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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Beyond Productivity Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Committee on Information Technology and Creativity Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES William J. Mitchell, Alan S. Inouye, and Marjory S. Blumenthal, Editors THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the Rockefeller Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08868-2 Library of Congress Control Number 2003103683 Cover design by Jennifer M. Bishop Copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055, (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 in the Washington metropolitan area. Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. 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. www.national-academies.org
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND CREATIVITY WILLIAM J. MITCHELL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair STEVEN ABRAMS, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center MICHAEL CENTURY, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute JAMES P. CRUTCHFIELD, Santa Fe Institute CHRISTOPHER CSIKSZENTMIHALYI, MIT Media Laboratory ROGER DANNENBERG, Carnegie Mellon University TONI DOVE, Independent Artist, New York City N. KATHERINE HAYLES, University of California at Los Angeles J.C. HERZ, Joystick Nation Inc. NATALIE JEREMIJENKO, Yale University JOHN MAEDA, MIT Media Laboratory DAVID SALESIN, University of Washington; Microsoft Research LILLIAN F. SCHWARTZ, Computer Artist-Inventor, Watchung, New Jersey PHOEBE SENGERS, Cornell University BARBARA STAFFORD, University of Chicago Staff ALAN S. INOUYE, Study Director and Senior Program Officer MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board DAVID PADGHAM, Research Associate MARGARET MARSH HUYNH, Senior Project Assistant LAURA OST, Consultant DAVID WALCZYK, Consultant SUSAN MAURIZI, Senior Editor JENNIFER M. BISHOP, Senior Project Assistant
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD DAVID D. CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair ERIC BENHAMOU, 3Com Corporation DAVID BORTH, Motorola Labs JOHN M. CIOFFI, Stanford University ELAINE COHEN, University of Utah W. BRUCE CROFT, University of Massachusetts at Amherst THOMAS E. DARCIE, AT&T Labs Research JOSEPH FARRELL, University of California at Berkeley JOAN FEIGENBAUM, Yale University WENDY KELLOGG, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center BUTLER W. LAMPSON, Microsoft Corporation DAVID LIDDLE, U.S. Venture Partners TOM M. MITCHELL, Carnegie Mellon University HECTOR GARCIA MOLINA, Stanford University DAVID A. PATTERSON, University of California at Berkeley HENRY (HANK) PERRITT, Chicago-Kent College of Law DANIEL PIKE, Classic Communications Inc. ERIC SCHMIDT, Google Inc. FRED SCHNEIDER, Cornell University BURTON SMITH, Cray Inc. LEE SPROULL, New York University WILLIAM STEAD, Vanderbilt University JEANNETTE M. WING, Carnegie Mellon University MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Scientist ALAN S. INOUYE, Senior Program Officer JON EISENBERG, Senior Program Officer LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Program Officer CYNTHIA A. PATTERSON, Program Officer STEVEN WOO, Dissemination Officer JANET BRISCOE, Administrative Officer RENEE HAWKINS, Financial Associate DAVID PADGHAM, Research Associate KRISTEN BATCH, Research Associate PHIL HILLIARD, Research Associate MARGARET MARSH HUYNH, Senior Project Assistant DAVID DRAKE, Senior Project Assistant JANICE SABUDA, Senior Project Assistant JENNIFER M. BISHOP, Senior Project Assistant BRANDYE WILLIAMS, Staff Assistant For more information on CSTB, see its Web site at <http://www.cstb.org>, write to CSTB, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001, call at (202) 334-2605, or e-mail the CSTB at email@example.com.
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Preface Computer science has drawn from and contributed to many disciplines and practices since it emerged as a field in the middle of the 20th century. Those interactions, in turn, have contributed to the evolution of information technology: New forms of computing and communications, and new applications, continue to develop from the creative interaction of computer science and other fields. Focused initially on interactions between computer science and other forms of science and engineering, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) began in the mid-1990s to examine opportunities at the intersection of computing and the humanities and the arts. In 1997, it organized a workshop that illuminated the potential, as well as the practical challenges, of mining those opportunities1 and that led, eventually, to the project described in this report. Ensuing discussions between CSTB staff and people interested in the intersection of computing and the humanities or the arts, notably Joan Shigekawa of the Rockefeller Foundation, a participant in the 1997 workshop, culminated in a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to study information technology and creativity (see Box P.1 for the statement of task). This report should be read with two conditions in mind: First, it is, by design, a record of the project, filled with descriptions, observations, conclusions, and recommendations intended to motivate and sustain interest and activity in the rich intersection of information technology (IT) and the arts and design. Second, in this book form it cannot possibly convey the exciting possibilities at that intersection. Instead, it presents examples and pointers to sites on the World Wide Web and in the physical world where that intersection can be observed and experienced. We urge the reader to treat this report as a 1 See Computing and the Humanities: Summary of a Roundtable Meeting, published in 1998 by the American Council of Learned Societies, one of three collaborators with CSTB in organizing the workshop.
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity BOX P.1 Statement of Task 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 [information technology]). They will explore what would make the most conducive 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. primer and guidebook and to seek out instances of IT and creative practices—ITCP—directly. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION AND PROCESS The study committee convened by CSTB featured an unusually eclectic group of individuals (see Appendix A for biographies of committee members). Characterizing most (or all) of them as experts on particular subjects would only begin to suggest the talents of this group. Collectively, the committee had expertise and experience in the intersections of information technology and music, the visual arts, film, and literature and in art history, architecture, cultural studies, and many of the technologies pertinent to ITCP. The committee did its work through its own deliberations and by soliciting input from a number of other experts (see Appendix B for a list of those who briefed the committee). It met first in August 2000 and five times subsequently in plenary session. Additional information was derived from reviewing the published literature, monitoring selected listservs and Web sites, and obtaining informal input at various conferences and other convenings. During the editorial phase of the study, facts were checked for accuracy with either authoritative published sources or subject experts. The diversity of this committee made it a microcosm of some of the communities it hopes to influence with this report. That diversity posed challenges in the conduct of this project that will be echoed in attempts to learn from it: Conversations among people with different training and professional experience can be confounded by jargon and
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity prejudices as well as by differing knowledge bases—even when those people share interests. The completion of this report attests to the potential for technologists and artists to find common ground, not only in undertaking creative work, but also in contemplating options for making such work easier to undertake and more widespread. But finding this common ground sometimes proved to be a formidable challenge. The productive interaction among committee members was captured in some of their career developments during the course of this project. Chris Csikszentmihalyi, for example, left Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to join John Maeda at MIT’s Media Lab. Michael Century left McGill University for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Natalie Jeremijenko was hosted by Jim Crutchfield for a month’s professional visit at the Santa Fe Institute. And John Maeda was inspired by the project to build “a new online Bauhaus.” These and other developments attest to the dynamism and creative energy of the people who have been exploring the intersection of IT and creativity. Although the report refers to several companies, products, and services by name, such reference does not constitute an endorsement by the committee or the National Academies. The committee did not evaluate any product or service in sufficient detail to allow such an endorsement. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee is particularly grateful to Joan Shigekawa of the Rockefeller Foundation for initiating this study. She approached CSTB with a conviction that the time was right for a conversation among people of different backgrounds about how to enhance and sustain the intersection of information technology and creative practices. We appreciate her guidance and support through the study process, including her participation in two committee meetings, occasional relay of useful information, and continuing demonstration of interest in the process and the eventual results. In addition, we would like to thank those individuals who provided valuable inputs into the committee’s deliberations. Those who briefed the committee at one of our plenary meetings are listed in Appendix B. Others who provided us with important inputs include Bill Alschuler (California Institute of the Arts), Howard Besser (New York University), Shari Garmise (Consultant, Washington, D.C.), Samuel Hope (National Office for Arts Accreditation), Sharon Kangas (Center for Arts and Culture), Anna Karlin (University of Washington), Ruth Kovacs (The Foundation Center), Joan Lippincott (Coalition for Networked Information), and Laurens R. Schwartz (Consultant, New York City). We would also like to acknowledge those organizations that hosted committee meetings: the American Institute of
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Graphic Arts, New York University, Stanford University, Pixar Animation Studios, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The committee appreciates the thoughtful comments received from the reviewers of this report and the efforts of the National Research Council’s report review coordinator. The review draft stimulated a comparatively large volume of comments, many of which provided additional reference material, relevant anecdotes, and observations to bolster or counter the committee’s earlier thinking. The comments were instrumental in helping the committee to sharpen and improve this report. In particular, Simon Penny of the University of California at Irvine provided an unusually extensive and thoughtful set of comments that served to improve the quality of this final report. Finally, the committee would like to acknowledge the staff of the NRC for their work. Alan Inouye served as the study director with overall staff responsibility for the conduct of the study and the development of this final report; his effort to bring the report to completion was exceptional and demanded far more of his time than anticipated. Marjory Blumenthal, director of the CSTB, provided essential guidance and input throughout the study process, drafted and edited a number of sections of the final report, and was both helpful and patient in bringing the committee process to a successful conclusion. Margaret Marsh Huynh had primary responsibility for the administrative aspects of the project such as organizing meeting logistics; her efforts made a particularly complicated and demanding process run smoothly. Consultants Laura Ost and David Walczyk generated initial drafts of several sections of the report; Ms. Ost also edited several chapters. Susan Maurizi edited the manuscript for publication. David Padgham and Jennifer Bishop provided research assistance; Ms. Bishop also created several of the original figures that appear in this report (including the cover design). The committee also thanks Janet Briscoe, Janice Sabuda, and Brandye Williams of the CSTB, and Claudette K. Baylor-Fleming and Carmela J. Chamberlain of the Space Studies Board for their support of the committee’s work. William J. Mitchell, Chair Committee on Information Technology and Creativity
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Anna Bentkowska, Conway Library, Courtauld Institute of Art, Howard Besser, New York University, Sandra Braman, University of Alabama, Donna Cox, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Robert Denison, First Security Company, Steve Dietz, Walker Art Center, Kristian Halvorsen, Hewlett Packard Laboratories, Paul Kaiser, Independent Artist, New York City, Alan Kay, Hewlett Packard Company, Clifford Lynch, Coalition for Networked Information, Simon Penny, University of California at Irvine, Bill Seaman, Rhode Island School of Design, and Mark Tribe, Rhizome.org. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Edward Lazowska, University of Washington. Appointed by the
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Contents SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS 1 1 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, PRODUCTIVITY, AND CREATIVITY 15 Inventive and Creative Practices, 16 Domains and Benefits of Creativity, 18 The Creative Industries, 20 Interactions Among Domains of Creative Activity, 22 The Roles of Information Technology, 24 The Race for Creativity in a Networked World, 27 Roadmap for This Report, 28 2 CREATIVE PRACTICES 30 What Makes People Creative, 30 How Creative People Work, 34 Individuals with Diverse Expertise and Skills, 36 Successful Collaborations, 40 Architecture, 44 Movie Production, 45 Computer Games, 48 Cultural Challenges in Cross-disciplinary Collaborations, 51 Overcoming Preconceived Notions About Computer Scientists and Artists and Designers, 52 Minimizing Communications Clashes, 55 Resources That Support Creative Practices, 57 Skills Training, 57 Work Spaces, 58 3 ADVANCING CREATIVE PRACTICES THROUGH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 61 Strange Bedfellows?, 61 Tools Needed to Support Creative Work: Hardware and Software, 65
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Hardware and Software Tools: A Mixed Blessing, 68 Support for Flexibility, Experimentation, and Play, 74 The Internet and the Web, 75 Economic Realities, 81 Standards, 84 Selected Areas for the Development of Hardware and Software That Would Promote Creative Work, 86 Distributed Control, 87 Sensors and Actuators, 88 Video and Audio, 89 Generative Processes, 92 Reliable, Low-latency Communication over the Internet, 93 Tool Design and Human-Computer Interaction, 94 Programming Languages, 95 4 THE INFLUENCE OF ART AND DESIGN ON COMPUTER SCIENCE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 96 Beyond Tools, 96 The Information Arts, 96 Modeling Disciplines: From Multidisciplinary to Transdisciplinary, 99 Implications for Computer Science, 102 Promising Areas, 104 Mixed Reality, 105 Computer Games, 107 Narrative Intelligence, 108 Non-utilitarian Evaluation, 111 Experimental Consumer Product Design, 112 Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing, 113 Conclusion, 115 5 VENUES FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND CREATIVE PRACTICES 118 Studio-Laboratories, 119 Historical Perspective, 119 Three Classes of Modern Studio-Laboratories, 120 Multifaceted New-Media Art and Design Organizations, 125 Standalone Centers, 125 Hybrid Networks, 128 Other Venues for Practitioners, 130 Virtual-Space-based Strategies, 130 Professional Conferences, 133 Public Display Venues, 136 Corporate Experiences with Information Technology and Creative Practices, 143 6 SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND UNIVERSITIES 151 Organizational Models for Supporting Work, 152 Specialized Centers, 152 Workshops, 155 Service Units, 157
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Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity Fostering ITCP Work Within Mainstream Departments and Disciplines, 158 Computer Science, 158 Examples of ITCP Work, 159 Challenges in Computer Science Departments, 162 Art Practice and Design, 165 Schools of Art and Design, 167 Cross-cutting Issues, 170 Hiring Faculty, 170 Encouraging Multiskilled Individuals and Collaborations, 171 Designing Curricula, 173 7 INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES AND PUBLIC POLICY 176 Digital Copyright, 177 Digital Archiving and Preservation, 181 Validation and Recognition Structures, 184 Publication, 188 Curatorial Web Sites, 189 Awards and Prizes, 190 The Geography of Information Technology and Creative Practices, 191 Information Technology Hot Spots, 192 Geographically Distributed Creativity, 194 Technology-supported Networks of Creativity, 195 8 SUPPORTING WORK IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND CREATIVE PRACTICES 197 Funding in the United States, 199 Sources of Funds, 200 Federal Funding for the Arts—The National Endowments, 202 Indirect Public Funding for the Arts, 204 Funding by Private Philanthropy, 205 Prizes, 210 Federal Funding for Information Technology Research, 211 Funding for Infrastructure, 213 Risk Preferences and the Challenge of Supporting Emerging Areas, 216 Reexamining Funding Policies and Practices, 220 Funding in the International Context, 225 Public Support for the Arts, 225 Public Support for Information Technology Research, 230 Private Philanthropy, 234 APPENDIXES A Biographies of Committee Members and Staff 237 B Briefers at Committee Meetings 247 The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board 251
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