Categories
Art and Design

A process for *selecting* rather than culling

Liked A Better Edit Makes Better Photographs by DavidDavid (davidduchemin.com)

My own edit process goes much more quickly because I’m not looking for every single image that meets some basic minimal technical standard. I’m looking for the ones that make me lean in. The ones that make my heart sing. The ones that grab me and won’t let me not select them.

You might have a great reason for rating images, but I think trying to decide whether an image deserves 2, 3, or 4 stars slows the process. Because I’m looking for a few frames that are a decisive “Yes!”, I’ve found rating them makes me look for the wrong thing.

I appreciate hearing about other creative people’s processes and approaches. A lot of these things, we kind of figure out on our own, but others may have developed more effective methods to do the same thing.

I totally am a “delete the bad stuff” editor, with my first round of edits simply clearing out the out of focus or poorly exposed or unnecessary duplicates. A second pass clears out boring and blah. Then I select my pool of images to edit (which is probably too many 😉).

As in everything, working with more intentionality yields better results, though it is harder. I like his mindset of thinking of a collection of photos from a trip as a body of work — this is probably similar to my thinking when I’m constructing an excursion blog post, where I try to curate a representative selection of photos, but if some shots are too similar I might remove one. In the comments, Jon Revere shares his perspective of framing a story, which sometimes means including less than great shots. This resonates with the approach I took to my 2021 photography and writing project Sense Memory.

I am unclear from his description: how many images does he delete? Does he save copies of all his photos to revisit in the future, or only the select best? Are there still 30k photos from that trip on his hard drive?

Categories
Learning

Algorithmic recommendations create “curiosity ruts”

Replied to What Worked in 2022: 4 Insights From A Rebuilding Year by Tara McMullinTara McMullin (explorewhatworks.com)

One of his strategic priorities for this year was breaking out of what he calls curiosity ruts. Algorithms typically carve out curiosity ruts—that’s what happens when a platform learns your preferences and gives you what you want to see. In the process, we forget to look for information or ideas that aren’t automagically fed to us.

“What are the tools and systems that you can put into place to find information that you wouldn’t have found? The ideas, perspectives, people, etc., that you wouldn’t have found if you had just been left to your own curiosity ruts?” — Sean McMullin

Create information systems of serendipity — follow sources that are likely to introduce you to the unexpected.

Computers don’t have, can’t have, taste. That’s why there will always be a place for curators like Jason Kottke and tastemakers who create playlists of new musicians. An algorithm can be pretty good at recommending more stuff like we already like, but to make a sizable jump in what we’re listening to or reading, we turn to people we trust to have good taste (similar to our own 😉). Interesting people probably read and watch interesting things.

I’ve always treated social media this way, following people who boost others and share interesting things they’ve encountered. I don’t know how the algorithm worked on top of that, but one of the things I appreciated about Twitter was finding someone new to follow or hearing about a new project or learning something random about history or science or a field totally outside my realm of knowledge, every time I logged on. I saw someone talking about Twitter / this aspect of social media as a delivery system of delight: for me, this is the dopamine hit. As much as it sometimes annoyed me to see posts that “people you follow liked” it was probably a decent way to inject some freshness into people’s feeds in addition to RTs and QTs (they just overdid it IMO).

Over the past ~ six+ weeks since Twitter went to shit, I started following a handful of folks who migrated to Mastodon using the Activity Pub connection from Micro.blog — and through them have found some other interesting people to follow. For my interests, authors, artists and academics are my key to discovery.

Categories
Learning Resources and Reference

Find good longreads and unearth old articles worth reading

Bookmarked Read Something Great (Read Something Great)

Timeless articles from the belly of the internet.
Manually curated. Served 5 at a time.

Like this idea. Somewhat wary about the curation: who’s choosing the articles (one person, an editorial team…?), do they have selection criteria that considers bias in publishing and draws from reputable sources, what is their background (do they have a political bias or subject focus, if so do those complement my views and interests?), where are they sourcing these articles? No transparency on the website.

Categories
Art and Design History Resources and Reference

Publicly curated history of graphic design

Bookmarked The People’s Graphic Design Archive (peoplesgdarchive.org)

The People’s Graphic Design Archive is a crowd-sourced virtual archive that aims to expand, diversify, and preserve graphic design history. It includes finished projects, process, correspondence, oral histories, articles, and other material in the form of images, documents, videos, audio, as well as links to other relevant archives and websites.

Categories
House Learning Meta

Elevating a book collection to a personal library

Replied to How to nurture a personal library by Freya Howarth (Psyche)

Meaghan Dew, who works on collections and reader development in a Melbourne public library, suggested that a key part of nurturing a personal library is working out what you really want from it. The aim is ‘not what you think your library should be’, she told me, ‘but the library that you are actually going to use and appreciate on a regular basis.’

I’ve always acquired books individually, without consideration for the rest of my collection; I’m intrigued by this perspective shift of personal library versus book collection as a thought experiment. I’m not sure what I would change by thinking of my books as part of a whole.

My books currently fall into a few categories:

  • Art books
  • Graphic novels, comic books, and zines
  • Hiking and travel
  • Gardening and plant / wildlife reference
  • Personal growth and productivity
  • Design and writing craft reference
  • Assorted nonfiction
  • Assorted fiction

This balance reflects what I like to read in hard copy, what I want to have handy for reference, and what isn’t available at the library so I need to buy it to read it 😉 (Another metric I’ve added for keep/discard in my thirties, after giving away dozens of indie comics: how hard it would be to replace or access elsewhere.)

A personal library can serve as:

  • a store for memories… a way to rediscover and revisit ideas and feelings…
  • a tool for research, which lets you encounter new ideas; and
  • a source of various pleasures: entertainment, escapism, solace, beauty, inspiration, and surprise.

Sometimes I feel like I could dump a bunch of the graphic novels, which I basically never reread, but this article’s suggestion of a store for memory perhaps fits my reasoning for keeping them around.

Packed personal bookshelf with art books, comics, non-fiction and reference books, plus a fuzzy alpaca stuffie
My bookshelf: art books on top by necessity (height), graphic novels and comic strips overflowing on the second shelf, reference and personal growth on the third shelf, nonfiction I haven’t read yet and craft books on the fourth, and out of sight on the fifth is fiction.

For years my personal allocation of books was whatever fit on this bookshelf; I purged and donated books (too) aggressively. I have disappointed people who know how much I read with the paucity of my physical collection 😂

But I have been buying more books in recent years, especially during the pandemic. So I said my Collected Sandman doesn’t have to fit. Then I granted myself an allowance to store comic collections in boxes (Fables, Lucifer, Transmet, Saga). Then I let myself put my husband’s books in a box — he can get his own bookshelf 😉 Then I started to squeeze books in horizontally. All this to say… I need a second bookshelf 😂 Part of a collection is presentation and ease of access, and right now they’re packed to the gills, the divisions visually unclear because I mostly can’t fit bookends, and not very inviting to peruse or use.

Categories
Art and Design Reflection Writing

Draw inspiration from, not be influenced by

Liked How To Be Influenced by Ian Leslie (The Ruffian)

Artists (in the broad sense – painters, novelists, composers, etc) are pretty much defined by the struggle to be themselves; to absorb influences without surrendering to them; to be open to others and stubbornly individual. Consequently, artists have a different relationship to influence than the rest of us do. The core difference is this: artists do not absorb their influences passively. They choose their influences, and they choose how to be influenced by them.

“Interrogate your influences.”

Thoughtful, intentional curation and inspiration. I also appreciate the thought to go narrow — some phases of work and thinking benefit from a wide range of inputs, while other times focusing the inputs you’re taking in purposefully can align and refine your work.

Categories
Art and Design Society

Taste

Liked Notes on “Taste” — Are.na (are.na)

I also believe taste is something we can and should try to cultivate. Not because taste itself is a virtue, per se, but because I’ve found a taste-filled life to be a richer one. To pursue it is to appreciate ourselves, each other, and the stuff we’re surrounded by a whole lot more.

I feel like there are two types of taste: generic societally approved “good taste” and a person’s unique, cultivated sense of personal taste. For example, I find “tasteful” home design to often be boring. Give me tacky instead. Instead of immaculate marble-clad minimalist interiors, show me cluttered maximalist ones filled with personality. Art too, give me the lowbrow, the outsider works following their own taste rather than the elite’s.

But I do put tasteful above thoughtless — it is usually aesthetically inoffensive at the least, whereas a hodgepodge can be straight up ugly. Anything done with intentionality reflects some form of taste.

Though taste may appear effortless, you can’t have taste by mistake. It requires intention, focus, and care. Taste is a commitment to a state of attention.

Taste requires originality. It invokes an aspirational authenticity.

Moreover, it requires care: to believe it worthwhile to hold, and spend the time to develop, taste about something.

I would say that taste is the sensibility, and snobbery is one way to express the sensibility.

Snobbery is where “societal good taste” brings in class judgments: aesthetic preferences associated with what the upper class can afford, often claimed without evidence to be morally superior as well. Think white bread versus whole wheat, kale versus salad, fresh versus frozen.  This is where I am working on catching my own biases, especially around food. This kind of taste is performative and self-righteous.

Via.

Categories
Music

Curated music discovery

Bookmarked Shfl (Shfl)

Shfl is a random sampler of album recommendations from musicians and music critics.

Categories
Society The Internet

Musing on an Indie Web Patreon

Replied to Everything Is Becoming Paywalled Content—Even You by Jason Parham (WIRED)

Every piece of the internet will soon come with a price tag. Welcome to the age of the subscription ouroboros.

So, this article is dystopian but made me think about how to make it better.

I could see an Indie Web version of Patreon that allowed people to use their own sites to publish but provided both payment processing and a discoverability element – I’m thinking you get a feed of all the content you’ve subscribed to (RSS-like but more seamless feed?) where they can easily quote portions of content by other creators in a way that followers can see who they’re responding to. I see the feed being a mashup of Twitter, Instagram, and blogging (as you can post different content types on WordPress) so it’s a blend of images, short text posts, threads, and articles like Patreon currently supports. Maybe you can toggle between content types so you choose your own feed style, and easily turn on and off “shares” aka retweets, and hide replies if you want. Integrate conversation into Patreon – and being paid access you may find it easier to keep out the trolls. Copy kickstarter’s projects we love feature to highlight different creators in the feed every week (which you could also turn off). And with a more Indie Web approach you could also see the likes and bookmarks of creators you follow which I could see being appealing to some. So basically rebranded RSS / blogging with a central portal and payment system 🤷‍♀️