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Podcast: William Uricchio, “Why Co-Create? And Why Now? Reports from A Field Study”

William Uricchio
William Uricchio

Professor William Uricchio on how co-creation is picking up steam as a claim, aspiration, and buzz-word du jour. But what is and why does it matter?

Co-Creation is picking up steam as a claim, aspiration, and buzz-word du jour. But what is and why does it matter? Drawing on a just-released field study, Collective Wisdom, this session addresses those questions and explore the method’s implications for just and equitable creation. It considers co-creation in the arts with communities, across disciplines and organizations, and with non-humans (both biological and AI systems), calling out precedents and best practices in a broad array of communities, including historically marginalized groups. What are the trends, opportunities, and challenges bound up in co-creation and its various deployments, and why it is increasingly urgent in our time?

William Uricchio is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT, where he is also founder and Principal Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab and Principal Investigator of the Co-Creation Studio. He, together with Katerina Cizek, authored Collective Wisdom — a field study on co-creation. His current research considers co-creation, documentary, and the epistemological crisis that characterizes our time.

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William Uricchio
Written by
William Uricchio

William Uricchio revisits the histories of old media when they were new; explores interactive and participatory documentary; writes about the past and future of television; thinks about algorithms and archives; and researches narrative in immersive and interactive settings. He is Professor of Comparative Media Studies, founder and Principal Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, and Principal Investigator of the Co-Creation Studio. He was also Professor of Comparative Media History at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and has held visiting professorships at the Freie Universität Berlin, Stockholm University, the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Lichtenberg-Kolleg), China University of Science and Technology, and in Denmark where he was DREAM professor. He has received Guggenheim, Humboldt, and Fulbright fellowships, the Berlin Prize, and the Mercator Prize.

His publications include Reframing Culture; We Europeans? Media, Representations, Identities; Die Anfänge des deutschen Fernsehens; Media Cultures; Many More Lives of the Batman; Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating Media Within Communities, across Disciplines and with Algorithms, and hundreds of essays and book chapters, including a visual "white paper" on the documentary impulse (momentsofinnovation.mit.edu). He is currently leading a two-year research initiative on augmentation and public spaces with partners in Montreal and Amsterdam.

Elizabeth Borneman
Written by
Elizabeth Borneman

Elizabeth is a designer, writer, and researcher interested in how art, computation, and communication can combine to strengthen community structures, and enhance learning across learner backgrounds. A Florida native, Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology from Georgetown University. There she led a research team in the Culture and Emotions Lab investigating the campus climate for patterns in students’ belonging and social engagement across university locations and situational contexts. She also spent a semester in Cape Town, South Africa as a field researcher studying plant systems and animals’ optimal foraging, ideal free distribution, and territorial defense behaviors.

She most recently worked as a designer and programmer artist in Xaq Pitkow’s Computational Neuroscience lab, where she designed and prototyped interactive graphics and games for teaching and communicating concepts in computational neuroscience and in color vision grounded in visual perception. She’s excited about the power of info-visualization. At MIT, Elizabeth works in the Teaching Systems Lab designing multi-media practice spaces and curriculum for equitable teaching in Computer Science and STEM. Outside of study, Elizabeth likes to go dancing, spend time on the water, and explore outdoors.

William Uricchio Written by William Uricchio
Elizabeth Borneman Written by Elizabeth Borneman