In August 2008, IRI became an independent research association whose administrative board members are the Centre Pompidou, the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona, Microsoft France, the Goldsmiths College – University of London, the University of Tokyo, Mines-Telecom, Ars Industrialis and France Télévisions. The Strate Collège Designer and the Art School of Biarritz are also members of the association.

IRI primarily explores the field of digital studies, in the sense of a new « organology of knowledge » appearing with the digital, which requires specific studies and concepts, and which shifts the whole contemporary episteme (as defined by Michel Foucault). More precisely, the institute investigates the field of cultural and cognitive technologies from a digital humanities point of view, which at IRI is considered to be a specific sector of digital studies. IRI thus aims at participating in the development of new forms, devices and technologies: to address the public, to facilitate contributions and collaborative critique; to provide solutions for editorial and social interaction in the domains of culture and knowledge. To achieve this, IRI both theorize and formalize the relevant technologies and the social practices they induce, as well as develop contributive applications, especially in and around the cultural, research and education domains, but also more generally as technologies for amateurs.

IRI has been developing and experimenting with different contributive platforms: Lignes de temps for films and vidéos, eGonomy for photos, CoMent for texts in combination with innovative publication formats: videos indexed by categorized tweets (, video mashups, mind mapping (Renkan), video-books, hyper-videos, contributive online courses. Tools and practices are experimented in the framework of national research projects or for the benefit of IRI’s members.

Research axis currently include:

  • Digital studies and digital hermeneutics
  • Organology of metadata and contributive categorization
  • Cultural technologies and learning plateformes
  • Contributive Publishing and social networking