Interactive Design Homepage

College of Arts, Victoria University

Teacher Name: Lisa Cianci - email:
Course Coordinator & Education Manager: Alan Morgans - email:

Class Website -

Subject: ID2 - Interactive Design

Course: Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design (CUV60411)

CLASS 16 - Self reflection, critical thinking, preservation of creative content & cultural heritage


Self reflection, critical thinking, preservation of creative content & cultural heritage

Current theories, practices & problems - why is this important for designers?

Review and reflection of the last four weeks

Today is an opportunity to think back on the last four classes and the themes that were explored:

  • A brief history of creativity: Make, Create, Imagine, Invent
  • history of creativity: Different Cultures
  • history of creativity: Collaboration / Activism / Community
  • More history of creativity: Remix


You might be interested in one or more of these areas from a personal, creative perspective.

In the first half of the class, we will look at some questions for you to apply to your selected theme. These questions will help you to decide what is important or relevant to you personally and perhaps, how knowledge you have acquired for this theme might be explored in greater detail and how it might affect your creative practice.

These are the questions:

  • Identify one important concept, theory, practice, or idea that you learned from the last four classes.

  • Why do you believe that this concept, theory, practice, or idea is important?

  • Describe how you might apply what you have learned from the selected area to some aspect of your creative practice or life in general.

  • What question(s) has the content in your selected area raised for you? What are you still wondering about? How might you further explore this theme to find more information or to use the information in creative practice?


On Managing Creative Content - Artists & the Archive

How do artists engage with the archive as a basis for making art, and as a means of keeping art?

Many artists have engaged in some way with archives or archival material from personal artefacts, found objects, archives from institutions or documentation from other sources that becomes the basis for new artworks.

There are a few artists that also address archival and preservation issues in their work by undertaking processes and methods that are "archival" such as systematic documentation of some kind that becomes the creative work.

Today we will look at a selection of artists that either use archives and artefacts to make art, and/or use archival methods and processes in the creation of artwork.

Think about your own practice and if there are any processes and methods you already use that engage with the archive, or perhaps if you'd like to develop an area of your creative practice to work in this way.


Artists & the Archive

Archives have become a "hot" topic in recent years, although it has always been something that artists have engaged with in different ways. How do artists engage with the archive as a basis for making art, and as a means of keeping art?

Over the next couple of weeks we will work on a project involving the documentation of your own work, and you will be considering the use of the archive in your own work.

Here's a brief intro to just a few of the many artists that have engaged with the archive over the past 100 years...

Duchamp's Boîtes en Valises

Joseph Cornell's assemblages & films
Ubuweb -

Fluxus Artists' "fluxkits", scripts and scores for performances

Mike Parr et al. - Inhibodress - a sarcastic article with some history of Inhibodress can be found here:

Sophie Calle & Susan Hiller - installations in the Freud Museum

Ilya Kabokov's Russian apartment art & "ropes" installation

Lyndal Jones' The Prediction Pieces at MCA archive and the At Home series documented as part of my PhD project

Yann Le Guenec's destruction of the archive - Le Catalogue


Read this article for an interesting take on archives & artists:
Archives: The Raw & The Cooked by Stephen Farthing,

See if you can find any other interesting examples of artists engaging with archives.


Research and Discussion Topics:

Some ideas for creative practitioners & contemporary artists to incorporate archival practices into their creative practices...

What is preservation? What is archiving?  What is a keeping-place?

Digital Media Preservation – recognised methods – storage, emulation, migration, reinterpretation.

What is Variable media? How can we deal with variable media artworks? What are we trying to preserve?

What’s happening out there? – cultural institutions & organisations, open-source code & apps, research, art projects, other?

  • What can I do as an artist / designer / creator?
  • How much do I need to know?
  • The risks for creatives - what are they?
  • Authenticity - whose content is it?
  • What to keep? How & why? - decision making in the archive
  • Past work informs future work – the archive as a useful tool for creation
  • What's out there already that can be used as helpful tools or guidelines?
  • What can we do for ourselves without cultural institutions?
  • Documentation & metadata, Semantics & web 2.0, DCMI, SEO, RDF, Microdata
  • Implications of social media - ownership, authenticity, risk, custody, IP, what happens to our distributed data when we die?
  • Creative Intent – how should our work be presented, re-presented over time? Consider essential source, environment, technology, installation, interactivity & fungible elements.
  • Intellectual property – copyright / copyleft, creative commons?
  • What is an artwork or design work?  What might the work consist of?
  • Remix Everything – Remix manifesto & recombinant poetics
  • Tiering - using multiple online systems such as social media and blogs to document, preserve and distribute creative content
  • Machine readable / Human readable, digital / analogue, soft-copy / hard-copy - how should we keep/document our content?

Discuss these in class and/or conduct research on one or two areas listed above that interest you. Write up your findings on your blog.

Some issues to consider:




Class Exercise

Piece 5: Write a short statement about how you reflect on your creative practice and the kinds of creative content that you produce and how you think this content should be kept (or destroyed) over time. Use images as examples. Discuss in class.