Art and Technology

I’ve just returned from the bi-annual “Creativity & Cognition” conference at the High Art Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted by Georgia Tech. The first C&C conference was held in 1996 at Loughborough University in England, and the event has thrived as a showcase for cutting-edge art-technology collaborations (the conference is affiliated with the Association for Computing Machinery or ACM). We got to see cool videos and demos of new technology, and creative performances in the evenings. Here’s a quick sampling of the cool things I saw:

* A creativity support tool that allows each member of a group to digitize their post-it notes, and then to display them on the floor and walls of a special room. As you walk around the room, your own ideas follow you, and you can mingle and exchange these visualized ideas with your collaborators. (see

* Software using Microsoft Kinect (sometimes more than one) that recognizes gestures and dance movements

* A program that uses improvisational theater principles to enhance user interaction (by Brian Magerko)

* A music performance using a new toy/instrument where notes are made by placing colored geometric shapes on a special surface

* Presentations about a new creative toolkit for children that allows them to make “intelligent clothing” (it contains conductive thread and colored LEDs) by Yasmin Kafai and Kylie Pepper

I believe I was the only one there representing my psychology of creativity colleagues; there isn’t much conversation between the psychologists and these computer scientists. But there were researchers there from Europe and Asia as well as the Americas; this is an international effort. In the U.S., a lot of this work has been funded by the NSF’s CreativeIT program.

I recommend that you check out these cutting edge technologies! They might be in your home in five years.

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