[-empyre-] open source <>open art
Gillian McIver from the Luna Nera Group, LoungeLab participant:
1. What does the term "source(s)" mean to an artistic environment?
For me "sources" can take several forms which integrate together to
produce work: the raw materials the artists uses, research, created
unfinished stuff (e.g.captured video and sound), and ideas. The art work
is made up of all of these. For me, what makes these thngs turn into
art is how they are put together - because no artists will ever use the
same sources to make the same things.
2. Which elements of the artistic process can become exchangeable
sources and how can they be determined -> Basically meaning "what is it I
liketo contribute and what do I want to receive/learn from the others"
(i.e.technical knowledge, conceptual approach, material, files,...)?
I think most of the above can be exchangeable sources, along with things
like technical expertise. I am not too sure about conceptual apporaches
though. I think that we found in the LoungeLab experiment that people
reacted to the conceptual aspect very differently. For some of us - I can
speak for the three of us form Luna Nera but I think some others too - we
found it difficult to enter into conceptual discusison intially because
for us the conceptualisation comes out of the gathering of sources...
3. Open source code development is bound to a certain programming
language and the knowledge of this language. The language will generalise the
discussion/development and makes it possible to understand it.
What kind of catalysts/interpreters may be used to create such a generalised
environment for a collaborative art project in order we have to speak
the same language?
We in Luna Nera have been developing group and collaborative projects for
about six years now, and the main "language" for us is actually the
language of collaboration: the ability to communicate in a very special
way, harnessing the artistic ego to the collective project. It's not easy,
and goes against the grain of most formal fine art training. (Maybe I was
lucky because I studied film rather than fine art, which is by it nature
collaborative, although hierarchical). When this collaborative
communication process develops, the rest follows. In LoungeLab the setup
of online chats followed by brainstorming sessions attempted to create
that language of collaboration. And I don't think it was a bad idea.
Looking back, I can say that maybe a few more online chats held earlier in
the process would have helped. And much more informality during the
initial development process. But's a hard call - some people loved the
discussion/flipchart aspect, some of us didn't.
I think the biggest conflict - if u can call it that - was whether or not
we were all supposed to / wanted to work together on a single
conceptually-integrated work, or if we would work in smaller
collaborations. Some people felt that we needed to work all together,
others didn't. We tried to involve everyone in some of the projects:
Julian Ronnefeldt's art-action in Buchenwald Memorial Forest, and the
final evening's webcast dinner, came close. In the end what happened was
I thought very natural and biological - people formed collaborative
subgroups based on human chemistry rather than ideas! (And I think the
resulting works hung together very well in the Strassenbahndepot)
However, as Jon Fawcett pointed out, the close communication in time and
space of all the artists together meant that for the most part we did
learn a lot and benefit a lot of from each other that directly affected
our work, even if we did not make tangible things together.
This refers also to the meaning and relations of the virtual and the
tactile dimension. For .lounge|lab we tried to use the physical space of the
exhibition as a catalyst everybody could understand and deal with; it
mightbe worth to find out what the virtual space may offer here?
Well we had the virtual space of the Net in the inital stage, and I think
this may be where another Loungelab could really focus. Actually creating
online stuff (through chats, webcasts, servers etc.) together before the
live project would be a good way to get people involved so when we meet up
face to face we have already done stuff together.
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