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Sunday, 24 April 2016

ICT, Art and STARTS: Art lesson – DG CONNECT’s advice on involving artists in research programmes

Based on DG CONNECT’s experience of ICT ART CONNECT and STARTS, this is how you involve artists in research programmes:

For this recipe you will need a failing institution that pays lip service to fiduciary responsibilities, and is willing to spend public money as part of it image making political agenda, e.g. the European Commission, represented by DG CONNECT, and its ICT research programme. You will also need some willing accomplices, who are either unaware of what you are doing or do not care. Important to this mixture are technocrats with an interest in art, but who do not know a lot, for a little knowledge is most certainly always a dangerous thing. Add to this list of ingredients a pre-determined agenda and some words about being open and willing to listen and to learn, accompanied by the body language that makes clear that this is not the case. Also important are the following ingredients: neo-liberalism; a failing European economy; and a bureaucracy that needs to justify its own existence, even at the price of Europe’s economic wellbeing. Disregard the conflicts that these imply.

Now for the secret ingredient – political pressure from several sources demanding change, which will plant in your mind the notion of sucking from the arts, in a parasitic way, the credibility and kudos that they still retain, for on the whole, artists have not yet sold themselves to the power of money. This is obviously now in the process of changing as STEM people exercise their hegemony over research funding, and begin to bring the arts to bear on addressing their traditional agendas.

Optional at this point is trying to make yourself seem knowledgeable by referring to that technocrat called CP Snow – disregard the all the critiques of this man and his poorly informed simplistic opinions, which were just the product of a reductive mind (part of the problem).

Mix the above together and cook very slowly over many years. Make much noise! At some point in the cooking process add a special study which seeks to explore predefined themes such as using art to embed technology more gracefully in society. Make sure that the study is undertaken by people who are not going to be excluded from participating in the Call for proposals that you already know will result, when the topic you have already decided upon is included in the work programme – then set-up an advisory group on the same basis. Whatever you do, you must not involve the ICT industry. Disregard all previous relevant activities that have been undertaken over the past 20 years. Take advantage of those allegedly morally corrupt relationships that the former Chief Scientific Advisor to a former President of the European Commission identified as existing between the European Commission and the experts that it uses. Moral corruption in the form of conflicts of interest, and a desire to obtain public money, are wonderful at delivering that which you want. Whatever you do during the cooking, do not apply due diligence procedures to verify that what you have cooked is indeed the dish that is needed, otherwise you will not be able to eat that which you have already determined is going to be on your menu.

When you find that there is no evidence to support your sole truth, do not worry. The last thing you should do when you have dug yourself into a deep hole is to stop digging. Carry on digging regardless and START making random quotes taken from miscellaneous artists. Drop in a few buzzwords, like trans-disciplinary, and refer to issues addressed in the 1990s, like silos. Few, like yourself, will know what you are talking about, so you have little to worry about. Refer to Steve Jobs and Apple, but whatever you do, do not understand what he was saying back in 1996 about the liberal arts. Do not find out how Apple, and many other companies in the ICT sector (including the European ones), who produce consumer-facing products, go about developing their products.

Once the cooking is complete, enjoy the consequences, for when you sow the wind, you will mostly certainly reap the whirlwind. But you are a European, and a technocrat, so you do not understand this.

And for those of you in the European Parliament – is it not about time that you took action to stop these types of technocratic and morally corrupt practices? Surely it is time to do something about the problem that is DG CONNECT? And now you also know why there are people in the UK who want to leave the EU – it’s a choice between technocracy (remain a member) and democracy (leave), and the main argument for remaining is about money – the power of money once again!

Sunday, 17 April 2016


ICT ART CONNECT (or STARTS) is something we have been following, monitoring and analysing since 2013, and on our web site we have archived most of the public-domain material to ensure that it is available for use by art historians and anyone else who wishes to make use of it, e.g. research funding agencies who want to avoid the catalogue of incompetence and unethical conduct that is DG CONNECT’s STARTS initiative. Unlike DG CONNECT, all those other public research funding agencies that may have an interest in deploying art in STEM related research, will be constrained in their actions by fiduciary responsibility, and will have to exercise due diligence. This is one of the motivations for our hacking activities – why make any mistakes when DG CONNECT has made them all so that you do not have to! We also have other objectives.

This hacking, we have given a name – we call it ICT ART CONNECT DISCONNECT.

The hacking of ICT ART CONNECT (and STARTS) means the creative misuse of ICT ART CONNECT as part of a larger process of developing something known as Art Practice as Research with a view to developing it into something that can fundamentally change Western science and as well as achieving something that we call innovating of the innovation process. We observe artists working with STEM people and note what they say, claim, and so forth. Interesting, but not in the sense that they would mean!

We learned long ago however that transforming Western STEM, is one of the greatest heresies that anyone can utter in the modern, so-called, but, in reality, not very, Enlightened world. But we care not. In fact it serves our purpose very well to create these subjective and irrational emotional responses – this, after all, is one of the things that art can do. And bringing the subjective, the irrational and also the spiritual into Western STEM is what we are about. How are you feeling now?

ICT ART DISCONNECT is also part of the process we are undertaking to develop something we term scriptovisualism – this has clear links to feminist art for sure, but we go far beyond what this term originally meant. Probably we will not however be saying much further about this for the time being. It will be the subject of further books.

And as the results of this hack begin to be, exposed
The pieces of the jigsaw, long hung, unplaced and, unused
Begin to assemble themselves as though by guiding, hand
Into a theory that DG CONNECT will never, understand.

We are being too theoretical once again. Of course we are, because theory is everything and not just art and literary theory, but other theories as well. Theory provides a cross-disciplinary explanation, theory provides the basis for an interdisciplinary transfer from one field to another, but most importantly, theory provides the keys to open the doors to transcendence – transcending disciplines to create the transformational ...

Sunday, 10 April 2016

ICT, Art and STARTS: DG CONNECT’s delusions and the new artist-led company called the Ideology of Creativity Inc.

Following on from our article on those unconventional and compelling products that special people called artists are going to create for DG CONNECT, Julia and Paul, the highly schizophrenic artist-technologist pairing, are proud to announce the launch of their new commercial venture which will be known as Ideology of Creativity Inc. This is an artist-led company dedicated to making the dreams of technocrats come true, by pandering to their delusions through the use of art to solve all those deficits that explain Europe’s declining economic situation – explain that is, only if you are caught-up in the STEM way of knowing the world and creating reality which is very Ancient Greek in its orientation (patriarchal; elitist; disparaging towards manual work; intolerant of that which does not conform with the normal; contemptuous towards people who are not Hellenic (those people otherwise known by the Ancient Greeks as the untermenschen that were the barbarians); inclined towards achieving genetic purity through the practice of eugenics implemented through infanticide ... ).

Together we will innovate at the nexus of science, technology and the arts. We will create business models for art-technology collaborations, invent and use common work practices to develop unconventional and compelling new products, navigate the valley of death, and participate in START competitions in the quest to win one of those truly amazing and much sought after prizes – it remains to be seen it they mean cash in our pockets with no strings attached!

We have identified many areas where our very special products can be used to address deficits. We will be presenting our first product launch in the coming months. We can guarantee that our first product will save research funding agencies millions in unnecessary expenditure of public money on art-technology collaborations, for we have truly found a world beating solution, a panacea, to the creativity deficit. Watch this space for details of this astonishing silver bullet –this amazingly unconventional and compelling product!

Julia and Paul

Sunday, 3 April 2016

ICT, Art and STARTS: DG CONNECT and those unconventional and compelling products

“Hi Julia, I see you have a book there about art, science and technology.”

“Hi Paul xxx. Yes, indeed I do.”

“Art + Science Now: How scientific research and technological innovation are becoming key to 21st century aesthetics, by Stephen Wilson. What's it about?”

“Well Paul, it's full of pictures and short descriptions of art made with science and technology.”

“So it's also full of unconventional and compelling products?”

“No Paul, it is not. It's full of what could be art. Whether all is art is impossible to say, but it's a book about art, because that's what artists do – make art. They do not, in general, create unconventional and compelling products, for such things are part of world known as design, unless you think of the work of artists like Jeff Koons in that sort of way.”

“I see that Arduino is one of the art objects included. Surely that's an unconventional and compelling product. The book says that this was developed by an international consortium of artists.”

“Well it's certainly used by artists, but also by maker communities, which are not necessarily the same thing.”

“And home hobbyists as well.”

"Yes, but the statement that it was developed by an international consortium of artists does not exactly tally with what is said elsewhere, for example in the book Participation is Risky. In that book the authors say that it was developed at an Interaction Design Institute in Northern Italy that teaches design students in new emerging fields of design intersecting with computer science and engineering. The teachers faced a problem that available programming boards were expensive and exoteric with difficult to learn programming languages. So they developed their own programming board.”

“That word again – design! And the relationship between art and design! A matter worth exploring at some future time, I think.”

“Yes Paul, design, not art, but as you say, a relationship worth exploring! And by CONNECTING with organisations like the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art, DG CONNECT could have ... Well we will never know that they could have done. The desire to reconstruct their image was everything, hence the CONNECTION with art, and DG CONNECT once again damage European industry at taxpayers' expense.

 “So Paul, back to Arduino, and its development by academics to teach their students. A plausible explanation?”

“It is certainly plausible Julia, for academics often do that – they are a maker community too! I have seen this is several university engineering departments. And of course in this specific case there is now a dispute among the founders about ownership of the Arduino name, and the issue of the rather underhand way that one of them registered it without telling the others.”

“Indeed. Not exactly a paragon of openness, open innovation, and open-source.”

"So, Julia, Raspberry Pi! That too is an unconventional and compelling product created by artists?”

"Why not, because it seems we are now in the realms of all sorts of nonsense and fantasy, thanks to DG CONNECT, and we are now entering that zone of discredited practice. It will set back the serious participation of artists in research by decades.”

“Certainly in the West it will. I know too well what the reaction will be in US funding agencies. But there are new players in the game now, with different rules.”

“You mean countries like China and India?”

“Yes Julia I do. These are not like the Vainglorious Enlightened Ones, and they know full well that most people in the Western world do not understand their cultures, or respect them or value them. So these non-European cultures have the potential to become a competitive weapon that can be used to unleash the forces of creative destruction again the West.”

“So Paul, we live in interesting times!”