Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Collaborating as a Platform

Collaborating together as a community of artists is a corollary to the educational technology practice of creating community and making meaning through doing. We are entering into a praxis of collaborating. In educational circles, many regard creative process as research, and a healthy respect has developed among enlightened institutions for the rigor and detail that goes into the creation of new artistic expression.

Technology has always served as a driving force in the creative process... technology itself comes into being as a creative response to the need to extend the reach of humanity. Lewis Mumford wrote a seminal classic Art and Techniques (1952) that argues for a balance between human expression and technique. He suggests that technique alone may indeed seduce us with the power of its symmetry and efficiency, but artistic works that are more technique than substance are empty.

On the other hand, Marshall McLuhan in his Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964) points to media as shaping our expression --- it is the medium itself that is the message. This seems to be playing out in the current rush of a new generation of technologists who chart the future of the species by the power of emerging technologies and the ongoing fusion of media.

New media seem to be finding ways to bring fresh vision to the art and act of collaboration. The world emerges as a platform for collaborating among cultures and people on an unprecendented level. New media such as Wikis are emerging from media, creating platforms for communication and collaboration.