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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Art and DG CONNECT: Something old ...

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Well it turns out that something old in DG CONNECT’s case means that people from the arts have been involved with ICT research projects in DG CONNECT’s past when it was called something else (as was the ICT Programme).

We are looking at project titles such as Creating Aesthetically Resonant Environments in Sound, and The Educational Puppet Theatre of Virtual Worlds and Developing Collaborative Story Telling Environments for Children, with Children. There is even a project with a partner called ZKM – you know who they are? Yes of course you do, they are the famous Centre for Media and Arts, where artists work with technologists.

So when Robert Madelin, at that ICT 2015 DG CONNECT theatrical performance, asked ...

“How can the arts inspire creativity in general? How can spill-overs from creativity in the Arts be harnessed by industry? How can spill-overs from creativity in the Arts be harnessed by society?”

All he needed to do to find answers to these questions was to look back to the late 1990s and early 2000s and consult with projects funded in Framework Programmes 4 and 5 under an initiative called Intelligent Information Interfaces (i3). To find out more about i3 and some of its art-driven projects, just look in the ICT-ART CONNECT study report where you will find ... Oh dear there is no mention of i3! Now why is that we wonder?

And armed with such insights, along with knowledge of all those artists in industrial research lab initiatives (over the period from the 1960s to the early 2000s), and all those other art-science/art-technology programmes that have been and gone, combined with understandings of industrial and societal changes and needs, he just might have been able to construct something that might have been useful. We say might, because one can never tell with technocrats, especially given that in another area, the social sciences, DG CONNECT are also engaging in another nonsense based on poor understanding of past work and future needs.

As for all those people at ICT 2015 praising the European Commission – what were they thinking saying such stupid things? Perhaps they were ... (Paul’s note – Apologies but I have removed Julia’s text!).

Now Commissioner Modas is here and wishes to make an apology too:

“When I said that more and more we all understand that innovation in the future will be on the intersection of arts and sciences, I was wrong, for which I apologise. What I should have said is that innovation in the past has been at the intersection of arts and sciences. What it will be in the future I have no idea and neither has DG CONNECT. In future I will be sticking to my own portfolio, and will leave Commissioner Oettinger to speak DG CONNECT’s words of nonsense. I wish him good luck for he will obviously need it.”

DG CONNECT has stated that their STARTS circus is going to be rolled out across Horizon 2020! In other words, a further waste of public money! And few will raise objections because what most people want is to get their hands on public money. This is the nature of the moral corruption that now pervades Europe’s research and innovation systems.

Here is an opportunity for the rest of the world to do things that are not circus acts. Artist-led research programmes with carefully selected foci, strategically driven to transform research and innovation systems, to transform STEM, to ... We have given this matter much thought and to do that we first had to know the past and understand the future potential.

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