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Real-time Collaborative Art Making

A workshop organized by Gregory Sporton, Visualization Research Unit, University of Central England (20 July 2007) at Margaret Street Building, UCE, Birmingham.

Banner image: the Networked Mash-Up © 2006 Mike Priddy

(pdf) (html) Programme
(html) Workshop resources
(pdf) (html) Workshop report
(html) Real Time Collaborative Art Making online discussion group
(html) Collaborative Art Making images on flickr
(mp3) Afternoon discussion session
(html) VRU workshop site

This workshop focussed on developing and applying technologies in the Visual and Performing Arts, exploring technologies that can be adapted for use in the arts and networking technologies being developed for use in the blurred area between the visual and performing arts.

There were two main sessions to the Workshop. The first was the experiments in collaborative drawing, using tablet computers to contribute to drawing images. By networking the computers and displaying the real-time results, a large audience participates in the drawing experience. This simple technology is of significant interest because it challenges the assumptions about drawing as a private, personal activity, and turns it into a shared, collaborative activity.

The second was the development of the CODA system (Collaborative Online Digital Arts) by researchers in the VRU. Using a web browser based interface, the participants are freed from the issues of firewalls, and can use whatever input they are able to digitise as their contribution to a mash-up.

The workshop explored these technologies in two ways. The first was through a day's workshop that looks in depth at both these technologies, looking at collaborative drawing in the morning and networked image and sound making in the afternoon. The second was a short exhibition for presentation of the work and resources developed that will later take place in both a physical and virtual gallery.

Amongst the biggest issues for creative participants working with technology is the need to experience creative art-making through the technologies as a means of assessing their potential and legitimacy as art-making materials. Additionally, the emergence of new forms for creative work and how to deal with impact of those is of significance for developments in digitised, online art practice.

The workshop kept both of these at the forefront, and encouraged the development of the questions and issues that will support emerging practice.

Discussion about issues raised at the workshop continues in the Real Time Collaborative Art Making group at the Digital Arts & Humanities community site.

AHDS Methods Taxonomy Terms

This item has been catalogued using a discipline and methods taxonomy. Learn more here.


  • Art and Design


  • Communication and collaboration - Graphical communication / collaboration - synchronous
  • Communication and collaboration - Graphical resource sharing
  • Communication and collaboration - Graphical communication / collaboration - asynchronous
  • Communication and collaboration - Video-based interaction - asynchronous
  • Practice-led Research - Digital storyboarding
  • Practice-led Research - Digital moving image capture
  • Practice-led Research - Video/moving image compression
  • Data Capture - Digitising tablet/table