Do While Studio Research and Development

Research and development is the underbelly of every project that happens at Do While Studio. Throughout the process of creating and implementing a project, research is ongoing. Methodologies for new media projects involve strategies of both funding and application. Artists can bring a fresh perspective to all aspects of process and product. Do While operates as a type of think tank, incorporating ideas and new technologies with the creative energy and talents of the people who work here. We function as artists, technicians and business people as we define and execute each project.

As technicians we must look at what technology is readily available, what might exist somewhere else, what doesn’t exist but may exist soon, and identify how to incorporate the appropriate technologies into the specific project. Not unlike many businesses today, this is done by looking for current articles, searching the web, talking with others at our home organization, professional conferences, and now, having exchanges through Do While's Virtual Threaded Conversation.

As business people, sources of funding are necessary to implement these projects and to keep them alive. As in the case of the Worldwide Simultaneous Dance project, a constant search for different funding resources is on-going. These resources are both monetary and in kind contributions. As certain technologies are isolated, sources have to be found. At this point it is important to figure out how these technologies (computers, networks, TV convergence devices) work together and how to create a synergy between them. Industry can benefit from this kind of research and Do While works with individuals in industry to convince them that artists can play a part in the process.

What distinguishes Do While's research from that of industry is the intent. At a place like Xerox PARC, a research facility funded by Xerox Corporation, the intent is to examine ideas and technologies for their potential to ultimately make money. Although they are interested in the development of new tools for communication, the funding source (Xerox) views R&D as a way to make new tools to sell and to make a profit.

In an art institution the intent, foremost, is to create an artwork. But sources are needed to support these expensive and complicated projects. Using PARC as a model, similar relationships such as that of PARC and industry are possible with not-for-profits. Do While provides companies with ideas and solutions that cannot happen within the confine of any for profit company. The goal of art reseach and development is to create a symbiosis between the art environment and the industrial environment that is beneficial to them both.

As artists it is important to understand how a project will best be communicated, and why art technology is the best choice for doing it. Most of us are working from a base in traditional artmaking and our choice to move in this technological direction is a natural extension of where we came from. At Do While our art is no longer a stand alone, work alone prospect. We have learned the benefits of collaboration with not only other artists at the studio and artists in the community but in a larger community that includes business.

For more information on how you or your company can be involved with Do While Studio Research and Development please send email to:

Joan Shafran, Principal