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A test for anyone who is about to speak in public is when the technology fails – do they know their stuff?
Themes trend, this week it is ‘curation’ which is why I drove 168 miles to a get–together of e–learning like minds in Bath.
Some contrast to the webinar I sat through the same morning and somewhat counter culture in the era of doing everything remotely. Social media far from killing off socialising, it encourages face–to–face social interaction.
It is one thing to read about curation, even to hear disjointed voices behind a presentation online or share thoughts in messages and quite another to follow a presentation face–to–face, to hear and see the discussion, to relate to the speaker and how they come over. Before, in breaks and afterwards the variety of thoughts, ideas and views is like tipping stuff into the compost bin of my brain – dribs and drabs work for me, even in a small group of people in preference sometimes to the sell–out and packed events hosted by other groups around the country.
A test for anyone who is about to speak is when the technology fails.
If they believe in their subject and know their stuff they are better off without a screen of text, diagrams or examples to play with on the Internet – they do that online. Without any hesitation both speakers presented ‘raw’ – reflecting on how well this works I wonder if a genre of presentations where speakers go without these visual props and prompts should be encouraged. What you are left with, and all you need, is someone who has some ideas, some experiences and suggestions and a passion for what they do.
Writers, thinkers and bloggers are constantly taking common terms, the meanings of which we feel we understand, and giving them fresh, broader or nuanced meanings.
My understanding of curation is embedded in museums – I overheard the curator of the current superhuman exhibition at the Wellcome Foundation Museum being interviewed by Aleks Krotovski on Tuesday. When I took a picture using my iPad I was approached and politely told that the ‘curator’ asked that people did not take pictures – curator as stage manager and executive producer of a collection of themed objects. The term ‘object’ itself embracing stills, artefacts, video clips and activities. You curate stuff in a space and set parameters so that an audience of visitors can get their head around what, in effect, has come the curator’s mind.
In the bizarre ways that these things happen I recall, age six at most, creating a fossil museum with ammonites found in the low rocky cliffs of Beadnell, Northumberland.
I was a curator, I brought together a themed collection of rocks, set them out in a room and invited people in – no doubt in the back of my mind imagining the glass cabinets and displays in the Hancock Museum, Newcastle.
And we now have, from the Quite Interesting team the radio show ‘The Museum of the curious’ and its host Jimmy Carr.
‘Curation’ for me already means many things.
I search that externalised part of my own mind, an extensive blog 13 years in the writing, for what I’ve said or StumbleUpon before regarding ‘curation’ and find three entries, one prompted by my intention to attend this session and feeding off a visit to the De le Warr and the other two excerpts from Martin Weller‘s book ‘The Digital Scholar’.
- How I hope to get inside your head – while exploring the contents of my own. (mymindbursts.com)
- Newcastle’s role in the riddle of the Rosetta Stone (guardian.co.uk)
- “Hand on lads, I’ve had a great idea!” (mymindbursts.com)
- The British Museum acquires medals awarded to Captain Scott (britishmuseum.org)
China Britain Business Council – Business Development Event – Free for IVCA Members (£40 for non-members)
The China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) would like IVCA Members to join us THIS EVENING for the Wuxi City Creative, Cultural, Media & Digital Event.
This is an excellent opportunity for you to meet key government officials in the creative and media industry. Wuxi City, and the surrounding area is home to many major players in the creative and media industry in China. Further to this there may be some good contacts made for you and the International Visual Communications Association which can hopefully lead to excellent business opportunities in the future.
The event is taking place in the London Film Museum and will start at 4.00pm and finish at 7:30pm.
We would be grateful if you could attend, or even pass this information on to anybody in your company who would be interested in attending. Our delegation from Wuxi has specifically asked for members in the creative industry or people who are just have a general interest. It would be a pleasure to host the IVCA at this high-profile event.
For more information about the event please click here. Also, please give me a call if you wish to hear more about the event and if you would like to register.
CBBC Events Team
China-Britain Business Council
Tel: +44 (0)207 802 2006
On the one hand as a postgraduate student (Masters in Open & Distance Education: MAODE with the OU and the OU MBA module B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation & Change’) I am fascinated in how collaboration works (Engestrom’s Activity Theory is the model I like to use to illustrate how minds meld between people and teams to solve problems). As a web agency person (coming to Brighton in 2000 to join Worth Media) I understand the employer position too, indeed the agency I worked for blossomed from 9 to 50+ at this time.
With so may micro-companies though, is Brighton more like a cluster of artisans rather than the South Coast Silicon Valley? With Google and others conveniently located at Victoria is Brighton not a suburb of London? Indeed, corporate video production (my background) often sees companies with a production base in the regions and a sales office in London (Speakeasy and Two Four Productions come to mind).
Where are venture capital funded labs?
A year with the OU Business School has give me some insight into Tertiary Education and distant and applied learning, though the model I would also draw upon in relation to Brighton Fuse is the School of Communication Arts (SCA) which provides art directors, copywriters and designers into the advertising world. As they would/will do when employed people are teamed up.
They work towards a job, via placements and real creative briefs (which they may receive payment for if developed).
A qualification is now offered, though I wondered if this is a mistake and a distraction? What counts is how the learning is applied. One of the best ways to learn is vicariously, from the periphery, as an apprentice or trainee ‘being there’. How can this be brought into the mix? Learning on the job? As an apprentice as they do in Germany? That working to pass exams and to meet academic assessment criteria can be very different to working on and completing a commercial project. Instead of a marked assignment might money made or saved be the measure?
At the SCA mentors come in from industry, including many of the heavy weights from the likes of BBH and Saatchi.
It is a hybrid studio, part of the working world but distinct from it. There is talk though of moving their base from Vauxhall to Soho next year so that industry people can simply ‘drop in’. There is no use of webcasting which is a lost opportunity and common place in industry both from the desk and from boardrooms.
For electronic arts, I wonder if this team of two ought to be a team of three, that a visualiser working with a copywriter needs a programmer in order to develop ideas with this ‘third dimension’.
The analogy I would use is a band that requires a drummer, bass player and lead guitar/singer.
During the course of the evening having spoken to several people from Brighton University I realised there is a fourth requirement: the entrepreneur i.e. the band’s manager?
This is based on the view that ideas come to fruition through commercial exploitation by an entrepreneur (in may experience someone who sells well, who understands that a fresh idea will turn heads and open doors). The mindset of the innovator and the entrepreneur are very different too.
All in all, this calls for collaboration, team working, acknowledgement of gaps in our own knowledge that our only filled not by gravitating forever to like-minds, but to different minds with complementary skills. A micro-business of one is surely not a business at all. Might 3 be a minimum?
In this respect both The Skiff and The Works sound like valuable places to mix and through proximity and serendipity make things happen.
Mentoring students is two way, not exploitative, but a way to formulate and refresh thinking. Academics benefit from the interaction with their students while those in business benefit from a combination of being challenged and perhaps being reminded of how playful business can be.