“That’s Not Art, It’s Just Consultation!”: Performing Innovation in Socially Responsive Creative Technologies Research


  • Rebecca Caines York University
  • Brandon Watson University of Regina


This article brings together two perspectives on the field of creative technologies and explores its place in practice-based research. Case studies are drawn from maker culture projects, pedagogical work in developing creative technologies programs in tertiary institutions, and socially engaged art projects taking up creative technologies methodologies. The article also contains an embedded research instructable, with prompts for engaging with communities, arts institutions, and industry. This article shares hopes for creative technologies as a form of practice-based research that can disrupt exclusive art and research cultures to make room for difference and value diverse kinds of innovation.

Author Biographies

Rebecca Caines, York University

Dr. Rebecca Caines is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar, whose research crosses between creative technologies (including sound art, new media, and augmentation) and socially engaged art, with a special focus on improvisatory practices. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia and is an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre at York University. Her publications appear in journals such as Performance ResearchContemporary Music ReviewThe Canadian Journal of Action ResearchCritical Studies in Improvisation, and M/C: Journal of Media and Culture. She is also co-editor (with Ajay Heble) of Spontaneous Acts:  The Improvisation Studies Reader (Routledge, 2015).

Brandon Watson, University of Regina

Brandon Watson holds a BA in Creative Technologies from the University of Regina, where he is also currently completing an MFA) Interdisciplinary Studies. His research interests focus on using maker culture and people-centered design to improve accessibility and promote design using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.






PBR and Communities of Practice/Process