What does Artivity do?


Self-archive your work without altering your practice. Artivity software automatically documents your process while you are working on your computer.


Support your interpretations and statements on real data. Use Artivity data to identify sources that artists consulted and review the technical development of their digital art.


Capture evidence about research process for assessment and impact reports (e.g. REF). Use Artivity data to support statements about methodology in art.


Give instructions about techniques and assess student output easily.


Find out which features of your creative software are popular and how your users use them.


Artivity (former "Semantic Desktop for Capturing Contextual Research Data") is a project which aims to produce a tool for capturing contextual data produced during the creative process of artists and designers while working on a computer. This data may include browsing history, file editing statistics as well as detailed technical information from creative applications. Earlier projects (such as GNOME's Activity Journal and the zeitgeist framework) have partly implemented systems for desktop tracking within the wider idea of semantic desktop. This project adopts the practices of previous projects and extends implemented functionality to capture data about the way designers and artists use popular software applications such as Inkscape and Krita.
The captured data will then be used as part of evidence for design historians and art historians who wish to support their interpretations about art history on real data. It will also be used as a way to document technique on the digital tools of creative production. Finally, the captured data will function be offered as part of a self-archiving tool for artists who wish to document their practice.
The project is a collaboration between the University of the Arts London and Semiodesk.
An extensive description of the project can be found in our deliverables document on GitHub.

This project is funded by JISC in three rounds of funding which correspond to the three phases of the project.

Phase 1, April 2015 - June 2015

26, 27 February 2015

The first phase started at a JISC sandpit event. The pitch during the sandpit can be found here:

Phase 2, July 2015 - November 2015

13, 14 July 2015

The second phase started at the second JISC sandpit event. The pitch during the sandpit can be found here:

Phase 3, March 2016 - August 2016

10, 11 December 2015

The pitch for the third sandpit can be found here: