Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category

Since this event was in same week as the Siobhan Davies ICE Seminar I (David) repeated my twitter experiment with the following results:

benno121: Q. In what way does Adam simplify? Can Lesley tap into this? A. No – not at the moment. #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: Interesting observation – artistic output vs academic output. Unfortunately only artistic being considered. #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: Definition of fractal – an infinite line, that’s simple http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: Assign colours to numbers v similar to my approach to dance + maths, assign movement to number #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: Trip to Botanical Gardens, Lesley looks for detail and Adam simplifies #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: Level of maths detail a concern for Adam, can Lesley cope. Proves difficult. Oblique Strategy cards v helpful http://is.gd/i8rf #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: Lesley (artist) keeps a journal, Adam (Maths academic) keeps video diary #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: Warwick Uni can offer Maths BA as well as BSc – well, well,well #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: Visual – Maths – Visual as overview of project…chaos theory, fractals, fibonacci sequence, fractal dimensions, #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: Barry Phipps, Research Fellow (Kettles Yard) http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/ #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: new one on me – ethnobotany. #art+maths
4 days ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

predacomDom: RT @benno121: “ICE seminar – Lesley Whelan and Adam Boddison – Art+Maths=? http://tinyurl.com/ch68j7 (expand) #art+maths=?” – Just arrived for this..
4 days ago from PockeTwit · Reply · View Tweet

benno121: ICE seminar – Lesley Whelan and Adam Boddison – Art+Maths=? http://tinyurl.com/ch68j7 (expand) #art+maths=?
4 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

OK, so I did learn one or two things from last time – the #arts+maths tag is a little simpler – but if you don’t use it these tweets will miss the search

# Yes, I just finished a Creative Partnership project Dance n Maths so equally interested
5:19 PM Apr 30th from twhirl
was my response to @predacomDom

# good start – don’t use = in hashtag
5:12 PM Apr 30th from web
The reason I said this was #arts was only term that became a ‘searchable link’, so ‘+’ character is also a no-no. However, #art+maths does work as a search so maybe it’s the ‘searchable link’ function that does not like these special characters? Try it in Twitter, you’ll see what I mean.

# Experiment 2 for live twitter so bear with me folks
5:09 PM Apr 30th from web
Learner driver, so beware.

Do go to the project website for more information, my twittering does not do it justice.


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Social networking, in fact the very idea of ‘networking’ can seem like anathema to many creatives. Often the idea of purposefully going out and making social connections with people for the purpose of promoting your business, can seem like… well, prostitution in a way. This comes either because creatives have chosen a slightly different route to the corporate one, or because of the historical belief that, if we create it, people will just naturally come to see the thing for how wonderful it is, in its own right. Surely?

Well, there aren’t any/many private art patrons out there in the world these days. and If you want to earn money to survive, then you need to connect with people who either can buy your work, fund your work or use you in a paying project. Of course, you may also have a job that pays enouggh and your creative outpourings are for personal reasons, but eventually, you might want some people to be interested.

It’s another reason to think long and hard about using social networks. If you aren’t already in them, then have a plan as to why you might use them and then get stuck in. If you’re weighing the pros and cons, look no further than this article by  Mark McGuinness on the Top Ten Social Networks for Creative People.

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HomicideI’ve been reading Second-Shift, Media Aesthetics by John T Caldwell in the book New media : theories and practices of digitextuality. In his essay, Caldwell draws on examples from the early part of the 21st Century, where several American networks were experimenting with what has come to be called convergence. The cross-media spread of a narrative that takes place within a program or film is probably the most simplified explanation of it. The term second-shift aesthetics is coined by Caldwell in reference to the program Homicide, aired on HBO (I think?) where the program focussed on the characters who worked one of the homicide shifts, and the Internet presence was all about the second-shift characters, who followed up many of the leads and clues uncovered by the first shift. So the web stuff would include short episodes, as well as content such as the video clips that the first-shift team had been looking through for clues in the case, as well as additional material.This type of cross-media hybrid has become ever more popular with certain programs (America seems to do it best, for some reason and I’m not convinced it’s about budget either). Lost did it and Mad Men does it with characters even having Twitter accounts now. So, it’s a natural flow and a way for production companies to reach their audiences through the many different channels that viewers are now multi-tasking through in the course of an evening (or day, at work!). Rather than desperately panicking about where to find advertising revenue for TV, companies can now sell a bundled package of revenue streams (not sure if that is the right phrase for what I’m think of?) to advertisers. It’s the long tail in action, basically.

So, does this have any relevance for the live performance arts, visual artists or other non-moving image artists? Possibly, is the ambivalent answer! For a start, the advertising revenues might not be something that people are interested in pursuing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth considering in some context. The other point is that of capturing the ongoing interest of audiences who may have that niggled to find out more about a show after having seen it, or even before seeing it, if they don’t mind spoilers. A street performance that has an experimental approach may become clearer when postcards handed out at the performance, lead people to blogs and video interviews. Rehearsals of RSC plays might help students deconstruct the text of a play they are studying, after having seen the live show.

But these are all extras. In some ways the model for them already exists in the DVD market with additional material, outtakes, interviews etcetera. Also, I noticed that the J.G. Ballard book I recently read, Cocaine Nights, came with links to websites and interviews and an extra short story, as part of a P.S. strategy, so publishers are gradually doing it (but that leads to discussions of The Kindle and e books, a whole other post). So it’s not original, but worth keeping in mind. The other option is for performers to consider how there own work might exist across different platforms. Like the Homicide example above, how would web material extend the narrative arc? Also importantly, is how does this become a natural part of the work and not just a gimmick? Maybe that’s just a matter of how deeply embedded in our lives the digital is, until it becomes transparent.

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Nick Rothwell from cassiel.com gave a talk to the MA Media Arts students today, showing a brief roundup of the projects that he has been involved in, over the past few years. Nick introduced himself as being someone who works across many different art forms, creating compositions and interactive spaces for performance in many traditional locations such as stage, as well as site-specific work (like The Public, for example).

The discussion was wide ranging, from the difficulties of being involved with large projects involving funding from various sources, to how best to incorporate technology into dance performance. Where many producers want to see their dollars worth up there on the stage, letting the audience see what all the fuss is about, there’s often a balance between finding a mid-point. I personally, offered the suggestion that perhaps any stage-bound technology should be thought of in terms of stage design, and placed/dressed accordingly.

Nick’s creative practise moves beyond the performative/dance and includes work like, the intelligent lamppost that dreams and remembers events from the local pub nearby. Soon to be moved the Irish Museum of  Modern Art. A technically, complex piece of work that required the involvement of the council to install the work (digging and slicing the pavement, all in a day’s work for the council worker, less so for the media artist!).

Nick’s website is worth spending time on, and not just as a documentation of the projects he has been involved in. Digging down a bit you can uncover articles about everything from Max/MSP to the Roland D-50.

What’s valuable in Nick’s work, apart from the pleasure of the works themselves, is his obvious commitment to the documentation process. Always a good way of taking care of ‘housekeeping’ for an artists own practise, it’s also a good way to share things in the community more.

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Julia Negus is one of the directors of Theatre Absolute that she runs with Chris O’Connell

Along with Chris o’Connell, Julia Negus is a director of Theatre Absolute, based in Coventry. She has also recently finished her degree in Surface Decoration (graduating in November 2008). Julia has been keeping a blog where she talks about her stitching and the stories that evolve from the process of creating. Her blog tracks some of the ideas and themes of the work that she has produced. There are some great pieces there with stories that do what good storytelling should, leaving their mark on you.

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