I got a call from a reporter at who wanted my take on “networked art.” So..I gave a take.

Networked Artwork

A little fluff, but it’s a business journal.

Why do I blog this? Well, firstly it’s a good idea to start keeping clips filed away. But..there was a thing or two I said that didn’t make the cut. It sounded like the writer wanted a counterpoint to Napier’s point-of-view that there was art, and then there were other things. That may be overstating his position on the topic, but I distinctly got the sense that Napier considered himself an artist, which is great.

I often have to confront this topic, and I have to say, I try to occupy partial positions within the triad of academy-based researcher, commercial r&d/technologist guy, emerging/art-technologist. Part of the reason for the multiple-partial positions is just pragmatic – I enjoy creating designed experiences that almost always involve some kind of technical instrument and the outlet for that creative exercise doesn’t always fit neatly in one execution framework.

I have a chance in my approach to scholarly research (when I get to do it..) to be disruptive rather than incremental in the contributions to the “canon” of knowledge in the various reseach practices with which I am aligned. Meaning, rather than figuring out how to get a 12% more power efficiency out of a mobile device, I feel like there’s an opportunity to break out of conventional ways of thinking about mobile, locative and pervasive usage scenarios.

I enjoy the spunk and guile of working in the world of commercial transactions, and the position of being from somewhere on the fringes of what’s conventional in terms of designed usage scenarios, technology, economic models, business frameworks, and so forth.

And the emerging/art-technology world allows a kind of research & development freedom where visceral intuition or a desire to do something “’cause” is allowed. Sometimes you have to backfill with creative motivation at the beginning, but more often the practice, in my experience, allows one to do something because it’s compelling to do, or because you can’t help but do it, and use the “object” as a way to understand what was so compelling. Sometimes that kind of “theory object” travels into the other practice idioms, sometimes not.