Notes from Brainstorming Process

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The Questions

  • What problem does this site/service solve?
    • Students at Brown & RISD are unable to share their art work with other students and the public
    • Student work goes to waste because nobody sees it outside of class
    • Students don't have a way to find and experience work made by their peers
    • Students don't have a way to get (interdisciplinary) feedback and critique outside of class
    • Employers, grad school admissions committees, etc. don't have a way to access work by students
  • How does it solve the problem?
    • Enables registered Brown/RISD students to create archival portfolios, upload art work in various media, tag it, and share it with peers and the public
    • Enables students to comment on and rate peers' work when artists choose to enable commenting and rating
    • Enables students to organize festivals and exhibitions of student work
  • Whom does it serve?
    • Students at Brown, RISD & other schools who make art
    • Friends and other peers of students who provide content (other Brown/RISD students)
    • Others
      • Family and friends outside Brown/RISD
      • Prospective students
      • Faculty at Brown, RISD and other schools
      • Curators, gallerists, collectors, critics
      • Graduate school admissions committees

Features and functionality

  • Portfolios: only Brown/RISD students can create portfolios
  • Access: students decide on an item-by-item basis whether content is open to public or only for Brown/RISD
  • Comments
    • Students decide on an item-by-item whether to enable comments on their own work?
    • Only people who put in content can comment?
    • No anonymous comments?
  • Ratings: students decide on an item-by-item whether to enable ratings? Ratings weighted for sample size?
  • Views: track most viewed works
  • Types of media
    • Still images: illustration, photography, drawing, painting, graphic design, comics, graphic novels, etc.
    • Video: animation, documentation, video art, etc.
    • Sound: music, sound art, poetry readings
    • Interactive media: net art, hypertext, Flash animations, Java applets, software, Web sites (as archive and/or URL)
    • Texts: poems, plays, short stories, lyrics, novels
    • Licensing options: copyright, CC, GPL


  • Use open source software if it is more practical but not ideological reasons
  • Contribute to existing open source software project(s)
  • Copyrighted content: obey the law, but don't take a position for or against copyright

Organizational structure

  • Student organization
  • Service provided by university
  • Startup company to be spun off and run as independent company or nonprofit
  • Open Source Software project (in combination with any of the above)

Project Descriptions


Re: Group Project

If we are serious and if we are committed to doing something of this sort, I think the project has legs and if we don't do it another group of people will, if they don't already have.

With the success of the facebook I can see a parallel forum for student artists to showcase their work. It seems only right that we team up with an art school (RISD) and pilot this forum with emphasis on a demotic and digital way that does not limit artists as to what the content of their work is, so long as it can be displayed, accessed, enjoyed and even criticized DIGITALLY on the web.

The primary audience would be other students, at least initially, and later on this can be opened to the general public. The general public in this instance as the audience solely and not as contributors to student work. If successful such a pilot program could then be extended to other universities with the expectation that a minority of those populations would actually engage in it.

Due to the nature of such a project and because of it's rich media focus I foresee we would initially have to raise funds (maybe asking Brown and RISD) in order to purchase server space as well as a web address. This is important because we may need A LOT of space. Imagine if only 100 students from both schools decide to upload their final video projects? Not to mention other artists who would presumably submit audio, podcasts, and digital photos of their paintings, drawings and performances.

It seems to me that such a forum for student artists does not exist currently and we should be the first to do something about it. The details of technicalities and ethics can be easily ironed out if we are serious.


I think that our project is a platform for people who have pieces of video work and would like to publish them to the public. Through this platform, they are able share their work to a community, which I think would emerge as the project progresses. It has a lot of potential in being the first step for pieces of work to be known, and reveal their concepts or ideas to an audience.

From what we have discussed previously, I feel that there should be an 'artistic' element to the videos being posted, because there are existing websites that allow users to post videos and share them with friends, whereas having a website that has videos where the artist has actually put thought into it will make our project more unique. I also personally like the idea of having the online community 'rank' the videos, so that there is some kind of system in terms of what should be included on the website and it is a good way for the the artist to get feedback.


Development of a medium/venue (physical or digital) that would specialize in the exhibition of new media projects (perhaps initially limited to audio/video but not excluding other art forms such as poetry/photography/etc should a comprehensible and exciting link to new media be found, possibly through collaborative work).

Medium/venue would be community based, open to the public, perhaps initially limited to Brown and RISD students, content would be fair game under most circumstances except for those where issues of standards, practices, and decency come into question, wherein a group or individual with discretionary power would execute the decision to include or exclude a particular piece or work.

Form of submission (input) would exist solely online in order to maintain the concept of new media projects, but the venues and platforms where the projects would be shown (outputs) could potentially be unlimited (i.e. podcasts, video podcasts, iptv channels, pre-recorded bsr radio shows, website, etc...)

Result is a "streaming" flow of projects and ideas coming in through a common channel, sharing particular means, that are almost perpetually accessible in the fact that the methods of access are far-reaching and expansive.

The talk of the project having an archival aspect, almost in the vein of the Facebook, is especially appealing in that the level of organization is familiar, there is a way of executing a level of "gallery"-esque popularity (i.e. via hits, which school has the most popular art, what pieces in particular perhaps via a wall, comment list, some type of feedback mechanism, etc...)


Project Description: A online hub for student-created video. Students can create a profile and upload video.


  • A light server-side app that will allow user to upload and tag content (think
  • Wordpress (for blogging)


The final project should be the creation of a space where Brown Students can display their new(ish) media art projects. Essentially I think it should be a database where all the works can be accessed and displayed. All submitted works should be allowed. In fact, a submission process should be designed where an artist can upload their media directly to the site and not have to go through the central designing body (this class). I think the class's role should be making decisions concerning how information is organized and therefore how a user interacts with it. At the most basic level the user would know the piece or pieces he or she wants to use and can simply accesss that piece, but things get more complex when the user has come to the site with no specific intentions. Should the site be organized by medium? by grade level? by theme? by number of visits? by number of 'votes'? Perhaps we could design a tagging system as a way of organizing the material. These would be the primary decisions of the class.

On a unrelated note the site should also include a space for people to comment about people's work and for the artists to explain their work a little about themselves. This leads to a point about accountability. To submit work or to comment upon work users should have to have a username and password so that they are accountable for their 'actions' and work. Somebody would be welcome to submit an offensive or 'disgusting' video as long as it was 100% clear who posted it. Similarly, somebody could post a nasty comment about somebody else's work as long as that person is 100% accountable for what he or she says. This kind of community policing should allow for the site to run relatively smoothly.

The video podcasting stream I think is very interesting but raises a lot of interesting questions. I think that the class should get involved in the site in a curitorial sense, and the video podcast might be an interesting way to do that. Only allowing the class to do it though leads to the question of why only them? shouldn't anybody be allowed to? A video podcast seems to say 'Here is some work we think you shouldl see (in a specific order) whereas the site seems to say, here is a bunch of stuff you can access 'on demand.' But instead of working against eachother I think these two things might work in concert. The video podcast can turn people on to new material and allows the author of the podcast to express something to those who subscribe. The website would then allow for further exploration.

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