Open Access

Co-Creating Knowledge Online: Approaches for Community Artists

   | Dec 20, 2013


Forming peer alliances to share and build knowledge is an important aspect of community arts practice, and these co-creation processes are increasingly being mediated by the Internet. This paper offers guidance for practitioners who are interested in better utilising the Internet

The decision not to capitalise the word ‘internet’ in this paper is based on the consideration that digital networks that use the Internet protocol suite, TCP/IP, have become ubiquitous means of sending and receiving communications.

to connect, share, and make new knowledge. It argues that new approaches are required to foster the organising activities that underpin online co-creation, building from the premise that people have become increasingly networked as individuals rather than in groups (Rainie & Wellman 2012: 6), and that these new ways of connecting enable new modes of peer-to-peer production and exchange. This position advocates that practitioners move beyond situating the Internet as a platform for dissemination and a tool for co-creating media, to embrace its knowledge collaboration potential.

Drawing on a design experiment I developed to promote online knowledge co-creation, this paper suggests three development phases – developing connections, developing ideas, and developing agility – to ground six methods. They are: switching and routing, engaging in small trades of ideas with networked individuals; organising, co-ordinating networked individuals and their data; beta-release, offering ‘beta’ artifacts as knowledge trades; beta-testing, trialing and modifying other peoples ‘beta’ ideas; adapting, responding to technological disruption; and, reconfiguring, embracing opportunities offered by technological disruption. These approaches position knowledge co-creation as another capability of the community artist, along with co-creating art and media.