Golan Levin and Collaborators

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New-Media Artists are the Unpaid R&D of Ad Agencies

23 October 2012 / event, lecture, reflection

This was a presentation I delivered at FITC’s ETA Conference in Toronto, 19 October 2012

From the program notes: “A surprising number of today’s most widely-used information technologies had their beginnings as provocative prototypes conceived and developed by new-media artists. In fact, new-media innovations are increasingly originated and shared by individual artists and tiny artist-collectives — independent artists and creative technologists who, more often than not, contribute to (and work with the help of) tightly-knit open-source communities for commons-based peer production. Unfortunately, a series of high-profile public disagreements has damaged corporate reputations, while simultaneously leaving new-media artist-developers feeling like the “unpaid R&D division of the advertising industry”. The needs and goals of these individuals and groups are sometimes at odds with those of the advertising industry, but are sometimes surprisingly complementary, too. This talk builds the case for recognizing the productive influence of new-media arts on advertising and technology, and presents some best practices and mutually beneficial strategies for collaborating and negotiating with hacker collectives, open-source communities, and independent new-media artists.”


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