Creative Dialogue

Creative dialogue as an artistic medium means giving primacy to the voice of the individual. Simply stated: let words and gesture be the new media.

Students of the California Institute of the Arts are led in a cyber-interaction by performance artist Annie Abrahams.


What exactly is creative dialogue? Discourse as action. How does creative dialogue serve as action at all? And what is it about dialogue that substitutes for the materiality of traditional media? As the substance of art (rather than a substitute), dialogue is a source of creative energy and reason and understanding between people of all disciplines who engage in the action of words. The creative dialogue project explores these ideas.

In the third space network of virtual possibilities, dialogue becomes a distributed *medium* that dissolves distance. The medium of dialogue is a catalyst for a dynamic that creates links across social, political, cultural, and disciplinary barriers that might have been otherwise impossible to connect. The insertion of dialogue into the third space of the network defies the physical limitations of geography and time and opens up the possibilities for change, transformation, knowledge and instantaneous inter-cultural collaboration in ways that were formerly unthinkable.

It is at this point, in which dialogue functions as a thread for weaving global trajectories of human exchange, that we understand technology as a great enabler, a source of empowerment, and a force of creative thinking. Inter-cultural dialogue signifies hope where none might have existed, it signifies a broader understanding of the world where ignorance might have prevailed, and it is a means for the individual to resist and overcome hierarchical and even tyrannical forces. Dialogue and its empowerment functions as resistance on a new scale. Dialogue is a call to action. The following are a sampling of recently hosted creative dialogues.


Screen Shot 2012-10-29 at 11.48.34 PM
Ricardo Dominguez (San Diego) and collaborators: Ian Paul (San Francisco), Zach Blas (San Diego); and Brett Staulbaum (Borega Springs, CA); with students from CalArts; presented by the California Institute of the Arts / Center for Integrated Media.


The event focused on Ricardo Dominguez’ collaborative work as an artist/activist since the 1990s. Dominguez, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, is the founder of the Electronic Disturbance Theater, which has organized virtual sit-ins and tactical media interventions. His long-time collaborator Brett Staulbaum (professor at UC San Diego and software designer of, along with Zach Blas and Ian Paul (students at the University of California, San Diego) discussed projects they have worked on at the CALIT2 research laboratory in the Art Department at UC San Diego. In the above screenshot, Staulbaum’s web cam is pointed at the moon from his remote location in the desert. Presented by the Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Screen Shot 2012-11-09 at 10.19.57 PM
Roundtable on networked performance with David Rosenboom (foreground) and Tom Leeser (Los Angeles); Miller Puckette and Rand Steiger (San Diego), and Vibeke Sorensen (Singapore); presented by the California Institute of the Arts / Center for Integrated Media.


Artists roundtable with Vibeke Sorensen, Chair of the School of Art, Design & Media at NTU in Singapore and UC San Diego composers Rand Steiger, and Miller Puckette, who collaborated on the seminal Global Visual Music Jam Project in the 1990s; along with David Rosenboom, Dean of the CalArts School of Music, whose telematic work, Ah-Opera was recently performed at Redcat in Los Angeles. The discussion explored the evolution of networked performance including evolving technological issues and compositional strategies. Presented by the Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

A cyber-Happening led by performance artist Annie Abrahams (Montpellier, FR), with Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett of Furtherfield (London), Helen Varley Jamieson (Berlin), Nathaniel Stern (Milwaukee, WI), and Andy Deck (New York City); with students from the California Institute of the Arts (Los Angeles), presented by the CalArts / Center for Integrated Media as part of the Open Source Studio project.


A dialogue with Furtherfield artist/organizers Marc Garrett and Ruth Catlow, based in London, along with artists who are active in their community. Furtherfield is an artists organization that has formed both online and on-site space for internationally connected cultural, activist, educational and media arts production. Participating artists discussed their collaborative work, including: peer-to-peer projects, cyber-performance, net art, and forms of social and political activism that engage the Internet. The Global Concept Exchange was intended to explore how contemporary art and other forms of cultural production are created, produced, and presented under the radar of the establishment art world through the collaborative efforts of artist-driven alternative arts organizations. Presented by the Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Screenshot 2013-11-19 00.06.26
Virtual roundtable discussion with Randall Packer, Tom Leeser, Sara Roberts, and Nathan Ruyle


This net-broadcasted conversation with Los Angeles artist and educator Tom Leeser raised questions concerning the future of arts education: how creative action, production, exhibition and research are conducted via the network. The event brought together a national audience of participants and students from the Centre for Living Arts in Mobile, Alabama; the California Institute of the Arts, Center for Integrated Media; the Pacific Northwest College of Art, The Museum of Modern Art; and the Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies Program. A project of the Centre for Living Arts and the Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

One response to “Creative Dialogue

  1. Pingback: The Third Space

Comments are closed.