“…that strange new zone between medium and message. That zone we call the interface.” —Steven Johnson, 1997

Goals/Discussion: Unfinalizability
“There is neither a first word nor a last word and there is no limits to the dialogic context” – Bakhtin

Core issues in the emergence of modern and post modern art has been concerns of transience, theater, the degenerate and the environment.  The definition of art has shattered the confines of museums and asked questions about the archetypal inviolate, permanent piece of art which can be priced, commodified and placed eternally upon a wall by a collector.  Digital art additionally asks what if the artwork were interactive, cooperative, physically insubstantial, non-analog.  Digital brings many things to the fore, but chief among them in my experience is mutability, the ease, urge, willingness and encouragement to change.

The marshmallow test

Oh, The Temptation from Steve V on Vimeo.


Play one of the games below.  Tell me, what are your thoughts about these games, are they successful or not?  What about them captivates you, if anything.  Try to differentiate between the gameplay and the look and the feel.

Artistic or Critical Concept: Hypertext
Lets read a portion of Vanevar Bush’s “As we may think” -
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/194507/bush

HOMEWORK

  1. Please post an entry in your blog about the Reading below.  Can you imagine being an artist with 1000 true fans?  How would you contact them?
  2. HOMEWORK: Design a GORGEOUS homepage for a real hotel in washington DC, make sure to include a booking mask, a specials/packages promotion and a clear call to action.

1000 True Fans
This post by Kevin Kelly became an almost overnight sensation because it illustrated, clearly, what the real practical benefit of a “niche” audience might be. The consequences this may have on your art is tremendous.

“Find 1,000 True Fans. While some artists have discovered this path without calling it that, I think it is worth trying to formalize. The gist of 1,000 True Fans can be stated simply: A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living. A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.”

” Young artists starting out in this digitally mediated world have another path other than stardom, a path made possible by the very technology that creates the long tail. Instead of trying to reach the narrow and unlikely peaks of platinum hits, bestseller blockbusters, and celebrity status, they can aim for direct connection with 1,000 True Fans.

It’s a much saner destination to hope for.

You make a living instead of a fortune. You are surrounded not by fad and fashionable infatuation, but by True Fans. And you are much more likely to actually arrive there.

A few caveats.
This formula – one thousand direct True Fans –  is crafted for one person, the solo artist. What happens in a duet, or quartet, or movie crew? Obviously, you’ll need more fans. But the additional fans you’ll need are in direct geometric proportion to the increase of your creative group.  In other words, if you increase your group size by 33%, you need add only 33% more fans. This linear growth is in contrast to the exponential growth by which many things in the digital domain inflate. I would not be surprise to find that the value of your True Fans network follows the standard network effects rule, and increases as the square of the number of Fans. As your True Fans connect with each other, they will more readily increase their average spending on your works. So while increasing the numbers of artists involved in creation increases the number of True Fans needed, the increase does not explode, but rises gently and in proportion.

A more important caution: Not every artist is cut out, or willing, to be a nurturer of fans.  Many musicians just want to play music, or photographers just want to shoot, or painters paint, and they temperamentally don’t want to deal with fans, especially True Fans. For these creatives, they need a mediator, a manager, a handler, an agent, a galleryist — someone to manage their fans.  Nonetheless, they can still aim for the same middle destination of 1,000 True Fans. They are just working in a duet.

Third distinction. Direct fans are best. The number of True Fans needed to make a living indirectly inflates fast, but not infinitely. Take blogging as an example. Because fan support for a blogger routes through advertising clicks (except in the occasional tip-jar), more fans are needed for a blogger to make a living. But while this moves the destination towards the left on the long tail curve, it is still far short of blockbuster territory. Same is true in book publishing. When you have corporations involved in taking the majority of the revenue for your work, then it takes many times more True Fans to support you. To the degree an author cultivates direct contact with his/her fans, the smaller the number needed. Lastly, the actual number may vary depending on the media. Maybe it is 500 True Fans for a painter and 5,000 True Fans for a videomaker. The numbers must surely vary around the world. But in fact the actual number is not critical, because it cannot be determined except by attempting it. Once you are in that mode, the actual number will become evident. That will be the True Fan number that works for you. My formula may be off by an order of magnitude, but even so, its far less than a million.”

http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php