Intercreativity

I was reminded of "intercreativty" twice today: first, during a talk with a multimedia artist in Darwin about how he could potentially contribute to Frontline; second, when I visited the web site of a Philippine-based artist to listen to her compositions, including excerpts from her sound installation work.

Frontline will have multimedia and sound installations. But how will we make multimedia and sound installations, and other "locative media" in the coming months and years? I believe our locative media should be guided by the principle of intercreativity.

I learned of "intercreativity" from Tim Berners-Lee's book, Weaving the Web, where he recounts (among other things) why he invented the World Wide Web. He contrasted interactivity with intercreativity on the Web: with interactivity, a Web user is given options (buttons to push, links to click) that are predetermined by the author/producer; with intercreativity, Web users make things together as prosumers (producer-consumers). His original specification for the Web client was thus a browser that was also an editor.

I have long ago taken on intercreativity as a first principle for the work I wish to do on the Web and in my practice as a community artist. The principle of "making things together" seems such an obvious framework for a project such as Frontline.

Reminding myself of intercreativity as first principle and framework is useful in a personal context. I have looked forward to making things myself as a participant in Frontline; I wish to work on sound and multimedia installations in particular. But after listening to the sound installation excerpts (and other compositions) on the web site I visited last night, and on reflecting some more on mmy talk with the Darwin multimedia artist today, I reminded myself that it will not be enough -- and possibly not even appropriate -- for me to concentrate on making things myself. I should think and work intercreatively and concentrate on making things with others.

Now, there are many ways of "making things together". It is not enough to have the desire to make things together and to put people together somewhere then ask them to make things together (or "collaborate"); people who want to make things together should discuss and decide on how they will accomplish this; the environment and tools and resources for making things together must also be secured. In this regard, I think I can contribute to fostering intercreativity in Frontline by helping develop the dialogue about how to make things together, and also contribute to developing the environment that will make intercreativity possible.

I should be thinking not only of composing music and designing sound installations. I should think also of composing and designing the environment that will allow people to compose music and design installations together. And I should be thinking of how I compose and design environments collaboratively. I have done similar things in my previous work with the Theatre of the Oppressed and Cultural Action (in a previous life) in the 1980s and early 1990s. My challenge is to explore how to do so with locative media, how to be intercreative with Frontline.