The series of symposia known as the International Symposium on Electronic Art was initiated in 1988 in order to support the founding and maintenance of an international network of organisations and individuals active in the field of the electronic arts.
This network took the shape of an association, founded in 1990 in The Netherlands, called the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts. The Board and membership of ISEA has always been international, bringing together individuals and organisations from around the world. From the founding of ISEA until 1996 the organisation was based in the Netherlands. From 1996 to 2001, ISEA headquarters was based in Montréal, Canada. After a period of a provisional HQ again in the Netherlands, in 2008 a new Headquarters was established at the University of Brighton, United Kingdom. The Inter-Society existed for over 15 years as a membership organisation and in 2009 ISEA was changed from the association to a foundation called “ISEA International” in order to better serve its mission.
ISEA International is a non-profit organisation that fosters interdisciplinary discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organisations and individuals working across art, science, design and technology. The main activity is the annual international symposium, ISEA, which provides an international academic and cultural forum, including a wide array of exhibitions, presentations, performances, and public events. Committed to sustaining diversity of practices and practitioners, it takes place in a different country each year and serves as a cultural bridge between local and international artists and scholars.
Mission ISEA International fosters and promotes high quality interdisciplinary creative practice, education. learning and research in art, science, design, the creative industries and emergent technologies through its nomadic, annual international symposia. Of paramount importance is to encourage and promote creative exchange between diverse groups and to acknowledge different backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, practices and experiences that contribute to the advancement of the area. Equally important is to ensure a high standard of creative and academic contributions to each symposium and that these are archived and made available in a sustained, permanent way.
The organisation now managed by the ISEA International foundation board, whose main role is to select the host city of each symposium. The foundation board works closely with the host to ensure that the goals of ISEA are achieved. Historically the symposia were held as both a biennial and annual event. As of 2009, the symposium has been held annually again.
A recent Video celebrating its 25th Anniversary
* Read More: Wim van der Plas, co-founder of the ISEA Symposia recounts the history of ISEA in an interview.
* Also: The history of the symposia can be seen by viewing the ISEA Symposium Archive.