Innovative art-science-technology processes
Over forty years after the foundation of the Ircam-Centre Pompidou’s visionary project and the development of its original interdisciplinary model, the importance of the role of artists in the innovation process is generating growing interest among decision makers. Looking beyond the industrialisation of its technological output centred on music and sound, the seminal expertise developed at Ircam around objects and methods combining scientific research, artistic creation and innovation is increasingly resonant in society in various forms.
Ircam is one of the main founding institutions of the European Commission’s programme STARTS (Science, Technology and the ARTS) which first started in 2015, supporting projects to promote the role of artists in technological innovation.
The European project VERTIGO (2016-2020) was developed by Ircam and selected in response to the first call connected to the STARTS initiative. The organisation of 45 artist residencies throughout Europe and in all technological fields heralded a new dynamic named STARTS Residencies, taken up by various European arts institutions. Following on from Vertigo, Ircam participated in the project STARTS Ecosystem in charge of coordinating and managing the STARTS community.
Crédit photo : Quentin Chevrier
At the same time, Ircam collaborated with the Centre Pompidou to launch the Vertigo Forum’s interdisciplinary meetings, for its annual Mutations/Creation cycle. These take place over two or three days, and are attended by artists, scientists and engineers at the cutting edge and focus on a state-of-the-art theme involving contemporary creation and scientific and technological progress, tying in with an exhibition held at the Centre Pompidou.
The bidding methods and organisation of artistic residencies developed in Vertigo were applied to the European project MediaFutures (2020-2023) in the context of Digital Innovation Hubs. MediaFutures invited artists and startups proposing groundbreaking approaches in the media on misinformation issues, especially by way of using information databases. Ircam coordinated the organisation of 42 artistic residencies, some of which were for the “Startup meets Artist” programme, conducted jointly with a startup booster process.
Technologies and communities geared around Web3 (blockchains, NFTs and DAOs) open up new opportunities for artists to reappropriate the dissemination and monetisation of their creative output, in a direct link with their audience. For Ircam, these perspectives are consistent with how the community grew out of the Ircam Forum and the extension of digital content that it shares, beyond tools for creation, to technical devices for use in the production of works (both to produce the exhibition and to put together materials to prepare it). NFTs potentially offer the technical bases of collective support for creation in the making, a new form of arts patronage in the crowdfunding age. These possibilities have been tested via the European project DAFNE+ (2022-25) which brings together several arts communities (makers, designers and prosumers) with the Ircam community, geared around a technical platform based on blockchains/NFTs and in a dissemination and compensation approach aiming for transparency and equity for the benefit of creatives.