Tag Archives: probe

Sketch Films

Mel and Madeleine have a simple solution to making their video’s available to their groups. List them via direct links. Sharing is caring. (btw, currently Mel is the clear leader in the “can I ask a question” competition.) Matilda realises that naming even short works matters. I’d also take this into the first K-film – give it a name (and where would the viewer see or know that your work had a title?).

Pipes and Cones

Gee, that sounds like an add for shop that sells ‘aromatic’ cigarettes, doesn’t it? Jae Won has a very nice post about a lecture on Barthes and the suggestion to identify a bit, and worry/work on that. He also provides very useful versions of the thinking drawings I provided about essay, research, and hypertext structures. This is a good shorthand outline of what some of this was trying to get to. Lindsay picks up the cone drawing and wonders if an argument is actually possible. I’d suggest it it, though it might smell, taste, look and feel different. I think poems and songs can make arguments (claims to evaluate), and they can be focussed and associate, all at once. Personally I think the Barthes’ essay is highly focussed, it is how many words about one idea with two terms ‘work’, and ‘text’, how much more focus do you think might be needed?

Carmen was lost, hopefully recent things have helped, but there remains work to do in tutes to bring ‘work’ and ‘text’ back to what we are actually doing. We will do it, just that some other things have intervened. Jenny has some notes from the ‘ask Roland’ lecture (I have the notes which I’m hoping to put online), however her observation that:

In order to do so [understand], I don’t just need to write down notes. They don’t mean anything, in the real world. In order for me to truly understand the readings, I need to ask these questions and then try to answer them by re-reading the text.

is one of the more insightful things I’ve read. So the questions you wanted to ask Roland? Ask them again, from you, to the essay and see what answer you get. Bloody good idea that. Might make an appearance in the final task, if not literally, certainly will be there in the thinking that informs the final task.

Tacitness And Embodied Knowing

Stella has a post that I think helps make sense of what I mean by tacit knowledge, and its importance for your learning in a subject like Integrated Media where so much of our learning is through doing. (This really is an artificial distinction, all our learning is by doing, it is just that writing and reading have become reified as abstract, non making activities compared to, say, making a film, but we all learn to write by making, ie by writing, and when you are very good at writing, either academic or creative, you are always making in your writing.)

Anyway, back to Stella’s post. She describes her job in a cafe, that she’s done it for about a year and she’s trying to teach someone new how to do it. There’s no manual, book, or set procedure. She has trouble teaching someone else how to do it, and realises that her knowledge is a tacit knowledge, a knowing how to do that is not the sort of knowledge you can write down, easily explain, or describe. You really need to do it, to work in the cafe, to learn how to do it (like learning how to ride a bike). Two big things that Stella realises.

The first is the realisation that this ‘know how’, this sophisticated tacit knowledge, is based in an experiential knowing, in your ability to do something. This is a knowing, but is quite a different category or quality of knowing compared to facts. (Think about my two lectures on Barthes, what happens if you stop thinking of them as ‘explanations’, as efforts of being told and learning facts or information, and treat them as performances, as showing or making visible what the text is?) The second is that it is very hard to transfer, teach this knowledge, to someone else. Because it is an embodied knowing, a knowledge achieved through doing, you really can only teach it to someone else by enabling their doing. And as Stella astutely, and I think wisely recognises, it takes time, and patience.

One of the things that often frustrates me in a subject like this (where I lose my patience) is that you can only learn how to make video and sound works and get them online, and so on, by doing it. Like learning how to write, or riding a bike. One go is not enough, but because we have been so acculturated into print regimes of knowing we have lost this understanding and so because we so deeply understand reading and writing (we have know how to do this tacitly), we then use this to develop explicit knowledge – facts about stuff. But when we try to get you to learn something outside of the logic of print, there is resistance simply because you’ve been taught to forget how you actually learnt all that in the first place.

What is it to Make?

Lincoln-John describes how he makes. Gets the necessary stuff then plays. The playing often produces very creative, useful, and to be used outcomes. When you play, freely, are you making? (Where making is doing something with a desired, sought for, goal or outcome at the end?) Or is play exactly that sort of activity that, in and of itself, is not ends directed? What we call playful play (as opposed to playing a sport where you aim to win). When you play like this, which is another way of thinking about sketching, doodling, letting things happen of themselves, what is important is setting up the conditions to let this happen. To enable it. One of the things we are playing or experimenting with as an a collateral outcome in this subject (something that happens as a consequence of how we do things but not something assessed, explicit or essential) is developing some practices, methods, patterns, ways of working, that are playful so that things can be let to happen, more or less by themselves, then we look at what has happened and make with that.

Process Has Two Faces

Verity has a good description of trying to resolve what to film for the ‘living things‘ brief. She’s trying to come up with scenario’s, a structure, to inform what and how to do this. That’s one face. The other is to (I know it sounds trite but it is a viable method) to just film what you find. Then see what structure that has. One defines then looks. The other looks then curates. Both work, but differently and better depending on the aim of the project. For things that are premised on finding (documentaries, and these small works) the latter is in many ways better. Why?

The Same and the Different

Jason thinks through what happens when he sees a collection of work, responding to the one prompt. This is part of the value of all working to the same brief, it makes immediately visible differences in and of themselves (what was filmed, how, etc). And inspite of some fears, turns out there is a lot of difference even in something as simple as filming round things in your home. An unstated thing going on through these briefs is the importance of repetition and difference. What might I mean by that?

Good Advice

“Let’s Get Physical” is good advice from Mia in so many ways. It is about tacit learning and tacit knowledge, but it also picks up some things about material practice and material media. Our media is a thing, it is a material thing. What does that mean? Why does it even matter? And where is the material anyway if it is all digital?