16. History of the CADRE Institute

(six paragraphs)

CL: How did CADRE get started?
SLAYTON: In 1984 Marcia Chamberlain, one of the faculty at San Jose State, got in touch with me and asked me to read the papers for the CADRE conference they had organized. She brought me in and I helped out with the conference. I met Fred Spratt, Chairman of the SJSU Art Department, who had this vision. He recognized that the Art Department needed to play a role in Silicon Valley and that this was a very important area for the school to develop. I don't think he really knew what shape CADRE should take, so he did the right thing and advertised for a Director and brought people in to get their take about how to establish an academic program.

CL: You got in on the ground floor so to speak?
SLAYTON: Yes. Del Coates was already here teaching industrial design at the time. Fred brought Del and I together. In the beginning, Del Coates was the Director of CADRE and Allen Strange, from the Electro-Accoustic Studio and the Music Department, and myself were the Associate Directors. That was the beginning of CADRE, with my specific responsibilities in Fine Arts and Del Coates' in Design.

CL: That was after the conference, actually dating CADRE to 1985?
SLAYTON: Right, that's when we had an educational program up and running. Ten years ago... this year we're having an open house event and a symposium to mark that anniversary.

CL: Has CADRE continuously attracted people from other areas, like Allen Strange from the Music Department?
SLAYTON: Yes. Allen remains an Associate Director in CADRE today. Additionally, Kathy Cohen, from the Art History Department, was invited to be an Associate Director, roughly around 1989. She was actively using technology in Art Education and Art History and it was an obvious connection to involve her. Since 1989 I've been the Director, with Del, Allen and Kathy as Associate Directors.

CL: So by 1989 you've got a growing institution?
SLAYTON: Along with the new personnel we were expanding into the areas of emphasis that they represented. In 1986 we sponsored a broad event called the Silicon Valley Festival of Electronic Arts. It was principally centered around exhibitions and performances that were spread among all the community arts organizations, art galleries, and museums in San Jose, including the University. Then in 1989 we received funding to host another national conference called "Dimensions in Interactivity." It was funded by the National Computer Graphics Association, one of the largest professional organizations in the industry nation-wide at the time, and it was a milestone -- we achieved a kind of stature in both the educational community and in the industry. And parallel to those developments was the continual acquisition of resources, equipment and software to support the Institute's research programs, as well as the educational programs with courses both in art and design.

CL: Were the conferences the main impetus for growth?
SLAYTON: They were seen as a vehicle for creating visibility for the Institute's existence and to bring attention to San Jose State as a principal center for this kind of activity. They had to happen simultaneously with developing an educational and research program. It's likely that we'll do another national conference at an appropriate time in the next few years. The conferences were really unique because they looked forward at the emerging technologies and how artists were engaging with them. They covered a whole gamut of activities, from imaging to performance, installations, robotics, and so on. Meanwhile, the educational program here has kind of leaped and bounded to now include an MFA program in Computers and Electronic Arts, an MA program in Multimedia Computing, and a BA in Computer Art. The entire program is really quite large.