EMERGENCE OF NEW INSTITUTIONS FOR ART-SCIENCE COLLABORATION IN FRANCE AND COMPARISON OF THEIR FEATURES WITH THOSE OF A LONGER ESTABLISHED ONE Coordination: Christian Jacquemin
EMERGENCE OF NEW INSTITUTIONS FOR ART-SCIENCE COLLABORATION IN FRANCE AND COMPARISON OF THEIR FEATURES WITH THOSE OF A LONGER ES
EMERGENCE OF NEW INSTITUTIONS FOR ART-SCIENCE COLLABORATION IN FRANCE AND COMPARISON OF THEIR FEATURES WITH THOSE OF A LONGER ESTABLISHED ONE
(LIMSI-CNRS http://www.limsi.fr/ & University Paris-Sud)
(LIMSI-CNRS http://www.limsi.fr/ & University Pierre and Marie Curie),
(ENSAD Lab http://www.ensad.fr/spip.php?article139),
(Atelier Arts-Sciences http://www.atelier-arts-sciences.eu/)
Introduction and Disclaimer
The situation of art-science research and collaboration in France is very diverse and non-standard, when compared with scientific research. An interesting feature of this diversity is that many avenues are explored to promote, foster, and support art-science. Depending on the nature of the works, some places might be more suitable than others to the development of a specific project. The drawback of atypicality, particularly in an effort of description, is that it is very difficult to find rules, common grounds, or shared objectives between all these places.
In order to give a better idea of the field, I have invited four recent institutions in art-science collaborations: ENSAD Lab (a research laboratory in an applied arts school), l’Atelier art-science (a collaboration between the Hexagone National Theater and Minatech, the CEA research center operating in nano-technologies), IMERA (a center for cross-disciplinary collaborations hosting art-science residencies) and VIDA (a research theme on art-science collaborations inside a Computer Science research laboratory) together with the now well-established and internationally acclaimed IRCAM research laboratory (on all the techniques around music, and even live performance such as dance or theater). This white paper will not give an overview of all the institutions, artists, scientists, and engineers working in this field (contrary to the Rapport Art, science, technology coordinated by Jean-Claude Risset in 1998 which was intended to be more exhaustive). The purpose of this article is to draw some lessons about the current state and the future perspectives of art-science projects in France based on a small set of representative institutions which have been chosen for their diversity. Industry is the big figure is missing of this choice; the reason is that, to my knowledge, corporate art-science collaborations are generally mediated through public institutions in France. Yet, the case of the Atelier art-science is an exception, since it is the construction of a balanced collaboration between a national theater and a major French company on applications of energy.
We hope that the modest contributions of this white paper will benefit the entire art-science community. Our purpose was not to give an exhaustive overview of French institutions in this domain. Our aim was to raise some important issues in our domain and propose a first set of suggested actions for the future.
EnsAD Suggested Actions arising from the experience of art-science research and education
1. Opportunity to develop: Cross-disciplinary encounters in an art-science doctoral program
a) Stakeholders: Universities, Art schools
b) Suggested actions: Promote encounters between students of different disciplines by registering them in a single art-science doctoral program that can accept both artist and scientist students. Organize events for hands-on/minds-on activities involving these two types of students simultaneously. Promote interactions between supervisors in art and-science PhDs by encouraging shared supervision.
2. Obstacle: Difficulty in France to create a thesis in art and design based on the Anglo-Saxon model of “practice-based Doctorate”
Opportunity to develop: research and creation activities for cross-cultural PhD support
a) Stakeholders: Universities, Art schools
b) Suggested actions: Widen the scope of the scientific research to encompass issues such as social, gender, minority, disability, aging issues that can build a better common ground for such research than theoretical scientific issues. Define cross-cultural research program in which both artistic and scientific students can find interesting topics to develop. Teach art student scientific research methodology.
Hexagone Suggested Actions arising from the experience of Atelier Arts-Sciences
1. Opportunity to develop: Industrial, scientific, or artistic events around an art-science prize and residency program for diffusion purposes
a) Stakeholders: Any institution hosting art-science residencies and research
b) Suggested actions: Since art-science artistic and scientific productions are often non-standard and difficult to disseminate in their respective communities, it is valuable to develop events specifically dedicated to the diffusion of such works: art-science fairs, art-science festivals, art-science seminars and workshops…
2. Opportunity to develop: New public uses around art-science activities
a) Stakeholders: Museums, Universities, Art Schools, Culture centers
b) Suggested actions: Presenting art-science productions to a wide audience can offer a new vision of science to the public and improve the attractiveness of scientific curricula. Art-science productions can be employed to propose and develop new and unique uses by public of recent technoscientific advances.
3. Obstacle: art-science development suffers from the compartmentalization of research, the separation between industrial and academic world, from the very selective mode of funding research
a) Stakeholders: Universities, Industries, Governmental funding agencies
b) Suggested actions: Promote support for cross-disciplinary research, consider art as a valid companion for scientific research (for raising new issues, offering new domains of application, and as a user test-bed), develop “creative” industries such as entertainment and cultural industries, or stimulate industrial creativity through art-based management systems.
4. Opportunity to develop: Promote scientific education and practice to artists
a) Stakeholders: Scientific laboratories, Industrial laboratories, Universities, Art Schools, Culture centers, Culture Ministry
b) Suggested actions: Offer artists the temporary status of scientific researchers so that they can be immersed in a scientific environment and involved in research projects in collaboration with professional scientists.
IMERA Suggested Actions arising from the experience of the IMERA Art-Science Residency Program
1. Opportunity: New Innovative fields of research and creation are arising from boundary fields between many different fields of science with the arts not just information technology.
a. Stakeholders: Universities, Governments, Businesses
b. Suggested Action: There should be a deliberate plan of investment in art-science collaborations emphasizing the very diverse areas of science and engineering, not just computer science and information technology but also biology and life sciences, the physical sciences and social sciences.
2. Obstacle: There are many asymmetries in art science collaborations. Artists and Designers are Often Treated as Second Class Participants in Art-Science Collaborations
a. Stakeholders: Art-Science Institutions, Participants in Art Science Collaborations
b. Suggested Action: Artists in art-science collaborations should be hosted and compensated in equivalent conditions to those that scientists have (for instance in sabbatical years, or in scientific collaborations).
c. Suggested Action: Art Science Institutions should seek to weaken asymmetries that interfere with productive collaboration. One mechanism is to have both scientists in residence and artists in residence in the same context and in similar propositions so neither are a small minority.
3. Obstacle: There are no established accepted criteria for evaluating Art-Science Collaborations.
a. Stakeholders: Funding Agencies, Artist and Scientists in ArtScience Collaborations
b. Suggested Action: There should be a concerted effort by all those involved in art science collaborations to develop rigorous ways of evaluating art science collaborations keeping in mind that different stakeholders may have differing criteria (eg the filing of patents and protection of IP is important to research engineers, while public audience numbers are important to performing artists).
IRCAM Suggested Actions arising from the experience of IRCAM scientific research and artistic production
1. Opportunity to develop: Good art-science research has two important features: the technoscientific developments do not conceal the artistic purpose, and the artist is not burdened by technological issues and can instead focus on his creation
a) Stakeholders: Any institution producing artistic events supported by technoscientific research
b) Suggested action: Since the technology should be at the service of the artistic purpose, it must be fully mastered and integrated, possibly up to its complete disappearing to the audience, with the potential difficulty of eliciting its role and justifying its cost.
c) Suggested action: The environment offered at IRCAM for the creation of technological artworks is such that the artists can focus their energy on the development of strong artistic ideas because the technological issues are taken in charge by high potential technicians attached to their project.
2. Opportunity to develop: Attracting high skilled scientists and artists
a) Stakeholders: Research and cultural institutions involved in Art-Science collaborations
b) Suggested action: instead of looking for rare experts in both domains, organize working groups made of high-level artists and scientists in projects providing artists with the broadest possible exposure in the cultural scene and scientists in recognized research environments with strong expectations on scientific publications and transfer to the industry.
3. Opportunity to develop: Towards a better recognition of the role of artistic creation in society
a) Stakeholders: Research program committees, Research funding agencies, Innovation agencies, Industrial fair organizers, Ministry of industry and commerce
b) Suggested action: Since it is shown in many examples that early artistic experiments in digital media have often been a source of technological innovation usages that have later broadly developed in activity fields such as games, simulation and virtual reality, multimodal human-computer interfaces, multimedia search engines, etc., the role of artistic creation in society should be better and better recognized and supported in particular by academic institutions and research funding programs at national and international levels as an efficient factor of innovation.
VIDA Suggested Actions arising from the experience of artist/scientist collaborations
1. Obstacle: In academic careers, art-science collaborations are difficult to valorize (and also to disseminate in the scientific community). In artistic careers, scientific collaborations are not necessarily considered as positive
a) Stakeholders: Universities, Scientists in charge of evaluation, Funding Agencies, Art institutions, Art critiques
b) Suggested action in science: Take into consideration a wider variety of dissemination vectors than A-ranked journals or international peer-reviewed conferences: exhibitions in art galleries, art fairs, or museums, non-academic publications (public outreach, art books), live performances in well-renown festivals, etc. Promote art-science curricula for students or cross-disciplinary courses between Engineering Sciences and Humanities.
c) Suggested action in art: Take into consideration the capacity of artists to collaborate with scientists for a better promotion of their work, not through corporate funding or sponsoring, but through the presentation of the unique features of the collaboration together with the artwork.
2. Obstacle: it is very difficult to achieve a good art-science collaboration without an infrastructure that supports it
a) Stakeholders: Universities, Museums, Municipalities, Mediatheques…
b) Suggested action: Set-up program for art-science residencies by providing institutions with funding for artists and scientists. Arrange a place for hosting these residencies: a private housing for families and work places such as black boxes, workshops, or specific places inside a laboratory
3. Opportunity to develop: Scientific funding programs, Scientific journals, Scientific conferences, Research groups can accept art-science propositions even though it is not necessarily explicitly mentioned in their scope
a) Stakeholders: Program committees, Funding agencies, Academic staff
b) Suggested action: extend and consolidate the scope of calls (for papers, for projects, for special issues, for research projects…) towards explicit art-science propositions. Propose lists of possible topics in this area. Possibly facilitate the consolidation of such hybrid proposals by offering networking facilities to connect art and science communities.
Appendix 1: The École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD)
The École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD), founded in 1766, is a higher education establishment (Grande école) of art and design under the authority of the French Ministry for Culture and Communication. Offering a wealth of intellectual, creative and artistic opportunities, its mottoes are innovation, multidisciplinarity and partnership. EnsAD has over 720 students, French and foreign, and offers courses in ten departments.
The five-year course, which includes a specialisation in one of the ten departments offered, complies with European harmonisation of degree courses (LMD) requirements. The EnsAD diploma is officially recognised as Master’s level.
The School’s research laboratory, EnsadLab, also offers ten or more research programmes in the field of art and design.
École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs is a member of the “Paris Sciences et Lettres – Quartier Latin” Research and Education Cluster (Pôle de Recherche et d’Enseignement, PRES).
In this context, École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs operating in conjunction with Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, Conservatoire d’Art dramatique, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and École normale supérieure, has implemented an innovative doctoral programme SACRe (Sciences, Arts, Creation, Research), designed to unite the sciences and the arts and give creators and scientists the chance to invent together. The programme consists of training exclusive to EnsAD and joint training with the other establishments involved in the SACRe programme
” 720 students (15% foreign students);
” A 5-year course;
” 10 departments: Interior Design, Art, Animation, Multimedia/ Graphic Design, Product Design, Textile and Texture Design, Fashion Design, Printed Images, Photography/Video, Stage Design.
” 1 research laboratory (EnsadLab);
” 18 technical studios;
” 2 amphitheatres, 1 exhibition gallery;
” 1 library containing 24,000 documents;
” 1 materials library containing 5,000 samples;
” 84 partnerships with overseas schools and universities;
” 50 partnerships with cultural institutions and companies;
” 3 partnerships with foundations;
” 25 public events.
The 10 departments
1. Interior Design: conceiving new spaces for living, at the crossroads between the plastic, symbolic and technical arts.
2. Spatial Art: training plastic artists to work with spaces in art, the spaces artists occupy.
3. Animation: developing mastery of expression through movement, with creativity and innovation as its goal.
4. Multimedia/Graphic Design: covering all design and production tools associated with both paper and multimedia.
5. Product Design: incorporating all the various contemporary design practices: industrial design, domestic and urban furniture, service design.
6. Textile and Texture Design: ranging from learning about the components of textiles and materials to their creative application, including the relevant technical, industrial and economic constraints.
7. Fashion Design: covering every form of production, from mass production to the bespoke piece, and include strategic foresight.
8. Printed Images: training image designers using drawing as their basis.
9. Photography/Video: teaching autonomy and professionalism in the execution and completion of photo and video projects in various registers, from artistic to documentary and communication.
10. Stage Design: a performance art that potentially calls upon all forms of expression to serve the dramatic tension created between a space and a narration.
EnsadLab, the School’s research laboratory
EnsadLab provides the School with a specific entity engaged in reflection and research on programmes relating to the fields of creation and innovation, whether already identified or emerging, linked to the social, economic, technological, political, industrial and cultural contexts of today’s world. Combining research and training in research and through research, in preparation for a Doctorate level, EnsadLab currently consists of some ten research programmes.
These programmes are directed by research professors, faculty members and professionals with the highest levels of expertise.
Each programme involves a number of research students (around five per programme), French and foreign, selected by the school, all of whom hold at least a Master’s degree ”” and some being doctoral students ”” generally from EnsadLab partner research institutions (around 50 student researchers and 20 faculty members, researchers and well-known professionals).
EnsadLab has implemented an innovative doctoral programme SACRe (Sciences, Arts, Creation, Research), designed to unite the sciences and the arts and give creators and scientists the chance to invent together. The programme consists of training exclusive to EnsAD and joint training with the other establishments involved in the SACRe programme.
Combining research and training « in research and through research », in preparation for a third cycle at Doctorate level, EnsadLab currently consists of some ten research programmes covering the fields of both art and design, such as graphic design and typography, the design of services, objects or spaces, interactive installations, virtual spaces, new materials, mobility, etc.
For each of these programmes, the school is developing public and private partnerships with universities (Paris 8, Paris 1, etc.), graduate engineering schools (École des Mines-ParisTech, ENS, etc.), businesses (Tarkett, Orange, ”) and research laboratories (LIRIS-Lyon, IETR-Rennes, LIMSI-Orsay, LPS-Orsay, CIE-Oulu University Finland, etc.), considerably boosting its research potential. In one example, the partnership with Oulu, a Finnish national agency, combines the skills of the school’s faculty and research students with those of the RealXtend IT team at Oulu Innovation Ltd. to produce an open source online virtual reality platform. The partnership also funds a research grant for a research student.
While EnsAD enjoys a prestige founded on its history as much as on its proven ability over time to encourage the emergence of numerous talents in all the different fields of design and creation, it is also widely reputed as a school with multidisciplinary credentials unique in France that has invariably associated “art and design”, “arts and applied arts”, allowing full scope to the very latest techniques and, nowadays, technologies. It is on these foundations that the school is able to position itself as a key player in research and innovation in the field of contemporary creative design. In order to envisage innovation in all its scope for impacting upon society, tomorrow’s designers must be able to embrace the most burning issues of contemporary society at the same time as the most challenging technological questions. Between art and design, research at EnsadLab explores the most innovative technical dimensions in order to steer them according to concerns of form and substance as much as of function and use, taking into account their value as demonstration and/or utilisation.
Each researcher, student or professor, must be able to occupy the field of research suggested by his or her own projects, but these projects must also contribute to the resolution of issues for the benefit of all; this is one of the crucial challenges in creating a dynamic that combines artistic creation and academic research. Capitalising on all the experiments carried out within a single research programme must serve to advance knowledge, methods, knowhow and techniques in a given field.
And these developments will find themselves represented and prized as much through creations, exhibitions and publications as through transfers to other fields such as industry.
PhD Programme “Science Art Création Recherche” (SACRe)
The project “Science Art Création Recherche” (SACRe) aims at developing a new field of research by exploring the interfaces between the arts, and between art and science (hard sciences as well as human and social sciences).
It brings together, along with the ENS, the most important French schools of creative and performing arts in their respective fields: the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs (Ensad), the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Ensba), the Conservatoire national supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (Cnsmdp) and the Conservatoire national supérieur d’Art dramatique (Cnsad).
The other partners of PSL, especially Collège de France, ENSCP, ESPCI and Université Paris-Dauphine, will also actively participate.
SACRe will implement a new kind of “Doctorate in Art” strongly articulating practice and theoretical thinking.
Its building-up will benefit from the experience of the Anglo-Saxon practice-based PhD, but differ from the much more theoretical model represented by the departments of arts, music and theatre at French universities.
Ten candidates are selected per year on the basis of the highest potential of creativity and of interdisciplinary working. They will get funded for 3 years. The balance between artistic fields ”” art, design, music, theatre ”” will be guaranteed as well as the presence of various scientific domains.
In a first phase, the selected doctorates will register both at the Graduate School of the ENS and at the school of creative or performing art principally related to their domain. In a second phase, a specific SACRe Doctoral School will be created within PSL.
The thesis, supervised by two professors (one scientist and one artist), will consist :
1. for the creative and performing artists, in a set of works or performances, accompanied by a document of varied forms (including texts, audiovisual and multimedia material) putting into reflexive perspective the artistic process ;
2. for the scientists, in a classical written thesis including some aspects of the process of creation or performance.
In both cases, these works will include at least an interdisciplinary project implicating other SACRe doctorates, artist and/or scientist.
A common training will also be organised for the PhD candidate, consisting in courses (about theory and history of arts) and seminars (based on student works), some of which will be delivered in English.
They will foster a shared identity and cross-discipline encounters. Each institution will contribute with dedicated means. The post-Master programmes existing or emerging in the different art schools will closely articulate with SACRe, as some curricula will offer them the opportunity to participate to the courses and conferences of the programme.
EnsadLab Research Program, a focus :
DIIP ”” INTERACTIVE AND PERFORMATIVE DISPOSITIFS
Experimenting and modelling of technological apparatus for the creation of interactive installations and environments.
This program focuses on the experimenting and modelling of technological devices and displays for the creation of interactive installations and environments in theatrical and non-theatrical contexts.
EnsAD Professor: Samuel BIANCHINI (management and coordination).
Experts and Associate Professors: Cyrille HENRY (technical management); Emanuele QUINZ (publishing, exhibitions, development), Thierry FOURNIER (“Sensitive Surfaces”), Annie LEURIDAN (“Interactive Lighting”), Dominique PEYSSON (“Physical Medias”)
Partners: Sciences Po: School of Political Science; University of Paris 8; Computer Laboratory of Grenoble; Computer Laboratory of Lyons (Liris); CEA Saclay and Fontenay aux Roses ; Physics of Solids Laboratory at Orsay; Maison Européenne des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société (MESHS-CNRS) of Lille; Cap Digital Competitive Pole and Île de France Region; the Orbe and Orphaz companies.
Additional information about the contents of the programme: http://drii.ensad.fr
Content and goals
The notion of “dispositif” has become increasingly important in the context of contemporary art. It has added to the already well-known idea of the “installation” the dimension of production. With interactive technology, installations have taken on a relational, modelizable and operative aspect. DRii investigates the technological modalities for implementing a relation with the audience, and the development of technological environments conducive to performance whether on the part of the audience or of professional performance artists, with a specific focus on contemporary dance.
DRii research projects encompass experiments with video, sound, light, robot gesturing, and the creation of specific new interfaces with the purpose of creating a meaningful relation with the audience. These projects include the production of artistic installations both in closed and open environments (e.g., urban spaces) as well as in the areas of performing arts and performance.
The program closely combines fundamental research and artistic creation (“R & C”). We invest our research in prospective technology with creative and artistic concerns (esthetic and critical) as well as an awareness of social issues. We experiment with, study and analyse technological devices and displays, working on programming, assembling, technical conditions, issues of use, and actual situations. Researchers work first in groups before taking on individual projects. Our work has both a theoretical and practical dimension. The methodology is scientific. It is based on the state of the art, and involves analysis, positioning, identifying objectives, creating locks, producing hypotheses, and guide-lines for use. At the same time, testing activities are a key aspect of the research, which is carried out both individually and collectively. Our aim is to maintain a constant dialogue between generic and specific approaches, individual and collective projects, methods of deduction and induction, research and art.
The program is divided into five sub-programs or themes : Agogic, Sensitive Surfaces, Large Group Interaction, Interactive Light and Physical Media. Throughout the academic year 2011-2012, we will be looking at five types of technological devices :
” Video recording and projection (specifically video using infra-red and/or heat-detecting technology) ; Real-time marker-free 3D motion capture ;
” Capture technology in a crowd environment : tracing, identification, image analysis and recognition, face detection, RFID, GPS, etc.) ;
” Tactile environments and tangible interfaces : floors, walls, tables, showcases, objects, etc.
” Real-time continuous DMX lighting control, specifically for LED lighting.
5 Topics :
Topic 1 ”” Performative Set-Ups : Agogics
“Agogics” : A Shared Dimension Between the Work and the Viewer/Performer
Interactive installations imply active participation on the part of the audience. They are performative set-ups, in which the “performance” is no longer restricted to the space of the stage but also takes place in the actual space of the spectator. “Agogics” studies the physical implications of the spectator’s participation. Our aim is to address the performative dimension of interactivity in a world in which multimedia industries are encroaching more and more into areas of actual physical practice, for instance in the case of video games crossing over into the world of sports. What properties and bodily realities must we take into account in order to create interactive set-ups conceived from an instrumental, and even organological, point of view? Our research focuses in particular on the case of contemporary dance and its incorporation of technological devices and set-ups.
“Agogics” is a musical term that designates the use of agogic accents, that is accents consisting in a lengthening of the time-value of the note. The philosopher Etienne Souriau extended the use of the term to include all the arts existing in time. He defined “agogics” as “what characterizes an artwork that takes place in time, through movement, and specifically through the creation of a fast or slow pace, or the use of different rhythms.” For musicians, the notion is related to gesture, to physical movements, to a bodily interaction with their instrument, to a sense of speed, an energy, a precise handling of a piece.
Our aim is to explore and define the physical and bodily aspects of technological interaction both from the point of view of the performer and of the audience. Our work addresses questions such as speed, rhythm, definition, lighting, etc.
Topic 2 ”” Sensitive Surfaces
In the near future, all objects and architectural spaces are bound to become interactive. The natural interface for an object or a building is its surface. Sensitivity is a quality usually associated with animate beings only, predominantly humans. In our work we apply this notion to objects, understanding sensitivity as a condition enabling reciprocation of activity. “Sensitive surfaces” addresses the growing interactive dimension of our environment in order to create truly operative relations.
We explore specifically devices that enable interactions with objects through touch as well as physical environments with smooth and/or hard interactive surfaces such as floors, tables, walls, showcases, interactive cubes or spheres. These surfaces can also be used for projecting images. They can be single- or multi-touch.
The project Sensitive Surfaces is divided into three main areas of research :
1. Creating large-scale (several feet long) multipoint touch-screens, which can be used to create multi-device walls or tables. The objective is to produce touch-screens that will offer the same quality of spatial resolution found in available multipoint panels (currently a resolution of 2 mm) while at the same time making these displays accessible to multiple users.
2. Refining the sensitivity of tactile screens. The objective is to lower the threshold of sensitivity on multipoint touch screens, enabling the precise tracking of light touch, an aspect which poses a specific challenge for camera-based tracking. This higher sensitivity requires higher temporal and spatial resolution: in the order of 1 mm and at a rate of one hundred stimuli per second.
3. Developping a cameraless optical imaging device. The use of cameras presents a number of drawbacks: cameras require adequate depth of field, they are overly sensitive to ambient light, and are hard to calibrate. The goal is to develop slimmer interactive devices with the tracking system integrated into the screen.
Surfaces Sensibles encompasses both artistic and museographical projects.
Topic 3 ”” Large Group Interaction
Interactive devices, whether they be portable, online, or part of an installation, are restricted for the most part to a one-to-one relation between the user and the interface. Recently, more and more installations have started to address this problem by creating interactive situations involving several spectators together. This issue is all the more relevant when dealing with very large audiences where there is no special target such as in urban spaces and in the public environment. This research group examines group interaction on a large scale (Large Group Interaction) asking questions such as: How does the individual fit into these group situations? How do you create a technological environment where the members of the group both interact effectively with the dispositif and with each others?
These questions involve a number of areas: art, media, technology, and, more largely, the socio-political environment.
Topic 4 ”” Interactive Light
Multimedia traditionally meant the combination of images, sound and words in an interactive environment. Today, light has emerged as a medium in its own right, which can be combined as such with the more traditional media and put to use in an interactive setting. Indeed, light may very well be the new dimension par excellence of interactive media to come. Photographs and projected images already pointed in this direction. But recently light has found a new expression, with new technologies such as the LEDs used for advertising and lighting, or laser technology. Up until now, there has been very little attention paid to the direct role played by light in the most advanced interactive set-ups. There has been little investigation of the operative relation between light and the spaces in which it is diffused, and the bodies and actions that inhabit these spaces. Lighting technicians work with sophisticated lighting consoles, and usually control the lighting from beyond the stage and in sequences. Visual artists, on the other hand, have attempted a more interactive use of light with video projection. But while the technology of video projection allows for great control, it does not have the quality of more traditional light sources (light bulbs, fluorescent lights, halogen lamps, HMI lamps, leds, etc.).
Our project looks at images and light in combination. Our aim is to create interactive image scripts incorporating light. This approach implies looking at images no longer as two-dimensional surfaces but as spaces and volumes, whose boundaries we must redefine and for which we must devise new modalities of control and transformation. Light is much more than a tool for projecting two-dimensional images onto surfaces. It spreads into space and has a plasticity. Our project looks at light’s spatial dimension, addressing its ability to create an environment in which the audience is immersed. We consider light as a body existing in space, a tangible medium to explore. At the same time, we investigate the interactive dimension of this material, imagining devices and set-ups which will enable a real-time active correlation between light and the bodies it surrounds and the various sites where it unfolds: the stage, the exhibition space, the home, and the urban environment.
Topic 5 ”” Physical Medias
A traduire : Matériaux programmables, interfaces tangibles, intelligence ambiante, réalité augmentée, réalité mixte, pervasive computing, objets à comportements, sustainable design ; autant d’expressions qui laissent entrevoir une nouvelle approche de nos relations à notre environnement. L’heure n’est plus seulement à la virtualisation mais aussi, au contraire, à une association croissante de notre monde physique avec les médias numériques et interactifs. C’est le couplage innovant de ces deux univers qui pourrait donner lieu à ce que nous nommons “Physical Medias”. Cette expression fait alors référence aussi bien aux aspects physiques les plus triviaux – comme lorsqu’on parle d’activité physique pour le corps humain – qu’aux aspects les plus scientifiques, relevant en particulier des sciences de la matière. Cette proposition s’inscrit dans la dynamique des “Tangible Medias”, mais en la devançant, en en augmentant la portée sur ces deux versants : la relation aux usagés et le rapport à l’environnement. D’une part, le rapport aux usages est bouleversé par l’interactivité qui ne peut plus être envisagée du seul point de vue du multimédia (image, son, texte) et qui devient de plus en plus physique, en sollicitant des gestes de plus en plus évolués. D’autre part, les objets et, au-delà, nos environnements les plus physiques, sont appelés à être augmentés d’une dimension informationnelle qui permettra leur contrôle et plus largement l’interaction avec ces derniers. Pourraient ainsi être concernés nos objets les plus triviaux (crayon, cuillère, ”), comme nos mobiliers (table, chaise, ”), architectures (murs, sols, fenêtres, plafonds, câbles et tuyaux, ”), nos fluides (eau, gaz, électricité, ondes, ”) et autres matériaux (bitume, vitrage, béton, ”). Le rapport opératoire entre nos activités physiques et nos environnements physiques va certainement devenir dans les prochaines années un enjeu crucial pour des innovations tant techniques, artistiques que sociétales, prenant en compte des critères écologiques et économiques. L’axe Physical Medias est ainsi fondé sur une approche pluridisciplinaire particulièrement originale : au croisement des sciences de la matière, des technologies informatiques et électronique et de la création artistique relevant des arts et du design.
Partenaires potentiels : ESPCI, CEA Saclay / List-DSM, Limsi, LPS
Appendix 2: Hexagone Scène Nationale de Meylan / Rencontres-i / Atelier Arts Sciences
Hexagone Scène Nationale is a 560-seat theater located in Meylan, in the Grenoble area (France). Our mission is to stimulate and showcase artistic research, contemporary creations and to investigate cultural actions.
Hexagone Scène Nationale presents between 30 and 35 performances a year to 25,000 spectators. Our scope of interest includes all areas of performing arts including theater, music (traditional and academic music, jazz, French chansons, contemporary music), dance, street art, circus, … One half of the shows presented are fringe creations.
Hexagone is the main organizer of the Rencontres-i Arts Sciences Biennale, a ten-day event assembling 20,000 spectators and reaching 200,000 people in the streets of the Grenoble area.
Hexagone was the initiator of the Atelier Arts Sciences in collaboration with the CEA Grenoble and the CCSTI (Center for Scientific, Technological and Industrial Culture). This research activity, combining artists and scientists, is based on R&D activities at one of the three major nano and microtechnology research clusters in the world and located in Grenoble. The Atelier Arts Sciences operates in accordance with the principle of open innovation binding technological research, corporations, design schools and human sciences.
Hexagone, in partnership with local universities, has been the initiator of the Atelier of Imagination.
The Atelier Arts Sciences organizes research and creative residencies bringing together artists and scientists around two axis:
” an axis involving devices based on technologies developed at the CEA: motion capture and human-machine interface with Annabel Bonnery and the Motion Pod by Movea, interface gloves with Ezra and LOS, software by Adrien Mondot and his E-motion software, new lights by the artists Pascal and Aurélie Baltazar, Ravelli and Castagna, MicheleTadini and researchers at Leti and Liten, key research institutes in nanotechnology and innovation.
” an axis of anthropology around the New Insights / New Writings, creative writing residency with Daniel Danis, and the Les pieds qu’on a dans la tête (Feet in Head) project with the Ateliers du Spectacle N+1…
Since 2007, twelve résidencies have been carried on.
By introducing human sciences into technological research, the Atelier of Imagination implements a cultural action in the field of research. It unfolds in a seminar over a period of three years. In this first year of the seminar, 50 partners of the Biennale and 50 students in innovation are investigating the theme of ‘short circuit’ imagination.
In accordance with scientific and artistic awareness, a program of meetings and laboratory visits (CEA, University and University Hospital Center/CHU) is put in place for artists. Following an initial investigation, a research program is set up: defining deliverables, research protocol, time frame and resources. The Atelier Arts Sciences provides financial support to artists to be able to work with scientists. Results are presented to the public during the Arts Sciences Biennale.
The residency is composed of three to five-day long research sequences. The number of sequences depends on the project and can cover a period of two years.
An epistemological follow-up is published in the Cahier de l’Atelier.
Since 2007, twelve residencies have been completed or launched.
” Dominique David, Engineer at SUPELEC, PhD in signal processing, Habilitated Research Director, senior expert at CEA, is the scientific coordinator for the Atelier Arts Sciences activities. Each residency calls for researchers from the CEA and partner laboratories, who are experts in the field of the on-going research project.
” Angelo Guiga, Researcher Technician at CEA
” Thierry Menissier, Professor of Philosophy at University Pierre Mendès France/UPMF,
” Luc Gwiazdzinsky, Professor of Geography at IGA-Pacte-University Joseph Fourier
” Fabienne Martin Juchat, Professor of Anthropology studying movement, Director of ICM University Stendhal Grenoble 3.
Each year in October, the Atelier Arts Sciences presents Experimenta, a show of new technologies for live performances and creative industries. Artists, scientists, manufacturers, students…. showcase their devices, objects, their projects under way. Professional meetings are organized along with the show.
The overall annual budget for the arts sciences activities is 1.5M including contributions from the state and local authorities: Rhône-Alpes Region, Department of Isère, Grenoble Urban Community, City of Meylan and contribution in assets and the CEA staff.
Six full-time employees
Ten part-time employees sharing three full-time jobs
I do not believe that we can talk about “arts-sciences” as the rise of a new field of activities. What can be more relevant to investigate are the intersections and exchanges sparked by the collision between different fields. Not considering activities involving arts and sciences as one separate entity, allows us to maintain flexibility, agility and openness. It also enables us to work with exceptionally solid experts in their research field and to associate them to a certain project for a defined period of time. On the other hand, the encounter between arts and sciences is moving different arts disciplines towards transmediatic forms.
Interaction between artists and scientists generates new jobs in performing arts. We can find Directors for Digital in the world of theater, visual arts, dance…
With regards to research, establishing a distinctive field of “art-science” seems to me counter-productive.
While developing a new device, tool or concept, requires a separate research environment for the artist and scientist, one of the major resources lies in the bond that we will be able to build with the public, within the local region. Experimenta and the Rencontres-i Arts Sciences Biennale therefore offer possibilities to meet the audience, indispensable for the evolution of the projects. Intersection between arts and sciences, only has a meaning with regard to its social impact.
The arts-sciences framework that we have set up with the CEA Grenoble and the 70 partners of the Rencontres-i, has, over the past ten years, become one of the major meeting points between performing arts and the world of science and technology, in France.
Twenty or so objects were developed, but we still have not found a way to enhance their value in the world of manufacturing.
The Cahiers de l’Atelier is a published resource, providing new and useful insights to people who conduct research in the fields that are covered in an issue. It also gives an overview of the interaction between artists and scientists. It is extremely difficult to trace tangible results of our activities. Besides producing objects, the main outcome of our projects lies in a series of serendipities triggered by this joint research: creative possibilities, established convergence, unfettered investigation of the expected results, offset with regard to pre-set objectives in a laboratory. Several residencies show examples of sparking new views on a given research, guiding the way a research is conducted or triggering unexpected collaborations between very different fields, a few years later. Poetic exploration of a limestone quarry induces research on cogeneration systems used in lime production; the CEA-Leti-Spice laboratory steps out of their usual methodology of conducting research and develops a device which allows direct paint holding based on a light-weigh system; a collective discovery of the history of energy in Grenoble opens the way towards a new tourist venue; exploring new forms of human/machine interface allows to see future forms of storytelling, a glimpse toward a 21st century cinema/theater…
What works well? The main lesson that we have drawn from our experiences is that devices and methods behind cultural and artistic actions are efficient and productive. Every, single person can have access to them:
1. Friendly environment: far from the stress behind the research conducted under the pressure of immediate results, research is carried out in a pleasant, reassuring environment, which boosts confidence
2. Respect: mutual desire for excellence, diversity of professional and educational backgrounds, awareness of working for the common good, respect of each and every project partner. Participants are driven by curiosity, agility, discovery and knowledge, rather than by a desire for signs of distinction and institutional hierarchy
3. Poetics: for intellectual nourishment and art of living
4. Imagination: for entry to the real world
” Motion pod by Movea adapted to live performances
” Poetic Mechanics by EZ3kiel, presented at Palais de la Découverte-Paris, Pavillon Rhône-Alpes, World Expo 2010 Shanghai
” Chromatophore, practical realization of the mathematical definition of chromaticity diagram
” International tours of shows and devices by Adrien Mondot
” Recognising and involving art into the innovation ecosystem in Grenoble
” Bonds between artistic and scientific research, technological and social innovation
Differences in thinking, barriers between the worlds of scientists, academics and manufacturers, thinking in silos, divergence regarding public interventions, crisis of hope across Europe
Implementing the New Insights / New Writings program
Creative writing residencies for several authors inspired by meeting with scientists, setting up and deploying stage productions.
Appendix 3: IMERA
Appendix 4: IRCAM
Introduction to IRCAM
IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/ Musique) was founded by composer and conductor Pierre Boulez in 1977 as part of the Centre Pompidou project, with the goal of setting up a place of experimentation where « scientists and composers explore together and systematically the sound possibilities and limits related to electronic techniques ». Through its numerous evolutions over the 35 years of its existence, under the successive directions of Pierre Boulez (until 1991), Laurent Bayle (1992-2001), Bernard Stiegler (2002-2005) and Frank Madlener (since 2006), IRCAM has remained the largest public research institution worldwide dedicated to music and sound, while developing its activities beyond contemporary music creation to various fields in the society (performing arts, education, music and multimedia industries, virtual reality, sound design, etc.).
Figures and facts
” 150 permanent collaborators
” 30 new works created every year;
” 55 concerts and international tours every year;
” Main yearly communication event : the ManiFeste festival in June.
” Joint research unit with CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), UPMC (University Pierre et Marie Curie) and Ministry of Culture and Communication, entitled STMS (Science and Technology of Music and Sound);
” 100 collaborators (researchers, engineers, technicians, PhD students) plus 40 visitors (researchers, composers in research, interns) every year;
” 40% of self-funding (including permanent staff) through national and international R&D collaborative programs and technology licensing;
” 7 research teams specialized in various scientific fields (acoustics, digital audio signal processing, computer science, cognitive psychology, musicology);
” 150 publications every year (journals, conference proceedings, books);
” 9 software environments developed, supported and distributed : Max, Modalys, AudioSculpt, Spat, OpenMusic, CataRT, OMax, Antescofo, Gesture follower, most of them available through the IRCAM Forum. The Max software, developed by the Cycling’74 company in San Francisco, with its 20,000 registered users, has become a world standard for multimedia interaction.
” Hosting of the ATIAM (Acoustics, Signal Processing and Computer Sciences applied to Music) Masters 2 course in collaboration with UPMC and Télécom ParisTech (20-25 students every year);
” Organization of higher education courses for artists in computer music (20 students) and sound design (12 students).
Key factors of art-science interaction and research at IRCAM
The status of technology development
Technology appears as a canonical support of interface between art and science at IRCAM. It is the support of incremental integration and assessment of all research activities in the field of engineering. The software environments resulting from the research are used by artists as creation tools, providing new ways of production, manipulation and representation of the sound material, as well as the support of interactive works. Mastering the technological side is then a key success factor of any art-science project; this has strong implications in the organization at IRCAM, both in the research and production sides: the research teams host professional developers who are in charge of integrating the research results into software environments made available to the artistic community and supported in the long term. A specific category of collaborators, Computer Music Designers, are associated to all artistic productions in collaboration with composers and are responsible for the technical setup from the early experimentation phases until the concert production.
The development activity produces two main kinds of technical objects :
– functional modules, which can be seen as black boxes that encapsulate a model, or an algorithm through a well-defined programming interface; they are also the main support of industrial transfer;
– open environments, which enable the combination of a number of functional modules through dedicated user interfaces and computer languages. The goal is to propose toolboxes as open as possible to any artistic approach. Examples of such modular and programmable environments are Max, OpenMusic, Modalys.
An unfortunately common issue related to the status of technology in art-science projects, is that it may appear as the main justification of the artistic work, or even as a trap whose mastering has concentrated most of the composer’s energy at the expense of the development of strong artistic ideas. The approach promoted at IRCAM on this subject is at the opposite of any positivism: the technology is at the service of the artistic purpose, it must be fully mastered and integrated, possibly up to its complete disappearing to the audience, with the potential difficulty of eliciting its role and justifying its cost.
Organization and modes of interactions between artists and scientists
The organization of IRCAM comprises four main operational departments : R&D, Creation and Diffusion, Education and Cultural Outreach, Research/Creation Interfaces.
Whereas researchers and engineers are hosted in the R&D department and represent an important part of the permanent staff, the main frameworks for hosting invited composers and other artists as independent collaborators are :
– productions in studio, targeted to the public execution of the premiere;
– composers in research or in residence, who are hosted in research teams for an experimental work, possibly in preparation for an upcoming production;
– thematic workgroups, gathering present artists, computer music designers, researchers and engineers, on various live topics such as rhythmic representations, computer-aided orchestration, gestural control.
The Research/ Creation Interfaces department is in charge of coordinating the interactions between artists and R&D, the user feedback for the software development and its distribution to the IRCAM Forum.
This organization defines a clear split of activities and competences between the departments; the impact of any joint art-science project is then assessed in each department according to its own rules : scientific publications and industrial transfer for R&D, audience and critiques for artistic creation, media coverage for both.
Research area, management of interdisciplinarity and institutional support
The research area is defined by the STMS lab acronym. Its broad spectrum of investigations, going from physics (acoustics) to humanities (cognitive psychology, musicology) with a center of gravity in information technology (digital signal processing, computer science ”” languages, multimedia systems, human-computer interaction), is necessitated in order to address all required knowledge facets aimed at understanding and contributing to contemporary music creation.
The R&D department is organized in 7 specialized research teams, each team being in charge of all activities related to its research area : fundamental and applied research, development, artistic applications, collaborative projects, industrial transfers. Each team participates and is expected to be a recognized contributor as part of an international scientific community.
This original positioning of the IRCAM R&D department, together as an interdisciplinary interface lab with a strong connection to the cultural area, and as the gathering of research teams, each one being identified as an actor in traditional research fields, has been a key factor of support of French national institutions of research and higher education, the CNRS, the UPMC and the INRIA : in 2012, the STMS lab includes 10 permanent collaborators from these institutions.
Extensions to new activity fields
In addition to this increased institutional support, IRCAM has extended its activities over the last 20 years by developing an expertise in new research directions, much beyond the initial framework of contemporary creation, thanks in particular to the support of national (through the French agency ANR) and European R&D programs (mainly ICT and FET) and as an answer to broader societal needs: music information retrieval, sound design, intermodal cognition, web audio technologies, etc. The developed projects have enabled industrial collaborations and technology transfers in new fields, extending the mainstream of experimental environments for creation and tools for music and audio production, such as proposed in the recent and award-winning IRCAM Tools collection. Conversely, the concepts and technologies issued from these projects often proved to meet a great interest in the artistic community for the renewal of the existing tools and approaches.
A key factor of IRCAM’s attractivity in the artistic field lies on the exposure it provides to young and confirmed artists. A strong connection to the cultural scene, in the tradition of the great composers of the 20th century, and its exposure to the media, are the main conditions for attracting talents. On the research side, the concentration of scientists representing a large spectrum of disciplines in direct connection to contemporary creation makes the IRCAM Lab a unique place for engineers and researchers attracted by music. The Computer Music Course and the ATIAM Master are the main higher education courses proposed to students respectively in composition and in engineering sciences, interested in joining IRCAM.
Directions for future development
Doctoral curricula for composers
The evolution of the French higher education system in conformance to the Bologna Accords is currently ongoing. Agreements between universities and conservatories are starting to be discussed and implemented, in order to propose Masters and doctoral degrees for performers, composers and computer music designers. It is expected that these evolutions will enable the creation of permanent positions for these categories of actors.
Towards a better recognition of the role of artistic creation in society
Institutions like IRCAM have shown that a research dedicated to artistic creation could have a broad impact to the society, not only in its contribution to building today’s culture, but in all activity fields involving sound technologies: games, simulation and virtual reality, multimodal human-computer interfaces, multimedia search engines, etc. Media artists have soon anticipated technological innovations in visionary works, as it has been shown for instance by Golan Levin. So it is hoped that the role of artistic creation in society will be better and better recognized and supported in particular by academic institutions and research funding programs at national and international levels.
Appendix 5: LIMSI-CNRS/VIDA
VIDA (Virtuality, Interaction, Design, & Art) is an art-science thematics at LIMSI (Computer Science Laboratory for Mechanics and Engineering Sciences), which is a scientific research laboratory of the CNRS associated with two universities (University of Paris Sud and Pierre et Marie Curie University). As a transerve action of the Human-Computer Interaction Departement, VIDA gathers permanent researchers, PhD students, and engineers working on short or long projects with creative professionals (artists, designers, architects..) and is also responsible for organizing events such as art-science workshops or seminars (Interferences_VIDA).
Since 2006, more than 25 projects have been developed or are still under progress. These projects covers 3 main themes: Virtual Augmented Reality (for the performing arts, architecture and visual arts), Multimodal human-computer interaction (for social life, music, dance, or theater performance) and Virtual materiality (for cognitive experiments in arts and sciences). Due to the considerable diversity in the project themes, objectives, in number of involved persons or in the funding types, it is not possible to give the outlines of a typical VIDA’s project.
No artistic residencies at LIMSI
Most projects developed in VIDA have been published either in scientific journals or conferences with art tracks (CHI, ACM Multimédia…) and also in specialised art-science journals (Leonardo, IJART,..).
Permanent researchers, PhD students and postdocs are working in this research activity .
Other art-science activities that you consider important for your institution
In addition to publishing or scientific conferences, VIDA dissemination includes artistic events such as live performances, exhibitions, concerts in artistic festivals or galleries and art-science mediations in public space.
Funding resources are very diversified: ANR projects, regional support, art-science calls, marginal funding sources…
There is no position at LIMSI that formally dedicated to VIDA. However some permanent personal or doctorate students spend some of their professional activity on VIDA (from 10 to 50% approximately)
It is difficult to consider such a a carrier for a scientific researcher in France, except in few institutions or laboratories dedicated to art-science. To develop an art-science approach means to struggle against prejudices from scientific community, resistance from institutional environments (education and research) and to find new ways to integrate this approach in more conventional projects. It is highly profitable when it works but very difficult to perform.
Since more and more conferences in some domains such as computer sciences have art-science tracks, it is possible to combine art-science publication and promotion of standard scientific activity.
The main features are interdisciplinarity, creativity, personal interest in culture and mediation, individual determination, time and money(!)”
Other resources than funding or human resources that contribute to the sustainability of your activities
Internships, annex activities of PhD students, art-science applications of fundamental research (that can be funded as regular scientific projects)…
” new research topic exploration, scientific publications
” artwork productions
” web presence with the artsciedu diffusion list and web site VIDA
” creative engagement through cultural events
” contributions to the art-science-society debate
Lessons: what works well…
” VIDA as a catalyst for collaborative experiences with design or fine art schools and other scientific institutions.
” VIDA as a giving to LIMSI an art-science image that can help to integrate or develop other art-science projects in our close environment (eg La Diagonale, A&S Days at UPSud…)
” VIDA as a place for creative productions with artists or cultural associations from various areas (theater, dance, music..).
” VIDA as a natural tool to create or strenghen collaborations both within groups and between members of different groups at LIMSI.
Lessons: and what doesn’t really work!
” To be better integrated in the scientific community
” not to be considered by some artists only as a technoscientific support
” bridge with other educational institutions
The major difficulties that you experience in your activities…
” work valorization
” high impact journals for art-science research dissemination
” resistance from colleagues
” political recuperation of art-science activity from some scientific institutions or foundations for marketing and communication
Suggested Actions to stakeholders of your institution or of other art-science places
” To give the possibility of long research projects and not to operate only on the basis of short collaborations or in the context of very definite project calls
” Valorization of the risk-taking in new approaches through Art&Science projects
” specific fundings for art-sciences innovations (phD grants, post-doctoral missions)
” support to cross-disciplinary researches between engineering sciences and humanities
” have specific installations and spaces inside a lab for the development of A&S projects and artistic residencies
Major projects for the upcoming years…
” To pursue the development of an art-science thematics in a scientific laboratory and to export this experience in other labs.
” To bring young artists and scientists to art-science and encourage them to enrich their education through art-science experiences (approach, production, collaboration)
” To propose new educational perspectives and new form of scientific mediations
” to change the perception of scientific institutions and universities towards art-science
” disciplinary evaluation of scientific research
” in-lab hosting
The aim is not to dissolve disciplinary boundaries, nor to create a new discipline: creativity in art-science relates to the process of crossing these boundaries from an unexpected and original way. This is the reason why it is a challenging question to define the perfect environment for art-science development without delimiting and restricting it. The art-science approach offers a collaborative process, which allows for shared understanding and creation and facilitates a cross-cultural dialog, including the public.