Building Businesses in Art & Technology

Art and Technology businesses fall into a number of categories. There are companies started by artists whose product is a creative service. New England examples include Kleiser-Walczak, Genarts and numerous creative web development companies. There are manufacturers who make a product, hardware or software, which artists use. New England examples include Avid, Z-Corp and Iris Graphics. Consistent interaction with artists makes their products better and markets their company. Either way there is a long history of businesses using creativity in ways that promote the bottom line. The history of artists working in new technologies and their value to high technology business has to be made clearer.

Two big ideas were:

1. Develop high technology incubator spaces for artists who wish to start businesses. This program could include actual space as well as specific business resources to successfully run a start-up.

  • It would teach business methods to artists.

  • It would provide business support in the form of interested accountants, lawyers and other professionals who would consider working with start-ups for a chance to develop future long-term relationships.

  • It would maintain a database/agent that matches artists (noting their skills and needs) with companies that fit a particular project.

  • Specific ideas to advance this were to talk to Bill Warner about his "Future Boston" insofar as it acts as an incubator model and talk to Arthur Nelson about incubator spaces

2. Create a newsletter and an annual award that highlights New England businesses that have successfully demonstrated programs in which artists were valuable to the company's successes.

  • This would promote history of artists in R&D by citing case studies of R&D art business collaborations.

  • It would help identify those companies that make these programs work and publicly reward them

  • Build an advisory board to help administer the award

  • Find funding (sponsorship?) of award

  • Companies could self nominate detailing the importance of artists to their business

  • Perhaps an established organization, like the New England Council, could administer award. New England council has annual awards; encourage them to highlight Arts & Technology.


  • Have business breakfasts for corporations to hear about what is possible with artists in residencies.

  • Get in touch with CreativeCommons.org, have open source contracts.

  • Bring the science community into this conversation about art & technology, perhaps host an event for the science community at Museum of Science.

  • Promote trans-disciplinary teams within companies

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