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process and technology


i popped into horse bazaar last friday night, very briefly, to hang out with to a couple of shit-hot-djs and fellow geek-tech-type. my brain was kind of mush, having spent the better part of the last 3 days watching blue bars, waiting for data to load, transfer, archive, copy, trash, mount, etc, etc, etc.

within the conversation, i was asked if i was process oriented.

right then? no.

but i guess, the answer is yes. most of my artwork, to date, has been about process. either the process of making, the process of destroying, the process of experience, the process of the document. and i so i realised perhaps why i've found myself supporting the tech requirements for a gallery.

there is an inherent link between process and tech-production. you have to be methodical, or at least value it. same with logic, order, modes of input/output (including human communication) and i guess even trial and error.

it seems to be the complete antithesis of the stereotypical artist - surrounded by chaos and drama, embedded in his own intuition and relationship to material, from which he produces a work of staggering genius.

perhaps this is an interesting aspect of this geek-in-residence program for me: insert an artist into an organisation as a catalyst for systematic, order, organised and intuitive process thinking. quite different to having an artist installed in order to get in touch with chaos, isn't it?

last week i had to deal with a fair amount of chaos as i worked on the installation of two new workstations. a backup system and migrated data. in terms of creative practice, it was the tech equivalent of painting a wall white, painting it black and painting it white again - a bit like the work in the 2008 sydney biennale by nedko solakov.

i planned it out a little in my head and wrote a list for all the the things that needed doing, but i do wish that i'd planned it out a little more. thankfully it wasn't a massive massive overhaul, but we're transferring to different email clients and accessing our network files from a different site. there's still a bit of trial and error going on, but after a few days, it seems to be working OK.

MPS_Map (Lge)

here's what i ended up doing - some random notes about process. i guess:

back-up live data to archive partition (quick transfer)
back-up live data to external drive (22 hours)
back-up entourage email database 1
export database 1 (put out massive spot fire: corrupt database)
back-up entourage email database 2
export database 2 (corrupt database 2)
back-up desktop 2

set up workstation 1:
- install office, CS5 apps, skype, etc. still having issues with CS5
- import entourage DB (1, 2, yes 3 times)
- import entourage contacts into address book
- set up mac mail/import entourage DB (discover that you have to do that in 5 increments!)
- install new database software

set up workstation 2
- install office, CS5 apps, skype, etc.
- import entourage DB (twice)
- set up mac mail/import entourage DB (6 increments)
- import entourage contacts into address book (turns out you can't merge two address book databases. boo)

transfer live files to new wkstn1 public folder (20 minutes! woo hoo!)

follow-up/trouble shoot
running working files off the public folder through bonjour/mac share wasn't working very well. transferred all the data to the external drive - sharing off that and backing that up too.
much better.

Illustrator and Flash are having troubles installing on one of the workstations, after a difficult birth. haven't had time to work it out - running without them for the time being. will reinstall sharpish.

coda ftp portal was only set up on one machine. it was installed on them all, but it seems to need setting up from scratch (i couldn't see an export/transfer/update section). so, because we're overhauling the new system, we've decided to stick with it.

notes: i didn't use target to transfer everything because of said corrupt databases and i wanted to start with a clean slate and transfer stuff slowly, using the opportunity to

strip workstation 3 of excess files, etc.
strip workstation 4 of excess files, etc.

after we're running smoothly off the new system, i'm going to try and reformat (although i can't find the install CDs yet). one of the workstations had been partitioned i'm hoping to join them up again so we've got a nice big drive again. need to read the manuals on them.

although the actual tasks are tech-system specific, actually, the process and the general ethos of this little overhaul have been greatly influenced by installation practice, really: prepare, install, trouble-shoot, de-install.

i haven't documented it yet, that's gonna come real soon - and i'm hoping to do that in interesting ways too: any suggestions for interesting procedure/manuals would be nice. maybe i should do a newspaper club style tech manual :D

ps; there's a whole other process about setting up the time capsule/backup system, but let's save that for another post about archives. it's one all the librarians in the house can salivate over.



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