Art in a Global Society
During the past decade, the shifts in the global economy and the spread of digital technology have affected artists and the way they create and share their art as much as any other segment of society. Musicians now market their music directly to fans through digital downloads, while filmmakers use high-speed communications to work with collaborators around the world. Visual artists in North America and many parts of Europe and Asia have diversified their practices through design and digital media, and many have formed new kinds of partnerships with academic and art institutions, as well as with industry.
As a leading scholar in the work of Marshall McLuhan, Dr. Janine Marchessault is well suited to undertake a research program that investigates the new roles for artists within globalization. Her program will evaluate artists' contributions to the conceptualization and design of the information society.
One key area that Dr. Marchessault will examine is the role of artists in the growth of large-scale centres that combine new media technologies in the areas of art, science and education, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, Hexagram in Montreal and the European Media Lab in Dublin. In addition to her previous research on the digital cultures of North America and Europe, Dr. Marchessault will extend her work to study the digital arts in a variety of urban centres such as Mexico City, Senegal and Tokyo to understand new spatial transformations and cultural environments created by global networks.
She will also chart the way artists work with public and private institutions, in academic settings and with business, with the goal of achieving a clear picture of the intellectual and creative contributions that artists make. This will also allow her to address important questions of intellectual property and new forms of urban civil society.
Dr. Marchessault's research is designed to produce a series of detailed case studies of research collaborations involving artists across various sites and in different media.