I’m grateful to Mr Matt Hanson for some words of wisdom today about how to manage one’s web ‘presence’, as well as how to work in a way which acknowledges the nature of a digital platform.
Made lots of notes but here’s just a few musings on what Matt discussed:
“What’s your agenda? Is it about pushing boundaries and/or subverting the medium?”
– Of course pushing boundaries might get attention but is it an end in itself? Web innovation is highly marketable but consider the parallels in modern art, which in the 1990s was accused of shocking for shock’s sake. Is subversion sometimes just a gimmick? Perhaps being an inventor allows you a certain freedom to think laterally: the means to pursue a more meaningful agenda.
“How should the network be included in the creative process? Do you want to broadcast to, converse with, or collaborate with people?”
– Recognising that historically artists work in isolation, or at least waited weeks/months to receive criticism, modern networks allow this model to be manipulated. An often spoken belief is that the artist designs the horse, whereas the committee designs the camel. By which is meant that true genius must come from a single mind, only to be diluted when others get involved. Perhaps it’s in the nature of design, dealing as it does in subconscious connections – spatial, semantic, emotional, logical – that genuine complexity and subtlety can never be achieved by a group, except perhaps by accident. On the other hand, collaborations of two, three, four, or handful more of people have been responsible for many great works of music and architecture. In fine art and fictional literature group work is virtually unheard of, yet in the new arts of computer gaming and software it seems normal – even necessary.
“How does one publish in a way which respects and engages the audience?”
– Much made here about editing and refining one’s output. Social media, leading with Facebook and Twitter, seem to have popularised the practice of publishing streams of consciousness with little regard for the readiness of the viewer to tolerate irrelevant information. Matt proposes a minimalist approach of making every word count, or at least provoke in some capacity. With this principle adopted, one recovers the ‘authorship’ of ones output and so can exert control over the viewer experience – be that the journey they take or the pace at which they become involved. I’m sure there is a balance to be struck here – one could say that too little output is just as disengaging as too much. I will happily abandon a feed or periodical which I don’t have time to read and equally forget about an information site which never seems to update.
Many thanks again to Matt for a great perspective on how to tackle the issues of this course; there were many more subjects raised and perhaps I’ll revisit some as I progress.