools, seeking to understand the special demands that large-scale creative endeavors, such as film scoring, place on software. Research on visual programming languages, interactive graphics, real-time systems, and audio identification provided a diverse backdrop for the core music composition work. Although the CMC was ultimately closed, it contributed to product development, public relations, and the company’s portfolio of intellectual property.71 The QSketcher system, for example, developed in close collaboration with faculty and composers affiliated with the Berklee College of Music, pioneered several HCI mechanisms.72 The 68   Established in 1997, ICC sought to “encourage the dialogue between technology and the arts using a core theme of ‘communication’” and “to become a network that links artists and scientists worldwide, as well as a center for information exchange.” Both a museum open to the public and a research lab, ICC was a place for the conceptualization, introduction, and testing of advanced media art communication technologies. But ICC was more than just a setting where artists and technologists congregated to create media art to be displayed in a museum or gallery. Offering workshops, performances, symposiums, and publishing, the center went beyond exploring the possibilities of new forms of communication to attempt to educate and expose the public to the capabilities of the art and technology intersection. See <http://www.ntticc.or.jp>. 69   ArtLab was a corporate lab focused on the integration of the arts and sciences, primarily by encouraging new artistic practices using digital imaging technologies. The “factory” (laboratory) employed computer engineers using Canon digital products in interaction with artists in residence to produce new digital art works. The studio portion of the program has presented exhibitions of the works developed in-house. In 1995, seeking to introduce multimedia works to the general public, the ArtLab began its Prospect Exhibitions program, which also provides access to the work of multimedia artists and creators outside the ArtLab. Workshops and lectures on new communications technologies and practices were also organized on an ad hoc basis and are both national and international in scope. See <http://www.canon.co.jp/cast/artlab/index.html>. 70   See <http://www.design.philips.com/vof/toc1/home.htm>. 71   Sometime prior to the closure of the center, IBM determined that a venture into the music software tools market was unlikely but continued to support the center as a fundamental research effort. 72   See Steven Abrams, Joe Smith, Ralph Bellofatto, Robert Fuhrer, Daniel Oppenheim, James Wright, Richard Boulanger, Neil Leonard, David Mash, and Michael Rendish, 2002, “QSketcher: An Environment for Composing Music for Film,” pp. 157-164 in Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Creativity and Cognition, Loughborough University, U.K., ACM Press, New York.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity center hosted well-known musicians, served as a recruiting tool, and contributed to education and outreach programs. The venture also produced a stream of inventions, including 16 patents filed over the center’s last 4 years.73 Such interactions can also be valuable from the artists’ perspective. For example, AT&T’s Bell Labs, later partly spun off with Lucent, never had a formal artist-in-residence program, but Bell Labs had some informal arrangements with musicians and filmmakers who were invited to try out software programs, collaborate on specific projects, and provide consulting or video documentation services. No money was provided for music and art projects, although film production expenses were sometimes covered by the parent company (AT&T or Lucent) or outside grants. A committee member who participated in these activities, Lillian Schwartz, recalls that the artists were thrilled to have the chance to work with great minds and unique technologies, and the scientists were inspired by the interactions to produce new and enhanced hardware and software such as a hands-free telephone. In addition, such interactions afford artists and designers with the possibility to have wide-scale impact, by affecting the design of products used on a mass-market scale. Whether the types of benefits detailed here are sufficient to convince technology companies to initiate and retain artistic/design programs is open to debate. Within a for-profit corporation, there is an understanding that initiatives have to justify their own resource commitments in an expected financial return in terms of some measure such as productivity improvement, cost savings, or increased revenue. Unfortunately, ITCP work, like corporate R&D more generally, does not lend itself very easily to calculations of return on investment or net present value.74 Nonetheless, these programs can be evaluated, and their impact ascertained, in a qualitative fashion, much as the impact of an employee can often be ascertained in a qualitative fashion. The questions include the following: Did this project enhance the capabilities of the organization? Did it prompt useful discussion and action? Did it matter to anyone other than the artist or designer? If so, how? If the project is undertaken as a strategic exercise, rather than a public relations exercise, then it has to demonstrate some relevance, even if it does not directly result in a commercial product (as most R&D projects do not). 73   The discussion of the IBM Computer Music Center is based on the personal account of a committee member. 74   As an aside, it is worth noting that basic research—in the sciences or otherwise—is also very difficult to describe in terms of quantitative benefits, inasmuch as the benefits may become apparent after a considerable lag or may be realized outside the performing unit. Although some companies (e.g., IBM, Lucent Technologies) use counts of outputs such as patents, and most companies measure how much they spend on research-related activities (usually development), such indicators are still primitive and incomplete when it comes to assessing the value of the work.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity BOX 5.6 A Vision of the Future Pays Off in New Knowledge and Products The goal of the 1995 Vision of the Future, a project in the design division of a large electronics corporation, was to incorporate quality-of-life considerations into the design of new technological products. Participants created conceptual designs for electronic consumer products, based on scenarios sketching out technological and cultural changes likely to happen in the near future. Although IT products are often driven largely by technical considerations, Philips hoped to demonstrate that its products are intended to improve quality of life;1 enhance creativity within the Philips organization; use an integrated technical and sociocultural perspective as an opportunity to create new, unique types of products; and demonstrate that a focus on quality of life could have tangible benefits in the form of new product design. The project created concrete instantiations—models, simulations, and movies—of scenarios developed by cross-disciplinary teams whose members ranged from anthropologists to engineers to graphics designers, based on trends identified by futurists and engineers. These instantiations were used to get user feedback through an exhibition, book, video, and Web site, and to influence the design of future products. FIGURE 5.6.1 “Emotion containers” come in various personalized, aesthetically pleasing forms that contain smells, sounds, and images and can be given as sensuous and emotionally meaningful presents. Images contributed by Philips Design.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity For example, in the future-home scenario, technology is largely invisible, made transparent by being integrated directly into the home and its contents. Screens, for example, disappear, replaced by “living wallpaper”—wall-size, flat displays that could present anything from static or moving decoration to information to entertainment. Electronic objects no longer look “techie,” instead featuring sculptural shapes and aesthetically chosen forms that can be personalized to the user. There is an emphasis on technologies that support social connections; an example is Remote Eyes—small, wireless video cameras that can be placed anywhere, allowing people to share images from their daily lives and supporting a variety of playful uses. Environmental values are reflected in technology such as the Intelligent Garbage Can, which automatically sorts trash for recycling, compacts it, and removes its smell. The Vision of the Future was clearly a design success—it has achieved wide recognition, including the 1996 Design Distinction for Concept Design by I.D. Magazine (U.S.). But what about its impact on technology products? According to the Philips Web site, in the last 6 years “60% of all concepts envisioned in The Vision of the Future became actual solutions.” Wearable electronics, for example, which were envisioned in the project, are now being produced and marketed in the Industrial Clothing Division line, a partnership between Philips and Nike. The value of the methodology for the company itself is reflected in the development of a series of follow-on projects including the Home of the Near Future (1999), Connected Pl@net (2000), and Smart Connections (2001), each of which analyzes different technologies and application domains using the Strategic Futures methodology pioneered by the Vision of the Future. The value to Philips seems clear. At the same time, the question of the broader value of human-centered input from anthropologists, futurists, and designers for IT product development remains open. The project’s claim of supporting the environment seems to be belied by future scenarios describing the proliferation of inessential consumer goods and personalized (and hence nonreusable) products. At the same time, critics like Genevieve Bell and Joseph Kaye argue that the human values embodied in the Vision of the Future products are not substantially different from those of previous products—that the Vision of the Future manifesto’s claim that human values matter more than efficiency is violated by many of the resulting efficiency-focused products, from the Shiva personal organizer to interactive jewelry that connects wearers to agendas and reminds them of appointments.2 In fact, in describing products specifically intended to promote quality of life, the first attribute of this quality is said to be “when products or services reduce the time or amount of tasks needed to be performed.”3 Issues such as these underscore the need to negotiate the tension between the constraints on Philips as a company in the marketplace—the need to sell more products to consumers that are recognizable to them as consumable objects—and the humanist vision of the designers, ethnographers, and other participants in the project. In the end, claims to be able to shape culture in positive ways cannot be truly evaluated until the products have entered people’s homes and daily lives. Clearly, the Vision of the Future is good for the Philips Corporation; it remains to be seen if it will be good for society. 1   For this project, quality of life was understood with respect to two broad issues. The first issue was sustainability, in terms of both environmental sustainability (for example, the materials out of which the products were made) and social sustainability, or the support of an individual’s social and emotional needs within society. The second issue was general quality-of-life issues, with a focus on values and aesthetics over efficiency, a traditional focus of electronic appliance design (see, for example, Figure 5.6.1). 2   See Genevieve Bell and Joseph “Jofish” Kaye, 2002, “Designing Technology for Domestic Spaces: A Kitchen Manifesto,” Gastronomica 2(2): 46-62. 3   See <http://www.design.philips.com/vof/vofsite6/index.htm>.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Outside artists and designers, in the right context, can drive technology forward in unexpected ways. Even if it stirs controversy, or galvanizes opposition (some would say this is a sign of success), the project has to have an impact on the corporate discourse. If it is acclaimed outside the organization and ignored within, that, too, is a point of departure for the institution. Thus, the argument for introducing outsiders, such as artists, writers, independent designers, directors, curators, activists, anthropologists, and the like, into an IT corporation must be made in the absence of specific supporting empirical evidence. When would such outside perspectives be most valuable? The motivations of outside artists and designers, in the right context, can drive technology forward in unexpected ways. Artists reconfigure unlikely materials for unexpected purposes.75 Designers understand that commercial products alone do not determine their value as professionals; they often sustain elaborate extracurricular work to demonstrate their creativity. The opportunity cost of risk is tiny in the realm of cultural production, compared with the corporate sphere. And the rewards for risky new ideas are high. These drivers create a strong set of incentives to break new ground by confronting emerging issues,76 not the least of which is the form, function, and significance of new technologies, and the practices and assumptions that drive technology-oriented organizations. Essentially, the corporation that engages outsiders leverages incentives outside the economic sphere to generate intellectual capital that might not otherwise take root inside the organization.77 The primary value of this engagement, from the corporate perspective, is not the production of a better mousetrap—corporate R&D does a good job of optimizing mousetraps—but the discovery of new relevance for the mousetrap.78 The engagement of outsiders can generate value from the design of more stylish, usable, and aesthetically 75   See, for example, Vicki Goldberg, 2001, “Industry and Art: A Long Embrace,” New York Times, April 22, available online at <http://query.nytimes.com/search/abstract?res=F20A17FB3D540C718EDDAD0894D9404482>. 76   The incentives are intellectual and social—curiosity and glory—rather than commercial. The rewards in this context are overwhelmingly about status, rather than money—an artist’s career is, for better or worse, measured by and dependent on awards, inclusion in public and private collections and in museum and gallery exhibits, and critical attention. Architects and designers sometimes earn as much (or more) acclaim for their conceptual designs as for commercial products and real-world buildings. 77   As economist Richard Caves has argued, “Creative goods and services, the processes of their production, and the preferences or tastes of creative artists differ in substantial and systematic (if not universal) ways from their counterparts in the rest of the economy where creativity plays a lesser (if seldom negligible) role.” See Richard E. Caves, 2000, Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., p. 2. 78   New relevance may emerge over time. For example, British Petroleum has begun to investigate applications in medicine for the visualization and virtual reality tools it developed for oil and gas exploration. And a reviewer noted that Schlumberger was the first oil company to get into the medical business as it applied its knowledge of capillary action on another scale.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity pleasing products, if indeed it is true that technology has advanced sufficiently that the major differences among products discerned by consumers seldom are based on technological capability per se.79 The economic payoff of creative practice tends to be at the design level— for example, design has been so important at such companies as Apple Computer and Nike as to be a core competency.80 Moreover, current trends in ITCP suggest the potential for creative practice to shape IT that is more usable and better integrated with its users than has often been the case—whether among companies that focus on producing IT or on its intense use. The crux of the argument to bring in outsiders is that the organization’s regular staff is unable, on its own, to avail itself of the opportunities articulated above. Outsiders can help to challenge the status quo,81 to foster cognitive diversity.82 Resistance to change or inertia often derives from an organization’s culture and legacy products—there are proven ways to achieve success, and so it is understandable that the organization’s employees can be ambivalent about pursuing unproven avenues. And, indeed, the purpose of many organizations is to perform particular tasks repeatedly, gaining competitive advantage and providing value to the consumer through cost economies.83 Some corporations have initiated artist-in-residence programs that have tended to operate at the periphery of the organization. Such programs may produce greater benefits if they are managed as serious endeavors aimed at core functions that can yield important results across the enterprise.84 (Companies that have terminated programs that operated on the periphery may have had unrealistic expectations for them.) 79   See Vikas Bajaj, 2002, “Makers of Electronics Begin to Emphasize Style,” Dallas Morning News, May 2. 80   Of course, the contribution of designers reflects the work of artists, much as the contribution of engineers reflects the work of scientists. 81   One criterion for the selection of artists or designers in this role is that they will be willing to engage corporate staffs actively. They must not be aloof. 82   See Dorothy Leonard-Barton, 1995, Wellsprings of Knowledge: Building and Sustaining the Sources of Innovation, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass. 83   Whether an organization bakes bread, manufactures automobiles, teaches students, or provides hotel accommodations, what some might construe to be organizational (or structural) inertia may be characterized as core competence by others. More on this point can be found in the literature on organizational ecology; for example, see Michael T. Hannan and John Freeman, 1989, Organizational Ecology, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass; and Glenn R. Carroll and Michael T. Hannan, 1992, Dynamics of Organizational Populations, Oxford University Press, New York. 84   One comparison might be to the efforts of companies such as Apple Computer to designate roaming specialists as evangelists, such as its use at one time of Bruce Tognazzini as its Evangelist to Human Interface to promote attention to usability across the company.

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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity There could be irresistible pressure to institutionalize outsiders into an organization—especially if the outsiders are successful. Formal structures, titles, budgets, and other processes may evolve. Such developments may be essential to some degree, but this institutionalization would have to be monitored carefully. Formalization may undercut the effectiveness of the outsiders if priorities shift toward the protection of budgets and outsiders are enculturated to become insiders. To ensure fresh perspectives, it may be that the tenure of outsiders should be limited to a relatively short period of time.