The author discusses three models of corporate partnership that support the creation of new-media art: directed altruism, skunk works (product development), and regulated self-interest. Similar activities can occur across these models, but expectations, criteria for assessment and final outcomes may differ. Clarifying the rules of engagement for arts organizations and artists when they work with corporations is critical to success for both artists and companies. This essay provides a framework and examples for each model from Canada, Finland, the United Kingdom and the United States. It evaluates failures as well as successes.
Today, a worldwide community of innovators is engaged in the convergence of art, technology and science, as are a number of vital and active organizations, yet there seems to be very little discourse about the process of doing interdisciplinary work. The BRIDGES Consortium seeks to create a collaborative forum for the study and development of interdisciplinary collaboration as a practice. At the first Bridges Summit, held in June 2001, participants discussed a broad range of topics, including: preceding historical developments, the role of language, institutional hurdles to collaboration and the value of art/technology-based research. The event concluded with recommendations for aggregating, validating and strengthening the interdisciplinary community through the creation of a new form of collaborative organization.