Course Documents
     Main Page
     Contact Information
     Course Announcement
     Schedule and Syllabus
     Course Participants
     Discussion Forum
     Swiki Chat
     Lecture Material
     Independent Research
     Previous Course
Swiki Features:
  View this Page
  Edit this Page
  Printer Friendly View
  Lock this Page
  References to this Page
  Uploads to this Page
  History of this Page
  Top of the Swiki
  Recent Changes
  Search the Swiki
  Help Guide
Related Links:
     Atlas Program
     Center for LifeLong Learning and Design
     Computer Science Department
     Institute of Cognitive Science
     College of Architecture and Planning
     University of Colorado at Boulder
1. what did you find (articulate the answers in your own words)

1.1. interesting about the article?

1.2. not interesting about the article?

I found the premise of the article, and the main issue it address - that most of what is being done with the web is "boring and unidirectional - to be very intriguing. It's very clear by looking at the vast majority of "mainstream" websites, particular those published by major companies, that most of them don't "get it" yet. They view the web as simply a different embodiment of previous broadcast technologies, rather than a true means to enable multidriectional, democratic communication. There's lots of talk of "branding" and "image control" and "promoting a message", which completely excludes individuals from any meaningful dialogue.

However, I thought portions of this essay were exceedlingly poorly written. The author clearly worked very hard to embelish otherwise simple and straightforward ideas and thoughts with comples jargon and "intellectual speak". To quote the article:

Some of the most intriguing microcosms of malleable aesthetics to date have been textual interactive systems that privilege the familiar signification of natural language as writing. The call and response of textual dialogue, whether at the pace of conversation or in a slower, gradual accumulation of related ideas ("bulletin boards"), offers a suggestive model for the articulation of meaning online.

Give me a break. I think what the author meant to say was "Text based bulletin board and chat systems are a good example of existing systems that allow individuals to interact in a meaningful way." End of story. The selfimportant use of overly complex words is just distracting from the author's main point.

2. what does the author mean by curatorial algorithms?

The author uses the term curatorial algorithms to describe automated algorithms that can "detect" "good art", and thus "curate" online museums.

3. what does the author mean by malleable aesthetics?

The author uses the term malleable aesthetics to describe works of art in which the the content changes(or can be changed by "viewers"), but yet, remains aesthetically pleasing and meaningful.

4. what do you consider the main message of the article?

I consider the main message of the article to be that currently (or as of the writing, in 1999), the web was largely treated as a broadcast mechanism, and didn't accomodate any or much interaction from individuals.

5. Please comment on the following claim: “As an artist using the Internet, the question of how to involve people in meaningful events is paramount. Inspiring participation in something useful or fun, or enlightening is okay. But better still is orchestrating contributions to something good that lasts longer the event itself…”.

5.1. agree / disagree?

I agree. Fleeting interaction, while meaningful, is not as meaningful to the individual, or to the community, as creating something.

5.2. which are the personal consequences which you draw from this statement?

I think a lot about the differences between irc chat, and wikis, and why Wikipedea produces far more perceived value to the community than irc does. I've had wonderful, valuable conversations over irc. But they haven't lasted much beyond the existance of the conversation (other than any logs of conversations I've had).

5.3. are the educational programs you are involved addressing this claim?

Other than the research we've seen that's being done in the L3D, no.

6. Please comment on the following claim: “Due to the manipulative capacity of interactive systems, designs should be open to revision and debate… The term “malleable aesthetics” as I mean it refers to the ability to accumulate not only statements, or data, but also the structural changes brought by users of the system. Incompatible with forced enclosure, the purest forms of this category of production are licensed to assure that programming code remains in the public domain”.

6.1. agree / disagree?

I somewhat agree. I think much of the time, things should be open for interaction by other users. But I also see the value in allowing an individual, or set of individuals, to publish content or an experience in a way they have control over. There definitely is a place for writing, or art, that is meant to be viewed or experienced, but not changed.

6.2. which are the personal consequences which you draw from this statement?

That eventually, open source software will dominate many areas of software development:)

6.3. are the educational programs you are involved addressing this claim?

No, not really, other than L3D research we've discussed.

View this PageEdit this PagePrinter Friendly ViewLock this PageReferences to this PageUploads to this PageHistory of this PageTop of the SwikiRecent ChangesSearch the SwikiHelp Guide