skip to main content


Published date
29 May 2019

What is it?

Much of the research undertaken by artists is done on a computer and in many cases the finished output of artistic process is produced using software tools.

However, the process of developing an artwork is often not appreciated once the artwork is complete. Artivity provides tools which capture this process and help researchers and artists get a clearer picture of how and why the artwork was created.

Who will benefit?

Artists have shown interest in this idea because it offers an automatic way of self-documenting their work in a way which does not interfere with their creative process. Artivity will allow the creation of digital archives of practice which art historians and art critics can use in their research.

Finally, Artivity will allow younger artists to become proficient in digital techniques which have already been documented by other artists through the project tools.

How is it done?

Artivity captures contextual data on the desktop which may include the browsing history, email exchange and file editing statistics.

It focuses on creative applications to capture data about the way designers and artists use them. At this stage Artivity can capture data from Inkscape and Krita on the Linux desktop as well as the popular Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop on MacOSX. These applications will also be supported on MS Windows given that the framework used to built Artivity is cross-platform. Artivity also supports Firefox and Chrome with plans to support other browsers in the future.

The project is a collaboration between the University of the Arts London and Semiodesk.