Lecture 04 – Submission 1 Preparation

In the first part, we’ll look over the general submission requirements for the course. However, the main part of the session is about the groups working together to develop a clear(er) idea of what they need to do for submission 1 (and for the project more generally).

Submission 1

  • Submission requirements from DMSP course description
  • What we tell tutors
  • Peer assessment on WebPA

Group Activity: Where are you?

A sheep in a field
Taking the wool based analogies back to their, um, roots. Photo from www.flickr.com/photos/taylar/4523008984 (accessed 4/2/16) by Ingrid Taylar CC-Attibution license

The first activity is to allow the groups some space to step back and look at where things are. Is there consensus about what the submission will be? Is there a common understanding of what the supervisor is looking for?

Go over the following questions as a group:
  • What have you discussed with your tutors about submission 1?
  • Is this documented? If not, make a blog post now reflecting the group’s understanding, e.g.
    • General type of thing? (Installation etc.)
    • List of deliverables for submission? (Different blog posts covering different areas?)
  • If nothing has been discussed yet, then it’s your chance to get started. Document the following:
    • How many different ideas are there in the group?
    • Are they compatible?
    • How different are they?

Adding Detail, Gathering Materials

A sheep being sheared
Here I advance a tenuous analogy between sheep shearing and doing art. Photo from www.flickr.com/photos/shinyredtype/5750768916 (accessed 4/2/16) by Kat Selvocki, CC-Attribution-Noncommercial license.

The vision needs fleshing out. No, really, it does.

The more detail you have, the more able to anticipate the work remaining to be done; what might be challenging; what might be unachievable; what might be surprising / delightful.

Also, it’s part of working out your collective and individual relationships to the work, so you can be concious of what you want to get out of it and put in to it.

Let’s re-visit something we did in Week 2:

  1. What kind(s) of modality (e.g. hearing, seeing, touching) do you want to engage your audience with in your project?
  2. What kind(s) of technique (e.g. hacking, programming, modelling, recording) do you want to direct your energies at?
  3. What kind(s) of space (e.g. web, installation, stage, gallery, VR) will your project be experienced in?
  4. What kind(s) of time (e.g. fast/slow, static/dynamic, ephemeral/enduring) do you imagine your project articulating?

Group Activity

Add Detail:
  • Document the group’s responses to the above. It doesn’t matter if there are points of disagreement. Be as specific as possible.
  • Brainstorm what it is that you think these specific responses are offering to the project. For example: why sound-based work? Why is modelling going to be helpful?
  • Given your ideas so far: how are recipients / audiences of your work going to experience it? Will they be still or moving? Will they be silent or noisy? Will they be passive or active?
  • Do you have a rough list of equipment requirements yet? Have you documented it? If not, do so now! (e.g cameras, loudspeakers, cables etc.: at what points and for how long do you need them? Where do you need to use them?)
  • From your practical experiments so far, what research questions have emerged? Document these. I’d expect a minimum of one per group member.

Planning for Integration

Three women spinning wool.
I promise to stop with the wool-based analogies soon. Photo from commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Three_women_spinning_wool_to_knit_socks_for_soldiers_during_World_War_I_-_Tenterfield,_NSW,_ca._1915.jpg (accessed 4/2/16), public domain

Is the project going to be one intricate whole? An assemblage of different parts?

This is the trickiest aspect: DMSP projects can often stumble on this point if the challenges of bringing different strands of work together are underestimated (or not considered!) until too late!

The moment where all the work comes together for the first time is the start of the piece in earnest, not the completion.

As a variation of the 80-20 principle, it’s worth planning on the basis that the last 20% of work might take 80% of the effort…

Group Activity

Practical Work and Integration
  • Discuss whether your project seems to be formed of easily identifiable parts or seems more like a single thing.
  • Discuss a strategy for bringing things together: what kinds of collective practical work are possible for your project? Do you need rehearsals? Building sessions? Field trips? Discussion sessions? Code sprints?  Document these with estimates for
    • the amount of time they might need
    • how often you might want to do them
    • what resources (e.g. equipment) you’ll need
  • If there are different bodies of work feeding in to the project, how will they be joined? Do you need to investigate bridging technologies? What uncertainties are there?

Finally (perhaps after class)

  1. prepare a list of what will be submitted (different blog posts, what they’re for)
  2. agree on what’s left to do
  3. agree on who’s going to do what
  4. document what resources (time, materials) will be needed to make this happen
  5. set up some pre-submission deadlines that give the group time to revise and polish the work before it’s examined