Now that there are group projects/activities underway, there are some processes and methods that need to be established and adapted for both groups and individuals. While all of these basic components must be addressed by everyone, the manner in which they are addressed is flexible.
At the group level:
1. A basic statement of purpose. The group should be able to state what
the planned and desired outcome(s) of the group's efforts are, some sense of why
this is desired/planned. You could think of this as a mission statement, although it may not end up sounding much like one. If the outcome is an experiment (i.e. the results will be determined by a process) rather than something that follows a plan (a preconceived rendering of something), then that experimentation should be accounted for in both the what
2. An accounting of the group's membership. Who is going to be involved in making decisions and carrying out those decisions? Who is doing what?
3. A contract between group members that the group agrees to. This needs to be an actual document that includes the basic statement of purpose as well as a general set of terms for working together than everyone agrees to. If "outside" groups or people are involved, they should be considered in your contract. What are the obligations and responsibilities between you and them?
4. Following the contract, there needs to be some kind of functional and reasonable scheduling. This can be facilitated in whatever way works best for the group, but it needs to be accessible and documented.
5. Thorough documentation of all activities, including all the components listed above. You can use a web-based platform to facilitate group documentation in any media (writing, video, photography, etc) or any other combination of forms (electronic or not) that can be submitted at the end of the class.
At the individual level:
1. Documentation of your own contributions to the group process. This does not need to be formal, but should be consistent. It could be as simple as notes in a journal.
At the end of the semester:
1. Some form of group evaluation of the project/activities at the conclusion of the semester.
2. Self and peer-evaluation of your group's work. Each person will submit a basic peer review at the end of the semester.
Following up on our conversation with Paul:
An article on site-specificity, aesthetics and "community" by art historian Miwon Kwon
A different perspective on the problems of community and art by another art historian, Grant Kester
Please take a look at these articles (no need to post about them in a separate discussion) so that we can include some of the concerns they bring up.
Also, if you haven't looked at Mess Hall's 10 point "manifesto
," please do.
I'd like everyone to write at least one (but no more than three) statements that could serve as a guiding principle that you would like to follow (as it relates to a class like this). These should not be statements about "interests," ("I want to learn how to tango.") but statements of ideology or philosophy. Try to avoid overly generic statements like "We need more cultural spaces," and try to get at something that defines the desire a bit more (e.g. "...more cultural spaces run by the people who use them").
We don't necessarily need to produce a "manifesto" like Mess Hall's, but everyone should have some kind of understanding of how your personal desires/needs relate to our situation within the class, the University, and our surroundings.
Also, PLEASE take a look at what has been written in the "project" discussions
so far, and respond if you have ideas or thoughts.
Thanks Samantha and Tyler for starting the discussions in the forum, and to everyone who's contributed so far. There are some really good questions that we need to consider there and many more yet to be asked. I have grouped these discussions under the category "Projects" and you can find the three current discussions here
. I'd like to just gently remind everyone that the class is as much about process and figuring out what questions to ask (and how to answer them) as it is materializing a "final product." We'll most definitely produce a "project" that unfolds in some kind of public manner, but I expect there will be differences of expectations and motivations amongst us.
Our conversation with Paul Wittenbraker should be a great way to learn from his experience with Civic Studio.