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The State of the (CHI)Art

What is the ’art’ of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), past, present, and future? As the flagship conference for HCI and interdisciplinary practice, CHI (ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) brings together a diverse subsection of researchers, industry practitioners, educators, and students. It is, therefore, no surprise that within our numbers exist individuals with a plurality of practices: Those who create and employ artistry as research, hobby, reaction, self-reflection, exhibition, and that explicitly or implicitly influence their everyday HCI practice –either directly or through enhancing their well-being.

Abstract

We are all researchers, practitioners, and educators – but many of us are also artists, makers, curators. Our arts practice is part of what makes up our sense of self but also influences our interests and directions in digital and technological inquiry. There exist spaces where the traditional lives alongside the computational, or where the two are blended, no less valid in purpose or value. We seek to investigate this liminal environment and explore the current state of art in HCI, computer science, and other related fields, shifting boundaries as to what “art” is in these places. By bringing together like-minded and creative individuals, this workshop aims to both inspire and legitimize our diverse practices, present viewpoints, create meaningful outputs, host discussions, and work toward the future of this plurality.

Authors

Miriam Sturdee, Lancaster University, UK
Makayla Lewis, Kingston University, UK
Mafalda Samuelsson-Gamboa, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Thuong Hoang, Deakin University, Australia
John Miers, Kingston University, UK
Ilja Smorgun, Tallinn University, Estonia
Sarah Fdili Alaoui, Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique Université Paris Saclay, INRIA, France
Angelika Strohmayer, Design Feminisms Research Group, Northumbria University, UK
Pranjal Jain, Theuxwhale, India
Christina Wodtke, Stanford University, USA

Background

Not all of these practices fit into the conference definition of “art” within its own track, which often focuses on interactive installations and digital foundations. Some of these practices revert to traditional methods or are created in isolation of the digital world. So when we address the state of the art – we ask – how are these other creations different from the CHI Art Track, is there space for them within our celebration of research and its presentations? Are the arts as we know them a bi-product in current installations where digital is everything: Art in humanities is seen as “art” but at CHI it becomes embedded or ingrained in the technology rather than representing or supporting that technology. For example, could art as a response to escaping the digital world find a place within its publications?

A cross-section of a human head, in frontal view, captured by a magnetic resonance imaging scanner
Two Pictures of my Brain (excerpt), Watercolour on Paper, John Miers 2021

Purpose

Art and creation are not limited to the drawn, photographic, or digital image. Art is a multitude of approaches expressed in ways that can be appreciated by different audiences. Our broad notion of what art is can be expanded to mesh with the fundamental aims of research and scholarship in HCI. For example, could we aim to represent a human being’s interpretation, emotions, relationships, or experiences of technology, and in the creation and engagement of that technology could we create art? However we create these works, the fact remains that art does not need purpose other than its own existence – it does not warrant analysis, user study, conclusion, but it can invite questions, discussion, emotional response, reflection. It is these qualities that inspire us to redefine what art is, and could be at CHI and beyond.

Aims

(1) Identify and connect with like-minded practitioners within the CHI community and beyond

(2) Encourage the CHI community to see art as both parts and existing outside of technology, and explore its value

(3) Promote the acceptability of the arts and traditional arts practice and making as both supporting and enhancing technological inquiry in HCI

(4) Gather a collection of representative examples of CHIart practices.

Call for Participation

Invitation

Are you an artist? Are you an HCI researcher? How does this duality affect your practice and research?

We aim to explore the tensions and joys, pitfalls, and potentials of artistic and visual thinking for the CHI community. How might we elucidate and explore these practices, how might they evolve, could we celebrate and appreciate these formats alongside the more expected outputs of the researcher or industry practitioner?

Join us in a one-day exploration of a “plurality of practices” designed to redefine how the arts and artistic outputs are defined at CHI and other ACM conferences.

We invite you to explore your artistic practice, the tensions, and coincidences, the emotions, that exist in the boundaries between HCI research and your own personal outputs. Potential participants should submit a 4-6 page position paper on the topic around the topic of “visual arts practice and HCI” in pictorial format – that is, the ACM paper format that celebrates the image, form, or maker output over written text.

The CHI 2022 requirement is that at least one author of each accepted submission must attend the workshop and that all participants must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the conference.

Format

Hybrid

Participant Selection Criteria

Submissions will be selected based on appropriateness for the call, content, and potential engagement with the core values of the workshop. Selection will be juried by the workshop organizers, who have extensive experience and knowledge relating to the area.

Pictorial Format

InDesign Template Package (.zip)
Word Template (.docx)
PowerPoint Template (.pptx)

All submissions should use the most recent pictorial format (suggested source: Creativity & Cognition). Pictorials should be at least 80% imagery, it is suggested only the first and last page contain text e.g. introduction, brief background, and references. The in-between pages should be imagery with little to limited text, captions are optional.

Pictorials authors are required to be sure that they produce accessible work. Please ensure all images have AltText and that “Enable Accessibility and Reflow with tagged Adobe PDF” is checked when you create your PDF submissions file.

Pictorial Submission

Accessible 4 – 6 pages PDF only.

Pictorial Availability

Accepted submissions will be curated and hosted on the workshop website as a published eBook (interactive PDF), using fliphtml5. Participant outputs from the workshop will be digitalized and added to eBook titled ‘State of the CHI(Art) Volume 1’. Option for a printed edition will be made available, at cost of the participant, using the platform Blurb.

Important Dates

Pictorial Submission Deadline via EasyChair: February 24, 2022. (submissions site is now open:
https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=chiart22
).
Notifications: March 3, 2022
Book-ready submission via EasyChair: March 31, 2022
Workshop Date and Time: April [TBC], 2022
Deadlines are specified as Anywhere on Earth time.

Accepted pictorials

Workshop Miro Space

Please visit the Miro board to view workshop discussions and outputs.

CHIart Book

Coming soon.

Workshop Accessibility Statement

The workshop will be designed to be attended by as many people as possible. All text and verbal utterances will be clear, simple to understand, and in English. All shared imagery will contain Alt Text with appropriate color contrast. All sketching activities will be clearly verbalized, clear to follow, and at an appropriate speed. For parts of the workshop that are conducted online, remote attendees will have access to conference platform closed captioning. The virtual whiteboard platform will be set to allow for zooming in up to 300% without problems, and keyboard navigation will also be supported. Opportunities for support, questions, and comments will be present throughout the workshop regardless of in-person or online delivery.

“Art might be a multitude of approaches expressed in a way that be appreciated by different audiences.”

CHI(Art) Authors

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