Art and R&D

In his presentation entitled Is "digital art" Western ? Digital art or the utopia of "world art"? Orange researcher Emmanuel Mahé deals with the relationship between R&D and Art. Some excerpts I found relevant to me:

"The relationship between R&D and Art happens at two levels: LEVEL 1 : Artistic practice and related fields (such as design) as an object of research to find solutions either in terms of uses or technical solutions:

  1. Subject of analysis (measure the effects between IT and uses, understand the social mechanisms, etc)
  2. Innovation method (collaborations between artists and engineers , multidisciplinary cooperation, etc)

LEVEL 2 : Artistic practice and related fields (such as design) as a subject of research to create new problematics, to ask new questions:

  1. hypothesize objects, in the sense of “research hypothesis”
  2. construct new communications hypotheses
  3. use these new hypotheses to create new models which may be used for creating services, fundamental research etc."

He then gives the example of current artistic work about invisibility and shows how artists are "creating new ways (techniques and uses) to make visible what is at the moment invisible and to make audible what is no longer audible. In this way, they are not resisting progress, just modifying it; they are redefining forms. These are the people who are the driving force behind these current developments". Why do I blog this? the issue of art and R&D is a topic I do not work on in my UX research but I tend to follow it carefully, especially for its potential in foresight work. This articles delineates some of the reasons why it's important to understand how artistic projects pave the way for near futures.