Processpatching : defining new methods in aRt&D
In the context of a rapidly changing domain of contemporary electronic art practice- where the speed of technological innovation and the topicality of art 'process as research' methods are both under constant revision- the process of collaboration between art, computer science and engineering is an important addition to existing 'R&D'. Scholarly as well as practical exploration of artistic methods, viewed in relation to the field of new technology, can be seen to enable and foster innovation in both the conceptualisation and practice of the electronic arts. At the same time, citing new media art in the context of technological innovation brings a mix of scientific and engineering issues to the fore and thereby demands an extended functionality that may lead to R&D, as technology attempts to take account of aesthetic and social considerations in its re-development. This new field of new media or electronic art R&D is different from research and development aimed at practical applications of new technologies as we see them in everyday life. A next step for Research and Development in Art (aRt&D) is a formalisation of the associated work methods, as an essential ingredient for interdisciplinary collaboration. This study investigates how electronic art patches together processes and methods from the arts, engineering and computer science environments. It provides a framework describing the electronic art methods to improve collaboration by informing others about one's artistic research and development approach. This investigation is positioned in the electronic art laboratory where new alliances with other disciplines are established. It provides information about the practical and theoretical aspects of the research and development processes of artists. The investigation addresses fundamental questions about the 'research and development methods' (discussed and defined at length in these pages), of artists who are involved in interdisciplinary collaborations amongst and between the fields of Art, Computer Science, and Engineering. The breadth of the fields studied necessarily forced a tight focus on specific issues in the literature, addressed herein through a series of focused case studies which demonstrate the points of synergy and divergence between the fields of artistic research and development, in a wider art&D' context. The artistic methods proposed in this research include references from a broad set of fields (e. g. Technology, Media Arts, Theatre and Performance, Systems Theories, the Humanities, and Design Practice) relevant to and intrinsically intertwined with this project and its placement in an interdisciplinary knowledge domain. The aRt&D Matrix provides a complete overview of the observed research and development methods in electronic arts, including references to related disciplines and methods from other fields. The new Matrix developed and offered in this thesis also provides an instrument for analysing the interdisciplinary collaboration process that exclusively reflects the information we need for the overview of the team constellation. The tool is used to inform the collaborators about the backgrounds of the other participants and thus about the expected methods and approaches. It provides a map of the bodies of knowledge and expertise represented in any given cross-disciplinary team, and thus aims to lay the groundwork for a future aRt&D framework of use to future scholars and practitioners alike.