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156 Leonardo Reviews have contributed to the realization of the work. The works are presented as “research projects” not as “art pieces.” In general, the workings are not apparent and one is not distracted by seeing machinery that is not germane to the presentation. There is an exhibiting problem of some kind, however. The exhibit space is not clearly demarcated from the rest of the Tech Museum exhibit space—as one walks around there is no clear “boundary.” This is not so much a sound/noise issue as it is one of “continuity ” with some of the other Tech exhibits —e.g. there is a telerobotic camera demonstration that could have been “confused” with the Interval exhibit . However, perhaps the difference is apparent in that the telerobotic camera installation is almost content free, presented and used as a “toy,” while all of the Interval pieces present thoughtful content within their concepts. I am not sure why I had this reaction about demarcation since I object to the SIGGRAPH art show approach of putting the art show in a totally separate container with labels that basically say “art this way” and “that way, not art.” I like how at the Exploratorium artists develop pieces that are totally integrated into the exhibit floor space. What I may be reacting to is the very glossy/unreal environment of downtown San Jose and the Tech museum itself (I remarked to someone that when I walked out of the parking structure into the plaza area I felt I had walked into virtual reality—everything in that downtown environment is so “designed ” and “clean,” and everyone has such clean t-shirts! Everything is there because someone put it there. I get a bit of the same feeling at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—it is too much like hospital. I should state the possibility of a “conflict of interest” since for several years Interval Research provided generous funding to our Leonardo Electronic Almanac project, consistent with their corporate approach of including art, publications and research in their “mandate” for developing commercially viable innovations . I am favorably disposed to the Interval commitment and hope that this commitment will continue. In discussions after seeing the exhibit , the issue of the various models for corporate involvement in the arts came up. These range from (1) the corporate philanthropy model: funding of museums, operas or a virtual art museum as in the recent Intel sponsoring of the “art museum” website; (2) the “2% for art model,” as has been used to integrate public art projects into the urban architecture; (3) the “art in the cracks” approach in which companies “encourage” or at least condone involvement of their employees in art production; (e.g. the Bell Labs in the 1960s); (4) the corporate funding of university research, including artistdriven projects, as has been the case at the MIT Media Lab for instance; (5) the “artist as researcher” model, which is being experimented with by Interval, Xerox PARC, NTT, DEC, ATR and a number of other companies convinced that artists can contribute to the development of viable commercial products; (6) finally, the “artist-run business” which has been arising recently in “micro -enterprises” surrounding the new media, Internet and computer-animation industries (e.g. Rhizome/ Stockobjects). It is clear that the art world is being thoroughly restructured and that new economic models are being developed to address the impact of the digital technologies on art making. At this point we need the full “ecology” to be tried, with the urgent need that the art world needs to be heavily involved in the new intellectual property rights approaches that will be developed to close the economic loop between creators and consumers of art. In the Interval case, “artists” heavily involved in technical developments participate in the development of patents and other mechanisms for rewarding innovators, yet they are able to display the resulting artworks. Many of the Interval pieces have been seen in the new media art circuit from Ars Electronica to SIGGRAPH to ISEA. Within this model, the companies have found a way to balance the needs of commercial secrecy and the needs of artists to show their work. MATERIALS...


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pp. 156-158
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