© 2004 - C3 Center for Culture and Communication Foundation
Over the past decade, a large number of artists have found their own way into the domain of unstable art, resulting in the emergence of a very active interdisciplinary field somewhere in-between culture, science, industry and design practice. This is now a field, producing works that are aimed at direct contact and interaction with its audience and that also experiments with human-machine interaction. Since the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web, a whole new range of digital art forms has been added that focus on the cultural shifts caused by these networks and the globalization associated with them. Not only did the computer generate other forms of work - different both in its use of media and its content - it also generated a new way of working, i.e. in collectives and groups of artists, designers, technicians and scientists.
Based on its technical and theoretical expertise in 1997 V2_ founded the V2_Lab to meet the growing demand for this interdisciplinary approach. The lab is involved in the development of electronic works of art in the form of projects in which artists, designers, technicians and scientists collaborate on the basis of equality. Collectively, we call these projects 'aRt&D'. In the past few years we have accumulated a lot of technical and theoretical knowledge with aRt&D. Within V2_ many electronic art works have been created and many research projects were realized by the collaborative efforts of artists (often in artist-in-residency programs), programmers, technicians and scientists. At the same time contact has been established with practically every other media lab in the world and know-how and experience are exchanged on a regular basis. Also, theorists, artists and scientists are brought together at various conferences and via publications.
We now wish to open up and explain the field of aRt&D to others as well and introduce them to this form of art and technology that is still surrounded with so many misconceptions and lack of understanding. We are on track to publish a book that will critically address the many artistic, technical and theoretical aspects of the creation of electronic art in interdisciplinary collaborations. Our aim is not to give a survey of the activities of the various aRt& D labs, but to describe these activities themselves in a practical manner and provide a theoretical framework for them. In this way, aRt&D can be placed within the context of the cultural, social and political-economical transformations that are the result of the proliferation of digital techniques, and these transformations themselves can be described more accurately. This in turn will help clarify what the role of the artist within these complex processes of transformation is, and could be.