Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Narrowing our focus

To tackle the tough questions we ran into and try to focus our project from what it was at the last presentation we had a long meeting discussing our project. Here are the criteria and focal points we have come up with which we think reflect all our collective interests and focus our project so it can be effective.

1.The project is called "The Museum of Yesterday". It will be a physical space, tunnel/tent like structure in front of the union. We have picked the union because it is a symbolic home base for campus and it has high traffic flow of the campus population. We chose this specific site out in front because it is public, not a room you must go to, and is highly visible to anyone who passes by.

2. The users who engage with this project will take video and photo based on this criteria "If you would like to submit to The Museum of Yesterday then follow these instructions: Take a 1 minute video or 1 photograph of something ephemeral that you find meaningful. The context of these visual artifacts should be from your experiences on campus. Then upload your video to the museum website."

We decided AGAINST the mission themes for each week. There will only be this one constraint criteria. We felt that choosing the words ephemeral and meaningful were important aspects of what information we wanted to collect. "Meaningfulness" is very subjective and we are interested in the users' interpretation of what they find meaningful. We feel that this notion of cataloguing a community's idea of tiny things that are meaningful gets at the issue of meaning in memory. What memories do we find meaningful? Why do stupid things that might seem insignificant stick in our heads, but others don't? This question to the user also brings up value systems and subjective selection in memory. Ephemera is a criteria we are interested in because of its relationship to the museum and all the artifacts being not lasting, but displayed for a short while.

3. The display of artifacts will be anonymous, but the submission will be based on your net ID.

4. We will have either a voting system for the community to vote out "bad" or "innaporpriate" videos at a computer station in the museum OR we will have a jury that reviews all the material the night before and eliminates irrelevant or lude material. We have not chosen which of these we will do at the moment.

5. The videos and photos will be collected by uploading to a website with a cut off of a certain time (9pm?) or there will be a drop slot. I think the uploading makes more sense because who will want to burn a disc with one photo or mini movie on it? its a waste. Then those visual artifacts will be loaded to the display screens for the next day. They can only be viewed at the museum! Then at the end of the day all the artifacts will be deleted. Nothing will be saved.

6. Although the museum structure is the only thing we may physically realize for our final project it will be accompanied by a future proposal to have kiosks with uploading computer screens and cameras that you can rent out by swiping your icard. You can have the camera for a set amount of time, 15 minutes, half hour, no longer than 1 hour. This idea adds to the notion of equality, ubiquity and access to the entire community.

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