SI17 reflection: o h j i a n

From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

Reflection Diary

What did you like about the process of creating the Special issue 17?

[ ] Being involved in envisioning and producing the actual loot box. It was very nice to keep things simple yet well thought out and to work with physical material. I really enjoyed the drafting and decision making process with Gersande and the hands on spirit of Carmen.
[ ] Working on the Bitsy game with Supi was a great experience and I am quite happy with the outcome. I think we are a good match: We have similar interests and ideas yet quite contrary ways of working and thinking. This makes a good mix and is super inspiring and fruitful for both of us.

What would you like to keep in the process for the next special issue?

[ ] Having group representatives that make sure that all sub groups are up to date and that important decisions are coherent without having to discuss every minor detail with the whole group.
[ ] Having an editor in chief who helps to bind everything together (thanks Alex!).
[ ] Working in smaller groups of maximum 3

What did you not like about the whole journey?

[ ] I think that some voices in the group are not always heard even though they have valid points and deserve more attention.
[ ] Looking back I really don’t like to see the group overwork and stress out over a project that is supposed to criticize exactly that. We failed to set up a structure that prevents this from happening and that is not only ironic but also a bit hypocrite towards ourselves.
[ ] Sometimes we could use more facilitation and constraints that come from outside of the group.
[ ] When it comes to timing I would like to have more room for practical exercises. Also feedback moments should happen when it’s not already too late to implement it.

What would you like to do differently for Special Issue 18? Feel free to elaborate in more specifics.

[ ] Something was bothering me and finally I think I can phrase it: In general I really like to work on projects that have a certain complexity, that are embedded in a thorough research and theory and have an overall strong concept. This is what I was used to and how I would approach things in my practice as a book designer. Arriving at XPUB I realized that this way of working was only possible because I already had a lot of experience in my field and all the methods, tools, techniques and possiblities were so familiar that I didn’t even have to think about them. I could envision something in my head and then start working on it to make it happen. Here at XPUB I am introduced to so many new things that I cannot even envision a final outcome or develop a strong concept. I don’t know what is technically possible and what’s not, I don’t know what I can do on my own or what would be fully dependent on others. All the tools, languages and technical stuff are completely new to me and it is just impossible to start from a concept when you don’t understand the tools you are working with. At the same time I am very curious about all of them: I want to learn and work with them, I want to really understand what is going on when I write a code for example, or what happens when I connect a cable. This needs a lot of effort, time and exercise but I think it’s wonderful and my intuition tells me it’s well worth it. Because at some point I will make these new things my own, they will become familiar to a point were I can really use them, write with them, make them part of my practice. But this also means that I have to focus on smaller practical exercises instead of complex concepts, things that I can actually understand and implement. Things that are not as complicated and abstract as an API, but maybe a generator that has a rudimentary internal structure but leads to a surprisingly complex outcome. Instead of being frustrated about not understanding those big things, I think it is much more inspiring, fruitful, satisfying and exciting to me to focus on smaller practical exercises and watch out for those little magic moments, those sparks that can lead to something bigger. So here is what I want to do: Start with practical exercises and small prototypes instead of concepts. Watch out for sparks and magic moments. Let them grow into something bigger. Observe and analyze the outcome to embed it in a context, base it in a research, give it meaning. Or in short: try a bottom-up instead of a top-down method.
[ ] When it comes to coding and prototyping sometimes I get what is talked about and at the same time can see why others in the group may struggle to understand. In those moments I will try to take action and explain things in my own words, which are maybe a bit naive or simplified but potentially helpful.

Share a memorable moment during the last 2.5 months :)

there is a whole collection:
[ ] Steves class when he introduced Braitenbergs law of uphill analysis and downhill invention
[ ] First vision and proposal for a pile of shiny acrylic loot boxes
[ ] Portfolio party
[ ] Exploring the possibilities of Bitsy
[ ] Pizza after Boijmans Depot with Supi and Alex and many more reflection moments / moments of support
[ ] Exploring Rotterdam

What was the most challenging thing while working in the big group; and in the sub-groups?

[ ] So many Rabbit holes
[ ] Trying to keep things simple yet on point
[ ] To value what is there and sharpen it instead of adding more layers
[ ] Good news: My sub groups were not challenging at all :)