open source media art website: go!
November 27, 2006 7:53 PM   Subscribe

I've just received a fairly generous grant to create a clearinghouse for open source multi-media applications. What should I be thinking about now?

Right now I'm imagining that the major part of this project is a central website that contains information about programs, platforms, initiatives and projects that would be of interest to people interested in multi-media work. Obviously, things like Processing, vvvv, Wiring, Arduino, Pure Data, etc would be addressed. I'm imagining there'd be a blog component, a gallery of work and examples of code which would eventually become tutorials, a mailing list, and eventually, a forum.

Now.. what else should I consider including? You're an experience multimedia artist, or a complete newbie -- what would you like to see in a site like this? What other sorts of sites are out there? Who's doing interesting work that I should know about? What haven't I thought about yet?
posted by slipperywhenwet to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am always a fan of comparison charts on all of the different programs serving similar functions similar to the ones you find on wikipedia.
posted by occidental at 9:02 PM on November 27, 2006

Best answer: Comparison charts would indeed be good for experts/newbies who are looking into finding the right toolset. For more in-depth comparisons, charts would be too concise.

So how about interviews with artists who have done stuff with the tools you mentioned like Processing or vvvv? Not so much "tell us about your art and works" per se; sites like we make money not art do this sort of thing well already. Rather, questions should be focused on their relationship to their tools: why they chose certain tools for certain works; what they find strong/weak about tools with respect to different types of projects and media; how they use a mix of tools for different versions/stages as they go from sketches to completion; how the choice of tools has influenced their overall thinking. Reading those answers would help in a way that a comparison chart can't quite do.

The things you listed - "blog component, a gallery of work and examples of code which would eventually become tutorials, a mailing list, and eventually, a forum" - are all valuable. However some of the individual toolkit communities already have established versions of such things, and reproducing them might not be as helpful. Processing, for example, as you probably know, already has a small news section, exhibition page, code samples, and an active developer forum.

Another idea: beyond profiling/interviewing individual artists who might be using tools, you could actually get some of them to work with each other. Get a Processing guru and a vvvv guru and have them work on something together, or do a Chinese whispers thing, or just interview each other. Make your site a place for cross-pollination in terms of toolsets and what happens when people mix it up.
posted by shortfuse at 9:36 PM on November 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Web 3.0 multi media projects?
posted by JJ86 at 5:52 AM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: or do a Chinese whispers thing...

Some of those are great suggestions, shortfuse, but... Chinese whispers? Waazat?
posted by slipperywhenwet at 8:12 AM on November 28, 2006

Chinese whispers also known as the telephone game. Person A works on something, passes it onto person B who builds on what person A has done, passes it back to person A or onto another person C, and so on.

Coudal has done things like this with Photoshop users, where an image is passed back and forth and stuff gets added, removed, and otherwise remixed. They called it Photoshop tennis.

So you could try to set up something where a Processing user creates some visual then a vvvv user runs with it (at some level - whether visual, algorithmic, whatever), and so on. Could be messy, or could be an interesting experiment in how artists abstract and encapsulate parts of their work.
posted by shortfuse at 10:13 AM on November 28, 2006

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