Building Institutions

This category represents the biggest of the big ideas. There exists throughout the world a number of art and technology institutions that have become world famous for the research and exhibition opportunities that they provide. The three most successful are the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe Germany, the NTT InterCommunication Center (ICC) in Tokyo and the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria. As yet there is no comparable institution in the United States. A couple have been proposed; the Eyebeam Atelier, which occupies a Chelsea NYC office and has proposed a large Diller + Scofidio designed building, and ZeroOne in Silicon Valley. Both have been held up by economic conditions. Another model is the Montreal-based Daniel Langlois Foundation that funds new media projects around the world.

The idea that New England should be the site of the major independent non-profit tech-based art organization in the United States is in keeping with its history. The fifty-year history of art and technology here includes such major projects as WGBH's New Television Workshop, the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) and the Media Lab, both at MIT and numerous artist technology collaborations though out the high technology. The recently published "Arts Lab" Report by Leonardo/ISAST identifies numerous models for an institution like this and discusses issues of sustainability.

  1. Encourage a group of at least 100 technology leaders in the greater Boston area to create a technology and art foundation and raise funds on an annual membership fee basis.

  2. Use this Foundation as a seed for the idea of a major center like NTTICC or Ars Electronica in New England. It could be the first in the U.S.

Activities that this organization could engage in

  1. Grants and awards

  2. One year post-grad opportunities like BSO program

  3. Legislative lobbying

  4. Help local arts/tech orgs bring in national funding

  5. Host an Artist Cave for developing new ideas / exhibition.

  6. Digital museum with funding to create a collection.

Small ideas

  • Identify existing institutions that can grow into new/expanded roles (more active archiving, exhibition, residencies, etc.)

  • Look into the Museum of Science or Institute of Contemporary Art expanding in this manner.

  • If an existing institution doesn't want to take on role of umbrella for services for arts & tech consortium, create a new organization.

  • Research successful models

  • Identify possible major donors

  • It will take a convergence of civic, financial and other interests to start a new organization. Should research what went into starting NTTICC etc.

  • Look for synergies with the New England design sector.

  • New England council has annual awards; encourage them to highlight Creative Economy and Arts & Technology.

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