2. The CADRE Institute

(four paragraphs)

CL: Can you give us some idea of the early days of the CADRE Institute?
SLAYTON: Well, we started in 1985. Those first couple years I think were probably some of the best years that I've had here. We didn't have money, we had nothing. We had to work with what was available and we were doing all kinds of installation stuffs with computers and sound and building environments. With these really cheap-ass computers, I mean I'm talking really cheap, really small. And then we got our first serious mini-computer from the school which sort of set us in motion. If you're interested in our history, I can go into more depth.

I've always tried to keep the focus of CADRE, at least from my side, on teaching and making art -- in doing that you can accomplish other things that are useful to other people. Artists can do some pretty amazing research. I mean there's technical r&d that comes out of what they do. They invent new ways of doing things. They challenge the tools in ways that other people wouldn't normally think of.

CL: Is that what makes CADRE an ongoing exciting place?
SLAYTON: I think so. The whole attitude has always been to experiment and try something that's both technically and content-innovative. And it's been very interdisciplinary. We get a lot of people from pretty diverse backgrounds in here. The MA program in Multimedia Computing has computer scientists, engineers, physicists, educators, and writers. They don't always know the first thing about composing anything, but that's okay. That doesn't mean they can't be in the program or make other things that are interesting.

CL: What is most interesting at this time about CADRE?
SLAYTON: That computers have become so pervasive that we really don't have to think about them as much as we used to. It means that CADRE is freed up to pursue other areas of activity that I think are going to impact the arts tremendously. The most exciting thing for me is that it would be really great if artists here were able to play with other kinds of technology, more significant than just computers.