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Loughborough University & Loughborough College of Art & Design
Loughborough, England

Chair: Prof. E.A.Edmonds

Second International Symposium (Organisation)

The first symposium on Creativity and Cognition 1993 brought together researchers and practitioners whose common interest was the creative process but whose goals, methods and domain expertise were markedly diverse. The programme ranged from personal reflections upon practice by artists to developments in computational models of creativity and the design of computer tools for creative tasks. In 1996 the scope of the Symposium has been expanded to include:

Public Lectures
Art Exhibition

Results from the Artists-in-Residence week are included in the exhibition being shown during most of May 1996. The exhibition is of work by artists who have been using computers as a normal part of their art practice from. This volume includes artists' statements from many of the exhibition participants in which they discuss their art, the use of computers and, in the appropriate cases, the experience of coming to the computer this January.

Loughborough University, Loughborough County Council and Loughborough College of Art and Design are engaged in an ambitious programme of events in the electronic arts and in the use of electronics to bring the arts to the public. This programme is known as the Gallery of the Future. Creativity and Cognition 1996 is a Gallery of the Future event.

The Technical Workshop Programme

Creativity and Cognition 1996 marks a consolidation of the first event of 1993.
The four main topics addressed are:-

How to characterise creativity continues to engage researchers both from a theoretical and empirical perspective. However, there are noticeable shifts in emphasis. One such change is the increasing emphasis on how to address the needs of the human creative process as distinct from describing and modelling it. A number of papers are concerned both with the nature of human creativity and also the use of computer systems in creativity in a co-operative, reflexive relationship. Creative people are constantly changing their existing models and assumptions in order to generate new ideas and solutions.There is an interaction between the emerging knowledge and the existing store of expertise. New mechanisms are needed that can deal simultaneously with processes between new and existing knowledge.

In conceptual frameworks and implemented computer system designs, questions as to which processes require autonomous actions or functions in the system and which must be entirely user controlled engage a number of authors. What is at issue is the appropriate definition and allocation of support between human beings and computer systems. Providing support by relieving users of unnecessary burdens should not be at the expense of the users' power to direct the process according to their cognitive requirements and in a way that enables them to achieve the desired outcome.

There is continued activity towards the emulation of creative processes by computational means, a tradition that is closely linked to the field of Artificial Intelligence. As the work in computer-based creativity shows, new approaches to overcoming the limits of the old AI systems, imply revisiting the theoretical foundations of the earlier work.

The design of creativity supporting computer systems is now firmly on the research agenda. The challenge will be to create support environments that go well beyond current concerns for better interaction techniques and the emulation of human cognitive processes. In attempting to conduct research on these themes the international body of researchers associated with Creativity and Cognition are pushing our understanding forward both in terms of understanding creativity better and in terms of knowing how to support it.

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