Creativity is a widely accepted concept loosely referred to as a resource or a capacity to bring about ideas and visions transformed into a body of work. Creativity encompasses making, playing, and designing meaningful opportunities such as interactive media systems and experiences. For INTETAIN 2014, we welcome researchers in science and engineering and creative practitioners to come together and explore how shared media networks, shared production, and shared experiences may make use of a notion such as distributed creativity.
INTETAIN 2014 will focus on the relationship between emerging technologies and established practices for media making. The conference location of Columbia College Chicago provides an ideal environment to examine the inner workings and complexities of this convergence, as the college is the largest in the United States for training of creative practitioners in media and communications.
The outcomes of these conversations are envisioned to aid in building connections between technology research and practical, scalable applications in media industries. While interactive entertainment may have originated with computer games, today all forms of media anticipate an interactive element, including television, radio, journalism, and the cinema. The college is home to the nation's largest cinema production program and one of the top ten game programs, as well as award-winning programs in radio, television, and audio arts and acoustics.
The entertainment industries are challenged to define reliable and repeatable pathways from research in emerging technologies to published media applications. Engineering constraints and opportunities provided by technology platforms, and scientific insights regarding human engagement and responses to interactive experiences, must be coupled with creative practices of storytelling. Creative practitioners focus on the conceptual qualities of mediated materials and depths of literary conveyance of fictional or non-fictional worlds and ideas. Technological innovation is not a substitute for media’s material conceptual qualities and literary depths, but rather a discovery partner for developing new modes of interactive telling and sharing, including new modes of play and distributed participation in both gathering and interacting with media. Forums and laboratories for these discoveries remain in formative stages, as creative and technology constituents are not easily collocated.
Modes of mediated storytelling and interactive delivery are an ever-moving target, with creative content perpetually outpacing algorithmic support systems. Given industry practices where media technology both leads and follows the creation of expressive content, it is valuable for creative researchers to develop methodologies to substantiate their results through test cases relevant to professional creative practitioners in media making and storytelling.
The INTETAIN series of conferences thrives on interdisciplinary research with its focus on creativity applied to technology, AI, cognition, and models of engagement and play. At the core, we are in search of things that are meaningfully smarter and more playful. While we value this shared core, our interdisciplinary agenda faces a reality of different disciplines with different research priorities. The premises of each discipline, anchored in its own priorities, assume diverse impacts in society. The interdisciplinary challenge expands beyond cross-disciplinary academic research: it also includes applications and practices in creative industry, with its own professionals. At INTETAIN 2014 we take up this challenge as Distributed Creativity. The ambition of this conference is to explore holistic pathways for advances in INTETAIN research to generate impact in two main areas: exploration of unforeseen creativity and its possible consequences in everyday life.
This pathway can be best examined by framing Distributed Creativity as to invigorate the moments of convergence not only of topics but also of communities with diverse constituents engaged in emerging research and professional practices. Such constituents come from the communities of science and engineering, technology and entertainment industry, and civic and public engagement, drawing from a diverse range of competencies. The academic research community focuses on peer reviewed research publications, and INTETAIN provides a forum for scholarly publication and presentation of working systems. Creative professionals and applied practitioners are also interested in research venues to present their creative outcomes, yet they do not necessarily share the scholarly processes. The interdisciplinary agenda of INTETAIN, therefore, requires the conference to extend far beyond the presentation of its published research papers. The resulting INTETAIN 2014 conference program comprises a diverse spectrum of activities, including presentation of the research papers in this Proceedings, creative workshops where participants actively engage in brainstorming and role playing, interactive STEM learning, re-envisioning reading and writing, listening to music performances with telematics, and laughing at comedians’ technology-enabled capers.
This program is proudly hosted by Columbia College Chicago. In a truly integrated urban setting with Millennium and Grant Park for a front yard, Columbia College Chicago shapes the spirit of Chicago’s downtown South Loop with a population of over 10,000 students. Built on its heritage of creativity and innovation since 1890, Columbia College is the largest private nonprofit institute in North America dedicated to higher education in creative practices, and offers Chicago’s downtown community a cultural home. Columbia College is naturally dynamic and agile, embracing its motto esse quam videri with a broad spectrum of creative practices encompassing media, design, and fine and performing arts.
INTETAIN 2014’s main venue is the Media Production Center designed by MacArthur award-winning architect Jeanne Gang. This refined industrial space frames the essence of creative productivity at scale, and is an ideal site for applications of intelligent technologies to interactive entertainment.