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CIRCUS for Beginners

Patterson, J and BOEHM, Carola (2001) CIRCUS for Beginners. In: CIRCUS 2001 - New Synergies in Digital Creativity. Proceedings of the Conference for Content Integrated Research in Creative User Systems (CIRCUS)..

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Abstract or description

This paper describes CIRCUS, (Content Integrated Research For Creative User Systems) is an ESPRIT Working Group, its origins, its main concerns, and a high-level view of some of its conclusions. One of the main issues was the way in which topics with their origins in the internationally misunderstood idea of ?culture? tended to predominate. While we take the view that our idea of culture is indivisible there are nonetheless subcultures, which seem to understand their own niches but little else, within it. Much of the head-butting in our deliberations came from this source. One source of cultural clashing which some observers tended to minimise was that between practice-based disciplines and knowledgebased disciplines. A good example was the distinction between the practice-based art and design community on the one hand and the more knowledge-based computer technology community (who nonetheless do a lot of practicebased work in their training) and we point to examples of clashes between these. We make a particular example of the rise of the subculture which surrounds music technology, a new discipline within an old arts-and-humanities one. While there is plenty of evidence for the persistence of culture we also show that a careless spreading of carrots for starving donkeys can have unexpected cultural consequences. Music technology, which is more like computer science than, say, musicology, is now more likely to be found in engineering and computer science departments than in music departments despite the fact that it is a classical practice-oriented discipline with more structural similarities to design than computer science. The explanation is entirely to be found in the unexpected consequences of the way in which the subject is funded. A major concern of CIRCUS has been the topic of ?creative pull? which is our favoured method of developing relevant technology for use by arts-based practitioners. Briefly ?creative pull? involves the development of relevant technology for furthering a creative practice-based project, so artists are in control and technologists derive their necessary insights from creative need rather their own overheated imaginings. We give some detail as to how ?creative pull? could be used to progress topics like nonphotorealistic rendering which have so far been driven largely by technological agendas. Finally after a bit of iconoclasm we develop some recommendations which could go into our final recommendations to the Commission, specifically in terms of mechanisms for promoting ad supporting projects with a ?creative pull? core, which are notoriously difficult to put together and get past the Commission?s refereeing processes intact. Finally we discuss the vertical market model and show that many creative projects, particularly film projects, can effectively define an entire market for goods branded by the original film. These include pedagogical aids and knowledge packaged as a commodity, which in turn generates its own issues. A coherent model of creative pull can this have a quiet significant effect on geographically localised cultures and help to internationalise them. We argue in conclusion for a body to maintain a watching brief on ?creative pull? and to refine it from practical examples.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: This is an Author Accepted Manuscript of a paper presented at CIRCUS 2001 - New Synergies in Digital Creativity. Proceedings of the Conference for Content Integrated Research in Creative User Systems.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Humanities and Performing Arts
Depositing User: Paul JOHNSON
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2017 15:58
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2017 15:58
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3194

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