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Art stirs emotions. Art can inspire people, stimulate thoughts, question the given. Mostly however, art is still seen as that which people engage with in their leisure time. ICT ART CONNECT, as a DG CONNECT initiative, proposes to make art part of the R&amp;D&amp;I process in H2020. The purpose is enhancing creativity, stimulating innovation, and bringing technology closer to human practice: to develop artistic practice as a method for shaping technologies that people can relate to at a deeper human level.</p>

During the ICT2013 event in Vilnius (6-8 November), ICT ART CONNECT was on show for 3 days in the exhibition and in a networking session. A '7 on 7' event was organised where seven artists engaged in discussions with technologists on possible synergies for their work. ICT&ART Connect booth has been elected the favourite exhibition stand of the cluster "Culture, science and creativity", during the conference.

One focus of the ICT ART CONNECT 2013 event which then followed in Brussels (9-11 November), was on demonstrating the capacity of ICT and Art to mobilise citizens and participatory engagement. It started with a two-day workshop held at iMAL (Center for digital cultures and technology) and two exhibitions, one of them at BOZAR, opened by European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes.

The curator from BOZAR explaining Neelie Kroes, Robert Madelin, Jose Cotta (Head of Unit Digital Sciences, DG CONNECT) and Paul Dujardin (BOZAR Director-general) one of the art works at the exhibition


The last day was held at the European Parliament with the active participation of MEPs M. Da Graça Carvalho, A. Andersdotter, and M.  Løkkegaard. The European Parliament sessions linked to President Barroso’s initiative 'New Narratives for Europe' and on ICT ART CONNECT as a mean to facilitate a bottom-up approach to engage citizens in constructing a vision for Europe. A roundtable on future actions for engaging ICT with the Arts was chaired by Robert Madelin (Director General of DG CONNECT). It identified two strands for such an engagement:

  • Art as practice: Creative practices rooted in artistic expression – art as an alternative R&D&I methodology. Art to render technology more human-centered. Art for exploration of new pathways and to overcome a lock-in of innovation. Art to better tackle emotions and senses in ICT. Use of ICT in artistic practice as means to advance ICT design.
  • Art as argument: Art to establish a dialogue among stakeholders. Art to embed technology more gracefully in society. Art and ICT as a tool - data visualization, narratives, AR - for engagement and participation (social change, social inclusion…).


In a next step, concrete actions will be discussed how to nurture ICT ART CONNECT in H2020. Options include encouraging artist residences in H2020 projects, a dedicated call on use of art as R&D&I method and as a tool for public engagement, and establishing ICT ART CONNECT as an annual event.

See also, a website around the initiative set up by the FP7 FET project FET-ART that is, among others, sponsoring artist-scientists encounters as residences