Re/Search: Art, Science, and Information Technology

This joint workshop between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to develop a national agenda for funding and collaboration integrating the arts and computing/information science. The event gathered 55 international thought leaders in the area. Attendees included leaders from the NSF and NEA, deans of arts programs, professors of computer science, nonprofit leaders, independent artists, and others advancing digital media and new forms of expression.

Over two days, the workshop group discussed such topics as hybrid methods in art/science/information technology research, barriers to successful collaboration across disciplines, and how to foster creativity-based technology research. Questions including what qualitative methods exist for measuring the success of technology-rich creative endeavors as well as ways to identify transformative, innovative, and/or emerging art practices that merit governmental support were also debated.

The workshop resulted in a series of concrete outcomes. Workshop attendees have created an online web repository to share results; produced a white paper for broad academic dissemination, developed a new funding model involving nongovernmental organizations, and outlined interdisciplinary tenure requirements.

The workshop was funded jointly by the National Science Foundation (NSF Award #1057908; Harrell, PI) and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Associated Project: 
Re/Search: Art, Science, and Information Technology
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NSF NEA Workshop

Chimeria

Everyone belongs to social categories based on factors such as musical preference, fashion, gender, or race. Yet, some category members are more central, privileged, or marginalized than others. Membership in such social categories is also dynamic: whether someone is a member or not may change over time, both within and between groups. Chimeria is a system to help people better understand social categorization phenomena such as marginalization and the dynamics of group membership. Chimeria does this through an interactive narrative. Consider the following story on a music-oriented social network:

A punk rock music fan decides to listen to a little jazz. She listens to a couple of albums by the jazz musician Thelonious Monk, but however, still continues to post messages only about punk rock. She grows tired of being a punk rocker (who dabbles in jazz on the side), so listens again only to hardcore punk rock music. But now, upon returning back to punk rock, punk rock seems to have lost its luster. She finally decides to forsake punk rock and become a jazz fan...for good.

Associated Project: 
Chimeria
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Advanced Identity Representation

Steam-Player-Preference Analyzer and the AIR Status Performance Classifier

In this work, we investigate how people exhibit and construct forms of self-expression in virtual environments including computational systems such as online social networks, or videogames. For example, in everyday life people dress in certain ways to reflect their individual senses of fashion, thereby expressing their social and personal knowledge regarding clothing. However, looking at a large number of people, distinctive categories may become apparent such as “formal,” “business casual,” or “leisurewear.” Such identity-related phenomena take place in computational systems as well. In representing oneself in computational systems, certain aspects of one's identity, including preferences and knowledge, are imparted. By comparing and contrasting these representations between the different computational systems, we may begin to understand how these systems support, or hinder, the user in terms of representing themselves adequately. More importantly, we may begin to identify, and model, phenomena that exists within the real world computationally too, enabling us as developers and designers to understand the consequences and implications of choices made in the development and design of such systems.

Associated Project: 
Advanced Identity Representation (AIR) Project

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