We will engage in a semester-long experiment in the transformation of the architectural space of the Art and Architecture building into a “social” publishing platform. Students will form publishing working groups, articulate architectural zones of publishing, and post, in strategic intensities, a series of one hundred messages.
This is an experiment in unplugging the forms and logisitics of social media and transposing them to print and architecture, to see what new forms and effects can be engendered.
Inventory and map the physical and digital spaces in which your team will publish its messages.
(1) Explore the A + A building and find 5 spaces in which to post your message sheets. Look for well-traveled social spaces as well as hidden recesses in the building. Indicate the value of each spot along this spectrum. For each spot, make sure there’s space in which your sheets can accumulate: as stacks or spread out. Use the provided maps (1st floor, 2nd floor, 3rd floor) to mark your spots. Affix a sheet with your team’s name on each of your proposed spaces (in order that teams don’t overlap).
(2) Determine 5 social media sites in which you will publish your messages. Again, look for both highly trafficked places as well as out-of-the-way destinations in these platforms. Research and investigate the following: Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Craigslist, Yelp, Youtube, Wikipedia, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, 4chan, Foursquare, Wikileaks. Your messages may be published as posts, comments, or edits. Indicate how you will publish in each space.
This is preliminary research. Sites and strategies may shift as we go forward.
Present your positions in physical and digital space to class on 3 September. Your presentation should be 15 minutes long, with projected visual references.
One Hundred Messages
Research your content category. Determine 5–10 keywords with which to search for your content. All content must be found online. Cast a wide net and see what you find. For this first research phase, gather as much as you can without trying to figure out how it all fits together. Some rough guidelines for this research: find 5 essays/articles, 100 images, and 50 posts from social media. Make a Dropbox folder which archives all this content, including the source (author, date, platform, url.)
On September 15, present to the class, in approximately 15 minutes, a number (3-5) of the emerging themes of your research, along with examples of the images and texts you’ve found for each. Show several directions for your research through the content you’ve collected. Be prepared to discuss a bit your overall editorial attitude towards your subject. Additionally, compose a test run of 10 messages, in a deliberate sequence. Each message can be a text or an image, but not both at the same time. Each text must be under 240 characters.
From this set, cut and splice together 100 messages for your digital and print broadcasts. Remember there are potentially infinite possibilities for variation as you remix your sources. What can you say by appropriating, cutting, and collaging the large body of content you’ve collected? What is your emerging “take” on this subject? How can you make something new and particular and coherent out of all this material? Think of this as a sort of uncreative writing experiment, a la Kenneth Goldsmith. Some constraints: each message must be either text or (one) image. Texts must be under 240 characters. Approximately 25% of your messages should be reposts. Put these messages in a provisional order. Make sets, arguments, expositions, iterations. Think about how the messages can connect in a sequence.
Develop a minimal identity for your publishing group. This identity should serve to visually distinguish your messages from those of other groups. The identity can do more as well — consider how its visual forms connect to and express the content and attitude of your messages. Work with color, type and layout. Compose a minimal avatar and/or name. Letter-size format, either orientation.
Given a three week time-frame, develop a set of temporal and spatial strategies for posting your messages. In what sequences will you thematically organize your messages? How will these sequences be connected to the particularities of your post sites? How will each sequence spatially develop within each site? At what rates will you post? Feel free to revise, if necessary, your posting sites.
Create a printed document which assembles your messages and develops new dimensions of their sociality.
Address the following:
1. Documentation: Document the real-space publication of your messages, and/or reproduce the messages digitally. Document the systems by which you ordered and formalized your messages.
2. Interaction: Find a way to provoke and capture others’ interaction with your messages. Create a framework for sociality and its registration. This could take different forms, on- and offline.
This is further experiment in transposing media. Give special attention to how the form of the book can be uniquely deployed to capture the spatial logic of your posts.
The rough breakdown of how I will determine your grade at the end of the semester is:
+ 50% the work
+ 50% the thought & words (as expressed in presentations and conversations)
And any deliverable which is undelivered, or late, will count against your final grade. Two absences and/or one lateness is acceptable and will not adversely affect your grade. Three absences will diminish your grade by one full step (i.e., a becomes b, b becomes c, etcetera). Four absences is technically grounds for failure, though with extenuating circumstances, exceptions can be made. Three lateness equals one absence.
I am happy to meet at any time to individually review your work and progress in the course.