John P. Bell

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John P. Bell
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John P. Bell

John P. Bell is a digital artist, educator, and software developer who is presently on the faculty of the New Media department and Innovative Communication Design program at the University of Maine.


Bell began developing software to support digital humanities and art at the University of Maine's Still Water lab in 2003. In 2008 he was added to the faculty of the University's New Media department and in 2011 he became one of the founding faculty of the University's Innovative Communication Design program.


Bell has argued that the principles and methods used in the development of Open-Source Software can be applied to other areas of creative production.[1] He applied this theory in the production of The Pool, an online project design workspace conceived of by Jon Ippolito, Owen Smith, Joline Blais, Mike Scott, and others that has been described by the Chronicle of Higher Education as a "new avenue for new-media scholars to do their jobs."[2]

In 2007 Ippolito and Bell redesigned the Variable Media Questionnaire, a tool that encapsulates the variable media paradigm for preservation of art pioneered by Ippolito in the 1990s.[3] Bell designed the third generation of the tool, again applying software design principles to art by re-envisioning the variable media paradigm to treat an artwork as a system of modular components with defined interactions and parameters.[4]

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