[ISEA96] Institutional Presentation: Rich Gold – PAIR: The Xerox PARC Artist in Residence Program

Institutional Presentation Statement


PAIR, The PARC Artist In Residence Program, is an ongoing activity that brings artists and scientists together, one on one, using technology as a common language. Embedded within PARC (The Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, a unique institution in its own right comprised of
over 200 scientists and researchers from molecular engineers, to computer scientists, to linguists, to anthropologists), PAIR is about creating •marriages” between professionals in otherwise separated disciplines. PAIR currently has nine artists installed at PARC in PAIRings that are diverse in the common technology and in the scientist/artist relationship. This talk will explore some of the fundamental ideas of PAIR, how they worked out in practice, some of
the things we learned, and an overview of the work of the marriages.



  1. PAIR (The Xerox PARC Artist In Residence Program) is an active procedure for bringing art and artists into Xerox PARC (The Xerox Palo Alto Research Center) which IS a facility originally founded to study and design ‘The Archrtecture of Information?’ and ‘The Office of the Future’.
  2. PAIR is a project not for creating wonderful art or exciting science, though because we are dealing with highly motivated people these things happen, but for creating better artists and better scientists.
  3. PAIR is a conscrous attempt to boost and redtrect the creative forces of PARC by provrdrng alternative view points, theories, personalrues and methodologies writhin the halls and long corridors of the community.
  4. PAIR IS an outstretched hand from PARC into the surrounding Bay Area (we almost exclusively focus on San Francisco artists) allowing PARC to become part of that community and to leverage off the creative forces that flow from the Golden Gate Bridge.
  5. PAIR is a way for two groups who consider themselves ‘outsider’ groups to the dominate culture (the artist’s primary concern is for expressing themselves while the scientist’s primary concern is to discover the truths of nature) to meet each other, artist to scientist. face to face.
  6. PAIR is a way for two groups who are the ultimate ‘insider” groups of the dominate culture (the artist’s primary patrons being the wealthy, the corporation and the government while the scientist’s primary patrons being the corporation, the government and the unrversity) to meet, scientist to artist, face to face.
  7. PAIR is a fun house mirror into which two groups, artists and scientists standing In their jeans and T-shirts, can simultaneously stare at each other and see the super-imposed energy, creativity, quirks. flaws, hypocrisy and promise morphed together in an overlaid image.
  8. PAIR is a program based around the obvious. but often forgotten fact, that most artists and scientists are adults and can be treated that way.
  • Rich Gold, USA, Manager, Creative Documents initiative, Xerox PARC, Palo Alto, USA

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