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Illuminating History by Lily Díaz, 25.IX.2000

The development of digital media and information technology is altering the very fabric of many professions including art, design and archaeology. The disciplines in the humanities and social sciences have always made use of images in their research1 1 6, what is at stake for the artist and the designer is the formulation of "a new breed of

artisan/professional, using both skill and intellect."1 1 7

History has shown that this

opportunity has been present, but gone unheeded, at other points in time.

The role of art and design need not limited to the creation of objects. They can be powerful agents of innovationconcerned with the design of new processes, activities and tools. By studying the way in which artists work, we can insight into the dynamics of creativity and how these extend into the realm of the cognitive. For, it is not that the artist does not think or intellectually engage in inquiry, but rather that "the artist does his thinking in the very qualitative media he works in, and the terms lie so close to the object that he is producing that they merge directly into it." 1 18

Design in turn can be instrumental in the conceiving new activities and processes from the interaction of already existing communities working with the new digital tools. These new activities can in turn generate new objects to support already existing communities, as well as further engendering new ones.

There is also the realisation of future networked virtual environments that offer valuable and meaningful content. It is generally agreed that the fulfilment of this vision rests on the enabling of successful collaborative efforts. The degree of complexity inherent in information artefacts requires these to be conceived and realised within rich complex, networks of multiple disciplines. These networks can only be actualised through collaborative endeavours that feature actors from diverse knowledge fields who share a common objective. Although a lot of lip service is paid to this type of approach, there has been little actual work on projects that involve participants from diverse disciplines working together to solve a problem:

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116. Insert note here to refer reader to sources.
117. McCullough, M., Abstracting Craft, 1996.P. 256. 118. Dewey, J., "Art as an Experience, The Live Creature", p., 589.

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