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geek week 5

miscellaneous geekery

today has been a massive week here. it was a short week, with monday spent in a symposium on critical spatial writing practice (more on that later). but it has been a week chock full of learning, discovering, reflection, collaboration and adaptation.

in fact, that's what i want to write about - adaptation as a particular trait of the artist, in a tech environment.

thursday was the big day: the meeting with the developers. it could either turn our project into a nightmare, or clear the way for the yellow brick road.

i was a bit nervous. my two other experiences of developing websites have been pretty hectic and, well, it's the first time i've written a functional spec document.

i needn't have worried. virginia from inventive labs (responsible for those awesome notepods that i used all last year) and john from golden grouse were totally grouse and they seemed to appreciate the work and research i had done. i think they felt kinda confident that there was a good plan, some clear descriptions and an air of excitement from our end.

we have our work cut out for us now, but it's a clear path and we're working with people who are all about collaboration and using good tech tools to work together - that feels pretty rad. we're on basecamp, as our wiki, and will have a blueprint to start working with early next week. how's that for getting the job rolling?!

siteplanscribble web

based on the feedback, the reason i think we're going so well is because i've been adapting art-making processes to the project.

firstly, i did research.

when i make a new artwork, i dive back into my documents - i research the history of my oevre, or material, or process. i look at the ways in which others are doing it, the ways in which it connects to previous iterations, the ways it connects to the space/site/organisation/publication and

then we focused on the structure - not the pantone.

if you've got a decent drawing, marquette, plan, etc - the rest is easy. i don't know many artists who make a major work from a standing start - there's always an underlying basis. and, from what i know from the ben terretts in the world, designers hate the squish-the-design-to-the-fixed-aesthetic brief

and finally, the collaboration.

it was valuable to learn from how the developers work, their processes and their language and to see how to adapt it back to artistic outcomes - choosing a single design and working through it, rather than the multiple presentation mode (and, importantly, if it's not working, scrap it), the importance of the plan/structure and being able to get a test site to work with early - taking it from there.

from a business point of view, i also noticed the benefit in valuing your own processes - their notepods (in excess of 100,000 sales as we speak) were designed because they needed to sketch out ideas for an iphone app. obviously. but now they're being purchased by designers globally (including apple!). and all this because they made their own supports.

as an artist, this is an area that i'm pretty crap at, so i'm paying attention and seeing how i can apply that ethos to my own practice.

i think the reason why artists are so good at adapting processes and ideas to their practice is more than just laziness (although i'm also naive sometimes. heh).

adaptation reflects a particular relationship with language that is not about ego and is about understanding the difference between what is being said and that which is being spoken about. i know that structuralist theory is so passé in the era of neo-mysticism and the contemporary romantic, but in a digital arts era, i think it's going to inform a lot of processes and interesting critique as we start to unpack the furniture.

ps. oh. and it seems we've done ourselves a mischief and got in the paper.

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At 14 June, 2010 07:42, Anonymous Lucas said...

blessed are the geek!


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