Proposal for Workgroup -"Beyond ICT -Thinking outside the Box!":

Phase 1.0:  -Towards The Recruitment of Potential Participants/Contributers/Supporters, etc..

A proposed study group/think-tank/research team -which would be active somewhere in the intersection between Society, Art and Technology and concern itself with thinking "outside the box" in ways that would enable it to move beyond the ICT paradigm.....

1.0 -Aims and Intentions:

The intention of the group would be to explore the link between Society, Art and Technology -through the exploration and investigation of the potential application of "Media, Methods and Meanings". This trilogy of concepts was conceived by Jacqueline Hoogeveen as a basis for a collaborative project between the "Media Art Department" of the AKI school of Fine Art and the "Computer Technology Department" at the Technical University Twente -both in Enschede, Holland.  The  current author also  worked on the initial  development phase of this project -which resulted in a joint degree level course..

The proposed group would explore how art, technology and socio-cultural systems might employ technology as a tool, a medium and/or a metaphor -and how existing (or non-existing but potentially desirable) practices in one area might, in turn, present metaphors which could be useful in understanding or developing theories and practices in any of the other areas of interest.

1.1 -Basic Approach:

The group would be (primarily?) concerned with the social, cultural and technological implications of rule-based systems -and how "defining the box" might play an essential role in suggesting ways of escaping the limitations currently created by that "box".

It would be investigating conceptual approaches which are currently outside accepted practice but might later form the basis for successful social, technical, economic and/or cultural innovation if allowed to develop and mature despite their apparent initial impracticability.

1.2 -Initial Structure:

Ideally, the team would start off as a loose coalition of people from various disciplines and social groups -who were linked by some form of common interest -and were also prepared to explore how their own interests might relate to (or be interpreted by) people from other disciplines and possibly other areas of interest. In a later stage in the process of self-definition and self-determination -one would expect more concrete proposals and perhaps organisational structures to emerge.

Considering the problems of finding people with both suitable skills and a suitable frame of mind -depending on the context within which the team operates, it could be directly concerned with the development of practical and theoretical research -or it could be concerned with development of a curriculum which might produce students (and eventually teachers) with the necessary skills. Perhaps, in an ideal situation, it would do both.

In the initial stages, such a team may need to focus on "educating the educators" -including the group's own team members.....

1.3  -Towards the Definition of Later Phases:

The basic strategy proposed is based on the principle of "Prototyping" -i.e. successive rounds of improvement based on an evaluation of previous performance. This makes any long term planning rather difficult -but it does encourage the (spontaneous) investigation of new issues as they arise, in order to evaluate them and include them in the prototyping ffeedback loop.

However, although it cannot be fully predicted -one might expect the following (initial) basic steps:

    1. -Recruitment of initial "Seed" team:
    2. -Definition/mapping of areas of competence/interest/inquiry:
    3. -Definition and development of physical, organisational and financial (working) environment:
    4. -Evaluation and modification of aims and structure as experience develops:

For more background information see An Integrated Institute for Technology and Culture
(and other texts at

Trevor Batten
19 September 2005

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