- Pierre Huyghebaert
- Eric Schrijver
- Christoph Haag
- S V
- Alexandre Leray
- Thomas Buxó
- Ludivine Loiseau
- Femke Snelting
February the 9th, in their weekly meeting, OSP holds a debrief of the Summerschool experience. Femke Snelting writes an e-mail with her feedback, which osp uses as a «fil conducteur» for their meeting.
Super you’ll do a debrief even before dust has settled —sorry I cannot join tonight.
Again, I much enjoyed the week and learned a lot. It was energizing on many levels. Thank you!!
I wondered if you should announce tonights debrief on the Relearn mailinglist? I think it could be interesting to open this up to potential comments from non-OSP participants.
Some notes to use or ignore!
- Playful structure (well prepared but with space to manoeuvre); sharing responsibility for both practical, conceptual teaching/learning; amount of participants, three parallel worksessions, great food… all worked well.
- Shifting between groups was essential for stimulating sharing teaching and learning roles.
- Question: did we really experiment/prototype school or rather push the learning situation formerly known as “workshop” to another level? Discussion on education showed that we still have a long way to go before we can constructively link this to formal education (how to really bring essential elements such as curiosity/generosity/diversity into a curriculum? If it would be an independent educational initiative, questions of validation, funding, positioning).
It’s also related to length of the experiment (5 days), it’s clear that it doesn’t relate in that sense to a whole curriculum.
The main differences with standard workshops is that there is no clear production… Caroline clearly explained halfway that she imagined more a workshop approach and was somehow disappointed that it was more theoretical than practical… Some people felt they had nothing to teach, they just wanted to learn, but it looks like many people in the end got it.
There was a lot of time spent on how to use Git. Femke, Aurélie and others' experiments on exquisite corpses were not only playful but super interesting in terms of the sociality proposed by the tool.
Christoph criticised the introduction to the terminal: his criticism was interesting just to think about how to turn something that felt like a “passage obligé” into something interesting in itself — diff and patch in Git can change the way you understand this tool… Git and the terminal are always what we begin with; Git is too implicating in the workflow to just keep a proper introduction. It’s good to keep in mind to explain cultural conventions embedded in these systems… Doesn’t using these techniques force us into a traditional situation where we have the expertise?
Not everyone felt like it took so much time…
Treating these questions makes it also more than a workshop.
- Beforehand we thought of making something like a mock diploma… we didn’t find a good form for that… but did we miss it necessarily?
- Is a week way too short?
Gijs: One week working with all these tools is short… I’d say at least two weeks.
Is OSP able to organise much bigger events?
Open the school to other ateliers of the house?
With less participants?
Two others don’t think so.
Making it longer would increase the chance to meet more people.
No one seemed to be lost
Presentation times (restitutions) were too long. Losing some energy.
Codify the form more.
How do we make more or less people aware about what is at stake in the process.
README, completing repositories, before presentation. Include the documentation process in the restitution process.
We liked couple presentations, can people present other people’s projects? Nice! (so you work out together on what project to let the other present?)
To use Visual Culture as a place to restitute.
Forcing no feedback from the authors.
Explain to the partner the project through git/doc/readme.
- Nice to have both students and tutors participating. Audience was mixed but it would be interesting to think about how to push its limits (somehow almost all participants had experience with formal art education?).
For the OSP’s here the mix feels quite nice… Wide range of different levels of experience with free software culture… Do you mean more people from engineering culture? But these we have to invite specifically, because our contacts are of course in a specific sense.
- Documentation effort was certainly made (issue tracker, pads, Git, pictures) but it produced only half-legible documents; will it be still a lot of work to edit into a publication (very curious about it though)?
We have to find ways to bring people into the writing process. Eric and friends built the tool right before the event. It should have been done beforehand. Eric’s tendency to invent tools and not use enough existing ones. Developing tools for documentation and documenting at the same time is exciting, but hardly doable. Maybe it is also a question of building up a practice around this (reuse the tools developed this time a next time around).
Network problems were really limiting → Intranet that replicates at night? Create a documentation day. Not on the last day. But the pads managed to keep up.
IRC is an interesting format. Structurally time-based. Also keeps traces of thing that would otherwise not be archived.
People are already lost between all those ways of communicating. Means don’t need to be for every groups. It can respond to specific situations.
How do we do this publication?
The process involves a script with a table of content of the different pads, printing individual pads to PDF and then combine them. Inject some structure.
- For a future edition, how to think about addressing who’s paying (participants?), who gets paid (usually: tutors and organisers) and the balance of give and take.
If everyone is “teaching”, it is true that it is weird to pay a subset of the people for this role. Now only OSP got paid. That makes sense if you say paying is for the facilitator role, because in that sense we were the only ones to have that role…
But yes, maybe we could also find money to pay all participants. Though that would be a hard sell to any funding body.
- Metafont/MetaPost as such overpowered the more generous subject “Gesturing paths”. It worked next to “Off Grid” and “Can it Scale to the Universe” (both less focused on a specific technology) but it would have been nice to inject some more conceptual thoughts.
At the same time, Metafont was the only clear, “concrete” subject at the time of the invitation… I think it is necessary to have concrete elements like this to be able to find people who are willing to engage in the experiment. When we launched the call, “Off Grid” was undefined and “Can it Scale to the Universe” described quite an abstract concept. In describing what is Relearn, we need a good balance between the concrete and the abstract.
- A better connection to Flemish art/design schools will be even more important when another Relearn would happen in Brussels.
We tried to get students from KASK but it was not super easy. I think we are quite linked to the Francophone-speaking art school scene. We never get internship requests etcetera from Flemish schools… What to do about it?
Why not organize a kind of meeting at Sint Lucas (500 meters from Variable): we need you for “Variable/Art Libre”. OK, let’s do that.
Prepare before hand. How do we reach Dutch-speaking students? Very important to take this seriously.
Dig the connexions with KASK: Diane, Bram and ask Wendy/An for contacts.
Intermediary Relearn days between now and next year?
- Focus on “graphic” design (typography, printing, patterns) helped easy flow between subjects/people. What if it would cover larger territory, i.e. sound, installation work, electronics? This time OSP took on the school and gave it a sense of coherence; how would the organisation of it work if not limited to “graphics”?
- Would be curious about the possibility of a “theory” injection, i.e. lectures or collective reading sessions?
- Any thoughts on connected Relearn elements in here http://www.f-lat.org ?
- Lack of some kind of physical activity was brought up a few times. Dancing and bowling in the middle of the week instead of as a final release?
- How would this work in another location (i.e. another institution or an empty school building?) What would need to be arranged?
- Could there be a better/more playful/informative approach to discuss licenses; maybe also an introduction to F/LOSS? The discussion was interesting though.
- Do you already have ideas about a follow-up? A few things crossed my mind:
- Connect Collision II workshop to Relearn energy (some issues/discussions were linked to it)
- An edition of Relearn in collaboration with Thomas B. (KABK) and Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig for LGM 2014 (April 2014)?
We’re very much up for it at the KABK! Let’s discuss it ASAP so I can start massaging the budget-people early enough.
- A two week Relearn to finish in Variable (earlier in summer; we’ll need to be out of the building by end of July 2014)?
- Reconnect to Medialab Prado; it seems a mix of summer school and Interactivos might make sense (needs more extensive funding)
- I am happy to help for the reporting to VG (let me know when?).