VALab (Virtual Artistic Laboratory)Γιάννης Κουκουλάς
In the digital era, the artistic laboratory and thus the entire Art education system is as dynamic as the artwork itself. Digital interactive artworks, and even traditional artworks subject to digital processing, require innovative approaches in their creative process structure, this affecting seriously their aesthetics. These entirely new approaches also reflect on the educational methodology.
The artist is a member of an interdisciplinary group, in an interconnected laboratory. The space for artistic experimentation, communication and life-long learning of this artist is a virtual space allowing the investigation of innovative concepts and structures that the digital environment encapsulates in its core.
This virtual space has the potential to act also as a knowledge-space that provides the artist with tools for theoretical (artistic and scientific) research. These tools enable advanced searching, as well as organization and classification of information. This knowledge-space is important as it allows linking of the artistic thought with other human thought disciplines (e.g. philosophy, mathematics).
VALab is a part of a longtime and multi-level research of the Multimedia-Hypermedia laboratory core research team towards the development of an educational, collaborative virtual artistic laboratory which utilizes the above experiences, and modern digital technologies to meet the needs of the modern artist and researcher to anticipate the rapid information flows and to exploit the international experience.
This research develops in two parallel directions:
– collaborative artistic creation and education inside virtual spaces and games. This is an effort that began with the development of small-scale platforms, created by students and teachers, primarily through international summer Universities and Erasmus Intensive Programs (see next Section) and reached the establishment of a Greek-French Masters Program between Athens School of Fine Arts and Paris-8 University that targets collaborative artistic creation (see www.eumaster.asfa.gr).
– a particular area which lies between the humanities (philosophy, anthropology, art theory, etc.) and information science and concerns the possibility of using digital technology in the theoretical scientific research in art.Following the tradition of machine organization of memory (Lull, Camillo, Bruno), to information archiving (library, encyclopedia, Memex), and now to the semantic processing of digital information (semantic web), it investigates the possibilities of a real convergence of these two spaces, in order to develop new ontologies of information archiving. (Manthos Santorineos, DE LA CIVILISATION DU PAPIER À LA CIVILISATION DU NUMÉRIQUE
A travers les aventures de l’enregistrement de la recherche, de la pensée et de l’Art
Proposition d’une nouvelle forme de thèse de doctorat numérique, EDUCATION ENSEIGNEMENT PHILOSOPHIE SCIENCES ET TECHNIQUES, L’Harmattan, 2008)
VALab research principles are incorporated into this specific web platform that is utilized:
– to conduct collaborative courses in the framework of the Greek-French Masters Program mentioned above and
– as a theoretical research tool by PhD or postgraduate students that want to develop their thesis.
For the last seven years, Multimedia-Hypermedia research team has been organizing international seminars (Erasmus IP Programmes and Summer Universities) with students and professors from several institutions (Paris-8 University, Tourcoing School of Fine Arts, UPV Valencia, Goldsmiths University, University of Hull). So far, these seminars have taken place in Delphi (Greece) and Paris (France). Indicatively, some of the outcomes of these seminars are the following:
– Development of a virtual international neighborhood with houses from all over the world (InBetween project, http://www.medialab.asfa.gr/inbetween)
– Development of a collaborative virtual space of interacting artworks (Delphous project, Delphi, Greece July 2007)
– Development of a conceptual, multidimensional space of hyperlinked 3D objects (Delphus 3.0 project – http://www.medialab.asfa.gr/delphus3, Delphi, Greece, July 2009 and July 2010).
Even though all these efforts remained at the level of a prototype platform, they formed the main research axes towards defining VALab core architecture.
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