Creative Concept Development – Journal 15, 12.09.16 (Final Comments and Evaluation)
I really think we should begin with a discussion of what Intermedia is. I know we should know since we all applied to the program, but discussing it is still helpful. It is such a new field and there are so many ideas about it. Discussing It helps make sure have some unified understanding to start with.
I am not crazy about First Class but that is just technical and doesn’t really matter. I just found that it had too much stuff and I couldn’t always figure out where I needed to be. It makes me less inclined to look for things on it. A simple E-mail discussion group might be easier. I think the class is so small that sharing our links through first class is somewhat unnecessary.
I think the journal was good but I think it only needed “Notes” and “Creative Responses.” I am not sure requiring the “Creative Possibilities” section is useful. I think that is the kind of stuff we discuss in class and so it will end up in the notes without needing to be it’s on section. Personally, I would probably have done it anyway but I don’t think it was necessary as part of the course.
I found the Creative Plan the most useful part of the course. This is what everyone asked the first week and I couldn’t answer. I feel more centered having thought it through.
The Creative Responses were fun but strangely, I did not find them all that useful. Time was a big issue. We have one week for each response. Assuming we spend 10 hours a week on each class, you can easily subtract five hours for reading and the journal. During the In the Making section you might need to subtract 1-2 hours more if we are also writing in-depth portions of the Creative Plan. That means that we only have between 3 and 5 hours to do a creative response. That is not very long. It implies that we are doing short, relatively simple projects meant to just give an idea of what is possible. I really enjoyed doing it but I don’t know that it taught me much. The purpose is to help us learn to translate concepts into works. I think I could have simply written down “this is how I would realize the concept if I had time” and achieved just as much learning.
Talking about them in class was somewhat helpful but I think time spent talking about other artists would be more useful.
It would be great to have a course that was devoted to some kind of concept/response system. It sounds like that is what Susan did with the Black Box show but they did one big project. It would be fun to do lots of smaller ones but with time to focus a full 10 hours a week on each one. I would kind of like to do something with randomly assigned concepts or themes or something like that. You know, pick a theme and spend 1 week finding a way to present it within a certain framework.
The Creative Habit
I did not love or hate The Creative Habit. It was just a self-help book. It was interesting enough. It gave some instructions for activities which gave structure to the first set of readings. It had some good tips of the trades. I think that there are probably other books that would serve the same purpose but I doubt they would be any better and they could be worse.
It started the semester with something easy. I think that is good. Everything can be pretty overwhelming so struggling through dense language for the first reading might have scared us! It was also somewhat personal which helped the group get to know each other. I think that was good.
In The Making
I feel that the In the Making book was the most useful section of the course. I simply didn’t know enough about what I wanted to do and this helped. It was somewhere in the middle of this section that I started to get an idea of what I really cared about. Even if I am not ready to say I am certain, I have a much stronger direction now. In some ways, I wish we had done it first but I am not sure I would have been ready to think about it yet.
The syllabus lists one section of In the Making out of order. I don’t know if it is by mistake or on purpose but it is somewhat confusion.
We ended up working on In the Making on a 5th day and I think that is good. I think it would have been better if we had finished it in 4 classes and used the 5th day as a discussion of the total. That would have given a preliminary discussion for the Creative Plan presentation. Then the formal Creative Plan presentation would have been even more useful. That is probably more valuable than the “Review of Twyla Tharp” that we ended up skipping at the very end. I think it should be a permanent change.
When thinking about the order of the In the Making sections, I don’t actually have a strong opinion about what is best overall because I don’t know enough about how you mean the program to happen. I just see a strong argument to consider a different sequence. I think that starting with audience works well for the usual audience of the book. I think it is geared towards artists who already have an established practice of some kind. The order works really well for them. It asks them to examine their existing practice backwards from the way they are probably accustomed to. On the other hand, people without an established practice are going to have a hard time thinking about their audience first.
I found that for myself, I would have preferred this order: Inspiration, Mission, Self, Attitude, Audience, Success. I think that without an established practice you have to figure out what you care most about first so that you can form a mission. Once you have that you can think about how you want to incorporate yourself into that. Then you know enough to think about the audience and of course, you can’t determine success without knowing everything else first.
I think that the other students may have experienced some reader’s exhaustion. I think it felt like a lot of reading at one time. I am not sure I agree with that, but I did notice that most people did not seem to have read everything in advance.
The other readings were good. A few of them might have been a bit too long. The quality of the reproductions was also an issue. The PDFs were often annoying to follow and some of them were simply too poor quality to focus on.
It would be nice to see more current readings. Most of what we read was pretty old and Intermedia is a relatively new field. It’s good to see a timeline of its development and place it within context but I think we missed out on seeing what it means to today’s artists and academics.