Sponge: A case study in practice-based collaborative art research

Christopher L. Salter, Xin Sha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


In this paper, we describe the origins, thematics, projects and practices of the art research collective Sponge. In particular, we focus on Sponge as a useful case study in transdisciplinary, collaborative practice-based research in creative art and design production and specifically, on Sponge as a unique example of a community of practice that spans artistic production, techno-scientific research, and critical studies. Issues essential to collaborative work practices such as shared language, construction of boundary objects, accommodation of differing epistemic cultures as well Sponge's thematic interest in performance, materiality and agency are examined in the context of several large scale artistic projects produced in the US, Canada and Europe. Finally, we examine the relationship between Sponge and the second author's Topological Media Lab in trying to come to terms with the differing scales and life cycles in partnering between the university-based research lab and the sphere of artistic and cultural production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCreativity and Cognition Proceedings 2005
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventCreativity and Cognition Proceedings 2005 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Apr 12 2005Apr 15 2005


OtherCreativity and Cognition Proceedings 2005
CountryUnited Kingdom



  • Agency
  • Art research
  • Boundary objects
  • Communities of interest
  • Communities of practice
  • Consensual domains
  • Embodied interaction
  • Gesture
  • Interaction
  • Materiality
  • Performance
  • Resistance
  • Responsive environments
  • Shared language
  • Transdisciplinary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Salter, C. L., & Sha, X. (2005). Sponge: A case study in practice-based collaborative art research. In Creativity and Cognition Proceedings 2005 (pp. 92-101)