Today a vast, new complex body of knowledge exists.
In 2006 Clive Humbly, UK Mathematician, coined the phrase “Data is the new oil. ” “Data is the new oil. It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, etc. to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so, must data be broken down, analysed for it to have value.”
Data : It can be freely borrowed and it can be used in new and innovative ways. There are a multitude of creative ideas which would blossom if artists across various fields were allowed to explore new applications and to create new content.
But first it needs to be understood. Then it needs to be easily accessed.
For this we need to create a new type of library; the Mechatronic Library.
Founded by Helen Starr in 2015, the Mechatronic Library allows artists, artisans and designers access to a wide range of technologies and platforms. The idea for the Library came from numerous artists' projects which Helen Starr produced privately and with help from the Arts Council. These projects showcased the innovation problems creative practitioners face after leaving the institutional safety of colleges, where much development happens via shared collaborations and ready access to expensive facilities and software.
The open-source model of the Mechatronic Library includes the concept of concurrent yet different agendas and differing approaches in production, in contrast with more centralised models of development. A main principle of open-source software development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the end-product, source-material, "blueprints", and documentation available at no cost to the public.
The Mechatronic Library is a not for profit organisation dedicated to fostering shared projects between artists, technologists and retailers. We aim for the synergistic integration of mechanics, electronics, control theory, computer science and biomedical science within the various spheres of art.
It is safe to say that many of the changes taking place with the world have been technology-led over the past two decades. Passive media tools (TV, radio) traditionally used to store and deliver information have profoundly changed into on-demand interactive platforms (SMS, gaming, AI). There has never been more iterative information dissemination.
Creativity, defined here as the development of original ideas that are useful and influential would benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, as many more individuals become aware of working practices in the once disparate fields of Art and Science.
However the barter system does not occur easily across disciplines. Rarely would a young artist be able to trade equitably with an engineer. Barriers to entry for development and tooling remain high and yet for the creative fields they are often low. This asynchronicity is at the core of what we would like to address with the Mechatronic Library.
Key to the economic sustainability of the Mechatronic Library is the production of market ready assets both virtual and real,
An artist can deduce the unthinkable An engineer makes the unthinkable possible Together they can transform the future