Creating a new space at the intersection of artists and audience

presentation by Steven Wheeler (Plymouth University) on self-organization and learning included a diagram that brought individual reflection via blogs into collaborative community via wikis.  This intersection between the individual and collective was pointed out again during a recent dialogue hour hosted by the Opens Space Workshops for Scientific and Social change.  This jumpstarted some thinking on my part about the 119 Gallery as a space that creates a similar intersection between individual creative visions and practices and a larger audience of community members.

While many may view galleries and performance spaces as a location of exchange between artists / producers and their audiences / consumers, the 119 Gallery actually exists as a space where creators and patrons come into communion with one another. Rather than exchange (which is the dominent concept of a “creative economy”) a new set of social and creative processes are formed within the context of this ever evolving creative space.  Producers and consumers may enter, but through participation the roles and boundaries between these entities begin to blur.

It is not uncommon for an individual within this space to find themselves moving and revolving between multiples roles and responsibilities.  The audience member becomes creator, the creator becomes audience and all have the opportunity to become architects / convenors / curators and producers of new formulations and articulations of the space.  They also are invited to craft the supports for its operation.

Eric S. Raymond’s seminal book The Cathedral and the Bazaar explored the value of open source software development (the Bazaar) when compared to the centrally controlled processes of proprietary projects (the Cathedral).  While much of the thinking done by Raymond and others resonates with a space like the 119 Gallery, the still dominant language of the market and exchange don’t quite capture what a creative space like the 119 is all about.  And there are aspects of a “church” or a coming together or “communing” that are more exact.

The 119 Gallery space and the creative community it births make possible new visions and expressions that would not be possible for the individual creator or the audience alone.  Co-construction and reconfiguration of creative impulses (including those in the realm of organizational management and development), are an essential feature of the 119 Gallery.  It is these new formulations and the energy they create that also appear to motivate the continued engagement of members of this creative community.

Barney Frank @ NEPSA

Attended the annual New England Political Science Association meeting this past weekend.  Delivered my very first conference paper which went pretty well.  Barney Frank spoke at the luncheon meeting on Saturday and had a lot of great things to say about our increasinly partisan / parlimentary style political culture in a presidential system and strategies for addressing the national debt.  Cut defense spending geared towards fighting a cold war that no longer exists and equip us with the much cheaper technologies needed to fight the enemies we do have.  Definitely an energtic and thoughtful luncheon address.

Some new research question re: political participation?

What does political participation look like?

How is participatory democracy different than civic engagement?

What sorts of environments foster and grow the ability to be politically engaged?

How does power operate in a participatory setting?

What role can community media environments play in increasing the political participation of marginalized groups?

Can new media and communication technoloiges increase the chances of local people being politically engaged?

Community Media creating Common Goods

Since the entrance of tools like YouTube and Vimeao and other Internet based communications I hear folks say “why do we need community media?”  “Is PEG access really necessary?”  “Why should we support public media, hasn’t the Internet solved all of our woes?”  While it is true that there is more access than ever before to the tools of media making and the distribution of media via new Internet platforms, what is not made more rich is the production of “common goods”.

Lohmann (1989 – http://nvs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/18/4/367) writes that nonprofit organizations are provide more than the production of needed goods and services often ignored by the public and commerical sectors.  These organizations produce crucial “common goods” that allow individuals to express themselves and their values, build meaningful practices, learn new techniques and a range of other useful non-tangible goods that are necessary for a fully functioning society.

This concept of “common goods” is not unlike theories surrounding social capital, civic engagement, democratic participation, and freedom of expression often found in other civic sector activities.   Ellie Rennie (http://www.cbonline.org.au/3cmedia/3c_issue3/BarryERennie.pdf) also talks about community media existing as to serve needs that are different than commercial mainstream media.  These “common goods” which are about creation of social interaciton, expression of values, and the creation of social spaces where what is produced are relationships, learning, new ideas and expression.  The Internet is not particuarly adept at this.  It is here that community media has its value.

It is this space that I am interested in exploring more.

Care2.com’s ROI on Social Networks

Wonder if you should spend your time campaigning in social networks?

You can use this tool to calculate an estimate of cost and return on investment for the recruitment and fundraising efforts of your staff in social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. It works sort of like an online mortgage calculator. Just enter the starting assumptions in the yellow boxes below and the tool calculates results automatically.

Need some metrics guidelines? You might check out some of the online advocacy and fundraising benchmark studies. If you don’t measure results strictly by fundraising — maybe your results are based on advocacy or branding only — you can just look at the “cost per friend” or “cost per email name” to compare with the costs of recruiting people elsewhere. You can also see how that translates into cost per action or email viewed (opened).

If you would like to see the assumptions and equations behind the magical calculations, they are available on the original Excel spreadsheet. Email Justin Perkins to request a copy or to send feedback, and feel free to comment below.

BBC NEWS | Technology | The rise of clip culture online

BBC NEWS | Technology | The rise of clip culture online: “The popularity of the websites that allow people to share short video snippets is leading to the rise of a clip culture, writes internet law professor Michael Geist.

The telecommunications and broadcast industries’ vision of the future of the internet invariably involves its convergence with television.
Large telecommunications companies are busy gearing up for this future by investing heavily in new high-speed networks whose focus is not faster internet connectivity, but rather entry into the high-definition television broadcast market.”