2nd Gilded age - Part 2
This is a long post! WARNING
It's an up date to where I am at, of slides from my last peer meeting. I am going to try to take you through trains of thought, the questions and directions my research has lead me in.
Starting with these first few slides. After my first peer meeting I had a meeting with Thomas Thwaites my brief setter.
These where the main points that came from that chat, so I'm now into an ideas phase.
I presented back about four ideas, my favourite being an idea about Bit-Cats.
I decided there is a difference between WEALTH and LUXURY. With the idea of luxury being something you absolutely do not need but just have because you can, a way to display wealth. So when thinking about this in terms of my project and the current Gilded/Digital age, we now have digital wealth and currency, but we don't really have digital luxuries. So I returned to my research to find grand and flamboyant displays of wealth. BIG CATS even today (Mike Tyson looking at you) its a humours and pointless thing to own an exotic animal and in the original gilded age it was pretty bloody impressive, so BIT-CATS was born. I was going to create 5 luxury cats that could be traded and bred with their code working like DNA to be traced back to the original owners. All was well and good until Thomas mentioned the Krypto Kitties. This idea I thought was really stupid is actually a really real thing, really working, really earning real people a lot of money. But not me, not today so next............
(they look shit too but I'm not bothered)
So when I returned to Thomas for our second tutorial a main point he mentioned that I had neglected was this comment on the pay gap. I have created ideas that fed the wealthy and the ego but none that actually addressed the situation we are in.
Back to the drawing bored, after chatting to Steph Bickford-Smith about the rutt I was in she mentioned just cutting out the dead weight from the project, the parts that where making it feel heavy to me and killing the fun. So I chose to write all the words of meaning throughout my note book, and those that made me even slightly pissed off I just eradicated from my language. So I said bye to words like luxury and exclusivity, they may seem important but I was through with them, we had grown apart and it was time to move on, they were holding me back, it wasn't them it was me and I hope they're really happy together.
So looking at my new diet list of words, things like mining and collecting all started to jump out at me and I started (with the help of Steph again) to build this new frame work based around the lifestyles and narrative of mining histories and how this was the original industry and as we all know now there is a massive thing called 'data mining' happening right now but the two have not really been linked together in the progression of societies, industries and Gilded eras.
So trying to be one step ahead of these industries and their captains I build three new areas to work in: Un-mining Communities, Technological Darwinism, Chaos Data.
l treat these areas like theories, and which ever area I chose to progress in this is the theory I could prove.
I had more idea... along the lines of adapting working class tools to collect data to give those mining communities back a job that has always been theirs, with a sense of camaraderie. To collect data in the homes, pubs and cafes on the ground gathering the data that requires people to get their hands a bit dirtier.
Then I had a tutorial with Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, another one of my briefers. I threw all my ramblings of research at her and somehow she managed to make sense of the never ending words coming out of my mouth.
Her main point was that providing the working class with ways to mine again was just feeding back into this loop of exploitation. There needs to be a way to flip this guild and give the masses back some sort of power.
A big learning curve, not that I thought I'd cracked the brief but I now had a few routes for this brief that at uni (on my Ba) would have been really good projects. Im now learning on steroids and getting to a point that just makes sense is not good enough, it has to be right, it has to address and I really need to think bigger than what I will make.
A tutorial with Steph again, I promise I'm not hunting this poor women down for help every minute of the day a lot of these chunks of advice have been from he same meetings but everything that comes out of her mouth has proven extremely valuable to me and brought real clarity, structure and direction to my projects. She has also in a very tactful and constructive way explained why points have not worked out so well and shown me the ways to look and frame them.
For example when I explained where I was at, she showed me how my first train of thought to build objects (mining tools) that showcased the issues and provided people with starting points to have critical dialogs, where as the second route or way to think about this (flip the gild) is a problem solving approach.
I have decided that I need to let this brief push me as far as it can and there for I need to carry on to solve this problem.
(Steph is great).
So this is where I am at...
I have sent my peers that attended the meeting out into the world to collect and record their own data.
These are their prompt to decide what they are going to record, and a quick area to think about different ways to record.
I showed them the research from the Mass Observation project to try to explain the value in these mundane tasks, but I think I myself need to put some more work in here as I am doubting parts myself.