“ISEA and the Inter-Society” presented by Plas


Session Title:

  • Education/Media (Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • ISEA and the Inter-Society




  • ISEA International is the foundation that coordinates the series of ISEA symposia. One of the ISEA’s unique features, compared to other ‘New Media’ events, is that it is nomadic. It started in 1988 and although during one decennium it was held as a bi-annual event only. It has been organized in 4 continents and in 20 different cities world-wide.

    The foundation ISEA International does not organise the symposium. They award it to a city (or region) on the basis of competing bids, a little bit like the Olympic games. The board of ISEA International, supported by an international advisory committee, decides which bid wins. If you want the symposium to come to your city, read the guidelines on our website and contact our HQ!


    The ISEA International Foundation has the following mandate:

    1. co-ordinate the continued occurrence of the ISEA symposia and facilitate discussion on the direction the series needs to go
    2. realise a structural and permanent presence of ISEA by maintaining a secretariat (ISEA HQ) and the ISEA International website
    3. create sustainability by maintaining the ISEA Symposium Archives



    1. ISEA symposia

    One of the subjects of discussion is how to direct the symposia towards being more of a meeting between scientists and artists. Another subject is whether the name ‘Electronic Art’ is still the best description of ‘our field’.

    2. ISEA HQ & website

    The ISEA website (isea-web.org) and the ISEA HQ, supported by the University of Brighton in the UK and headed by Sue Gollifer, form the sustainable and visible ‘body’ of the ISEA Symposium series.


    By collecting and republishing all symposium materials, like the proceedings, the catalogs, the photos and the videos, the series of Symposia becomes a sustainable source of knowledge and insight. The on-line archives at isea-archives.org are currently being completely reconstructed.


    The idea for ISEA came from Theo Hesper, founder and board member of the Dutch Foundation for Creative Computer Applications (SCCA), around 1985. The aim was to connect disciplines and organisations in the field, with the aim of getting artists and scientists to co-operate. The first ISEA was organised by the SCCA in cooperation with the Utrecht School of Art. In 1990 the association ‘Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts’ was founded as the organisation that pursued the aims of ISEA and continues the series of symposia. In 2008 the Inter-Society, in consultation with its members, was replaced by the foundation ISEA International.

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