- May 2021
“Monetising what we see as sacred knowledge, our way of being – driving, walking – is sacred knowledge and the only people who should have any purview over that is our community. … What if we look at what the data could do for our community and how to achieve that? … We are gathering our data because we love our people, we want a better future for the next generations. What if all data was gathered for those reasons? What would it look like?”
A great quote and framing from Abigail Echo-Hawk.
This reliance on going to community elders (primarily because they have more knowledge and wisdom) is similar to designing for the commons and working backward. Elders in many indigenous cultures represent the the commons.
This isn't to say that we shouldn't continue to innovate and explore the evolutionary space for better answers, but going slow and fixing things is far more likely to be helpful than moving fast and breaking things as has been the mode for the last fifteen years. Who's watching the long horizon in these scenarios?
This quote and set up deserves some additional thought into the ideas and power structures described by Lynne Kelly in Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies Orality, Memory and the Transmission of Culture
- Apr 2021
At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, educators train medical students in slow looking to hone their observational skills, but as West notes, it’s not just about noticing small physical details that might inform a diagnosis.
I'm reminded of the research implied by Arthur Conan Doyle's writing about Sherlock Holmes. We hear about the time and effort spent studying the smallest things, but we don't see it, instead we see the mythical application of it at the "right" times to solve cases in spectacular fashion.
No one focuses on the time spent studying and learning and instead we mythologize the effects at the other end.
Another example of this is the fêting of Andrew Wiles's proof of Fermat's last theorem, while simultaneously ignoring the decades of work he poured into studying and solving it not to mention the work of thousands before him to help give him a platform on which to see things differently.
At Slow Art Day events, museums generally ask visitors to look at five objects for 10 minutes each — enough time, often, to keep them looking a little longer. But the practice varies. Jennifer Roberts, an art history professor at Harvard University and a proponent of slow art, has her students look at an individual artwork for three hours. “Approach it as if you were a visitor from another planet with no prior knowledge of the configuration or content of earthly art,” she tells them.
Why isn't there a slow reading movement that does this with books? What would that look like? What might it accomplish?
This year’s Slow Art Day — April 10 — comes at a time when museums find themselves in vastly different circumstances.
Idea: Implement a slow web week for the IndieWeb, perhaps to coincide with the summit at the end of the week.
People eschew reading material from social media and only consume from websites and personal blogs for a week. The tough part is how to implement actually doing this. Many people would have a tough time finding interesting reading material in a short time. What are good discovery endpoints for that? WordPress.com's reader? Perhaps support from feed reader community?
Studies suggest that the average museumgoer looks at an artwork for less than 30 seconds. And with crowds that seem to push you from one piece to the next, overwhelmingly large exhibitions, and a dismal lack of seating options, museum spaces sometimes seem to encourage this “more is more” ethos. But on “Slow Art Day” every April, museums around the world offer programming that guides visitors in looking more patiently.
What design changes might be instituted to help slow down one's consumption of art?
- slow movements
- solitary genius
- slow web
- open questions
- social media