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robertogreco : amitpitaru   5

lessons for students — Medium
"lesson 1: Everything is about curiosity …

lesson 2: The world is Hungry for Ideas …

Lesson 3: Questions are key. Questions lead to conversation, conversation leads to learning.

At the School for Poetic Computation we start the first day always with the same activity — sit quietly by yourself for 20–30 mins and write down every question you have about what we are studying. Then, in smaller groups (and then finally in a larger group) we organize and collate these questions, developing a taxonomy. In some ways this is a contrast to typical school term, where you are presented with a syllabus that kind of lays out the answers.

The reason we do this is that invariably questions lead to discussion and talking and we’re really of the mindset that education is basically structured conversation — that the key to learning is talking, and through talking, we can find better metaphors, better illustrations, better explanations to make harder things simple, or explain how a gets to z.

Lesson 4. Together we know more …

Lesson 5: Simple and honest things win …

Lesson 6: Artistic practice is research, take that obligation seriously.

You are a researcher.

I’ve made the argument for a long time that artistic practice is a form or research, the same way a car company might have an R&D department to think about cars of the future, artists are a kind of R&D department for humanity thinking about different possible futures. It’s important to take the job of research seriously: to study the history, to take notes about process, to publish, etc. In terms of history, I think it’s crucial to know your field, who came before you and to explore the work of the past. We have a tendency to work and think ahistorically (think about how often you hear about “what a revolutionary time we live in”) and it can present profound limitations to creative practice. Note taking is also crucial — I think the more you approach the creative process as a study vs some sort of magical moment of inspiration, the more fruitful your work will be. Finally, publishing is crucial. Scientists write papers, synthasize findings, etc — artists should do the same. In my case, I use open source as a mechanism, but there are plenty of mechanisms for publishing. I think it’s a crucial part of taking R&D seriously.

Lesson 7: Everything operates at a time scale you don’t know.

You are a farmer.

I’ve found (from over a decade working in media art) that things you do take time and work in timescales that you don’t understand. A project you start one year will come back years later, or an idea you have can only be realized at some later point in your life. I think it’s hard as a student to understand timescale. I try to use the metaphor of a farmer, since it feels to me that things you do one year might have impacts years later.

At eyeo festival two years ago I mentioned to the audience during a talk that at the beginning of every class I tell students, “I adopt you.” After the talk, someone came up to me and he said, “10 years ago, I was in a workshop you gave in Brazil where you said, ‘I adopt you’… I didn’t even recognize you here, but when you said that on stage I remembered that moment. Your workshop is why I started doing what I do now.” When I think about that workshop, all I can remember that it was in a hot and stuffy computer lab, I can’t remember anything from that day just that it was, but being face to face with my former student reminded me that the work you at one time can come back many years later. Plant seeds, tend soil, be a farmer.

Lesson 8: Take the time you need.

There’s a tendency in programming education to have these “learn x in y time” type books and approaches. “Learn C++ in 30 days”, “Learn HTML in 24 hours”, etc. It’s important to remind students to take the time they need.

As a side note: at SFPC we are fortunate to have Amit Pitaru as a co-founder and steering committee member, and Amit to me is one of the best advocates for this notion of taking time. I think of him almost as a kind of sherpa for education. check out his talk at eyeo 2013 (https://vimeo.com/69477201) where mid-way through he breaks into a spontaneous discussion of learning.

Lesson 9: Find your team.

One of the best things you can do as a student is find and surround yourself with people who are supportive, understanding and help you know your own value. I think that is a crucial part of success.

Lesson 10: The past gets made again

I found this amazing book from 1993 called the art of computer designing:

archive.org version of the book [https://archive.org/details/satoArtOfComputerDesigning ]

It’s a pretty amazing book because it’s very fresh even by today’s standards — there’s clever and fun ideas of using shapes and geometry:

but the best part of the book is the afterword, where the author thanks a bunch of people and also members of the Bauhaus. He writes:
I would also like to acknowledge my favorites, Russian Avant-garde, Futurism and Bauhaus, whose brilliant typefaces and designs have in many ways shaped my own mind. If the artists of these movements where alive now to work with computers, I am certain they would discover new artistic possabilities. The work of past ages accumulates, and is remade again.

I love this last sentence of the book,
“the work of past ages accumulates, and is remade again”

It’s a reminder (and license) that the job of every generation is to remake the past.
sfpc  schoolforpoeticcomputation  2015  zachlieberman  teaching  pedagogy  learning  education  curiosity  tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject  time  scale  purpose  questions  questionasking  art  research  conversation  osamusato  andrewzolli  amitpitaru  mitchgoldstein  ideas  howweteach  howwelearn  schools  arteducation  inquiry  inquirybasedlearning  convesation  askingquestions  björk 
november 2015 by robertogreco
SFPC
"school for poetic computation is an artist run school launching this fall in New York. A small group of students and faculty will work closely to explore the intersections of code, design, hardware and theory -- focusing especially on artistic intervention. It's a 10 week program, a hybrid of residency and research group, that will happen multiple times per year to be a powerboost for creativity. Our motto is: more poems less demos."

[From the Mission]

"The school for poetic computation is a school organized around exploring together the creative and expressive nature of computational approaches to art and design. The school’s focus is on writing code like creative writing — focusing on the mechanics of programming as well as demystifying as much as possible the tools, techniques and strategies for making art via code.

We are interested in how to program things that leave the screen and move into physical space, interacting with people through material-tactile expression. In this way, the school will focus on hardware, experimental interaction design, and computational ways of sensing movement, touch and gesture.

We are interested in craft, and the idea that every writer needs space and time to hone their trade. Our school aims to provide a safe haven – so you could get acquainted with the craft at your own pace, make it your own, find that part between your true creative process and the craft. This takes time, encouragement, the right push at the right time, conversations with colleagues, and more time.

This is a school for teaching. Every student who comes here will be asked to also teach, both to their classmates, but also in the form of workshops and outreach. We want to spread the things we care about as far and as wide as we can.

The goal of the school is to promote completely strange, impractical and magical work. We value aesthetics and poetics over efficiency and usefulness. It may not be the sort of things that are about building a portfolio for finding a job, but the sort of things that will surprise and delight people and enable you to be creative without the structure of school or job. However, we like to think employers will appreciate this kind of work as well.

This is not a program to get a degree, there are large programs for that. This is not a program to go for vocational skills, there are programs for that. This is a program for self initiated learners who want to explore new possibilities. This is a program for thinkers in search of a community to realize greater dreams."

[from the FAQ]

"Does the School issue certificate for graduation?
The school does not accredit any formal degrees but the group of alumni will grow into a lively community that will collaborate in the future. We hope students experience at the school and skill will be a validation for them to pursue a creative career."

"What are the core principles the school stands for?
Hacking, exploration, open source, publish everything and often, tools for building, deep understanding through hands on experience and so on…

What kind of students are you looking for?
We want to work with students who are creative at heart and dedicated to learning and teaching code and technology in general. We like students who are kind to help one another.
Where did this idea come from?

We have been teaching and organizing workshops at schools and festivals around the world. We want to create a safe haven for others to develop ideas into reality. We want to bring all of our experience and knowledge to make a sustainable system for learning and teaching code, electronics, installation, performance, user experience, data visualization and etc.



What is the teaching philosophy?
We celebrate failure and collaboration. Our classes are going to be a mix of lecture, demo and lab hours. We respect our students and support them as artist and educator. We hope our students will have the experience to create projects on their own and to teach after the program.



Why do you teach?
Teaching inspires to continue to learn. We love meeting new people and we often make our best work in collaboration with others."
hackerspaces  education  art  computing  programming  coding  altgdp  openstudioproject  lcproject  residencies  jenlowe  amitpitaru  zachliberman  taeyoonchoi  schoolforpoeticcomputation  time  slow  process  certification  accreditation  conversation  sharing  collaboration  teaching  learning  sfpc 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Empowering designers with code literacy - Bobulate
"More than 60 years ago, Silas Rhodes and Burne Hogarth founded a school that would later become the School of Visual Arts with three faculty members and 35 students, creating a model that blurred the boundaries between the profession and academia. That tradition continued when in 2009, we began the MFA Interaction Design program. The two-year program has grown from its initial 17 students and 23 faculty members to a now 63 students and alumni, and over 200 faculty, workshop leaders, and visiting lecturers."
codeliteracy  coding  amitpitaru  design  hisotry  interactiondesign  small  lcproject  openstudioproject  education  lizdanzico  svaixd  sva 
september 2012 by robertogreco
How One Kitchen Table in Brooklyn Became a School for Coders - Steven Heller - Technology - The Atlantic
""We modeled it after our ideal teaching environment," Pitaru says about the genesis, "which means we only take as many students as can fit around our kitchen table (a maximum of five, because the small number is ideal for group-thinking). The seating arrangement is important, as we all get to talk and look at each other rather than face a big projection on a wall."…

Participants are FIFO or first-come-first-serve. As for instructors "We love having guest instructors mainly because it allows us to become students and learn something new," Pitaru says…

Pitaru was recently contacted by someone who wants to open a Kitchen-Table-Coders in London. "Trademarking doesn't worry me," he says. "I'll be flattered if due to our efforts, more kitchen tables are used for learning code, and happy to help anyone who wishes to do so.""

[See also: http://kitchentablecoders.com/ ]
hacking  iphone  processing  workshops  stevenheller  davidnolen  amitpitaru  kitchentablecoders  deschooling  unschooling  discussion  conversation  groupsize  tcsnmy  pedagogy  teaching  development  roundtable  learning  coding  slow  humanscale  small  brooklyn  nyc  education  lcproject 
february 2012 by robertogreco

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