I have recently been working with the senior students in photography who had a short project culminating in a exhibition this weekend. I decided to introduce a blog to the proceedings, as both a way to document the exhibition, and as a way for classmates to share their feedback to each other.
Based loosely on this project and its blog: EXIT Dunedin
The aim of the website is to read reviews of all graduating artists in the SITE exhibition 2006. There is more information on this webpage about the project and a printable version of all the reviews. Also there is a link to a blog that has been set up for visitors to make a response about the reviews or to more general issues surrounding them. This was designed with the intention of being an open, lively venue for discussion.
While I thought this was a great project for all individuals involved and the art school, I can see some problems in trying to get participation this way. There was no time constraint to the commenting, or incentive (other than for one to vent one’s spleen!) to begin communication/discussion. Indeed, I think I make up about 50% of the posts that were made after the reviews! It could be that the students did not have access to a computer/internet after they left art school, or that they simply didn’t know how to respond to public critiques of their work, or it was just off their radar as they went off to enjoy the summer…
Keeping this in mind I set specific instructions for everyone to comment on 9 of their fellow classmates (which they would do verbally at the group critique anyway), but instead of them all e-mailing me and me compiling comments for them to keep forever (!) they do the work themselves. They all get exposure to blogging. They all get an online presence. One of the students was allocated the job of creating and compiling all the posts, and the documentation photography. (All students in the senior year were assigned ‘professional’ exhibition roles as part of the project.)
I also learnt a bit about putting pages together to achieve more of a website feel than what I had previously thought of as a ‘blog’. There were some limitations, such as only being able to post to one of the assigned pages (in wordpress) so I am keen now to see if Blogger can get back in my good books in this way…
I think it looks good, and is a great way for everyone to pull together to make a satisfactory documentation of the project. I would really love some feedback from people not involved.